Tokyo High Court upholds fine of ¥400,000 for ‘vagina artist’ over ‘obscene’ art

Tokyo police first arrested Megumi Igarashi in July of 2014 over the distribution of 3D data that allows for the rendering of her vagina
Tokyo police first arrested Megumi Igarashi in July of 2014 over the distribution of 3D data that allows for the rendering of her vagina (YouTube)

TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo High Court has upheld a fine for a female artist in an appeal trial for art works of her genitalia deemed “obscene,” reports Nikkan Sports (Apr. 13).

On Thursday, the court upheld a fine of 400,000 yen for so-called “vagina artist” Megumi Igarashi for mailing links for the download of 3D-image data of her genitals to donors of an art project. In a separate part of the case, involving the display of three plaster casts of her vagina at an adult shop, the court deemed Igarashi innocent, a ruling that also coincides with that previously handed down.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police first arrested Igarashi, 45, in July of 2014 for the distribution of the 3D data. She was arrested again in December of that year for the display of the plaster casts at the shop, located in Bunkyo Ward.

The initial rulings were made at the Tokyo District Court in May of last year. In that trial, the prosecution had claimed that Igarashi’s works too closely represent genitalia to be considered art. “It can not be said that there is a higher artistic quality that lessens its obscene nature,” the prosecution said.

Igarashi, who goes by the pseudonym Rokudenashiko (or Good For Nothing Girl), has maintained that she made the works to remove the image of female genitalia being obscene. “These are art works,” the defense said in the initial trial. “They are not obscene.”

In handing down the ruling at the Tokyo High Court on Thursday, judge Junichiro Akiyoshi said that the 3D data allowed for a “realistic rendering of the shape of female genitalia” in recognizing it as obscene. The judge, however, did not reach the same conclusion regarding the plaster casts.

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