Yamada started all 28 regular season and two playoff games last season and was named to the league's Best XI after leading the league in minutes played at 2.250. He was also named the league's Defensive Player of the Week September 10.
He joined the Rowdies after playing for Sagan Tosu in the Japan Professional Football League during the 2009 season where he had 43 appearances and six goals.
Before then, he played eight seasons in the Japan J League with Tokyo Verdy, scoring 22 goals in 235 appearances and leading them to the 2004 J League Emperors Cup championship over Jubilo Iwata and the 2005 J League Xerox Super Cup in a penalty kick victory over Yokohama F. Marinos.
He also played four times between 2003 and 2004 for his country's national team.