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Supreme Court rejects appeal by 'vagina kayak' artist over obscenity

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The lower courts ruled that the 3D data "realistically reproduce the shape (of female genitalia) and stimulate the viewers' sexual desire."

The justices are evidently easily aroused. Most folks living in a consumer society bombarded daily by a plethora of suggestive advertisements and the availability of 24/7 stimulation from online porn have become hardened to these ubiquitous images. Unlike the justices, very few of us would harbor salacious thoughts on viewing colored kayaks. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

27 ( +29 / -2 )

The Supreme Court of Japan once again ignores reason to find that whatever the government did was OK as it always does.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

This just in from Japan... the female genitalia is obscene and cannot be artistic in any form. Coming up at 6, witch burning to proceed on the grounds of...

The hypocrisy of the Japanese courts is beyond laughable and quite sad for a so called first world country. You'd think they were modelling their lifestyles after 1940's U.S. What's next, belly buttons are too suggestive and shall be pixelated?

28 ( +34 / -6 )

But male genitalia seems to be fine at the かなまら祭り.

37 ( +39 / -2 )

All 'female genitatilia' must be pixelated.

It's their culture, we have to respect it.

-30 ( +11 / -41 )

@bokuda

"we have to respect it" why's that then?

24 ( +28 / -4 )

If she really wants to stir up trouble, file a civil suit against the Kanayama Shrine, the one that hosts the penis festival, for displaying objects that "realistically reproduce the shape (of male genitalia) and stimulate the viewers' sexual desire."

37 ( +39 / -2 )

Bokuda

All 'female genitatilia' must be pixelated.

It's their culture, we have to respect it.

Are you for real? What century are you from? The Japanese need to be shamed into doing the right thing, as always. And it is the responsibility of actual advanced nations to shame this socially and morally under developed group of islands into change.

This is a country that has penises of all sizes on display at a festival celebrating the same.

Mysogynistic old farts who sit in judgement are the very people who made "no pants shabu shabu" a thing.

This is a ruling about what they think is art and what is not. Nothing to do with what is obscene and what isn't.

22 ( +29 / -7 )

The main purpose of her lawsuit was publicity stunt and she seems to have achieved what she set out to do.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

@Meiyouwenti - spot on! Good on the artist as well, it's the kind of conversation Japan needs.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

If what she did was wrong then why is the following ok?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanamara_Matsuri

14 ( +15 / -1 )

It's their culture, we have to respect it.

Oh? And what is the artist's culture? Is she not Japanese? Obviously this is a point of debate in Japan, not "their culture." The country is not a monolith - it's 120 million people, and there are varying opinions as to what makes up culture here.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

And it is the responsibility of actual advanced nations to shame this socially and morally under developed group of islands into change.

You sound like some missionary from hundreds of years ago. Good grief...

6 ( +11 / -5 )

But male genitalia seems to be fine at the かなまら祭り.

Don't forget the vagina festival.

https://en.guiacanaljapao.com/xo_event/festival-da-vagina-hounen-matsuri/

10 ( +13 / -3 )

I believe Japan needs more vagina kayaks

17 ( +22 / -5 )

It's discrimination.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Good. That’s one thing that doesn’t need to be on display

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

Ridiculous. This enforces the absurd notion that the female body is always sexual, always there for others' desires. Let bodies be bodies. Nudity is natural, it isn't always sexual.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Anybody else think age was a factor in this case?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japanese are Beings of Light, men are not allowed to see their genitalia.

We must respect their culture or else be erradicaded from their realm of Light.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Of course they did, because a woman's anatomy should only be displayed in rape porn manga where it belongs. Since it is not presented as such, it can only be seen as vulgar.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

Penis shrines and festivals all around Japan, following this ruling, should ALL be banned and the priests of the shrines arrested.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Smithinjapan haha wow, I couldn't have put it better myself.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Ultimately the reason she didn't succeed was due to the precise mechanical method she used. Scanning genitals with a 3D capture device and publishing the raw data is fundamentally no different than capturing genitals with an optical device (camera) and publishing the raw data. The lack of any craftsmenship or skill in producing the model meant that it couldn't benefit from the protection afforded to artistic works. There is no distinction made between male and female genitalia.

very few of us would harbor salacious thoughts on viewing colored kayaks. 

