Takakusu Junjiro was sent to England to study Sanskrit at Oxford University (1890) and after graduation continued his religious studies in France and Germany.
Upon his return to Japan in 1894, he was appointed Professor at the Tokyo Imperial University and Director of Tokyo School of Foreign Languages.
He founded the Musashino Girls' School in 1924. The institution evolved on the principle of "Buddhist-based human education," moving in 1929 to its present location in Nishitōkyō, Tokyo and becoming Musashino Women's University. The institution Takakusu founded is now known as Musashino University.
From 1924 to 1934, Takakusu and others established the Tokyo Taisho Tripitaka Publication Association, later known as the Daizo Shuppansha, which collected, edited, and published the Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō. This massive compendium is now available online as the Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association Tripitaka.
In 1930, he was named President of the Tokyo Imperial University. He was a member of the Imperial Academy of Japan and a Fellow of the British Academy. He was a recipient of Asahi Cultural Prize and the Japanese government's Order of Culture. He was awarded an honorary degree by Tokyo Imperial University; and he was similarly honored by the universities at Oxford, Leipzig, and Heidelberg.
At the time of his death in June 1945, he was Professor Emeritus of Sanskrit at the Tokyo Imperial University.