Shinoda attended Waseda University, where he studied theater and also participated in the Hakone Ekiden long distance race. He joined the Shōchiku Studio in 1953 as an assistant director, where he worked on films by such directors as Yasujirō Ozu. He debuted as a director in 1960 with One-Way Ticket for Love, which he also scripted. His focus on youth and the cultural and political turmoil of 1960s Japan made him a central figure in the Shōchiku New Wave alongside Nagisa Ōshima and Yoshishige Yoshida. He worked in a variety of genres, from the yakuza film (Pale Flower) to the samurai film (Assassination), but he particularly became known for his focus on socially marginal characters and for an interest in traditional Japanese theater, which found its greatest expression in Double Suicide, in which actors are manipulated like Bunraku puppets. He also was interested in sports, directing a documentary on the 1972 Winter Olympics. Also known for his collaborations with such artists as Shūji Terayama and Tōru Takemitsu, Shinoda left Shōchiku in 1965 to form his own production company, Hyōgensha.