She wasn't charged over the kayak. It was only sending the 3D data that got her into trouble. The kayak would likely be protected as artistic expression.

Kanayama Shrine, the one that hosts the penis festival, for displaying objects that "realistically reproduce the shape (of malegenitalia) and stimulate the viewers' sexual desire."

These models firmly cross the line into artistic works. If you were to create female genitalia using the same craftsmenship and artistic methods, you would also not be charged.

Likewise, if you showed up at the festival with nothing more than a precise 3D printing of your own scanned penis, you might be charged in the same way as you would if you publicly displayed a 2D representation of your penis precisely captured by an optical device (a photo).

3 ( +9 / -6 )

All 'female genitatilia' must be pixelated.

It's their culture, we have to respect it

Absolutely stupid. How chauvinistic is this. Why is it ok to display a penis, but a vagina is just obscene? And who is offended exactly? Some women don’t want to see wooden images of the male appendage either, anyone taking that into consideration?

Ridiculous. This enforces the absurd notion that the female body is always sexual, always there for others' desires. Let bodies be bodies. Nudity is natural, it isn't always sexual.

A long time ago Japanese used to think like that, as far as nudity is concerned it’s just a natural thing, but men culturally have always thought women are here for men’s desire and you see that time and time again in places of employment or the role of women and how they should present themselves in public.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Should make a new model but with mosaics this time, just to double down.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Whatever floats your boat.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Some people’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. When’s the next chin chin festival?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

M3M3M3

The lack of any craftsmenship

Don't you mean 'craftwomanship'?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"This just in from Japan... the female genitalia is obscene and cannot be artistic in any form. Coming up at 6, witch burning to proceed on the grounds of..."

Meanwhile, the Kanamara Festival is Kawasaki is considered just fine. Nothing obscene about people nibbling on candy phallus-es, is there justices?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

"This just in from Japan... the female genitalia is obscene and cannot be artistic in any form. Coming up at 6, witch burning to proceed on the grounds of..."

Meanwhile, the Kanamara Festival is Kawasaki is considered just fine. Nothing obscene about people nibbling on candy phallus-es, is there justices?

Astounding that these men can’t see past their own hypocrisy. Never, ever a good thing.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Sex has been part of Japanese art for thousands of years. There are penis festivals. Her crime to distribute 3-D data of her vagina.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Wasn't she tried for sending out data that could be converted into a 3D image of her vagina? That's like charging me with murder for sending a kitchen knife to my mother. Whatever, this is a beautiful example of how absurd Japanese 'justice' is.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Why is she in trouble for this? Is it because she is a woman? You can buy Robert Maplethorp photo books here that are explicitly pornographic (even showing kids), but somehow classified as "art". Is that because he is a man so it's OK?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

All 'female genitatilia' must be pixelated.

It's their culture, we have to respect it.

Sorry, but exactly what part of Japanese culture is it that demands pixelation of female genitalia?

Asking for a friend who is trying to reconcile the notion that the same culture that has the biggest porn industry in the world is somehow squeamish about female nudity.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Is popular in Japan to 3Dscan porn-stars vaginas and sell them in sex shops as sex-toys.

DMM will be fined immensely for the crime to distribute 3-D data of real vaginas.

It would be catastrophic if files a lawsuit against DMM.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The over-active imagination of justices, perhaps the result of sheltered lives, has seemingly deprived them of the common sense that comes naturally to citizens of the world. As Dr. Freud would have said, "sometimes a kayak is simply a kayak".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yet they don't clamp down on the seedier kid porn anime industry

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"In the end, the goal was to distribute obscene images," it said.

Oh....you mean like the porn industry? Ero manga?

