Photo: Junior High School Girls by Umekayo

Umekayo is a female Japanese photographer who takes warm-hearted and often funny shots of everyday life and ordinary people.

Like a lot of Japanese artists, she realized that the quick way to get noticed in a society that is (not so) secretly obsessed with junior high school girls, was to take a series of slightly pervy photos of such girls in their sailor suit uniforms, like the ones in this image from her Junior High School Girls series. This was produced when she was about 19 or 20.

Her strategy worked. In 2001 she received honorable mention in the Canon New Cosmos of Photography awards and was on the map. For an exhibition now on at the Tokyo Opera City Gallery, this image has been enlarged to about three or four times life-size, creating a strong visual impact.
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