Megumi Igarashi, the Japanese artist arrested in July for crowd-funding a kayak shaped like her vagina, has been formally indicted on obscenity charges. Igarashi has been arrested twice this year over the kayak. She now faces up to two years in prison and a fine equivalent to $20,755.
Igarashi, who is based in Tokyo, was first arrested in July, after she managed to crowd-source the funds she needed to build the kayak. She then sent 30 or so crowd-funders the data needed to make their own vagina kayaks on a 3-D printer, a crime for which she was promptly arrested and some of her work confiscated. (In Japan, actual genitalia can't be shown, even in pornography; consequently, there's a market for machines claiming to un-pixelate the porn.)
The artist vowed to fight the charges, saying at a July press conference, "I cannot agree with the police's decision to label the data as obscene. To me, my vagina is like my arms and legs. It's nothing obscene." Earlier this month, she was arrested again, this time for allegedly sending a link "that shows her plan to create a boat using three-dimensional obscene data to a large number of people," a Tokyo police spokesperson told the Japan Times. A sex shop manager named Minori Watanabe was arrested at the same time, accused of "displaying obscene goods in her shop window in collusion with Igarashi," according to police. The unnamed obscene goods were supposedly in the window from October 2013 until July of this year.
Igarashi was indicted on December 24 and formally charged with "distributing obscene data." Her lawyer says she plans to plead not guilty.
Japan: where Tokyo's enormous red light district can operate 24-7 without issue, but the vagina kayak lady can't just live. Let the vagina kayak lady live.
Image via Megumi Igarashi/Twitter