Born in Tokyo, Makoto was an English major at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. After graduating he moved to New York, where his career in performing and visual arts began. He worked as a junior art director for DYR (Dentsu/Young & Rubicam) advertising agency, and was a member of the Actors' and Directors' Lab where he staged plays for the Samuel Beckett Theatre. He studied acting with the late William Hickey and stage direction with Jack Garfein.
Makoto began his career as a commercials director in Australia and over the years, he has directed for a variety of international clients including Sony, Volkswagen, Nissan, Motorola, Max Factor, and Amnesty International. He has won numerous international film industry awards including two Cannes Lions, British D&AD Award Annual for Direction, two Australian AWARD silvers, and most recently the London International Advertising Award, and ACC Annual Japan.
In 1986 he won a Gold Prize in the documentary category at the Houston Film Festival for an educational documentary film he wrote and directed for the American PBS (Public Broadcasting Service). This was the beginning of his career in filmmaking. While continuing to work in advertising both in the UK and at home, he has written several feature films and short film scripts.