Yamazaki was first introduced to butoh in 1977 through the teaching of Akira Kasai and began ballet training under the late Hirofumi Inoue in 1981.
In 1989, Yamazaki was invited to work with Daniel Larrieu at CNDC in Angers, France, and in 1994, was a finalist in The Platform of Bognolet Competition in France. In 1996, Yamazaki established his Tokyo-based dance company, rosy co., performing at festivals/theaters around the world such as New National Theatre (Tokyo), Indonesian Dance Festival, The Place (London), Biennale Nationale de Danse Val-de Marne (France), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (US), Bates Dance Festival (US), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (US), and Yorkshire Dance Festival (England), among others. In 1997, Yamazaki was invited to participate in TAP’s (Triangle Arts Program) artist exchange program by Asian Cultural Council along with artists from the US and Indonesia.
Following an invitation in 2001 from Germaine Acogny to create a new work for her Senegal-based company, Jant-bi, Yamazaki disbanded rosy co. During his six residencies in Senegal from 2001-04, Yamazaki created the work FAGAALA in collaboration with Acogny and her company, for which he received a NY Dance and Performance Award (Bessie Award) and nominated for Alpert Award.
In 2002, Yamazaki moved to NY and founded his NY-based troupe Kota Yamazaki/Fluid hug-hug and performs nationally and internationally. Yamazaki has taught at Bennington College, Barnard College at Columbia University, Arizona State University, Columbia College Chicago, UC Riverside, Mount Holyoke College, University of Massachusetts, Miami Dade College, National University of the Arts in Korea, Yotsuya Arts Studium at Kinki University and Kyoto University of Art and Design, Movement Research, CAVE and Vangeline Theater among others. His projects have been supported by The Japan Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, New England Foundation for the Arts (National Dance Project), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Harkness Foundation for Dance.
In 2009, Yamazaki founded Body-Arts-Laboratory (BAL)-the artist-initiative organization-with the support from TOYOTA Kaizen Project (art environment support initiative) in Tokyo, and organizes Whenever Wherever Festival since 2009.
On March 18, 2013, he received the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award in New York for his artistic achievements.