He is an arcade game developer best known for creating several of the most important fighting game franchises, including Street Fighter, Fatal Fury, The King of Fighters, and Art of Fighting. He initially worked for Irem, where he designed the 1982 side-scrolling shooter Moon Patrol, which introduced parallax scrolling, followed by the 1984 game Kung-Fu Master, considered the first ever beat 'em up.
He then joined Capcom and went on to both produce and direct the 1987 fighting game Street Fighter, along with Hiroshi Matsumoto. In an interview, when he was asked where did he get the idea of the infamous "Hadouken" and "Shoryuken", he mentioned that the "Hadouken" came from the anime Space Battleship Yamato after the name of the laser missile; "Hadouho" and "Shoryuken" was an original idea as he watched martial art moves and exaggerated on these moves.
After finishing with Street Fighter, he left Capcom and moved on to work with SNK in 1988 to produce numerous other arcade games. Such examples including fighting games such as Fatal Fury, The King of Fighters, and Art of Fighting, as well as the side-scrolling run & gun shooter Metal Slug X.
In 2000, he left SNK and founded his own independent game development company, Dimps. He later returned to fighting games in 2008, as executive producer of Street Fighter IV.