Takizawa Bakin was born on July 4, 1767 in Tokyo, Japan. Bakin was the fifth son of Omon and Okiyoshi.
His father, Okiyoshi, was a samurai in the service of one of the Shōgun's retainers, Matsudaira Nobunari. Two of his older brothers died in infancy, while the other two, Rabun (1759-1798) and Keichū (1765-1786), played pivotal roles in Bakin's life. He had two younger sisters, Ohisa, born in 1771, and Okiku, born in 1774.
In his diaries, Bakin wrote that his father, a heavy drinker, was devoted to scholarship and the classics, and diligent in his work as a samurai. He died in 1775, when Bakin was only nine years old, having aggravated his gout through drinking.
Bakin's family stipend was soon reduced by half, and in December of the following year, Rabun gave up his service to the Matsudaira clan in favor of living as a rōnin. Bakin and his family were forced into a much smaller dwelling as a result.