Biography - Yamada Taku (August 16th, 1931- November 2nd. 2007)

Taku Yamada

Taku Yamada - His twenties

He was born in Osaka, Japan, fifth son of four children. Because of the World War Two, his family was not wealthy.
He went to First Suita Elementary School then Ibaragi Jr High School. He won the second place in the National Gymnastic Competition. After his Jr High School graduation, Taku enrolled at Toba Marchant- Marine High School to study trading that would allow him to communicate with different people in the world. However, he dropped out after one and a half year. The reason was porobably that he was not in sailing major despite his will and the school still remained military like. Military was not what he felt most comfortable in. After dropping out the school, his sister encouraged him to join in Egawa Ballet Company (Hyogo, Japan). He started his dance career, as well as choreograph, and toured through American military troop teritories with the company. After Egawa Ballet Company, he joined Nihon Gekijo (Japanese Theatre Company). Also he organized a dance team named "Step In" with around twenty dancers. They toured all over Japan. Taku was offered tremendous amount of jobs both as a dancer and choreographer. He had studied performing arts from foreign books by his own. Later on, though "Step in" came to the end, he worked multiple jobs a day and even sold the house to pay colleagues. In 1953, Taku got married. They had three children. When Umeda Koma Theatre opened in 1956, Taku made the audition and became one of the company members. He became not only a well known dancer and choreographer, but also director. At the same time he worked with many major theatre companies and TV shows. The work that spread his name all over Japan was a song called "Banana Boat" by Michiko Hamamura, he had choreographed and directed. He choreographed the very first revue show in Japan "Mon Paris" by Takarazuka Girls' Operetta Troupe in 1957, and next after next. "Me and My Girl", "Guys and Dolls", and many more. "Show Girl" of Nana Kinomi and Toshiyuki Hosokawa that he also had choreographed ran for fifteen years since 1974. His other works were with Jonny's, Four Leaves, Shonentai, Hiroshi Itsu ki, Hideki Saijo, NHK New Year's Music Special, "Blue Jeans Memory" of Tanokin Trio, "Shanghai Bas King" of Keiko Matsuzaka, and more. Since 1965 Taku had worked for Shiki Theatre Company, and choreographed various musicals such as "Applause", " Jesus Christ the Super Star", "Cats", " Li Koran", and more. Later in his life, he established the organization of Japanese Choreographers to contribute choreographers in Japan. Also he was a mentor for Japanese Jazz Dancer Art Association. In 2007 Taku was give the Osaka City Citizens Service Prize.