Vagina Artist Convicted on 'Obscenity' Charge in Japan

May 9, 2016 3:10 PM PST

TOKYO — Megumi Igarashi, the artist who was arrested in 2014 for distributing 3D-printable design files of her vagina, was convicted today by a Japanese court of distributing “obscene” images.

Igarashi, according to Kyodo News, was fined 400,000 yen, or about $3,700 — half the penalty demanded by prosecutors — on the obscenity charge. She was cleared of another count of displaying similar material.

Working under the pseudonym Rokudenashiko, Igarashi was arrested in July 2014 after she distributed data that enabled recipients to make 3D prints of her vagina.

Igarashi distributed the data for 3D printing to help raise funds to create a kayak inspired by her genitalia she called “pussy boat.”

Judge Mihoko Tanabe ruled the 3D data, when applied and produced, portrayed the shape of a vagina that could “sexually arouse viewers.”

Igarashi was found not guilty on another charge relating to the display of plaster versions of the kayak at a shop selling adult sex toys and novelties in Tokyo.

Tanabe ruled the kayak did not obviously resemble female genitalia and could not be considered obscene.

Igarashi insisted her artworks were not obscene and challenged attitudes towards female genitalia in Japan.

“I am innocent because neither the data for female genitals nor my artworks shaped like female genitals are obscene,” she told the court last year.

Japan’s obscenity laws carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison or a fine of up to 2.5 million yen, or about $23,000, Prosecutors, however, decided to seek only a fine.

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