Vagina artist Megumi Igarashi arrested again


An artist who made a kayak modeled on her own vagina was arrested again on Wednesday, police said, in a case that has garnered international attention and sparked accusations of censorship.

Megumi Igarashi, who calls herself Rokudenashi-ko — which loosely translates as “reprobate child” — was arrested in July for trying to raise funds online to pay for the construction of a kayak, using a 3-D printer, in the shape of her genitals.

She was released days later following a legal appeal and after thousands of people signed a petition demanding her freedom.

But on Wednesday, Igarashi was taken into police custody again on suspicion of sending a link “that shows her plan to create a boat using three-dimensional obscene data to a large number of people,” a Tokyo police spokeswoman said.

She “tried to have those people who were willing to finance her plan download the obscene 3-D 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. “I was determined I would never yield to police power.”

Sex toy shop manager Minori Watanabe, 44, was also arrested on Wednesday for “displaying obscene goods in her shop window in collusion with Igarashi” from around October 2013 until July, police said.

Japan has a notoriously vibrant pornography industry that caters to a vast array of tastes. However, its obscenity laws still forbid the depiction of actual genitalia, which usually appear censored or pixelated in images and videos.

If convicted of distributing, or holding obscene materials for the purpose of selling, Igarashi could receive up to two years in jail and a fine of as much as ¥2.5 million.

  • Ron Burgundy

    Looks like the fascists in the metropolitan PD have some quotas to meet. I guess harassing foreigners walking with girlfriends around Azabu isn’t enough anymore.

  • KetsuroOu

    Although the definitions of “art” and “obscene” are both very nebulous, it is blindingly obvious that what Rokudenashiko (Igarashi) is producing is art and not obscenity.

    Realistic depictions of the phallus and vulva are present in traditional Japanese culture (for example, Kawasaki’s Kanamara Festival) so I am not sure why the authorities have decided to pursue Rokudenashiko.

    Here is to hoping that she is released again as quickly as she was the first time.

  • Stephen Kent

    Perhaps in future she should switch her attention to forms of self expression that are less controversial in the eyes of the law in Japan, such as violence-inciting hate-speech against ethnic Koreans who live in Japan. Can’t do anything about that, that’s a violation of the right to free expression you see…

    • Tri

      Perfect comment is perfect.

  • J.P. Bunny

    Certainly can sleep soundly now that I know the police are protecting us from the Peril Of People’s Private Parts.

    • kietero

      Of course, because there’s obviously nothing else for them to protect us from…

  • The artist is not sending her fans data that could be used on a 3-D printer to make a model of her vagina. She is sending her fans data that could be used on a 3-D
    printer to make a model of her vulva, labia and clitoris – her external genitals, not her vagina which is an internal organ. Constant repetition of the confusion of external with internal genitals make it seem that few people, including women, really know what and where the vagina is. Incidentally, it is not the exposure of genitals so much as the exposure of public hair that defines obscenity.

    • Alias McCoy

      Neither the vaginal wall nor the vaginal introitus is an organ, genius.

  • Paul Johnny Lynn

    I can breathe a sigh of relief that my taxes are being put to good use by Japan’s police. Heaven forbid I should ever encounter anything like this! Now, back to my tentacle porn…..

  • J.P. Bunny

    Just a thought. Shouldn’t every paper and magazine that printed a picture of this lass in her kayak be shut down for obscenity? There she is, sitting in a giant female naughty bit for all of us to see. Certainly hope the police confiscated her evil kayak as well. Innocent people could be staring at her Vulvic Vessel standing in a corner and it might fall over and crush them. Much more dangerous than “obscene data.” I feel corrupted all over.

  • drivin98

    Gambatte Igarashi-san!

  • Crimefighter

    on the upside, if she lived in china or north korear– we’d never hear about her, and/or she’d go straight to prison for life…

  • Biscuit Eater

    There is nothing obscene about the human body.

  • Drew

    Just the mere image of a vagina is obscene?

  • Chi Sam

    I’ll be damned… All this time I thought it was a little man that was in the boat…

  • ken345

    But oddly enough in Japan she could show her anus with no problems but not her labia… Strange laws.

  • motoguzzi

    But a penis shaped car would be OK?

  • Luke101

    I wonder if she puts on a wetsuit……