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Japanese artist jailed for vagina boat vows legal fight

By Minami Funakoshi

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This is not a medieval society, we'll kind of. She should have pixilated it?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I agree with what she is trying to do, and I support her 100%, although I do think it is very convenient for her that she has suddenly become so notorious. But good luck to her for cashing in on it. This though:

“It’s been overly hidden although it’s just a part of a woman’s body.”

Um.....?! Hardly "just a part"! I`m happy to waltz through a shopping center with a bit of leg on display, but Im sure I dont want to parade those bits for all to see, any more than all would like to catch a glimpse of them over their egg mcmuffins...!

The legal definition of what counts as obscenity is vague in Japan, and the key point of debate will be deciding whether the vagina itself can be considered obscene, said Minami.

would love to know the conclusion to all this, given that half the country seems to chasing after these "obscenities" at any given time!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Igarashi says she began making artwork to address what she saw as a double standard applied to both female and male genitalia in Japan.

I think that she is very right. But as far as I know there is or was a similar situation in the UK and the US, except reverse: male genitalia are more obscene in the West. A comment to snopes forum opined in 2002, "You still can't get away with it here in the US. A guy's schlong is the most taboo form of nudity in American cinema. A flaccid one is a guaranteed R and an erect one a guaranteed NC-17 or X." There is a picture of "The origin of the world" hanging in the Gare d'Orsay museum in Paris but no schlong and certainly no erection. Even a covered schlong was taken from the walls of an American museum. http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/299453.shtml

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope she prevails.

Actually, either way the outcome should be positive. If she wins the court case she will achieve an important legal precedent (techinically Japanese courts don`t recognize precedent as a source of law but in practice they do).

If she loses it would be hard to imagine a more powerful political argument against the current state of the law than someone like her being convicted of a crime over this. Hopefully (faint hope perhaps) it would spur some actual political debate about changing this ridiulously out of date and completely useless-to-the-point-of-being-harmful law.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Actually there are/were some schlongs in the Orsay in the exhibition ”Masulin/Masuclin” but none of them were erect or showing veins, unlike some Japanese festival images and sculpture. But 85% of the nudes are the Orsay are female, and a French performance artist, Deborah de Robertis, exposed her vulva in front of the Corbet to address that issue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But as far as I know there is or was a similar situation in the UK and the US, except reverse: male genitalia are more obscene in the West.

Not so in the U.K.. Male genitalia is fine so long as it passes the "Mull of Kintyre" test, i.e. it cand be shown erect AND upright.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

She wasn't jailed for her vagina boat, she was jailed for sending instructions on how to make a 3-d printing of her minge to someone in the post.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Penis festival = A proud tradition. Vulva boat = Get arrested.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I hate to say this but this is the reality here in Japan, I don't think a Vagina boat will prevail and change the issues of self expression in this country. What will happen is this issue will start to fade away in few weeks and vanish like dust. If the government can censor the media succesfully, they can just step on this issue and proceed. If she wants to change things in this country, she needs to change the culture and the education system. In Japan there is a strong culture of everybody has to be the same and people has to be in a box . The schools teach students not to express their OPINIONS and rather just follow the leader and be polite. These are the factors that Megumi has to break in order to have the society become open with expressing themselves.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wish I could have "Molded" that V-jay-jay! Oh well, whatever floats your boat,I say!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is so lame that this is happening.

However, I think some posters are reading too much into it. From the cops' perspective I imagine it works like this:

We can't have public distribution of photos of genitalia. Some semi-private distribution we can ignore, for one thing it's hard to track down. However this person is doing it VERY publicly, getting money for it and creating a public stir. = challenge to the law = we have to stop it.

I imagine the sticking point is more that she is distributing pic of her vagina than that she is making a vagina kayak or other art.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

In Japan there is a strong culture of everybody has to be the same and people has to be in a box . Have you been to Japan or met any Japanese people? Have you seen Japanese fashion? Have you seen a Japanese town where every house is in a different style to the one next to it? Are you aware of the eruption of creativity in manga, anime, manufacturing? Are you aware that even though Japanese automotive manufacturers have a shorter model change cycle (usually a year) Japan has the largest "make" or after-parts market for cars to make them yet more original. This woman's art is typical of Japanese creativity, which is thriving.

