Born in the rural Senboku District of Akita prefecture, Gotō graduated from the Tokyo Semmon Gakko (present-day Waseda University). From 1900, he served as editor of the literary magazine Shishosetsu ("New Fiction"). Some of the writers who contributed to the magazine during his tenure were Hirotsu Ryuro, Izumi Kyoka, Shimazaki Toson, Natsume Sōseki and Nagai Kafu. He was strongly critical of the naturalism movement, which began to become popular around that time. His works include a novel, Funikudan (1899), and a collection of essays, Hi shizen shugi (1908).