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"Yeah, I'm always groovin' man! If I move, more customers may come!"
―Tom talking to Ryo. — Listen (file info)[src]

Tom Johnson (トム・ジョンソン Tomu Jonson) is the owner of Tom's Hot Dogs which is located in both Dobuita and the New Yokosuka Harbor District. He dances by his hot dog truck, hoping that it will attract more customers. He is also a good friend of Ryo Hazuki.


Tom is American and is 178 cm (5' 10") tall. He has long dark brown hair that's in a dreadlock hairstyle and dark brown eyes. He always wears red sunglasses that has silver frames and a white and red long sleeved baseball style shirt with the Tom's Hot Dogs logo on it. He also wears long orangeish red jeans and white and light brown shoes.


Tom is an American from New York who, after hitchhiking around the world, decided to remain living in Japan. As such, his Japanese speech is a little broken.

Tom also has a girlfriend, Honey Jackson, who is also from America and helps him out at the hot dog stand. Her Japanese is better than Tom's, so she helps Tom by improving his speech.



Tom dancing.

Tom runs a hot dog stand which can usually be found in Dobuita, but sometimes he sells them at the New Yokosuka Harbor District. Tom and Ryo Hazuki have been friends for a while so he is always willing to try and help him.

When Ryo asks Nozomi Harasaki about the black car that splashed mud on her, she says that she didn't see who was in the car, but reveals that Tom had an argument with the people in the car. When Ryo asks Tom about the people in the car, he reveals that he had an argument with Lan Di since he and the black suited men driving the car almost hit one of his customers. Lan Di then gave him a glare, and Tom says he's never seen such a cold stare. He suggests Ryo ask Chinese people about other Chinese people.

After Ryo is fired at the harbor job, he sees Tom during lunch where he's serving hot dogs at the harbor and he teaches Ryo the Tornado Kick, if he accepts his offer to teach him the move. However, as Ryo is getting ready to leave Japan, Tom reveals that he is going back home to America.

Shenmue II[]

Although Tom does not appear in Shenmue II, Ryo has the option to tell Shenhua Ling about him during the campfire discussion.

Shenmue III[]

At Hotel Niaowu, Ryo can use the telephone to call Tom in America and he and Ryo will catch up. He will ask Ryo if he met a new girlfriend along the way to Guilin, since he revealed to Tom that Nozomi moved back to Canada since he thought they were traveling together. He can choose to say that he met Shenhua, but will say that she's not his "girlfriend". He can also choose to say that he is uninterested in finding a girlfriend or that he hasn't found one.

Also at Shenhua's House in Bailu Village, Ryo can ask Shenhua if she has any friends and she will mention Ryo's friends that he told her about in Shenmue II, including Tom, and he will be surprised that she remembers all of them (although she doesn't mention Guizhang Chen).

Shenmue the Animation[]

Tom in Episode 1 of anime

Tom offering a hot dog to Ryo after his karate event.

Tom appears in Shenmue the Animation Episode 1. He's first seen serving two women hot dogs and drinks and sees Ryo walking home after his karate event and offers to serve him a hot dog, in which he declines.

He is seen again when Nozomi offers to take Ryo to lunch to cheer him up because of his father's passing and due to her being hungry. Tom is seen repairing his hot dog truck, due to a man in a black car ramming into it, causing it to get damaged. His description of the man was the same description of Ryo's father's murderer, Lan Di. His shop was closed due to this, so Nozomi takes Ryo to the Ajiichi Chinese Restaurant.


  • "Hey, Ryo. Keep your chin up, OK? Try my homemade pickles? They are guaranteed to make you happy."
  • "Try asking Chinese people about Chinese."
  • "Hey, Ryo. Working hard at the harbor today, heh?"
  • "Even 'tho we part'll still be one of my best friends."
  • "Today's the last day for Tom's Hot Dogs. Get 'em while you can!"


  • Tom's zodiac sign is Sagittarius and he has a B blood type.
  • Originally, Tom's t-shirt design was a skeleton dressed as Uncle Sam as seen in What's Shenmue? demo. However, this was changed to the "Tom's Hot Dogs" logo in the final version of the game.
  • In the Shenmue I & II re-release, the clown logo on Tom's hot dog truck's hair color was changed from yellow to green. A little bit of green hair was also added to the top of its head, and it bears a slight resemblance to Krusty the Clown from The Simpsons. It is unknown why this change was made, but the original logo possibly could have been a licensed photo that Sega no longer has the rights to, as this was the reason why many other photos were altered in the game.
    • The clown logo on the capsule toy of Tom's hot drug truck also has the hair changed in the re-release of both games.
  • In the Japanese version of Shenmue, Tom speaks both Japanese and English, and his Japanese is sometimes broken.
  • Tom appears as a character in the mobile game SEGA Heroes.
    • In SEGA Heroes, Tom is a Red epic support hero that is avaliable to play as once the player collects 50/10 Shards.
    • His Max skill is Hot Dog Vendor which requies 9 mana and resorts health to the team. Also cleanses them and the team gain resist for 5 turns.
    • His Star skill is Tornado Kick which you have to match a Red Star tile/Super Red Star tile and deals 2 hits of physical damage to the target and a random adjacent target to dispel the enemies.
    • His Passive skill is Always Groovin where Tom has bonus Dodge chance and if he successfully dodges an attack then he creates a Red Star tile and a random 4-turn heart tile of strength.
  • Tom's English voice actor in Shenmue is Ryan Drees, who also is the English voice actor for Shuqin Zhang, Zhangyu Kong and Zhoushan Xuan in Shenmue II.



PMirror Shenmue Wiki has a gallery for Tom Johnson. DMirror