Like all gods, Yato was born from a wish. However, unlike most gods who were created to help humans, he sprouted from Father's wish to kill every god in existence. He was given the name 'Yaboku' and he tried to do everything to make Father happy. Sometime later, he was introduced to Nora and he named her, thus making her his shinki. Together, both of them often went out to kill people under Father's orders.
Yato met Sakura when she approached him under a cherry blossom tree, asking him to give her a name after she was dismissed by Tenjin in a fit of rage. He didn't get to immediately name her because he jumped on her and groped her breasts. He saw her again after he threw her onto a spring, saving her from her blight getting worse. She asked for his name and he wrote it down, however, she mistook his name as Yato. It was Sakura who gave him the name he was using today, instead of his given name by Father which was Yaboku. Later on, Sakura became his first shinki besides Nora.
His relationship with Sakura didn't start well. Surprised and bothered by the onslaught of memories he received from her, which he didn't get from Nora, he threw her once again on the spring and left her there for three days. When he did get back, he and Sakura went to the market. There, he got scolded by Sakura for stealing. He tried to calm her anger by giving her flowers. And then, he and Sakura went to see the fireflies. This is where their relationship strained once again. He called her and used her to kill a man.
The despair that Sakura felt travelled to Yato and caused him pain. He wasn't able to reconcile with her until a while later on. Then, Sakura told him about shrines and he dreamed of having one, too. The time he spent with Sakura made Yato see the lines between good and evil acts, and he started doubting if what he was doing was good.Nora approached him one day, and she said that Father was punishing her. Yato was shocked about this and brought her to the spring to heal her. There, Sakura and Nora finally met each other.
Sakura tended to Nora and asked her how long she served Yato, wanting to learn more about her master. This was when Nora encouraged her to ask Yato about how she died or her past. Yato refused, knowing that doing so would violate the god's greatest secret. However, Nora told him that Father said it was okay. Yato then told her, and Sakura became an ayakashi. This transformation blighted Yato and Sakura attacked him. Then, he was forced to finish Sakura off with Nora.