Tosshi VII Sawamura became an acolyte at the Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto and later joined a juvenile kabuki company. He appeared at a theater in Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture, under the name of Sennosuke Ichikawa (1874).
He went to Tokyo (1882), was adopted by Takasuke Suketakaya and renamed Tosshi Sawamura. Although he appeared occasionally at established large theaters, he usually played at small theaters like Azumaza, Sawamuraza, Hongoza and Koen Gekijo.
Because of his spirited acting in sword-fighting scenes, he was nicknamed moyu, or fierce actor. He excelled in playing the parts of strong samurai.
Kodenji, Sonosuke and Chojiiro were his sons.