Born Feb. 5, 1917, in Osaka. Japanese actress.
Yamada made her screen debut at the age of 12. She revealed her dramatic gifts most vividly in Mizoguchi Kenji’s films The Osaka Elegy and Sisters of Gion (both 1936). Yamada supported the movement of independent film-makers for socially oriented cinema in the 1950’s. She appeared in Mother and Wife (1952), Woman Walks Alone (1953), A Life in Miniature (1953), and If You Love (1955). As Asaji (Lady Macbeth) in Kurosawa Akira’s film The Throne of Blood (1957), Yamada employed acting techniques of the traditional Japanese theater. She created important roles in other Kurosawa films, including the screen adaptation of The Lower Depths (1957) and Yojimbo (1961). Yamada has also appeared on the stage and on television.