True that they are not so into "opinions" (words) though which they are more likely to see as being faddish and frivolous.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wait a little bit more. Ga Ga is not a Japanese. American people love to sue. Wait when Lady Ga Ga hear this story. multi million dollars lawsuit is not rare in Hollywood world. Ga Ga knows how to win lawsuits.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

why confiscate her "artwork" if her crime was sending people schematics of making a 3-d manko?

but like other posters have said here, every country is unique in what they can or can't show. but usually it's the schlong that gets the short end of the...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Its art even if she cut an apple and made it look like a vagina its art its expression! Its art if she wins this will change many things in Japan! Think about it when these panty bandits steal or strong arm women panties its call theft but in the perverts mind its art work freedom for his imagination a collage

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hoping for victory for this lady. It doesn't matter whether it was for sale or not, I doubt she would have been treated this way in the US or Europe. The censorship in the US and Europe is not as strong as it is in Japan. In porn in those places everything goes as long as it isn't with a child. And before someone tries to take this off topic, you can't make porn with real children in Japan, either. Our galleries our filled with naked totems, as they should be :-)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Childish and pathetic is one way to describe this society sometimes, a large pink penis dragged around Kawasaki in a festival is ok though, but do not make a vagina canoe.

How about the penis temple in Nagoya why is there a double standard here, Release this broad minded woman with a sense of humour and lighten up for crying out loud, the authorities need to Remove their heads from their behinds .

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Im a fisherman. Thos is great. Cannot imagine my boat looking lile a vagina

1 ( +2 / -1 )

LowlyJul. 17, 2014 - 11:29AM JST We can't have public distribution of photos of genitalia. Some semi-private distribution we can ignore, for one thing it's hard to track down. However this person is doing it VERY publicly, getting money for it and creating a public stir. = challenge to the law = we have to stop it.

Unless I missed something in the article, she isn't distributing pictures of her vagina, but geometric data from a 3d scanner (although it might contain texture data which would likely be considered obscene). I can't imagine this would be explicitly covered in a law from the 50s, but it boils down to whether or not it's judged to be a depiction. This will fit nicely in with the other 3d printing scandals nowadays. At least people will remember what it is after this year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


well I abbreviated. It's an image. Same thing from the perspective of the law. Probably worse as it is three D.

Point is in this case; making a big stir about her project (not private citizens), getting money, and distributing an image of a real genital, = challenge to authority, the cops can't back down.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's sad that a woman making a social and political statement through art can get arrested in Japan for showing a woman's body part, yet comics and media sexulising children, even after the change in the law, is still allowed under "creative freedom".

I guess Japanese "men" are still more interested in copulating with little girls then women. Money talks, eh?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Did she have any talent except her Vagina artistry? Disgusted woman.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Penis festival = A proud tradition

Penis festivals often include yonis, which makes your comment a non-sequitur.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Two words for the people of Japan persecuting this ridiculous line of prosecution: Mumo Sengen. Japan, the patriarchal society needs a kick in its male sexuality orientated cultures, men get all the porn or sex expression they want, need, can think of and always at the woman's, CHILD's expense. Grow up Japan!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Igarashi sent 3D printer data of her scanned vagina

This 3D printer data would seem to be like a CAD or CAM file and not digital image such as a .jpg, or .raw file format.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ten policemen to arrest one woman, whilst gangsters are left in peace. It's hard to express the contempt I have for those police. They make themselves look like a bunch of half-witted clowns and should all be sacked.

If the "crime" is that this woman transmitted data which could be used to render an image of her genitals why don't the police arrest all the operators of porn websites in Japan? Is it because they are men? Are the police being paid off? Why don't Japanese "journalists" ask these questions?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Penis festival = A proud tradition. Vulva boat = Get arrested."

Beat me to it, Sparky.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well see the student can see their butt on a very mini skirt uniform, a penis festival, now a vagina issue? What more next breast exposure ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Absolutely ridiculous. Anyone who has their "desire stimulated" by a vagina-shaped kayak needs to see a psychiatrist. BTW, if you check out the Japanese amazon website, you can find plenty of sex toys including something called "Gigi's Vagina Hole"! Could Jeff Bezos be facing arrest on his next visit to Japan?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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