Michael Yamashita

Photo by Ira Block

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Michael Yamashita

Photographer

Echoes of the Silk Road

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Sony Ambassador Michael Yamashita has shot for National Geographic for more than 30 years, combining his passions of travel and photography with his love of history and culture. An Asian Studies major at Wesleyan University and fluent in Japanese, Michael has followed his roots to become a Far East expert. In addition to his work throughout Asia, which has included intensive concentrations in China, Japan, Korea, and India, his assignments have taken him to six continents.

 

Yamashita’s specialty has been in retracing the journeys of iconic explorers, such as Marco Polo and the Chinese admiral Zheng He, along their historic routes to illuminate the legacy of the Silk Road and to help us understand China’s sweeping One Belt, One Road Initiative (OBOR).

 

Yamashita has won a host of industry awards, including those from the prestigious Pictures of the Year competition, Photo District News, the New York Art Directors Club, and the Asian American Journalists Association. His most recent exhibits include installations in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Germany, and closer to home, at The Carter Center, LACMA, and the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art. Along with two documentary feature films, Yamashita has published 16 books in multiple languages, including his latest, The Silk Road Journey.

 

When not speaking or on assignment, Yamashita can be found with his family at his home and photography studio in rural New Jersey, where he is an active volunteer fireman.

Echoes of the Silk Road

Discover the rich history of China’s Silk Road through the illuminating photos of eminent National Geographic photographer and Far East expert Michael Yamashita. A web of ancient trade routes connecting China to the West, the Silk Road acted as a conduit for goods and ideas between vastly different civilizations. To understand its history and significance in the context of China’s current Belt and Road Initiative, a massive global development strategy slated to be completed in 2049, Yamashita retraced the epic journeys of two legendary explorers: Marco Polo and Zheng He. Experience the wonder of the Silk Road through the remarkable landscapes, local customs, and staggering progress that mark its path today.