Born in Topaz Internment Camp, Utah, U.S.A. of Japanese/American parents, Takahashi attended the San Francisco Art Institute, California, Bard College, New York, and San Francisco State University. She left school, took a freighter to Japan and traveled around the world for two years, before returning to San Francisco to graduate with a B.A. in Art from the University of California, Berkeley. The exposure to different cultures in Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and France informs her work. Takahashi maintains a studio in Mexico and in San Francisco. She continues to travel and spend stretches of time in countries surrounded by languages she cannot understand but manages to savor.