Japanese 'Vagina Artist' Released From Jail

Jul 22, 2014 2:00 PM PST

TOKYO — Megumi Igarashi AKA Rokudenashiko, a Japanese woman who was arrested for sending 3D printable design files of her vagina as part of an ongoing art project, was recently released from custody, her lawyer Kazuyuki reported.  

Ironically, a vagina activist of sorts, 42-year-old Igarashi said she was selling her 3D design files to raise money to make a life-size boat that looks like a vagina to sail around the world. Ultimately, she hoped her art would decrease the Japanese taboo and prejudice surrounding female genitalia, which baffles her.

“As an artist, I focus on my own vagina as the motif for my art,” Igarashi wrote on her website. “My work is against discriminative/ignorant treatment of the vagina. I thought it was just funny to decorate my vagina and make it into a diorama, but I was very surprised to see how upset people got when they see my works or even hear me say the [Japanese] word [for vagina], Manko.”

Several days after Igarashi’s tale of vaginal oppression went viral, she was released from custody. By the time of her release, fans and supporters had launched an online petition calling for her freedom.  

It is still unclear whether or not she will face criminal charges, given that it is technically illegal in Japan to depict genitals. However, skeptics have pointed out that this is violated often and blatantly (ahem: hentai).  

If Igarashi is convicted, she faces up to two years in prison, or a fine of up to 2.5 million yen, which is equivalent to about $24,000. 

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