Japanese Artist Megumi Igarashi Arrested For Obscenity In Tokyo

Megumi Igarashi the Japanese artist who created a kayak based on an image of her vagina has been arrested for obscenity. Police stated, in a case, that clearly spells censorship, that Igarashi, who goes by the name of Rokude Nashiko which is slang for “good for nothing girl” was arrested in July for attempting to crowd fund the construction of a kayak, using a 3D printer, inspired by her private parts. She was released days later following a legal appeal and after thousands of people signed a petition demanding her release.

Yesterday, Igarashi was arrested for a second time on suspicion of sending a link “that shows her plan to create the boat/sculpture using three-dimensional obscene data to a large number of people,” Tokyo police stated that she “tried to have those people who were willing to finance her plan download the 3D obscene data” in October last year, the spokeswoman said. Igarashi also allegedly sold CD-Roms containing similar data during a May exhibition in Tokyo. “I don’t believe my vagina is anything obscene,” Igarashi said in a July press conference after her release, adding: “I was determined I would never yield to police power.”

Minori Watanabe, 44, a Sex shop manager was also detained for “displaying obscene goods in her shop window in collusion with Igarashi” If convicted of distributing, or possessing obscene materials for the purpose of selling, Igarashi could receive up to two years in jail and/or a fine of as much as 2.5 million yen ($21,000).

Megumi Igarashi was born in 1972. She is a Japanese sculptor and manga artist who has received public attention for her work featuring female genitalia. She considers it her mission to demystify female genitalia in Japan, where, according to her, they are “overly hidden”. Igarashi has, among other vagina-themed works, created a noted series of decorated vagina molds, “Decoman”, as well as a kayak based on a 3D scan of her own genitalia. In July 2014, she was arrested for the alleged violation of Japanese obscenity laws for e-mailing the 3D scanner data of her vagina to people who supported the crowdfunding campaign to build the kayak. More than 21,000 people signed an online petition urging the government to free her. She was released a week later after having successfully appealed her detention.

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