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It was the vagina that launched a thousand headlines, millions of social-media posts, a kayak — and a criminal case.

On July 12, 2014, Megumi Igarashi, a Japanese artist also known as Rokudenashiko (“Good-for-nothing Girl”), was arrested in Tokyo under Japan’s obscenity laws for producing, displaying and distributing images of her vagina in the form of 3-D data and a one-man kayak. In May, she was ordered to pay a fine of ¥400,000 for distributing the data alone, based on the possibility that it could be used to produce a 3-D-printed anatomically accurate model of Igarashi’s sexual organs.

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