|Birth date||March 15, 1987|
|Relatives||Junichi Sakata (father)|
Kanae Sakata (mother)
- "Nanakorobi yaoki (keep trying)."
- ―The Sakata family mantra that Sakata still repeats commonly
- "I can't say I'm particularly proud of my past, nor can I say that my past is the worst thing in the world. My family was part of the Japanese mafia, the most feared criminals in Japan. Not even the police were able to muster the courage to face the fierce Yakuza half the time. How exactly was I supposed to react to that? Being a teenager, my first instinct was to follow the footsteps of my father and eldest brother and join them. It seemed like the high life. Everything went their way and they were able to command many men. All of that washed away when I realized the harsh truth behind the Yakuza's work. They marketed themselves as fair businessmen, but underneath it all, they were just better than average criminals dressed in business suits that could talk their way into and out of anything. That's when I knew that I wanted out. My father and older brother tried forcing me, but I wouldn't budge. That's when I left home and started my new life in America, the land of opportunity."
- ―Kazuo Sakata
Kazuo Sakata is the second child and son of Junichi and Kanae Sakata, born in Obama, Japan. When he was young, he and his family moved frequently due to his father’s job. Kazuo was a very intelligent kid, as he excelled amongst his classmates and was very intuitive despite his young age. His early life as a young child was filled with much happiness and playful joy, yet much ignorance. Kazuo did not know the family secret that his parents and older brother were hiding from him and his younger sister. They’d eventually come to find out when they got older.
Kazuo’s life was thrown away after he found out the truth behind his family’s involvement in the Japanese mafia, the Yakuza. His father and uncles were rather high-ranking members in the Inagawa-kai, the Yakuza’s third largest syndicate, and did nothing to hide it when Kazuo was old enough to find out about it. Before them, their fathers were also high ranking within the Yakuza as well, so it was family tradition to join the group. Kazuo did not fully understand what the Yakuza did or who they were; he just knew that his family and the group had a lot of history. When Kazuo turned fifteen, his father began talking to him about joining the Yakuza, as he and his own brothers once did when Kazuo’s grandfather had asked them. Kazuo uneasily agreed, only to make his father happy.
The next few years were a pain for Kazuo. The first was okay, because he felt secure and knew he wanted to become a member. Not to mention, a lot of his own blood family was involved, so it wouldn’t be hard for him to join up as well. He took joy in thinking he could become a member. This went on until he realized the Yakuza’s true goals. Sure, they were very polite, well-mannered, and proper when they were casually negotiating things, but they would not stop at any cost to get what they want. In addition, he did not like the fact that the Yakuza was in the business of prostitution, drug trafficking, and weapon smuggling, as he knew those were illegal.
His father and older brother tried convincing him to stay, but Kazuo had had enough after a few years. He took off and ran away from home, hoping to get as far away as possible from his family. The journey led Kazuo to America, where he hoped to start a new life and rid himself of his tainted past.
Fast forward several years later. Kazuo is now a car mechanic working at a local garage in the area. After arriving in America all those years ago, he got a job as a mechanic through one of the first friends he made. He found that being a mechanic and fixer were natural to him and he enjoyed it. That's basically what he did as a job from then and moved to various garages while making money and working on becoming a full U.S. citizen.
During the early events of The Heist, Kazuo is contacted by Shizuka, whom he hasn't heard from since he ran away from home. She tells him that their father disgraced himself and was kicked out of the Yakuza, along with Takumi. Their father was beaten very badly (the Yakuza members thought they had killed him, but were wrong). He was in the hospital and the doctors also found that he had lung cancer, from all those years of smoking. The Sakata family, having little to no money after being left for dead by the Yakuza, looked to Kazuo because their extended family members had also shunned them. However, Kazuo was not exactly rich himself, but he decided he wanted to help, thus leading to him turning to looking for "work" for the money. This led him to being part of the crew for The Heist.