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Megumi Igarashi
Megumi Igarashi (right) in her pussy boat

Japanese vagina boat artist re-arrested for obscenity

Megumi Igarashi wanted to 3D print a canoe modelled on her genitals, but police weren't too happy

Pity poor Megumi Igarashi. All the 42-year-old artist wanted to do was build a workable kayak based on a 3D model of her genitalia, but Japanese police aren't too keen on women paddling about in their own self-described "pussy boats". Igarashi has just been arrested again under obscenity charges.

This marks the second time Igarashi has been detained – earlier this year, she was arrested under the same charge and released. This time, she got into trouble for displaying figurines modelled on her vagina and distributing the 3D mapping data used to create the bright yellow kayak. 

A spokesperson for Tokyo police told Reuters: "They showed obscene figurines in a glass case so that people coming to the shop could see it. This is a new factor."

Police said that she was arrested for distributing her construction plans "using three-dimensional obscene data" to a large number of people. 

Igarashi faces up to two years in prison on obscenity charges. The artist – whose pseudonym, Rokude Nashiko, roughly translates as “good-for-nothing kid” – has sparked a huge conversation about censorship and female sexuality in Japan.

The country is famous for its thriving sex industry, but conservative obscenity laws still forbid the depiction of genitalia – which is why even the most hardcore pornography still pixellates its performers' actual privates.

Igarashi roots her pussy-focused practice in the belief that more women should know what actual genitalia looks like. Writing on her website, she says: "Why did I start making this kind of art pieces? That was because I had not seen pussy of others and worried too much about mine. I did not know what a pussy should look like at the same time I thought mine is just abnormal."

Over 22,000 people signed a petition demanding her release in July. Upon her release, Igarashi said that she would continue to fight on to rehabilitate the pussy in Japanese culture. “I don’t believe my vagina is anything obscene,” she said at a press conference. “I was determined I would never yield to police power.”

Watch Igarashi's crowdfunding video for her pussy boat below: