Michael Yamashita is an American photographer who was born in 1949 in San Francisco, California, but grew up in Montclair, New Jersey. In 1971 he graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in Asian studies and later went to Japan for seven years. He began working for the National Geographic in 1979 and since then traveled to places as diverse as Somalia, Sudan, England, Ireland, and Papua New Guinea. For the past ten years he has specialized in Asia, including China and Tibet. He is also an author of more than nine photographic books, including “Shangri-La [along the tea road to lhasa]”, Zheng He: Tracing the Epic Voyages of China’s Greatest Explorer, Japan: The Soul of a Nation, Marco Polo, A Photographer’s Journey, and many others. He has won numerous awards from the National Press Photographers Association and the Asian American Journalists Association. He is also a frequent lecturer and conducts workshops across Asia and the United States.