Katsumi Watanabe was born in 1941 in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, and passed in 2006. Watanabe attended a part time course at Iwate Prefectural Morioka Daiichi High School while working as an assistant at the Morioka Office of the Mainichi Shimbun, where he developed an interest in photography. After graduating from high school, he moved to Tokyo and worked at the Tojo Photo Studio, where he learned studio photography. In 1965, Watanabe became a “drifting photographer” and shot portraits on the street of Shinjuku. He charged 200 yen for one print with three shots. In 1973, he published Shinjuku Guntoden 66/73. In 1974, his work was included in the “Fifteen Photographers Today” exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art and began receiving great acclaim. After he quit shooting as a drifting photographer, he worked various jobs such as selling roasted sweet potatoes on the street and running a portrait studio. He then became a freelance photographer and shot all over the world, but continued to shoot Shinjuku all the while.