Shiro Kishibe
Kishibe Shiro in Japanese characters

Shiro Kishibe in The Tigers Monkey press pack photo 3 - Shiro Kishibe Shiro Kishibe presenting his Look TV show Shiro Kishibe (1998)

Sad news [28 August 2020]

Shiro Kishibe sadly passed away from acute heart failure on 28 August 2020, aged 71.

For over 40 years, his portrayal of the Sandy character in "Monkey" has been much-loved by Monkey fans all over the world.

I would like to pass on my condolences to his family, including his brother, the actor Ittoku Kishibe, on behalf of Monkey fans all over the world. R.I.P. Sandy

  • Shiro Kishibe, Former Member of Band The Tigers, Dies |
  • YouTube - Shiro Kishibe playlist


    He was born on 7th June 1949 in Kyoto. His real name is pronounced the same as his stage name but written slightly differently (Shiro's real name is Kanji, and his pseudonym in show business is in Katakana). He is the 4th of 8 brothers. He graduated from Konoe Middle School. He then went to America (in the 1960s) to study English. While in America, he sometimes wrote for a Japanese pop music monthly called "Music Life". His immediate elder brother, Shuzo, given the stage name Osami (later called Ittoku), was a member of The Tigers singing group (they are still very famous in Japan) and this had the effect of drawing him to music. In 1969, Katsumi Kahashi left The Tigers. Osami then asked for Shiro to come back to Japan to be in the band. However, he could only play tambourine, and did some backing vocals.

    Shiro Kishibe played bass guitar in the band for a short while. He replaced Kahashi Katsumi who took a lead vocal on "Hanano Kubikazari". It's possible that after Kahasi Katsumi visited USA with the band, he started acting differently from other members. He reportedly acted like a hippy. Maybe he started feeling a gap between "GS idol" and the reality he saw in the U.S. That was the time his resignation was announced and Shiro Kishibe joined the band.

    When all GS bands were dying one by one, The Bee Gees came out with several hit tunes. There was an open reel tape of The Tigers' farewell concert (believed to be at Den-En Koroshiamu).

    When so-called "New Rock or Art Rock*" came out, many Japanese bands with average technic disappeared from the scene just like dinosaur did (no offence). That time The Tigers took a melodious (chorus) direction (like The Bee Gees) for survival. And Shiro Kishibe was behind it.
    * Art Rock: Bands like Cream...Uzaki Ryudo who observed the transition as an insider of musical business, said that Vanilla Fudge gave a fatal damage to those Japanese bands.

    When The Tigers was still performing at Jazz-Kissa in Osaka (Nanba-Ichiban??), Wada Akiko, who used to hang around there, was a great fan of Sawada. So other girls were afraid to approach Sawada. I do not know these days but back then, "Yoi-Ko" did not go to such places.

    Shiro appeared in a Tigers movie called "Hi London!", a comical fantasy. In the story, The Tigers were too busy to have a holiday. One day a mysterious guy appeared in front of them and offered then a day trip to anywhere in the world. But he told them if they can't go back to him in 24 hours, he'd have their heart. He was a devil. The Tigers promised it, they flew to London, but some accident happen but they could go back.
    They went to London to make "Hi London!", and Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees (who wrote a song for them) guest starred in the movie. As they were very busy at the time this movie gave them short holiday in London.
    They were Rolling Stones fans - fortunately they met Mick at a Japanese restaurant and got his autograph. Mick asked them to got a Japanese Katana for him, so Tigers sent it when they back to Japan.

    The Tigers (Kenji Sawada, Minoru Hitomi, Taro Morimoto, Osami Kishibe, Shiro Kishibe) sang a song by The Bee Gees called "Smile for me" (note: I've copied this information from the Gibb Songs : Cucumber Castle (1969) web page): Kenji Sawada did vocals, it was arranged by John Fiddy and produced by Biddu (Biddu biography on - who later went on to do 'Kung Fu Fighting' with Carl Douglas, which gained him international acclaim.
    It was released as a single (Rain Falls On The Lonely / Smile For Me) by Polydor in the UK in July 1969, and also in Japan sometime in 1969. It appeared on the "Tigers' beat" album, released in Japan by Polydor in 1969. See a picture of the single sleeve on The Bee Gees page, and the song lyrics on the SMILE FOR ME page.
    writers: Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1968,1969)
    recorded June 1969, London
    lead vocal: Kenji Sawada
    stereo single "Rain falls on the lonely LP Tigers' beat
    First released version. No Bee Gees version released.

    The Tigers' "Smile for me" (A-side) was recorded with Barry's uncredited help and he is shown with the Tigers on the picture sleeve. The song dates from 1968 (US copyright March 1968), but it was rewritten in 1969 for the Tigers to perform. It is also on the CD "Tigers' Best" (Japan)
    Barry Gibb sang lead vocal on a version (in mono) of this song in January 1968, at IBC Studios in London, but it was never released.

    For an indepth biography of The Tigers (with lots of photos), see The Tigers web page.

    In 1971, after The Tigers disbanded, Shiro joined a chorus duo called Bread & Butter (Iwasaki brothers). Then the duo changed their name as "Shiro to Bread & Butter" ("to" = "and" in Japanese). They released an album. It was a beautiful acoustic folk music which was influenced by American folk or singer song writers. Shiro then performed as an actor in movies and TV. Ittoku Kishibe (Osami Kishibe) is Shiro's elder brother, he was bassist of The Tigers, and is now a famous actor (see the page on the Ittoku Kishibe page on the Internet Movie Database for biography and filmography).

