Yoji Yamada (山田 洋次 Yamada Yōji, born September 13, 1931 in Toyonaka City, Osaka, Japan) is a Japanese film director best known for his Otoko wa Tsurai yo series of films. He was born in Osaka. But because of the work of his father, who was an engineer for the South Manchuria Railway, from the age of 2 he was brought up in Manchuria. Following the end of World War II, he came back to Japan and subsequently he lived in Yamagata Prefecture. After receiving his degree from Tokyo University in 1954, he entered Shochiku and worked under Yoshitaro Nomura as a scriptwriter or as an assistant director. He has won many awards throughout his lengthy career and is well respected in Japan and by critics throughout the world. He wrote his first screenplay in 1958, and directed his first movie in 1961. Yamada continues to make movies to this day. He once served as president of the Directors Guild of Japan, and is currently a guest professor of Ritsumeikan University.