Kazuko Kaya Yamazaki, PhD, founder and president of Japanese Dance LLC and director of Japanese Dance Online, is a Nihon Buyo artist, performer, choreographer, teacher, and anthropologist. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Kaya began her Nihon Buyo (Classical Japanese Dance) training at age four and received a natori (master’s license) at age 18. After coming to the U.S., Kaya studied modern dance techniques and continued performing and teaching Japanese dance while pursuing her graduate degree.
As dance critic George Jackson wrote, Kaya is “a versatile and vivid performer.” Her repertoire spans from 18th-century Kabuki dances to her creations inspired by classical Japanese style and modern dance. Her distinctions include an Artist Trust Fellowship, a Heritage Arts Apprentice Program Master Artist award, a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship at the UCLA Asia Pacific Performance Exchange residency, and a Ph.D. in the Anthropology of Dance.
Kaya has invented the Yamazaki Method™, an innovative Classical Japanese Dance training system, now registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. The Yamazaki Method™ is the world’s first Japanese Dance training system recorded in an audio-visual format and fully narrated in English for global audiences, especially students, teachers, and researchers of Japanese performing arts.