Remembered for his participation in the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, this Imperial Japanese Navy officer subsequently became the United States' first World War II-era Japanese prisoner-of-war.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, he attended the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy.
While confined to an American POW camp, he became a devoted pacifist. In the years following his experience, he penned an autobiographical work titled Four Years as a Prisoner-of-War, No. 1.
He and his seven brothers were born and raised in Awa, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. His marriage resulted in two children.
Sakamaki was an American POW during the World War II years; conversely, American soldier and Olympian Louis Zamperini was a Japanese POW during the same time period.