At the age of 2, her parents moved to the city of Atibaia, in the state of São Paulo. In her teenage years, Yamasaki moved to São Paulo city for an undergraduate course in architecture, though she changed her mind before her admission and moved to Brasília to study cinema instead. Yamasaki finished college in Rio de Janeiro, where she started her professional career.
Tizuka gained some critical acclaim with her film 1980 Gaijin, Os Caminhos da Liberdade, a story about Japanese immigration to Brazil. She has, however, been criticized for directing overly commercial movies with the children TV show hostess Xuxa. In 2003, she completed Gaijin 2 as a sequel to her debut film.