Akira Tateishi was born in Chiba, Japan, in 1930. He began scuba diving in 1956 in search for new subjects for his painting work. To capture what he saw underwater, Tateishi designed and built an underwater camera housing. This allowed him to bring back images of underwater scenes, so he could paint them.
In 1957, Tateishi held his first exhibition of his underwater photography. Also in 1957, Tateishi began his underwater cinematography career. He was underwater cameraman on the film titled Umi wa Ikiteiru (The Living Sea). In 1958, he founded The Marine Art Center.During 1959, Tateishi made is first underwater film in 16mm, titled Kaitei no Doubutsu (Underwater Animals). In April 1966, Tateishi designed an underwater camera housing that he called Tateishi Bronica I. Later that year, his biography 1,000 Hours of Underwater Filming was published. He continued the technical aspects of underwater photography equipment development with his design of the Tateishi Bronica Marine II. During 1967 and 1968, Tateishi filmed the wreck of the World War II Japanese ship, Kumano in the Philippines. Tateishi started the first scuba diving magazine in Japan, Marine Diving, in 1969.
He created a sensation in the photographic world of Japan when Tateishi published the first artistic nude photographs shot underwater. Tateishi published three books in 1973, titled Umi no Sakana (Fishes of the Sea), Okinawa no Sangosho (Coral Reefs in Okinawa) and a photography book titled Aoi Sekai no Nakamatachi. His influence on the technical advancement of underwater photography was further enhanced in 1975 with a new camera system he had designed, the Tateishi Canon Marine 16mm. In 1976 he was honoured by having his work displayed in the Tokyo Museum. During 1978, Tateishi launched, Um to Shima no Tabi (Travel Diver Magazine). In 1988, Tateishi published Marine Photo, a magazine for Underwater photography. Mr. Tateishi is currently Editor-In-Chief of Marine Diving and Travel Diver Marine Photo Magazines, and President of Marine Art Center, Ltd., which publishes the magazines. For over 45 years of underwater photography, cinematography and contributions to diving, Akira Tateishi has received many honours and awards.