42-year-old sculptor and illustrator Megumi Igarashi has been released after spending a week in jail for distributing digital data that made it possible to recreate her genitals with a 3D printer, a possible violation of the Japanese law banning the distribution of “obscene” material, the Kyodo news agency reported Saturday.
Megumi Igarashi who works under the alias of Rokudenashi-ko (“Absurd Girl”) launched a “crowdfunding” initiative online in order to raise the money to construct a “kayak” in the shape of the female reproductive tract – she calls it “pussy boat”, according to Brian Ashcraft – and managed to collect one million yen (9,865 US dollars) from some 125 donors, according to Japanese police.
Her arrest, as well as her art projects, have won the attention of media around the world. More than 21,000 people signed a petition online urging Japanese authorities to free Igarashi, whom the media have christened the ‘vagina artist’.
Igarashi will defend her innocence if she is arraigned for the crime of distributing “indecent” material. Should she be found guilty, she could be sentenced to as long as two years in jail and fined 2.5 million yen (24,655 US dollars), according to Japanese media.
The Guardian – 16 July 2014:
Vagina selfie for 3D printers lands Japanese artist in trouble
Megumi Igarashi, aka Rokudenashiko, arrested for emailing digital template of her genitalia to supporters of her art
The Japan Times – 26 July 2014:
Genitalia artist no harm, no foul
“Laws restricting pornographic images that are harmful or dangerous should be enforced, but this case is a clear restriction of the freedom of artistic” expression.