Chromium and chromium-molybdenum carburizing steels are widely used for small- and medium- sized rolling bearings or gears, in Japan. Using a cylinder-to-ball type rolling contact fatigue rig, influence of various material factors such as chemical compositions, oxygen content, retained austenite and grain size in 1 % chromium carburizing steel was investigated. Life level of 1 % chromium steel has been increased gradually since 1968 when the test began. The increase in life level is mainly due to reduction in oxygen content by the improvement of steel-making technique. Manganese content increases the life and 1 % Cr steel with 1 % Mn has high reliable life. Prior austenite grain size does not seem to influence the rolling contact fatigue life.