He graduated from Law Department of Tokyo University (1934).
Sakuo Teranaka worked in the Home Ministry and then the Education Ministry. He became official of the War Industry Ministry during the war.
After the end of the war, he was appointed chief of Civil Education Section of the Social Education Bureau of the Education Ministry (1945), director of the Social Education Bureau (1952), deputy director of the National Modern Arts Museum (1952) and then in the same year deputy director of the National Scientific Museum. He was appointed official of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1955), as councilor assigned to the Deliberation Office.