Artist Megumi Igarashi, who works under the name "Rokudenashi-ko" (meaning "Good-for-nothing Girl") is facing a ¥800,000 fine (about $6,600) for distributing 3-D scans of her vagina, the primary motif she uses in her art.
You might have heard about Igarashi a few years ago when she was arrested for the distribution of these scans as gifts for donating ¥3,000 or more to her crowd-funded effort to create a 3D-printed kayak modeled on her own vagina. And to think, all you got for you donating to your friend's Kickstarter was a tote bag.
One way or another, Megumi's legal woes may soon be at an end; the court is expected to come to a verdict on whether or not she was distributing pornographic objects on May 9.
Here's a statement from Igarashi on why she chose to make her vagina the subject of her art:
I had not seen pussy of others and worried too much about mine. I did not know what a pussy should look like at the same time I though mine is just abnormal. Manko, pussy, has been such a taboo in the Japanese society. Penis, on the other hand, has been used in illustrations and signed as a part of pop culture. But pussy has never been so cute....I wanted to make pussy more casual and pop. That’s how I came to make a pussy lampshade, a remote-controlled pussy car, a pussy accessory, a pussy smartphone case, and so on.
Her defenders say that she distributed the scans of her vagina as a way for her supporters to use her genitals in their own art, and that she is trying to break vaginal taboos in a society where penis iconography is common. Detractors say that she distributed the scans knowing full well that they could be used to make sex toys.