Katsumi Ukita was born in Tokyo and grew up in Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture. What is unusual about his upbringing is that he was interested in art at an early age and did not attend school like most children of the time. At the age of 9, Ukita attended an art exhibition, and there, decided to pursue a career as an artist. In 1944, Ukita studied under Mango Kobayashi and the following year he enrolled in the Tokyo School of Art where we studied oil painting. In 1950, Ukita graduated from university and received a prize for his art. Ukita then studied under Hirosuke Tazaki and in 1954 won a prize for painting. In both 1957 and 1958, Ukita won prizes at Nitten and Shin Nitten. In 1959, Ukita traveled to Hokkaido and spent eight years painting.
In 1967, at the age of 37, Ukita visits Northern Europe. He was captivated by the beauty of France and many of his paintings were inspired by his experiences in this beautiful country. Ukita also visited Brazil and maintained a life-long friendship with the Brazilian art community. Ukita was the recipient of many prizes both in Japan and abroad. From Brazil, he was awarded the Order of the Official Comandador. In 1989, one year prior to his passing away, Ukita won the Prime Minister’s Prize at the Nitten.