He soon found himself at the forefront of television entertainment, working on Norman Lear productions and learning the craft of directing television from renowned practitioners like John Rich, Paul Bogart, and Bob LaHendro. He went on to work on Good Times, Night Court, and The Golden Girls as an associate director.
Shimokawa alternated between stage managing and associate directing, then began directing episodes of his own, beginning with shows like Alice and Welcome Back Kotter. He also worked on children’s television shows such as Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Saved by The Bell, ALF, and Sister, Sister. Shimokawa also directed episodes of Night Court, Golden Girls, and the All in the Family spin off, Archie Bunker’s Place. More recently, he has directed episodes of Coach, Reba, Titus, and One on One. In 1986 and 1987, for his work as an associate director on The Golden Girls, Shimokawa shared two Directors Guild Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Comedy Series.