Hisao Domoto was born in Kyoto to a family of artists. His uncle, Insho Domoto, was a well-respected member of the Japanese art scene, known for his works in the traditional Japanese Nihonga style, particularly his temple screens. Domoto began his art education by studying Nihonga painting at the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts. He achieved early critical success while still in school there, exhibiting at the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, where his work was met with high acclaim. In 1952, he traveled to Paris to study oil painting. He soon became associated with the Art Informel movement, which was flourishing in Europe at the time with its spontaneous abstractions and focus on breaking artistic tradition. He achieved great success in this style, staging his first solo exhibition in 1957 and winning prestigious awards such as the Lissone International Art Exhibition Award.