The fatigue life of welded joints is associated with crack initiation and propagation life. Theses cannot be easily separated, since the definition of crack initiation is vague due to the initiation of multiple cracks that are distributed randomly along the weld toes. In this paper a method involving a notch strain and fracture mechanical approach, which considers the characteristics of welded joints, e.g. welding residual stress and statistical characteristics of multiple cracks, is proposed, in an attempt to reasonably estimate these fatigue lives. The fatigue crack initiation life was evaluated statistically, e.g. the probability of occurrence in 2.3, 50 and 97.7%, in which the cyclic response of the local stress/strain in the vicinity of the weld toes and notch factors derived by the irregular shape of the weld bead are taken into account. The fatigue crack propagation life was simulated in consideration of the Mk-factor and the mechanical behavior of mutual interaction/coalescence between two adjacent cracks. The estimated total fatigue life as a sum of crack initiation and propagation life was found to be in good agreement with the experimental results.