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 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 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.
|Born||14 March 1972|
|Other names||Rokudenashiko (Japanese: ろくでなし子 / 碌でなし子 "good-for-nothing girl", "bad girl", "little ne'er-do-well")|
|Occupation||Japanese sculptor and Manga artist|
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. 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, and believes that the vulva should be a "part of the body ... no different from arms or legs". 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." 
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. 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. She made a kayak based on a 3D scan of her vulva. 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. Those who contributed were sent 3D data of her vulva.
Igarashi also created a cartoon character named Manko-chan (translated as Miss Pussy). She would like this character to become a pop culture icon. Manko-chan has been made into manga, figurines, stuffed animals, and a full-size costume.
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. More than 21,000 people signed an online petition urging the government to free her. She was released a week later after having successfully appealed her detention.
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. Watanabe was later released. On 24 December, Igarashi was indicted and planned on pleading not-guilty, according to her lawyer. She was charged with "obscenity display", "obscenity electromagnetic record", and "obscenity electromagnetic recording medium distribution". On 26 December 2014, she was released on bail. Her trial began 14 April 2015 in Tokyo District Court. 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.
The documentary #Female Pleasure by Swiss director Barbara Miller accompanied Igarashi during the trial. The film is a portrait of five women committed to a self-determined female sexuality, including the artist.
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- Igarashi, Megumi. "Profile". 6d745. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- "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."
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- 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.
- "Japan vagina artist cleared over kayak model but fined for data distribution". BBC. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- "IMDb". Retrieved 6 March 2019.
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