I am sorry to hear of Sensei's passing. He was a wonderful man who taught judo to my son, my two daughters, and me. As a teacher, he was patient, kind, and gentle. His sense of humor was always present. As a human being he was exemplary. End of an era.
Dear Harold Yamada,
How sadden I am to hear of the passing of my friend Kenji Yamada.
Each of us meets many people as we travel through life's journey but now and then we meet some one really special.
I met Kenjii in the 1950's in California at the U.S. Nationals Judo Championship where he was still knocking them down even though he was in his thirties. He was the best of judo skill, fighting spirit and quiet respectful demeaner.
Kenjii set a standard that was admired by all who met him and our only consolation in his passing is that he is in a good place and that his legacy will always be with us.
My deep sympathy goes out to his family.
Ben Nighthorse Campbell
1964 U.S. Olympic Judo Team
United States Senator, retired
To the Family and Friends of Kenji Yamada:
I have met many fine people in my 73 years of life but a few stand out in my memory and one of those is Kenji Yamada. As a young man I become the Director of the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club and met Kenji who was the judo instructor at the Club. I can remember how once each week , always on time, always with his wonderful wife, Kenji for over 30 years would teach young people judo, but more important he was teaching some of lifes valuable lessons around discipline and self esteem. He made all the participants wear the judo uniforms, and if they couldn't afford to buy one he made sure they still had their judo suit. I always looked forward to seeing Kenji and to watch him work with his young people , he had a passion for his teaching and he loved the kids. This community was better because of Kenji Yamada , my life was better because of Kenji Yamada, and we have lost a wonderful man and a better human being. It was an honor to know Kenji Yamada.
Former Director of the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club
Former Mayor of Bellevue
Dear Yamada family,
We were deeply saddened to hear of Kenji's passing. He was always so happy, full of life, and through and through a wonderful person. Our family is truly blessed to have known him and many of you as well. His service today was wonderful, thank you for sharing so many wonderful stories of his life. Our thoughts are with you all!
Your co-workers here at Kinetic Books are so thankful to have Megan (grand child) as part of the team and thank God for Grand Pa and his amazing influence on the world. May his soul rest in eternal peace. ~Kate.