Monday, February 1, 2016

"Prosecutors seek fine for 'vagina kayak' artist at obscenity trial"

From Japan Today, 2/1/16:

Prosecutors sought a fine of 800,000 yen Monday at the Tokyo District Court from an artist charged with obscenity after distributing 3D scans of her own genitals.

Megumi Igarashi, 43, who works under the pseudonym “Rokudenashi-ko” (good-for-nothing girl), maintained her innocence on the charges of distributing obscene objects through the Internet in return for money, arguing that her artwork uses female genitalia as its subject but is not of a salacious nature.

In her final statement, Igarashi called for an impartial judgment by the court. “Having created works that defy the (existing) image associated with genitalia, I cannot agree with my arrest,” she said.

The court is expected to hand down its decision on May 9.

To support her plea of not guilty, Igarashi’s lawyer said in closing arguments that she distributed the data “as part of her creative activities, with the aim that her supporters would use it to create new works.”

A prosecutor said Igarashi “carries great criminal responsibility” as she sent out the data regardless of the possibility that recipients might create obscene objects.

In a past hearing, a university professor specializing in art history testified in Igarashi’s defense that the works “do not appear to be obscene (materials) that cause sexual arousal.”

Igarashi told a press conference after her initial arrest in July 2014 that she sent the data to those who donated more than 3,000 yen to a campaign to fund her creation of a kayak also modeled on the 3D scans.

According to the indictment, Igarashi distributed data over the Internet that could be used to make 3D reproductions of her genitals in October 2013 and March 2014, and in July 2014 exhibited vagina-shaped plaster artwork at an adult shop in Tokyo.

Japan’s Penal Code prescribes a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to 2.5 million yen for distributing obscene objects.


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