Born in Tottori, Jiro Taniguchi began to work as assistant of the mangaka Kyota Ishikawa. He made his manga debut in 1972 with 'Kareta Heya' ('The Barren Room'). Taniguchi draws inspiration from French and Belgian comics and his work varies from action to Buddhist-like meditation. From 1976 to 1979 he created several hard-boiled comics with the scenarist Natsuo Sekigawa, such as 'City Without Defense', 'The Wind of the West is White' and 'Lindo 3'.
From 1984 to 1991, Tanigushi and Sekigawa produced the series 'Botchan No Jidai' ('The Times of Botchan'), in which they profiled Japanese literary classics of the Meiji period (1864-1912). In 1985 they came with 'Kaikei Shuten' ('Hotel Harbour View'). In the early 1980s Taniguchi also collaborated with scriptwriter Carib Marley on stories about gangsters and detectives, including 'Knuckle Wars' (1982).
In the 1990s, he came up with 'Aruku Hito' ('The Man Who Walks'), 'Kaze no Sho' ('Samurai Legend'), 'Chichi no koyomi', and 'Keyaki no ki'. His 1998 story 'Harukana Machi-e' ('The Faraway Town') earned him the Agency for Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival Award for Excellence in Japan, and the Alph Art for best scenario at the 2003 Angoulême comic festival in France. He created the 'Icaro' series with scripts by Moebius in 2001. In 2010, he worked with the French scriptwriter Jean-David Morvan on 'Mon Année', published by Dargaud.