Gotō Takaharu served as a bushō during the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods. Takaharu served as a retainer of the Rokkaku clan and, later, the Oda clan.
Takaharu was born as the second son of Gotō Katatoyo, a senior retainer of the Rokkaku clan. In the tenth month of 1563, Rokkaku Yoshiharu, the head of the clan, ordered the killing of Katatoyo and his eldest son, Gotō Iki-no-kami inside the base at Kannonji Castle. This incident is known as the Kannonji Disturbance. As a result, Takaharu became the next head of the Gotō clan.
Thereafter, owing to his enmity toward Yoshiharu, Takaharu had a confrontational relationship with the Rokkaku. In 1567, the two sides reconciled and, at the same time, limitations were imposed on Yoshiharu’s autocratic manner of governing through the jointly signed Code of the Rokkaku Clan enacted in the fourth month of 1567.
On 9/12 of 1568, while en route to the capital of Kyōto in support of Ashikaga Yoshiaki, Oda Nobunaga defeated Yoshiharu and his father, Rokkaku Yoshikata, at the Battle of Kannonji Castle. With the Rokkaku clan coming to an end, Takaharu surrendered and served Nobunaga.
Under Nobunaga, Takaharu served as one of the Ōmi group. In 1578, Takaharu served as an administrator for a sumō tournament held by Nobunaga.
After the Honnō Temple Incident on 6/2 of 1582 that resulted in the unexpected death of Nobunaga, Takaharu joined with Akechi Mitsuhide. Following defeat of the Akechi clan, Takaharu lost his landholdings and later served Gamō Ujisato. While serving the Gamō, Takaharu adopted the name of Toga Jūbe-e-no-jō and participated in the Kyūshū Pacification.
In 1589, Takaharu died in Kyōto. His stipend of 3,000 koku was inherited by his son, Chiyoju, at the age of eleven.