Kazuhiko Yamashita was born in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan, on September 15, 1953. He married Tazuko Tashiro in March 1980. They are the parents of six children.
He received a bachelor of arts degree in education at Saitama University and a master’s degree in sports science from Tsukuba University. He studied philosophy of physical education and sports at Brigham Young University.
Since joining the Church in 1971, he has served in numerous Church callings, including bishop, high councilor, stake mission president, stake president, Area Seventy, and president of the Japan Nagoya Mission (2013–2015).