He trained as a marine biologist. He joined the Yamashita Yosuke Trio from 1972 till 1979 and toured internationally with them. In 1986, he performed with Last Exit with Bill Laswell. This performance was released as 1987's Noise of Trouble: Last Exit Live in Tokyo. Laswell went on to play bass on and produce Sakata albums such as Mooko, Silent Plankton and Fisherman's.com, the last of which also featured the reclusive Pete Cosey (who had worked with Miles Davis) on guitar.
In 1994, Sakata organized a one month tour of Uzbekistan, Mongolia and China with the Flying Mijinko Band, consisting of 14 members from Japan, Africa and America. Some of those included were Laswell, Anton Fier and Foday Musa Suso.
He has more recently worked with DJ Krush and Chikamorachi (Darin Gray and Chris Corsano).