Vagina-Shaped Boat Artist Found Guilty of Obscenity by Tokyo Court
May 12, 2016 12:03 PM EDT
Megumi Igarashi, a Japanese artist who has been triggering controversy for her vagina-shaped kayak, was convicted guilty of breaking obscenity laws. She was fined 400,000 yen for distributing "obscene" images, as ruled by the Tokyo district court.
Igarashi, also known as Rokudenashiko, was arrested in July 2014 after she distributed data that enabled the recipients to make 3D prints of her vagina, as reported by The Guardian. The data was distributed by Igarashi as a move to help raise funds to create what she called "pussy boat", a kayak inspired by her genitalia.
The 44-year-old woman was found guilty of obscenity for her efforts to create the vagina-shaped kayak. On the other hand, she was cleared of another charge related to the displaying the plaster versions of the vagina kayak in an adult shop. The judge ruled that Igarashi should pay a 400,000-yen fine (about $3,500).
After being released from her first arrest, Igarashi was once more arrested in December 2014. This time, she was apprehended over the suspicion that she sent a link to her boat-building plan in a "three-dimensional obscene data".
Huffington Post noted that Igarashi's case pointed directly at Japan's contradictory stance on pornography. While the country has a thriving pornography industry, its obscenity laws forbid the depiction of actual genitalia. In images and videos, the human genitalia usually appear pixelated or censored.
Moreover, the case means more than that to Igarashi. She noted that her case also revealed the misogyny present in the country.
The Independent quoted, "The fact that I was arrested for this at all shows that Japan is still very backwards about women's sexual expression, that is not acknowledged at all except as something for men's pleasure," Igarashi said after her first trial hearing. "There is huge resistance to women using their body to express themselves. The fact that I was arrested for this is just strange," she added.
The vagina-shaped boat is not Igarashi's only move to make her point. She also made several other items which she showcased in her website.
Even though the court found her guilty of obscenity, Igarashi has been respected and supported across the world for her message. She has emerged as an advocate for both women's rights and freedom of expression.
A Japanese artist known for her vagina-shaped kayak was found guilty of obscenity, as ruled by a Tokyo court. Igarashi was asked to pay a fine of 400,000 yen fine for her moves. While some consider her work obscene, other regard it as an advocation of women's rights.