Totaro Takekawa was born in 1868 in Yamanashi, Japan.
Totaro Takekawa went to the United States in 1888 and began publishing The Nineteenth Century from San Francisco. He returned to Japan in 1897 and went into the tobacco business. But he was back again in journalism in 1900 and was sent to China as a reporter by the Nippon Shimbun to cover the Boxer Revolt. Three years later he was publishing the Shanghai Nippo, a daily newspaper, from Shanghai. He then moved on to Chungking to publish the Daily Chunking, which soon gained importance in Central China.