Vagina artist wins release, urges public to challenge taboos


Staff Writer

An artist arrested for distributing 3-D data of her vagina online urged the public to outgrow the perception that female genitalia are taboo or shameful, after being released from police custody on Friday.

“I believe this arrest was completely unjust and unreasonable,” said Megumi Igarashi, who signs her works as “Rokudenashiko,” which roughly means “good-for-nothing girl.”

“I have always stuck to my artistic principles,” which she said are aimed at toppling the entrenched idea that female genitalia are obscene. The perception verges on sexism, she added.

Igarashi, 42, was arrested July 12 for emailing the data to her fans, which allowed those with 3-D printers to make a precise model of her vagina, in return for crowd-funding donations that helped her complete her latest genitalia-inspired art project. She was subsequently held until the Tokyo District Court on Friday annulled her arrest and set her free late Friday night.

“I have often wondered why Japanese TV shows edit out” slang words for vagina “like it’s the normal thing to do,” she said, bringing up the issue of profanity. “But this is (a part of) my body, and I don’t understand why it’s considered obscene.”

Her arrest was protested by fans and supporters, who launched a petition drive online to demand her release. Petition platform Change.org logged more than 17,000 signatures in the two days after she was arrested.

Igarashi’s release Friday means the court acknowledged it was unjust in the first place, said her lead lawyer, Takashi Yamaguchi.

Authorities will likely continue the investigation and try to press charges, but Igarashi said she will stick to her convictions and fight till the end if indicted.

“I’m fighting against a society that for some reason” brands female privates as taboo, she said.

  • Gee Hendricks

    The law is the law, and it’s there to protect certain members of society, who might be damaged by seeing these pictures. She says she doesn’t understand the law. Maybe she should study it. While I don’t think she should serve a prison sentence for this, I don’t see how it could be deemed acceptable, let alone artistic, in today’s society.

  • Paul Johnny Lynn

    No double standard here eh? Kanamara Festival anyone? Phallic ice-cream for you madam?

  • sadlyfunny

    It reminds of the beginning of the feminist movement in the
    60s and 70s in North America. Maybe Japan will have Women’s Studies departments
    in all their Universities in a few years along with government grants provided
    to women’s organizations and women in general to address inequity. These
    developments may then be soon followed by legions of feminist lawyers,
    legislators and administrators to enact new laws, implement policy and impact
    the application of law without ever forming a traditional political party.
    Anyways I think the kayak is great :)

  • sadlyfunny

    I wonder if there can be an appropriate amount of moral
    indignation whipped up over this. That is the feminist’s stock in trade is it
    not? Well we shall see if this angry woman can convince enough Japanese women
    that there is a life threatening problem here. But it does not really stack up
    against earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, nuclear reactors, typhoons, North
    Korea, China and the like. Thousands of years of culture is a bit more of an
    uphill battle then the indulged feminists faced in the Western English world. I
    still like her boat though :)

  • sadlyfunny

    If there are any real concerns Japanese women have they can be addressed without feminism. Women in Japan go to hot-springs with their families all the time. There is not a complex about women’s sexual organs in Japanese society. Feminists used women’s own insecurities over their sexual organs in the 60s and 70s to aid in the selling of the figment of the imagination known as patriarchy. Be careful Japan or the country will suffer under the long dark night of feminism. I hope this woman does not get thrown in jail but she is raising a non-issue and I wonder were her loyalties lie. I still like the woman’s kayak.

  • sadlyfunny

    If the last 40 years have taught women anything it is that men are willing to do anything to help them no matter how outlandish (myself included). Feminism is not necessary and can safely be dis-guarded as it is rife with injustice and bad intent

  • sadlyfunny

    There is already a vagina festival…Just go to youtube and type in…

    Ososo Matsuri (Vagina Festival) in Japan

  • sadlyfunny

    BTW. I still like her boat :)

  • sadlyfunny

    I am going to be late for work, looks like no morning coffee. In closing patriarchy is an imaginary propaganda tool created by feminists to achieve a political end (not even to help women, but rather to achieve a political end). I stand by and faithfully serve women…I still like her boat :)