Sonnet Takahisa was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has Japanese, and Russian and Polish Jewish ancestry. She grew up in Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Canarsie, Brooklyn. Takahisa attended Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts for an undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies and Japanese Studies, and the University of Washington at Seattle for a graduate degree in East Asian Studies. She worked as the director of education at the The National September 11 Memorial & Museum and also as a consultant at various art and cultural heritage institutions.