He was born in Oku (now Setouchi), Okayama, Japan. His childhood home has been preserved and opened to visitors. He is buried in Zoshigaya Cemetery in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo. At an earlier stage in his life he intended to become a poet, but knowing he could not make a living as a poet, he began drawing pictures.
He never studied drawing in any painting school nor under any teacher formally. He hated the concept of the "artist", feeling they were rather pretentious which unsurprisingly upset many of the artists of his time, leading to poor reviews from the so-called elite. Outside of the art circles, Takehisa's works acquired great popularity among ordinary people and to this day have many ardent fans in Japan and abroad.