Trained at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts, Takeda visited Mexico in 1963 and never left. In Mexico City he studied mural painting with Armando Carmona and Luis Nishizawa at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas San Carlos. He studied lithography with Francisco Vasquez at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Graficas. From 1965 to 1977 Takeda worked as a painter and graphic artist for the Mexican Museo Nacional de las Culturas.
In 1978 he moved to Oaxaca, and began a new career as a professor of art at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Autonoma Benito Juarez. In his years in Oaxaca, Takeda has been able to pursue his longtime interest in the traditional cultures of Mexico, their ceremonies and festivals. They have become the inspiration for much of his work.
Considered a master printmaker, Takeda imported the first Japanese woodblock tools to Oaxaca. His work has been extensively exhibited in Japan, the United States, and Mexico in over 70 individual exhibits. In 2003 the Contemporary Museum of Oaxaca organized a retrospective of his work. Shinzaburo Takeda is often referred to as the "most Mexican" of Oaxaca artists.