Masahisa Fukase was born in 1934 on the northern island of Hokkaido, where his family operated a photographic portrait studio. In 1956, he graduated from Nihon University with a degree in photography. He subsequently worked for an advertising agency before turning to freelance work in 1968. In 1974, he participated in the New Japanese Photography exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His first book, Yugi - Homo Ludence (1971), was centered on his wife Yoko. Following their divorce in 1976, Fukase returned to Hokkaido, where he began a series on ravens, which was eventually turned into his acclaimed book Karasu - Ravens (in English, The Solitude of Ravens) (1991). The ominously dark photographs reflected his increasingly depressed state of mind. In 1977, he received the Ina Nobuo Award.