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Tokyo court fines ‘vagina artist’ ¥400,000 in trial over ‘obscene’ art

Megumi Igarashi
Megumi Igarashi

TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo District Court on Monday handed down a fine to a female artist on trial for art works of her genitalia deemed “obscene,” reports Nikkan Sports (May 9).

Presiding judge Mihoko Tanabe fined so-called “vagina artist” Megumi Igarashi 400,000 yen for mailing links for the download of 3D-image data of her genitals to donors of an art project.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police first arrested Igarashi, 44, in July of 2014 for the distribution of the data. She was arrested again in December of that year for displaying a plaster cast of her vagina in an exhibition at an adult shop in Bunkyo Ward between October of 2013 and July of the following year.

The prosecution had claimed during the trial that Igarashi’s works too closely represent genitalia to be considered art, according to the Asahi Shimbun (May 9). “The shape is such that it is clearly female genitalia,” the prosecution said. “It can not be said that there is a higher artistic quality that lessens its obscene nature.”

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

The court ruled in favor of Igarashi in the exhibition of the plaster casts.

The prosecution had sought a total fine of 800,000 yen.

Last month, Igarashi announced her engagement to musician Mike Scott, the founding member of the Waterboys, whom she met after word of her arrest made international news.