Born in 1952 in Nakano (Tokyo), Ryuichi Sakamoto has been active in the entertainment industry since his graduation from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
He achieved western fame as a member of electronic pioneer trio Yellow Magic Orchestra from 1978 until the mid 80s. By then he started writing music alone, or contributing with artists, most notably David Sylvian.
His exploits include an Academy Award for his score to the 1987 Bernardo Bertolucci film The Last Emperor, the soundscape for the opening ceremony of the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, and was even hired by the Finnish mobile phone company Nokia to compose ring tones for the Nokia 8800. He is maybe the most influential Japanese musician in electronica. In addition to making music, he has also acted in movies, most notably in "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" co-starring David Bowie, for which Ryuichi also composed perhaps his most memorable film soundtrack.
Trivia - he acts as a director in Madonna's "Rain" video. He also modeled for "The Gap" among other products.