Ikko Narahara was born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1931. After graduating from the law department at the Chuo University, he studied at the master’s program in Art History at the Waseda University. While in graduate school he had photographed Hashima at Nagasaki and Kurokami village at Kagoshima and had the exhibition Man and His Land. In 1958, he was the recipient of the Japan Photo Critics Association Newcomer’s Award for his exhibition Man and His Land.
He organized the photographers’ agency VIVO with K. Kawada, S. Tomatsu, E. Hosoe, A. Sato and A. Tanno in 1959.
He was awarded the Photographer of the Year Award, Japan Photo Critics Association (1967), the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts (1968) and the Mainichi Art Award (1968) for his book Where Time Has Stopped. He won the Photographic Society of Japan Annual Award for his book Venetian Night.