Vagina Kayak Artist Arrested Again for Titillating New Work

Megumi Igarashi's documentation of the process of turning a 3D model of her vagina into a working kayak.
Photo: Courtesy the artist.

The Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi, who made waves by creating a kayak modeled on her vagina, has been arrested for the second time. She is suspected to have sent a link “that shows her plan to create a boat using three-dimensional obscene data” to numerous people, a Tokyo police spokeswoman told AFP.

The artist, whose artistic moniker Rokude Nashiko means something similar to “reprobate child,” was first arrested last July for trying to raise funds online to pay for the construction of her infamous vagina-shaped kayak, which was brought to life using a 3D printer. Police said that Igarashi had also sold CDs containing obscene data during a May exhibition in Tokyo.

Following Igarashi’s arrest, thousands of supporters signed a petition demanding that she be freed. She was released a few days later, after a legal appeal.

“I don’t believe my vagina is anything obscene,” Igarashi stated in a press conference upon being released. “I was determined I would never yield to police power,” she declared.

If Igarashi is convicted of distributing or holding obscene materials for the purpose of selling, she could receive up to two years of prison time, as well as a fine of up to $21,000.

Igarishi’s case has highlighted Japan’s seemingly contradictory stance on pornography. The country has a buoyant pornography industry, yet its laws forbid the depiction of actual genitalia, which usually appear censored or pixelated.

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