We’ve been telling you about the legal woes of Japanese artist Rokudenashiko for a while now. She was convicted of obscenity for selling prints of a 3D scan of her intimate area but had not been sentenced. Now, just a few days before her appearance at TCAF, she’s been fined ¥400,000 by a Tokyo Court, about US$3717.
Presiding judge Mihoko Tanabe fined Megumi Igarashi 400,000 yen for mailing links for the download of 3D-image data of her genitals to donors of an art project.
The prosecution had claimed during the trial that Igarashi’s works too closely represent genitalia to be considered art, according to the Asahi Shimbun (May 9). “The shape is such that it is clearly female genitalia,” the prosecution said. “It can not be said that there is a higher artistic quality that lessens its obscene nature.”
Igarashi has been arrested twice; she was not convicted for the second arrest which followed her exhibiting a plaster cast of her genitals in an adult art show. (She also made a kayak based on the scan, which got her into more trouble.) The fine was half of the ¥800,000 prosecutors sought.
An English translation of Igarashi’s book about her art and legal troubles will debut at TCAF, where she’ll be appearing as a guest.
This seems like a pretty outrageous conclusion by American standards, where artists have been immortalizing their junk for decades. It’s always been my understanding (which could be incorrect so more informed people feel free to explain in the comments) that depictions of genitalia have been taboo in Japanese art and manga, where blanked out white spaces often replaced anatomy. But on the other hand, hentai. So I dunno. I’m sure we’ll learn more about it at TCAF!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.