Japanese artist jailed for vagina boat says outraged, vows legal fight
By Minami Funakoshi
TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese artist who made figures of Lady Gaga and a kayak modeled on her vagina said on Wednesday from jail she was "outraged" by her arrest and vowed a court fight against obscenity charges.
Megumi Igarashi, 42, says she was challenging a culture of "discrimination" against discussion of the vagina in Japanese society.
Igarashi, who worked under the alias Rokudenashiko, which means "good-for-nothing girl" in Japanese, built a yellow kayak with a top shaped like her vagina after raising about $10,000 through crowdfunding.
Igarashi sent 3D printer data of her scanned vagina – the digital basis for her kayak project - as a thanks to a number of donors.
She was arrested for distributing indecent material on Saturday and faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Igarashi said about 10 police officers had arrived at her house on Saturday and initially, she thought they were only interested in confiscating work she has said is meant as a pop-art exploration of the "manko", vulgar Japanese slang for vagina.
"I couldn't stop myself from laughing a little as I explained to the grim-looking officers, 'This is the Lady Gaga 'manko' figure'," Igarashi told Reuters from across a plastic security divide in a central Tokyo jail.
"I did not expect to get arrested at all. Even as they were confiscating my works, I thought to myself, 'This will be a good story'. Then they handcuffed and arrested me. Now, I just feel outraged." Continued...