Sato Bokuzan was born on 1801 in Owari Province, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
At the age of 19 went to Edo and entered the Shoheiko the Shoguiwte college, where he studied under Seiri Koga and Ran-en Masujima.
Studied under Shiun Washizu and Kendo Kawamura.
He became a Confucian official of the Owari Clan at the invitation of its lord Nariharu Tokugawa. He then became director of the Kodiikan and Meirindo Confucian institutions of the clan. At first he studied kogaku or old Confucian doctrine and then the Sung doctrine. He wrote commentaries on Confucian classics.