Come on Japan, do you even ART, bro?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If you look up an image of her kayak, it is pretty clear that modeled it on her vulva, not her vagina.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

It is clear that she broke this completely insane law. Its like something out of that lunatic Anthony Comstock in the U.S. whose stupid Victorian ideas made it illegal to mail even medical books that showed pictures of genitals. If the so-called "justices" had any sense they would have found the law unconstitutional and therefore handed Igarashi a not guilty verdict. Its a very simple concept but no victim, no crime. Why can't people understand this and demand it be the law of the land?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Censorship masquerading as justice, in the country with the world's largest porn industry. Utter hypocrisy.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Next, are they going to ban Japanese "pillow books" (春画) from the Edo era? These are explicit how-to sex manuals that show everything, including vaginas.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Yet Japan must have a dozen companies making very realistic full sized silicon sex dolls with authentic looking plumbing. Not a computer file for a 3D printer but fully formed and, um, ready to use sex dolls. What's next, arrest the owners and employees of those companies?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Ludicrous! Absolutely illogical when you consider what else goes on in Japan.

Even Mr Bean's bum was pixellated in that hotel episode.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I reckon they messed up by arresting her and this is just them closing ranks to avoid admitting they were wrong.

She's the winner because she has shown up the outdated views of the authorities.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“Art”, freedom, whatever. This lady has been fixated on this object of her obsession for years. I dont think shes playing with a full deck.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

bokuda - All 'female genitatilia' must be pixelated.

It's their culture, we have to respect it.

I’m not sure if a 3m pixelated vagina kayak would have the same artistic value.

By the way, how do you know this?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, but is it art?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Yes, but is it art?

Well, we’ve been conditioned by liberal media for decades to accept any rubbish calling itself art, even better if the “artist” is weird and/or “speaking truth to power” (cringe).

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

I like women and all but this seems gross. What about children seeing it also. Nasty.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

I wonder if her defence lawyer ever brought up the topic of the penis festivals? to show the court the hypocrisy, if its ok to have a "festival" celebrating the penis and fertility etc, may be she should call her kayak a floating festival, not art, she could get the local priest/monk to come and bless her kayak.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A little history from totally gay gokai. The 50s the pornography law said that pubic hair had to be scratched out. That was to hide the woman parts. However, the same law was applied to male gay porn, so the pubic hair was scratched out but you can see everything else. This law was changed in the mid-1980s so that everything, female and male, was scratched out.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The lower courts ruled that the 3D data "realistically reproduce the shape (of female genitalia) and stimulate the viewers' sexual desire."

かんまら祭り would like a word Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, we’ve been conditioned by liberal media for decades to accept any rubbish calling itself art, even better if the “artist” is weird and/or “speaking truth to power” (cringe).

When people deny that something is art and that art makes them uncomfortable, it clearly is art. You pretty much prove the point.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

It looked absolutely horrid. Why would anyone want to see a larger version? Disgraceful “art”

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I agree with @ohara, this lady is not playing with a full deck.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Being a professional artist of 40 years, more than 50 exhibitions held here in Japan. Several major awards. Art is whatever the artist decides it to be. For the viewer there is always the freedom to accept or reject any art or artist.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

While I would actually have preferred to have the woman found innocent (I tend to be pretty liberal on expression), I don't think you can compare directly festivals and 3D scans. Beyond the method of manufacture, the festivals have been around for a long time, very publicly, without objection. As long as they don't suddenly introduce new elements, there is no valid cause for the authorities to suddenly reverse their decision on what has become a weird tradition.

It is possible if someone objected the first time, the courts may have agreed to find the festivals obscene.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I like women and all but this seems gross. What about children seeing it also. Nasty.

This might blow your mind, but 50% of all children have lady bits, and will have seen them before.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

" This lady has been fixated on this object of her obsession for years"

So are most men. Just saying .............

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Well, we’ve been conditioned by liberal media for decades to accept any rubbish calling itself art

Liberal media. Yawn. Change the record.

Are you in a position to judge what art is?

Give us your definition or criteria. I know very little about art. Educate me.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Another day in Nippon...

Japanese men-children in tiny little banana kayaks

with a deep fear of women who have an opinion about anything (beyond what might be tasty for dinner).

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And looking back now at earlier posts, I'm stunned and delighted to see that I'm in total agreement with Bass4Funk today.

