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Vagina artist wins release, urges public to challenge taboos

by

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.

    • JTCommentor

      In today’s society? Seriously? Have you ever used the internet? With a few keystrokes you can see high resolution videos of whatever terrible thing your mind can think of. From violent to sexual to whatever.

      I clicked this article to have a chuckle at it, but in the end it raised a good point. Precisely in today’s society – why is this the case?

      Being subservient to something and accepting it completely “because it’s the law” is not the same as understanding the law. I’m sure she understands the law better than those who blindly accept it. She’s an activist against something that she sees is another brick in the wall of discrimination against women in this country.

      If people accepted everything “because it’s the law” imagine what governments would do.

      Good on her. While I’m not convinced of the link between pixelating out female private bits and discrimination against women, it is a fair argument and she should be free to make it.

    • C321

      Are you from 1314 CE? Besides this law is clearly unconstitutional (a violation of Article 21) and needs fighting at every level. What can be obscene about a natural body part that half the planet has and nearly everyone physically passed through in the past? Only people completely out of touch with reality would be in favour of using the law to ban this kind of thing. You don’t have to personally like her art, but its very dangerous to have the police and courts used for such frivolous matters.

      • sadlyfunny

        There is already a festival celebrating the vagina in Japan and it has been around a long time.

      • Phil Blank

        No, that is the penis festival.

      • sadlyfunny

        There is no issue here. A person had to purposely scan their vagina(it is not actually her vagina) and distribute it for money to become entangled in the law. There is no problem with women’s bodies in Japan. This is simply a recruiting drive. There is an annual festival celebrating the vagina. I am sure your client knows this. It can be seen on youtube….

        Ososo Matsuri (Vagina Festival) in Japan

      • Phil Blank

        Can’t show a woman’s nipples on TV or in public in the US despite the fact most children were fed from them as do a good portion of living creatures on earth do just that.

  • 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 :)

    • Genericerik

      I really hope this happens.

  • 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 :)

    • Genericerik

      Oh dear. I disagree with everything you’ve written and I expect history to reflect poorly on your flawed interpretation of gender relations. I don’t know your age, gender, or nationality, but please know that your ideas are no longer relevant and are quickly fading out of the public discourse. That is a certainty.

      For the record I’m a 26 year old American male living in Japan.

  • 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.

    • Genericerik

      I disagree with everything you’ve written and I expect history to reflect poorly on your flawed interpretation of gender relations. I don’t know your age, gender, or nationality, but please know that your ideas are no longer relevant and are quickly fading out of the public discourse. That is a certainty.

      For the record I’m a 26 year old American male living in Japan.

    • C321

      This is not about feminism, it’s about civil liberties. Feminism, simply means equal rights for women, if you oppose that you are a misogynist. I suspect you are complaining about other attitudes which have been falsely labelled feminism.

      • sadlyfunny

        No. I mean Feminism as it is misandry. I am not a misogynist. I am pro women. Feminism does not equal women. Feminism is a malignancy onto itself

      • sadlyfunny

        Just a few pearls of misandry and ill intent (I have to get back to work)…

        “The nuclear family must be destroyed… Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process.” — Linda Gordon

        “I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.” — Robin Morgan, Ms. Magazine Editor.

        “I haven’t the faintest notion what possible revolutionary role white hetero- sexual men could fulfill, since they are the very embodiment of reactionary- vested-interest-power. But then, I have great difficulty examining what men in general could possibly do about all this. In addition to doing the shitwork that women have been doing for generations, possibly not exist? No, I really don’t mean that. Yes, I really do.” — Robin Morgan

        “We can’t destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage.” — Robin Morgan

        “I claim that rape exists any time sexual intercourse occurs when it has not been initiated by the woman, out of her own genuine affection and desire.”
        — Robin Morgan

      • sadlyfunny

        And a few more (never mind the real world legislative and applied law misandry, lay it on me, I am an adult, but boys are afflicted by it as well and women and the greater society pays the price of feminism…It is a plague, plainly and simply…BTW the spell check does not even recognize the word misandry)

        “The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race.” — Sally Miller Gearhart, in The Future – If There Is One – Is Female.

  • 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

    • Phil Blank

      Read it. They are dressed in sheets, big difference.
      Ooagata shinto shrine, Japan, is celebrating Spring with a colourful fertility festival. 
      On the second Sunday of March, crowds parade with women and woman’s symbols through the streets of Inuyama-city. The ancient Shinto festival, known as “Ososo Matsuri”, literally “Vagina festival”, celebrate not only women’s health, but the blessings of a bountiful harvest and all manner of prosperity and fertility.

  • 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 :)