He moves in a variety of musical genres such as jazz, ( neo- ) classical or ( avant-garde ) Pop and has some film music composer.
Sakamoto played during his school years in various jazz bands and studied and eventually graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music with a focus on electronic and ethnic music. His actual career began in the late 1970s, notably with his first solo album in 1000 Knives Of Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Around the same time he founded along with Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi the influential Japanese electropop band Yellow Magic Orchestra, in Asia has about the importance of power plant in Europe. With the piece of computer game, the band had a top 20 success in the UK charts in 1979.
Throughout his career, Sakamoto has worked with many other important artists such as Towa Tei ( Deee -Lite - ex ), Iggy Pop and David Sylvian (whose albums Brilliant Trees and Secrets of the Beehive, he produced, among others ) and David Byrne, with whom he the soundtrack to the film the Last Emperor from 1987 recorded ( the Asian style of titles come from Byrne, while the " European- classical" pieces of Sakamoto are ). He also composed the music for a film Furyo - Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence ( 1983), in which he also starred opposite David Bowie a major role. The sung by David Sylvian Forbidden Colours title song became a hit. The soundtrack for the film The Sheltering Sky, the Sakamoto had co-written with Richard Horowitz, was honored at the Golden Globe Awards 1991 as Best Film Score. 1993 collaboration with Madonna on the video for the single " Rain".
In 2005 he has composed for Nokia the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer some ringtones and phone tones for the phone model 8800.
Sakamoto is one of the most prominent supporters of the campaign Sayonara Genpatsu Senmannin Akushon ( " Bye nuclear power - 10 million - people action" ) that calls after the Fukushima nuclear disaster to demonstrations and a petition for a nuclear phase-out in Japan.