Born 1899 in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Fukuda moved to Tokyo in 1919 to work at Takachiho Seisakusho (now: Olympus Corporation). Following the Great Kanto Earthquake, he moved to Osaka. In 1926, he won the Ilford Diamond Prize at the “First Japanese Photography Art Exhibition.” The following year, his attempt to establish a photography museum in Sakai (Osaka) failed, but Fukuda continued to take photography such as still life and compositions under the influence of Bauhaus aesthetics. His series “Camera Diagnostics” (published in “Asahi Camera”, 1936) was well-received, and Fukuda thus compiled “How to Photograph Women,” and other instructional books on photography. After the war, he focused on nudes, publishing “Shell of Light” (Hikari no kaigara) in 1949.
While realism became the dominant current in photography, Fukuda never gave up on his own, unique approach. In 1955, he received funding from the Canon Photo Competition to travel to Italy, and published his photographs from Italy in the next year. Books on Kyoto, Ginza and Sumidagawa followed. Since the late 1950s, Fukuda also engaged in experimental photography. In 1970, his solo exhibition “Flowers and Nudes: Fukuda Katsuji Exhibition” was held at Takashimaya Department Store in Nihonbashi (Tokyo). Fukuda passed away in 1991, aged 92. His works are held at the Yokohama Museum of Art, the Kawasaki City Museum, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art and others.