    Shiro made his film debut in a Toho comedy and appeared in a number of comedies and some historical dramas for various film studios throughout the 70s. With his long body and his slow-and-steady appearance, he seems nothing like a comic actor but he shows a superb sense of fun. On TV, he has appeared in NET's long-running TOYAMA NO KIN-SAN in 1975 and other programmes throughout the late 70s. He gained great popularity as "Sandy" in MONKEY.

    In 1971 he was married and he has a boy and a girl.

    Shiro never became a professional table tennis player - this was mistakenly reported on a Monkey web site for a while, but I've had it confirmed by some Japanese people that this is completely untrue. Maybe he took part in a celebrity table tennis match once (see, but he certainly never went into it professionally.
    A Japanese person told me "He wears glasses, and he has become a very serious man now."

    For over 10 years, until early April 1998, Shiro hosted a morning TV gossip show called "Look, Look, Konnichi Wa". He was the Japanese equivalent of Richard Madeley (a presenter of a morning tv show here in the UK).

    While he hosted Look Look, Konnichi Wa, he divorced, and he re-married. His ex-wife demanded bid money from him, so while he was appearing on Look Look Konnichi Wa, he had to pay most of his money to his ex-wife. He divorced his second wife in 1998.

    In March / April 2001, Shiro was a guest host of a 'Jerry Springer' style talk show.

    In 2005, after a break of over 7 years, Shiro Kishibe returned to Japanese showbusiness in a Fuji TV show called "Train Man".

    His TV shows include:
    [He appeared in other programmes throughout the late 1970s, and also after doing Monkey - which tv shows? If you know, please let me know.]

    Taiyo ni hoero #229 (TV drama guest)
    Okore Otokoda (1973-1974) (TV drama regular - one of the main actors)

    In 1970s he acted in many programs. In most cases his character was lazy but good guy. Almost close to Sandy.

    "Toyama no kin-san" (1975) (NET)

    Monkey ('Saiyuuki' in Japanese) (1978) (NTV)

    His voiceover work includes:

    Ashita no joe 2 (voice for animation)

    His movies include:

    1. Tigers

    1. Hi London!

    2. Solo
    [Do you know any other movies he appeared in? If you do, please let me know.]

    1. Niji o watatte (1972)
    2. Aiko 16sai (in English - "Aiko 16years old") (1983)

    His records include:


    1. Boku no Mary(My Mary)
    2. Seaside Bound (May 1967)
    3. Mona Liza no Hohoemi (Mona Liza�s Smile)
    4. Kimidake ni Aiwo(Love Only For You) b/w Ochiba no Monogatari(The Story Of The Falling Leaves).
    5. Ginga no Romance(Romance in Milky Way) b/w Hana no Kubikazari(Flower Necklace)
    6. C, C, C b/w Byakuya no Kishi(Knight in the Night) (July 1968)
    7. Haikyo no Hato(A White Dove) b/w Hikari aru Sekai(The Glorious World) (September 1968)
    The above singles were recorded before Shiro joined The Tigers - the ones below were recorded after he joined.
    8. Utukushiki Ai no Okite(A Declee Of Love) (1969)
    9. Nageki(Grief)b/w Hadashide(Barefoot).
    10. Smile For Me.
    Front of sleeve for 'Smile For Me' single by Shiro Kishibe's band The Tigers Back of sleeve for 'Smile For Me' single by Shiro Kishibe's band The Tigers [LARGE VERSION]
    Click on the above pictures to see larger versions of them.

    11. Love Love Love.
    12. Tokai(Solitude In The City)
    13. Subarashii Ryokou(The Free Travel)
    14. Tikai no Ashita(Promise For Future
    15. Juunen Romance' (10 Year Romance) / Ikiteirukotoha Sutekisa (It's Wonderful To Be Alive)
    Front of sleeve for 'Juunen Romance' (10 Year Romance) single [subtitle is 'Ikiteirukotoha Sutekisa' (It's Wonderful To Be Alive)] by Shiro Kishibe's band The Tigers Back of sleeve for 'Jyu-nen Romance' (10 Years Romance) single [subtitle is 'Ikiteirukotoha Sutekisa' (It's Wonderful To Be Alive)] by Shiro Kishibe's band The Tigers [LARGE VERSION]
    Click on the above pictures to see larger versions of them.

    1. A-Live (Julie)
    2. Complete Collection (20 Songs) (Polydor)
    3. Human Renaissance (Polydor)
    4. Jiyuu To Akogare To Yujo (Freedom,Hope,& Friendship) (Polydor) (December 1970)
    5. Legend Of (Polydor)
    6. Mona Lisa's Smile (Polydor)
    7. On Stage (Debut)
    8. Perfect Cd Box (10 Cds) (Polydor)
    9. Sounds In Coliseum (2 Cds, live) (Polydor)
    10. Special 1800 (Polydor)
    11. Tigers 1982 (Julie)
    12. Tigers Again (Polydor)
    13. Tigers Finale (Live At Budokan) (Polydor)
    14. World Is Waiting For Us (Polydor)

    Some of these CDs can be bought from the online CD store Comfort, which is based in Japan.
    You won't find the CD listed anywhere on their web site. Follow the instructions given for "Placing an Order", letting them know which country you're in and the CD details, and they'll get back to you with the total cost and payment instructions.

    If you have any information about Shiro Kishibe, or if you can help with any of the missing bits on this page, please let me know using the Monkey Feedback page, and I'll put the information here.

    Related web sites:

  • The Tigers - An indepth biography of Shiro's old band The Tigers (with lots of photos).
  • daianaE.html - Mention of Shiro Kishibe playing ping pong here!
  • Group Sounds - Information about Shiro Kishibe's old band The Tigers and also Masaaki Sakai's old band The Spiders.
  • Shir� Kishibe [Internet Movie Database]

  • [I'd like to say a special thank you to Hitomi I for her many contributions to this page]

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