After studying with his mother, a shamisen player, Tozan went on to join the Myoan society. He developed his style there while begging as a komuso. At the age of 21, in 1896, he set up a teaching studio in Osaka. In 1904 he began composing his own honkyoku and later established a guild system to review and add honkyoku from other composers. The most popular school in Japan, the Tozan style is influenced by western music while creating many innovations of its own.