It is has been about a decade since the debut of the onnanoko shashinka, an immensely popular group of young Japanese female photographers whose work was largely characterized by simple subjects reflecting their everyday life, captured with a point-and-shoot aesthetic. Initially, the best known of the lot were the movement's founder, Yuri Nagashima, and the teenager Hiromix, the latter having since achieved a measure of international recognition to complement the superstar status she enjoys in Japan.

The onnanoko shashinka (the term, coined by critic Kotaro Iizawa, is often translated into English as "girlie photographers") quickly realized that the less clothing they wore in their self-portraits, the more support they received from the male-dominated photography establishment. In time, candid snapshots became bra-and-panties pictures, then nudes. Finally, with their own bodies no longer schoolgirl fresh, a number of thirtysomething onnanoko shashinka turned to younger models, effectively becoming the very type of photographers they had originally seemed to be rebelling against.

Mika Ninagawa might be described as a second-generation onnanoko shashinka. In the tradition of the group, she has achieved success by winning a number of key prizes unofficially reserved for emerging female photographers (Canon's New Cosmos, the 3.3 Tsubo and others). She has been invited to important onnanoko shashinka exhibitions (such as Art Tower Mito's "Private Room," curated by Iizawa), while keeping her street credibility with shows at places like the Rocket Gallery in Harajuku.