Combining his dual passions of photography and travel, Michael Yamashita has been shooting for the National Geographic magazine for over 30 years. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in Asian studies, he spent seven years in Asia, which later became his area of specialty. Returning to the U.S., he began shooting for the National Geographic as well as many other American and international clients.

Mr. 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. His feature documentary, The Ghost Fleet, inspired by his National Geographic story about the legendary 15th-century Chinese admiral, Zheng He, won the Best Historical Documentary prize at the New York International Independent Film Festival. His National Geographic Channel documentary, Marco Polo: The China Mystery Revealed, based on his three-part National Geographic story, received two Asian Television and Film Awards and was also included in the top twenty most popular NG Channel documentaries of the decade.

A frequent corporate keynote speaker, as well as a lecturer, Mr. 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 exhibitions throughout Asia -- in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Taipei, and Singapore -- as well as in Rome, Venice, Frankfurt, and Perpignan, France, and in the United States, at galleries in Los Angeles and the National Gallery in Washington, DC. (The Silk Road Journey Photography Exhibition by Michael Yamashita)

Exclusive Interview: Silk Road Journey, "One Belt, One Road" Photography Exhibition by Michael Yamashita in Beijing

Yamashita has also 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
  • Lakes, Peaks and Prairies: Discovering the U.S. Canadian Border.

While he is not traveling, Mr. Yamashita lives with his family in rural New Jersey, where he maintains a studio and is an active volunteer fireman.

Related report:

‘Silk Road Journey’ Photos in Atlanta Point to China’s Global Aspirations

CGA Advising Michael Yamashita

CCTV: Photos retrace Marco Polo and Zheng He's trips

Traversing the Silk Road Journey through the Lens of Michael Yamashita

A journey on the Silk Road with Michael Yamashita

The Silk Road Journey Selected Photography by Michael Yamashita:

Michael Yamashita

Michael Yamashita

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