When he was 17, Kanamori moved to Europe by himself, where he studied under Maurice Béjart and others. He made his début as director and choreographer aged 20, while a member of the Nederlands Dans Theater. After a decade spent working with European dance companies, he returned to Japan. In 2004 he set up Noism, Japan’s first dance company to be resident in a theatre. Since 2014 he has advised the city of Niigata on arts policy. He has received many prizes, including the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in 2007 and the Niigata Nippo Culture Award in 2008.