Before World War II, he studied under the great tanka poet Mokichi Saitō and published in the important literary magazine Araragi.
He got a job at the Iwanami Publishing Company in 1925. He joined the tanka poetry society Araragi in 1926. He considered himself to be a faithful disciple of Mokichi Saitō, one of the founders of the modern tanka.
He first gained widespread recognition in 1940 with his tanka anthology Hodō (歩道, "Pavement").
He was working at Iwanami during World War II, but after the end of the war he gave up this job to devote himself to the creation of poetry, bringing him greater fame. In 1952 he received the 3rd Yomiuri Prize.
He participated in the Utakai Hajime at the Tokyo Imperial Palace, and was one of the founding members of the Modern Tanka Poets' Association (現代歌人協会 Gendai Kajin Kyōkai). His collected poems, Satō Satarō Zenkashū (佐藤佐太郎全歌集), received the first Modern Tanka Prize (現代短歌大賞 gendai tanka taishō). He also wrote works of criticism and zuihitsu (essays), and was an accomplished calligrapher.
He died on 8 August 1987.
Quotes from others about the person
“Historian and critic Donald Keene noted of tanka anthology Hodō that it "described ordinary scenes from the daily life of the middle class, but with a sharpness of perception and a care with words that distinguished (Satō)."
Keene noted that he was "(o)ne of the first tanka poets to emerge after the war".”