He studied to become a Nichiren priest for a time, but abandoned that and considered other career paths.
He studied Buddhism and then the Chinese classics in Kyoto. He studied the national classics in Edo (now Tokyo) under Taishii Tanaka, the distinguished disciple of Norinaga Moto-ori.
He returned to his hometown of Echizen. He began teaching after having assembled many disciples. After the birth of his first son in 1846, he turned the family business over to his half-brother and became a recluse, devoting his time to the study and composition of waka.
Tachibana broke from tradition by writing poems about whatever he was contemplating at the time, including household minutia, industrial activity, and even nationalism, rather than limiting himself to nature scenes and romantic themes.
He lived in voluntary poverty but that environment inspired "some of his most endearing poems, those describing the little pleasures of a poor scholar's life."
During his life Tachibana's poetry was only known in the Echizen region, but an 1899 newspaper article by Masaoka Shiki called national attention to his work.
(Dokurakugin (独楽吟 "Poesy for My Own Pleasure"), collection...)