Born in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, Shiro Takagi entered Musashino Art University, but did not graduate from the program. In 1958, he felt the gulf between the academic study of art and his own ideals was too great. He left the university to study woodblock printing, both on his own and with Kunihiro Amano. Takagi soon became an active member of the Nihon Hanga Kyokai and the Kokugakai. His work has been exhibited worldwide to great acclaim, winning awards from the Japan Print Association and the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1967.