Since becoming a young bishop in Fukuoka, Japan, many years ago, Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita has learned from the good examples and attitudes of his senior leaders.
Soon after Elder Yamashita married his wife, Tazuko Tashiro, they moved from Tokyo to Fukuoka, where Elder Yamashita was called as a bishop when he was in his late 20s.
“That was hard for me and my family,” Elder Yamashita says. “We had three young children at the time and were new to the area—but it was also a very good teaching and learning experience for me, and my testimony and faith got stronger.
“Of course I had hard times, because my family was young and I didn’t have much experience as a Church leader beforehand,” Elder Yamashita says. “My senior leaders were good examples and taught me many lessons through their attitude and behavior.”
Sister Yamashita says she has seen her husband receive many callings and become a great father and great spiritual leader through the challenges those callings presented. Over time she has seen him change and become a kinder, more loving father and husband. The family enjoys spending time together, including taking long road trips every year.
Elder Yamashita, born in September 1953, is the son of Kiyoshi and Sadae Yamashita. He grew up in Tokyo, Japan, where he found the Church in 1971 through Expo 70, the World’s Fair.
Elder Yamashita received a bachelor’s degree in education from Saitama University and a master’s degree in sport science from Tsukuba University. He also studied the philosophy of physical education at Brigham Young University. Elder Yamashita has been an instructor and professor at various universities and served in numerous scientific, community, and sports organizations.
Elder Yamashita and his wife were married on March 29, 1980, and sealed in December 1980, after the completion of the Tokyo Japan Temple. They have six children.
Prior to his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Yamashita served as a bishop, high councilor, stake mission president, stake president, and Area Seventy.