Kōtarō was the son of Japanese sculptor Takamura Kōun. He graduated from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1902, where he studied sculpture and oil painting. He studied in New York, at the Art Students League of New York City in 1906, London in 1907, and in Paris in 1908, returning to Japan in 1909, and lived there for the rest of his life. His sculptural work shows strong influence both from Western work (especially Auguste Rodin, whom he idolized) and from Japanese traditions.
Chieko and Kōtarō
He is also famous for his poems, and especially for his 1941 collection Chiekoshō (智恵子抄 literally "Selections of Chieko", in English titled Chieko's sky after one of the poems therein), a collection of poems about his wife Chieko Takamura, who died in 1938.