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.