Wow! Anything's possible folks! Maybe we just all have to try harder to listen to each other- don't shout each other down at the first opportunity.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh, please! She got all of that free publicity, doubtlessly to the envy of countless other exhibitionists. Anyone who thinks that her stunt is in any way sexually arousing could only be, well, a befuddled judge...The only thing "offensive" about any of this is the "artistic" pretentiousness.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yet they don't clamp down on the seedier kid porn anime industry

That is what leaves me absolutely furious. What the artist is definitely not as bad as all of the nasty stuff featuring underage girls and boys in anime/manga.

I like women and all but this seems gross. What about children seeing it also. Nasty.

OK. Then people would have a right to sue the shrines because hosting a penis festival is also gross and inappropriate for children. Don't you think? You tell me how penises are more appropriate than female genitalia then. If one is inappropriate for public display, then so should the other.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How I'm sick and tired of this attention-seeker! She very well described herself:

works under the pseudonym "Rokudenashi-ko" (good-for-nothing girl)

If she wants everybody to see her genita she should go to porn. May be some AV company will be interested.

And don't compare her exhibitionism with Kamamara matsuri! Don't you see a difference between a hundreds years old Shinto tradition and a cheap piblicity stunt?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Khuniri

Anyone who thinks that her stunt is in any way sexually arousing could only be, well, a befuddled judge...

Anyone who thinks that her stunt is in any way sexually arousing is in need of mental help. Publicity?...Yes, that's the point! She wants women to have a voice, to be listened to (Slim chance in this deeply misogynist culture, but a nice try on her part).

@Asakaze

And don't compare her exhibitionism with Kamamara matsuri! Don't you see a difference between a hundreds years old Shinto tradition and a cheap piblicity stunt?

Traditions sometimes take root because people don't have the energy to oppose them. When your precious penis waving event came into being, a) women would have been savagely beaten if they raised any objection to it, and b) they were desperately focused on getting enough rice and vegetables onto the dinner table each day. They didn't have the luxury to think about stupid festivals. They had to concentrate on having enough food to eat. Men had the freedom to make excuses to go out and get pissed on certain days.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This might blow your mind, but 50% of all children have lady bits, and will have seen them before.

Not only that, but a good proportion of the other 50% will have seen lady bits when bathing with their mums and sisters.

I still have memories of my daughter and nieces wandering around the video shop in the "adult" section and laughing and pointing at the images on the covers, much to the discomfort of the guys browsing there. I think only adults are uncomfortable with naughty bits.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If she wants everybody to see her genita she should go to porn.

Yeah, how dare someone want to do art. Disgusting. The very idea that someone would want to do art, and not just take off their pants and spread their legs so anyone can look at their genitals is frankly, an assault on all decency.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

But on the first Sunday in April in the city of Kawasaki girls of any browse a selection penis shaped candles while licking a penis lollipop .......... That's ok.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It’s ok with me....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The justices need another century or two to come up to speed!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Vaginas are internal, not visible.

Her kayak is a vulva.

Make a note of it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Art is whatever the artist decides it to be.

Uh, No.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Dr Maybe

Traditions sometimes take root because people don't have the energy to oppose them

But thousands of people have the energy to enjoy traditional festivals every year.

to think about stupid festivals

If you don't understand something it does not mean this something is stupid.

@Strangerland

Yeah, how dare someone want to do art

You call it art?? Then every porn maker is Michelangelo.

It's so sad that now the very notion of art is hugely devaluated by all kinds of attention-seeling lunatics who think their primitive tricks are art.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Art is whatever the artist decides it to be.

Uh, No.

What is your definition or criteria? You seem to know what art is or should be but are unwilling to tell us.

Don’t be coy. Educate us.

It's so sad that now the very notion of art is hugely devaluated by all kinds of attention-seeling lunatics who think their primitive tricks are art

Another one. Can you educate us? Ohara seems a bit shy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Jimizo, Don’t be coy. Educate us.

The same old Jimizo line. Cut and paste?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Jimizo, Don’t be coy. Educate us.

The same old Jimizo line. Cut and paste?

