Vagina selfie artist arrested in Japan for obscenity

Jul 15, 2014

Artist distributed data to allow people to print 3D-printed models of her vagina

Megumi Igarashi

A Japanese artist who scanned her vagina then distributed the data online to allow people to create 3D-printed models of her genitalia has been arrested.

The artist, Megumi Igarashi, who goes by the name of Rokudenashiko online – which translates loosely as "good-for-nothing girl" – was taken into police custody for allegedly breaking Japanese obscenity laws, which restrict the distribution of imagery of male or female genitals.

Igarashi says she wants to "demystify" female genitalia in Japan. She says that she believes female genitalia are "overly hidden" in Japanese society, "I did not know what a pussy should look like," she said in a post online.

The artist has also incorporated her genitals into other works such as a diorama described as a "vaginal battle scene" where soldiers run for cover into a trench, and another model along the same theme that depicts workers attempting to control a disaster at a nuclear power facility (see below).

Unnamed police sources say that the artist had received about 1m yen (£5,700) in online donations in exchange for the data, The Guardian reports. But Igarashi maintains that her art is not obscene, Kotaku reports.

The artist has also created iPhone covers, boats, toys and t-shirts that feature female genitalia. Igarashi says she uses 3D scanning and printing because regular silicone moulds deteriorate too swiftly.

Commentators have pointed out that it is contradictory for Japanese authorities to arrest Igarishi for her artworks while allowing traditional fertility festivals that parade giant models of erect penises in the streets.

Others note the contradiction between the country's strict obscenity laws, and the fact that it has only recently made the possession of child pornography illegal, The Independent reports.

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