Kazuko Kaya Yamazaki, Ph.D. is the founder and director of Japanese Dance World based in Bremerton, Washington. She is a recipient of the 2008 Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship in the traditional/folk category.
Yamazaki began training in Traditional Japanese Dance (Nihon Buyo) at age four in her birth city of Tokyo, Japan. She holds a natori (master dancer license) awarded by the Hanayagi School of Japanese Dance, the largest of such in Japan. She had performed professionally over 10 years in Japan before arriving in the USA in 1987.
Yamazaki has given a number of performances, workshops, classes, lecture-demonstrations, and presentations in the USA at various venues including Northern Illinois University, Beloit College, Augustana College, Knox College, Indiana University, UCLA, and at conferences of the American Anthropological Association and the Association for Asian Studies. In 2006 and 2008, she was invited to teach Japanese dance technique and history at the International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom, Poland. George Jackson, a D.C.-based veteran dance critic who reviewed her dances in Poland, described her as “a versatile and vivid performer,” and her performances as “dances of dignity and sensitivity.”
Yamazaki is a recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Resident Fellowship, with which she participated in the Asia Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX 2000), a month-long residency program of the Center for Intercultural Performance at UCLA.
Yamazaki holds a Ph.D. in anthropology specializing in the anthropology of dance, which she studied under Dr. Anya Peterson Royce, who pioneered the anthropology of dance and continues to be one of the most prominent scholars of the field.