Yamamoto was born October 29, 1919 in Hollywood, California. He lived in Japan from age six to age nineteen. Yamamoto served in the U.S. Army during World War II, from November 7, 1941 to February 23, 1946. Yamamoto studied: 1949 at the Santa Monica City College; 1950-1952 at The Art Students League of New York, under Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Morris Kantor, Byron Browne and Vaclav Vytlacil; 1951-1953 at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in New York.
Yamamoto in 1952 won the John Sloan Memorial Fellowship at The Art Students League of New York. In 1953, under the Edward G. McDowell Traveling Fellowship went to Europe.
Yamamoto died in 1994.