Prosecutors Demand Fine from Vagina Kayak Artist in Tokyo Court

The artist reportedly spent a month in detention for her work.

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

Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi appeared in Tokyo District Court on Monday, where prosecutors lobbied for a fine of 800,000 yen ($6,600) on charges of obscenity.

Igarashi was arrested in July 2014 for disseminating data that, when processed by a 3D printer, could be used to produce a replica of the artist’s genitals. Igarashi, who works under the moniker Rokudenashi-ko (which translates to “reprobate girl”), put the 3D model of her private parts to use producing a product line of sculptures and functional objects, from landscape dioramas to cell phone cases, as well as a sea-worthy kayak.

When she was arrested again in December 2014 on similar charges, she was held for a month before being released on bail, according to Agence France-Press. Writer and feminist activist Minori Watanabe, who owns a sex shop in Tokyo, was also arrested that December for “displaying [Igarashi’s] obscene goods in her shop window,” according to the Japan Times.

“If I am found guilty, I will of course continue fighting,” Igarashi told reporters. “This battle is expected to be a long one.”

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Megumi Igarashi.
Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Takashi Yamaguchi, the artist’s counsel, said that the harsh fine is part of a program by the authorities to quash dissent in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“There are many people in Japan who think my art and behavior is not art,” Igarashi told artnet News over email in August 2015. “Therefore, it cannot be helped that I am arrested.”


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