Tamlyn Naomi Tomita (born January 27, 1966) is a Japanese-born American actress. She has appeared in many Hollywood films and television series.
Tomita was born on Okinawa, the daughter of Shiro and Asako Tomita, and she is 1/4 Filipino on her mother's side of the family. Her father was a distinguished Japanese-American man who was interned at Manzanar, California, during part of World War II, then later became a Los Angeles police officer, rising to the rank of sergeant and helping to form the first Asian Task force in that Department.
Mr. Tomita died of cancer in 1990. Ms. Tomita is a graduate of the Granada Hills High School in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Before becoming an actress, she won the title of Queen at the Nisei Week Pageant in Los Angeles in 1984, and Miss Nikkei International in 1985.
In 1984, Tomita got her big break by traveling as Queen of Nisei Week to Hawaii when she was selected as part of a casting call by director John G. Avildsen to make her acting debut in The Karate Kid, Part II, playing Ralph Macchio's character's love interest, Kumiko. On the film's set, she met Nobu McCarthy, herself a former beauty queen. McCarthy became a role model, mentor and close friend to Tomita, making it especially difficult when, in 2002, McCarthy died unexpectedly while on location in Brazil with Tomita, filming Gaijin 2 - Ama-me como sou. Tamlyn contributes a lot of her time to non-profit events to help the Japanese-American community in California.