Kitai Kazuo was born in 1944, in Anshan, in what is now the northeastern region of China. In 1965, after withdrawing from the art photography program at Nihon University, he self-published Resistance, a collection of photographs on the protests against a port call by a U.S. nuclear submarine at Yokosuka. In 1969, his Sanrizuka series documenting resistance to the construction of the new Narita International Airport was published in Asahi Graph. His images of the daily lives of farmers engaged in the struggle to prevent the building of the new airport were acclaimed as defining a new standard for documentary photography. Staring in 1974, Asahi Camera carried the long-running series of Kitai's photographs collected in Murae—To the Villages. In 1976, he was awarded the first Kimura Ihee Award. In 1981, he published Tales of Shinsekai, documenting the lives of ordinary residents of Osaka, followed in 1989 by Funabashi Story, filled with text and images describing the lifestyles of residents of Funabashi City, a suburb of Tokyo. His work is currently appearing as the "Walking with Leica" series in Nihon Camera.