Michael Yamashita has been shooting for the National Geographic magazine for over 30 years, combining his dual passions of photography and travel. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in Asian studies, he spent seven years in Asia, which became his area of specialty. Yamashita is known for epic stories that retrace the paths of famous travelers, like Marco Polo, the Japanese poet Basho, and the Chinese explorer Zheng He.
Yamashita has received numerous industry awards: including Pictures of the Year, Photo District News, the New York Art Directors Club, and the Asian-American Journalists Association. He has had numerous exhibitions throughout Asia, Europe and the United States.
Yamashita has published ten books: Shangri-La [along the tea road to Lhasa], The Great Wall From Beginning to End; New York: Flying High; Zheng He — Tracing the Epic Voyages of China’s Greatest Explorer; Japan — The Soul of a Nation; Marco Polo — A Photographer’s Journey; Mekong — A Journey on the Mother of Waters; In the Japanese Garden; A Pictorial Tribute to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Lakes, Peaks and Prairies: Discovering the U.S. Canadian Border.
While not traveling, Michael Yamashita lives with his family in rural New Jersey, where he maintains a studio and is an active volunteer fireman.