Yup - before, it was a crime. See HERE.
See, Japan wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. But now it is. Sort of.
As a connoisseur of the art community, I have certainly seen more than my fair share of artistic vaginas, so it was always news to me when I first learned of this horrible miscarriage of justice in Japan that tried to harass a female artist with cries of obscenity every time she tried to show off her vagina art.
For example, although a Tokyo court on May 90, 2016 ruled that vagina-shaped objects created by a Japanese artist Igarashi Megumi (surname first)—see image above—(aka Rokudenashiko, aka “good-for-nothing girl”) was indeed art, but still found her guilty of obscenity.
Yes, apparently the judge figured that the good-for-nothing-girl artist had distributing digital data that could be used to make a realistic three-dimensional recreation of her genitalia.
So… for distributing obscene material—basically images of her vagina—Igarashi-chan had to pay a $4,8000 fine.
What exactly did she distribute?
Apparently, she sent (via the computer) a set of three vagina-shaped ornaments, decorated and painted in bright colors.
Her lawyers said that these ornaments did NOT look like skin or even immediately suggest female genitalia, so how could it be obscene?
The judges (plural) noted, however, that the data—derived from a scan of her own vagina—could be used with a three-dimensional printer to create a realistic shape that could sexually arouse viewers.
The vagina ornaments were on display at a sex shop in Tokyo but were not for sale.
Now… to be fair, in Japan it is illegal to show vagina—though apparently not when I was in Japan—because it’s well, sex-related.
Conversely, Japan has penis festivals where erect phallic penises are paraded about like it was the Buddha himself.
It’s a fertility symbol… and is meant to mean a good food growth season or even a healthy baby… I don’t know… I get different answers whenever I asked about it.
While other cultures around the world celebrate the pregnant woman as a symbol of fertility, Japan and its declining birthrate tend not to.
And that’s okay.
Then again… Japan is the type of country that seems to allow all sorts of porn in various media such as anime (cartoons) and manga (comic books), though again, all the real penetrating images are supposed to be blacked out.
Japan’s AV (adult video) slash porn industry digitally alters contact with genitalia, but any four to five minute viewing of a porn website will find Japanese AV in various states of clarity.
I’m not really sure WHY this Japanese artist continues to create vagina art. More importantly, I’m not exactly sure who the fug is purchasing said vagina art.
Much in the same way that I like comic books but don’t see the need to purchase statues of comic book characters, I also like vaginas, but don’t see the need to collect representations of them.
But… to each their own.
Igarashi says that she decided to create art featuring vaginas because of her own personal interest in the subject matter—which is why I started this blog…. er… my interest in Japan, and not because of my interest in vaginas… although, who says never the twain shall meet?
Although Igarashi was not initially interested in taking a stand for women’s rights in Japan, because of the harassment received from the police (and it is - I mean, who the hell is calling the cops to complain?) and notoriety she has received (the media sure loves a cat fight), she has teamed up with various feminist activist groups over the past several years—and more power to you!
Manga artists have successfully won legal battles after it was found that artwork depicting incest (that’s illegal) or kiddie porn isn’t obscene (or at least isn’t illegal), so it is quite confusing to see how artwork featuring a vagina is considered obscene and thus illegal.
If, according to Japan’s archaic obscenity laws, something was being inserted into a real or imagined via artwork vagina, then sure Japan’s courts could easily argue that what is being depicted is obscene.
But this artist—this good-for-nothing-girl… this brave person is merely depicting a vagina.
I wonder if Japan’s law and order would be as strict if it was a heterosexual male Japanese artist who was doing this?
Much media coverage has been evoked in the past from Igarashi (woman - not sure of her sexual orientation, not that it matters in this case), and another artist who had his wiener cut off, cooked and served to guests, as the ultimate in performance art - see HERE.
Well… I suppose the ultimate would be if he had cut it off himself, or if he had killed himself… then again, to me the ultimate are the Japanese folk who paid money to eat the artist.
Hey, as long as it’s been deveined like a shrimp…
PS: Thanks to Vinny and Alice for both sending me the heads up on this article.