Born in Osaka in 1931. After graduating from University of Tokyo in 1954, Yamada joined Shochiku as an assistant director. He made his film debut with A Stranger Upstairs in 1961, and directed the first film of the widely beloved “Tora-san” series in 1969. His works include Where Spring Comes Late (1970), The Yellow Handkerchief (1977), A Class to Remember (1993), The Twilight Samurai (2002), and What a Wonderful Family! (2016). He was presented with the Order of Culture in 2012.