George Kiyoshi Yamada was the publisher and editor of the Rikka* newsletter, an important publication for the Japanese Canadian community in Toronto, for almost two decades. Yamada was born in Nebraska, and studied at San Francisco State College and Mexico City College. In 1941, he was drafted by the United States army, and declared himself a conscientious objector. He was sent to a Civilian Public Service Camp instead, and after the United States declared war on Japan, was incarcerated in government-run internment camps for three years along with over one hundred thousand other Japanese Americans. Subsequent protest activities led to Yamada serving prison time.
Yamada lived in Mexico for eighteen years beginning in the 1950s, then moved to Canada in 1970. He owned Ploughshares Press in addition to his work on Rikka.