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Megumi Igarashi (五十嵐恵, Igarashi Megumi), who uses the pseudonym Rokudenashiko (Japanese: ろくでなし子 or 碌でなし子[3][4] rokudenashi ["reprobate", "bastard", "good-for-nothing", "ne'er-do-well"] + diminutive feminine suffix -ko [usually translated as "girl" or "little"]), is a Japanese sculptor and manga artist[5][6] who has received public attention for her work featuring female genitalia. She considers it her mission to demystify female genitalia in Japan where, according to her, they are "overly hidden" in comparison to phallic imagery.[7]

Megumi Igarashi
Loz roku1.png
Born14 March 1972[1]
Other namesRokudenashiko (Japanese: ろくでなし子 / 碌でなし子 "good-for-nothing girl", "bad girl", "little ne'er-do-well")
OccupationJapanese sculptor and Manga artist[2]
Known for
  • Using her vulva in works of art
Notable work
  • "Decoman", a series of decorated vulva molds
  • A kayak modeled on a 3D scan of her own genitalia[2]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

On her website, the artist described how, growing up, she had never seen other women's genitalia, didn't know what they should look like, and was therefore concerned that her own vulva was abnormal. At first, when she began to use a mold of her vulva to create dioramas, she treated the idea light-heartedly.[8][9] However, after receiving a lot of criticism and backlash, she began to use her art as a statement. She would like women to be able to speak about their bodies without shame,[10] and believes that the vulva should be a "part of the body ... no different from arms or legs".[11] She would like to make the vulva something that is "casual and pop", saying, "[The] vagina is treated like it's something underground and hidden, so I want to industrialize and mass-produce it." [12]

ArtEdit

Igarashi has made many vulva-themed works, including a chandelier, a remote control car, necklaces and iPhone cases. The small dioramas are part of series called "Decoman" (a play on the word manko, Japanese for "cunt"). Much of her art was confiscated during a police raid, but photographs document her work.[12] Looking to make something larger, Igarashi considered making a door, and a car, before settling on a kayak, inspired by the connection between female sexuality and the sea.[12] She made a kayak based on a 3D scan of her vulva.[13] She paid for this project through a crowdfunding campaign, sending the 3-D data of the kayak to all donors who contributed over ¥3,000.[14] Those who contributed were sent 3D data of her vulva.[10]

Igarashi also created a cartoon character named Manko-chan (translated as Miss Pussy). She would like this character to become a pop culture icon.[10] Manko-chan has been made into manga, figurines, stuffed animals, and a full-size costume.[12]

BooksEdit

  • Rokudenashiko, What is Obscenity ? The Story of a Good for Nothing Artist and Her Pussy (Koyama Press, 2016), tr. from Japanese original by A. Ishii (ISBN 978-1-927-668-31-3)

Legal troubleEdit

In July 2014, Igarashi was arrested for the alleged violation of Japanese obscenity laws for e-mailing the 3D scanner data of her vulva in March to people who supported the crowdfunding campaign to build the kayak.[7] More than 21,000 people signed an online petition urging the government to free her.[15] She was released a week later after having successfully appealed her detention.[16]

On 3 December 2014, Igarashi was arrested for suspicion of displaying an obscene object, along with Minori Watanabe (who uses the pseudonym of Minori Kitahara), a writer, feminist activist and sex shop owner.[17] Watanabe was later released.[18] On 24 December, Igarashi was indicted and planned on pleading not-guilty, according to her lawyer.[19] She was charged with "obscenity display", "obscenity electromagnetic record", and "obscenity electromagnetic recording medium distribution".[20] On 26 December 2014, she was released on bail.[21] Her trial began 14 April 2015 in Tokyo District Court.[1][22] On 8 May 2016, the court handed down its decision. She was found not guilty of the charges related to the kayak, on the grounds that the sculpture, with its bright colour and decoration, "did not immediately suggest female anatomy", in the words of the BBC report. However, she was found guilty of the charges related to the 3D data, and was fined ¥400,000 (roughly US$3,500), about half what the prosecution had suggested was appropriate.[23]

Her case drew international attention. For instance, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart noted that in Japan, female reproductive organs remain taboo while there is a festival dedicated to the penis.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Igarashi married Mike Scott, the frontman of The Waterboys, in October 2016. Their first child, a son, was born on February 2, 2017.[24]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Tokyo prosecutors seek fine in trial against 'vagina artist' Megumi Igarashi - The Japan Times". The Japan Times. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Japanese Artist Megumi Igarashi Arrested For Obscenity In Tokyo". ArtLyst Ltd. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  3. ^ "ろくでなし translation / definition". Google translate. Google.
  4. ^ "碌でなし translation / definition". Google Translate. Google.
  5. ^ "Artist denies obscenity charge: 'My vagina is like my arms and legs'". asahi.com. Asahi Shimbun. 16 July 2014. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "3D PRINTED VAGINA KAYAK ARTIST ASSERTS INNOCENCE AGAIN IN JAPANESE COURT", April 15, 2015 (retrieved May 13, 2016)
  7. ^ a b McCurry, Justin (15 July 2014). "Vagina selfie for 3D printers lands Japanese artist in trouble". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  8. ^ Igarashi, Megumi. "Profile". 6d745. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  9. ^ "I make art pieces with my vagina, which I would rather call Manko (MK). I thought it was just funny to decorate my vagina and make into a diorama, but I was very surprised to see how upset people get when they see my works or even hear me say the word Manko."
  10. ^ a b c "Japanese artist makes quirky sculptures from molds of her genitals". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  11. ^ Hoffman, Michael (2014-08-09). "Ah, vaginas! In defense of taboos". The Japan Times Online. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  12. ^ a b c d "In the Studio With Japan's Controversial Vagina Artist | Broadly". Broadly. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  13. ^ Kendall, Philip (18 July 2014). "Here's that "vagina kayak" Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi made with the help of crowdfunding". RocketNews24. SOCIO CORPORATION. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Tokyo prosecutors seek fine in trial against 'vagina artist' Megumi Igarashi". The Japan Times Online. 2016-02-01. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  15. ^ "Japanese Vagina artist Megumi Igarashi released after week in jail". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  16. ^ "Tokyo vagina artist released by police". Japan Today. 19 July 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  17. ^ "Manga artist arrested after displaying 'obscene' work in Tokyo shop". The Asahi Shimbun Company. 4 December 2014. Archived from the original on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Writer released after arrest over displaying salacious objects at adult shop". The Japan Times. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Vagina artist Megumi Igarashi indicted on charges of obscenity". The Japan Times. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Vagina Kayak Artist Moves On to Painting - artnet News". artnet News. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  21. ^ "「お酒を飲みたい」保釈されたマンガ家・ろくでなし子氏 自身のキャラクターを並べて記者会見に臨む". otapol. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  22. ^ Justin McCurry (April 15, 2015). "Japanese artist goes on trial over 'vagina selfies' Megumi Igarashi, aka Rokudenashiko, who made kayak modelled on her genitalia, argues in court that her artwork is not obscene". The Guardian. Retrieved April 15, 2015. If found guilty, Igarashi could face up to two years in prison or a maximum fine of 2.5 million yen for distributing obscene objects.
  23. ^ "Japan vagina artist cleared over kayak model but fined for data distribution". BBC. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  24. ^ "On February 2, 2017, I Had a Healthy Baby Boy". Rokudenashiko (official website, in Japanese). 8 February 2017. Archived from the original on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.

External linksEdit