Noted for her versatility, Yamada was known for movies she did with Akira Kurosawa as well as a varied theater career.
Yamada was one of the last 10 or so human beings known to have appeared in a silent movie. The final survivors, as far as I can tell, are:
Carla Laemmle (b. October 20, 1909), Lupita Tovar (b. July 27, 1910), Michael D. Moore (b. October 16, 1914), Diana Serra Cary aka Baby Peggy (b. October 26, 1918), Vondell Darr (b. 1919—whereabouts not known), Mickey Rooney (b. September 23, 1920), Jean Darling (b. August 23, 1922), Hanna Maron (b. November 22, 1923) and Dickie Moore (b. September 12, 1925).
Of these, only Baby Peggy was an important fixture in the silent era, and several of these people were more famous for work they did in talkies.