Patricia E. Takayama was born in 1947, Chicago, Illinois. Her parents left the Manzanar Internment Camp during WWII to find work in Chicago. She attended school in the San Fernando Valley. Later, she moved to the Bay Area, where she graduated from University of California Berkeley and Hastings College of Law. She studied the Japanese language and taught English in Tokyo, Japan before and after attending law school. She has also lived in San Jose, Sacramento, Seattle, and Charlotte, North Carolina. She presently resides at her childhood home in the San Fernando Valley, California.