It’s a perfectly reasonable question. You are saying that this vagina kayak isn’t art. You must know what art is. I know very little about art but I’m interested in the question and want to be educated. Zichi is a professional artist and gave his reasons why he thinks it constitutes art. You disagreed with him but didn’t tell us why.

You do see the onus is on you to explain why it isn’t art, don’t you?

I just don’t get why you won’t share your reasoning.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A brick in a building yard is nothing more than a mere brick. The same brick in a museum is art, and two square meters of them and it becomes expensive art.

Art should make us question. A brick in a museum does that. Art should uplift us to a higher place. I don't think the brick in the museum does that.

Tibetan monks spend weeks and months making a painted sand mandala only to blow it away when complete because life is just a fleeting moment of time.

Man painted animals on the walls of caves which have survived for millions of years.

What is art? Whatever the artist wants to make it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Jimizo, by your own admission you dont know anything about art. Seriously, do you think a JT comment site is the appropriate place to be taught?

Do yourself a favour.

Sounds very evasive. Just a few sentences will do. The main points will suffice. You can give me just one reason.

Zichi gave a very concise reason and I’m sure he could educate me further. He clearly knows about art as you do.

Just one reason, no?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A brick in a building yard is nothing more than a mere brick. The same brick in a museum is art, and two square meters of them and it becomes expensive art.

Art should make us question. A brick in a museum does that. Art should uplift us to a higher place. I don't think the brick in the museum does that.

Tibetan monks spend weeks and months making a painted sand mandala only to blow it away when complete because life is just a fleeting moment of time.

Man painted animals on the walls of caves which have survived for millions of years.

What is art? Whatever the artist wants to make it.

Quality stuff, zichi. Thought provoking and gets to the heart of the question.

I’m looking forward to ohara’s ideas.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Look at the art of music. From punk to high classical and opera. It's all music and all art even if I don't like all of it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Zichi gave a very concise reason and I’m sure he could educate me further. He clearly knows about art as you do. 

Well then, youve found your guru!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

ohara

Zichi gave a very concise reason and I’m sure he could educate me further. He clearly knows about art as you do.

Well then, youve found your guru!

I'm no one's guru but I agree with Jimizo. Tell us why this is not art, or tell us what you think art is? Maybe Michelangelo's statue of David in the Vatican? Or his Sistine Chapel. Both I have seen many times, Both a wonder of the world. The Mona Lisa in the Louvre maybe. How about Jean-Michel Basquiat. I don't actually care that much for his works. More of a Constable or Turner man myself. But I can't argue it isn't art.

How about Tracey Emin and her bed. Thought provoking at least.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Zichi gave a very concise reason and I’m sure he could educate me further. He clearly knows about art as you do. 

Well then, youve found your guru!

Yes, but I like reading differences of opinion. Maybe your ideas, which are clearly not the same as zichi’s, may persuade me otherwise.

I’m starting to think you don’t know what you are talking about when it comes to art and just gave a knee-jerk, generic, boring, predictable, conservative reaction to something you regard as part of liberalism.

This can’t be right, can it?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Readers, please stop sniping at each other. It is petty.

Maybe Michelangelo's statue of David in the Vatican?

It's got a man's penis in it, so clearly is obscene and pornogrphic and not art. And that Michelangelo was clearly an attention seeking pervert.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ohara - I'm also rather interested in your definition of art. Are you able to share so that I can use it as a guide going forward? Thanks.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's so sad that now the very notion of art is hugely devaluated by all kinds of attention-seeling lunatics who think their primitive tricks are art.

If the authorities had not become involved in this absurd case, it would have received no attention whatsoever.

Pictures of said canoe have now been printed in newspapers worldwide in their perennial "aren't the Japanese a bit loopy?" articles. Not because of the canoe but because of the police action.

It all helps maintain the notion overseas that the Japanese authorities are backward and childish and totally unable to take a proportionate response to anything.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Her whole purpose as an artist is to showcase the the vagina and vulva isn't obscene, and that it's ridiculous for Japanese society to view it as such. The government proved her point.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

https://en.guiacanaljapao.com/xo_event/festival-da-vagina-hounen-matsuri/

Don't these guys have to pay a fine too, then?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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