Megumi Igarashi
(IN PHOTO) Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi, known as Rokudenashiko, holds her vagina-inspired artworks after a news conference following a court appearance in Tokyo April 15, 2015. A Japanese artist on trial for obscenity after making figurines and a kayak modeled on her vagina said on Wednesday that there was nothing wrong with her artwork and her arrest merely showed how far Japan remains behind the west. Reuters

A Japanese sculptor and manga painter, Rokudenashiko, noticed the similarity between the kayak and the female genital, so she sold 3D printable files of the sailing vessel with her vagina as the model. That placed her in trouble with the law, resulting in Megumi Igarashi, the real name of the artist, being arrested by the police in October 2013 and July 2014.

She was released from prison when there was a public outcry supporting Igarashi as Japanese signed petitions, sent letters to government officials and organised online fan groups. An online petition on, which uses the hashtag #FreeMegumi, has garnered 21,182 as of Wednesday, May 20.

The letters argued that the country’s laws were biased against women because Japanese men even celebrate yearly a penis festival, reports The penis festival, also known as Kanamara Matsuri, is held on the first Sunday of April. Japanese men carry images of the male organ through illustrations, candies, carved vegetables and decorations during the mikoshi parade.

After Igarashi was released from detention, she vowed never to surrender to police power and questioned her arrest and imprisonment since she believes her vagina is not obscene. While she was released from prison, charges were not dropped.

The police revived these charges when they received reports that Igarashi sent links that indicated she plans to make a kayak to a large number of people, using “three-dimensional obscene data. In December 2014, she was arrested anew on orders of the Tokyo Court.

The revived charges identified people who received the 3D printable files that Igarashi sent. Minori Watanabe, the manager of a sex toy shop that displayed the 3D printed kayak based on Igarashi’s genital, was also arrested.

Igarashi has made one prototype of the kayak which she named Man's Boat. The vessel, which she wanted to row across Lake Geneva – but ended up rowing it in Tama River that runs between Tokyo and Kanagawa – is on display at the Shinjuku Ganka Gallery in Tokyo, reports Kotaku.

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