Monday, 9 May 2016

Japanese vagina kayak artist convicted

Tokyo - A Japanese artist who makes objects shaped like her vagina was convicted on Monday after a high-profile obscenity trial, in a decision likely to reignite accusations of heavy-handed censorship.


The Tokyo District Court slapped Megumi Igarashi with a 400 000 yen ($3 700) fine, but the penalty was half what prosecutors had demanded and she was also cleared of one of several charges.

“I believe I'm innocent. I'll fight until the end,” Igarashi told a news briefing after the ruling.

“I'll appeal to the higher court. I want to fight these charges.”

The 44-year-old artist, who had lined a table with vagina-shaped figurines, waved to and greeted supporters who showed up to court.
Japanese vagina kayak artist convicted
Igarashi was arrested two years ago for trying to raise funds online to pay for the construction of a kayak in the shape of her vagina, by disseminating a coded 3D image of her genitals that would allow users to make copies.

While Japan has a multi-billion-dollar pornography industry, actual depictions of genitalia are banned.

Igarashi who calls herself Rokude Nashiko - slang that loosely translates as “reprobate child” - was released days later following a legal appeal and after thousands of people signed a petition demanding her freedom.

But several months on, Tokyo police arrested her again for distributing “obscene” items - displaying decorated plaster figures moulded in the shape of her genitals and giving away CD-ROMs containing the computer code.

On Monday, justice Mihoko Tanabe convicted Igarashi of distributing obscene material.

The artist and her supporters scoffed at the fact her genitals were the focus of a court case.

“I've been working to change the concept of obscenity, which is usually seen from the perspective of men - I'm mortified the judge didn't understand that,” Igarashi said of the judge, who is female.

Kenya Sumi, one of her lawyers, said it was “disappointing” that the court did not see the data as an artistic work - and warned the decision could have a chilling effect.

“It would be regrettable if (the ruling) has the effect of intimidating other artists,” he said.

Prosecutors, who did not ask for jail time, had called for an 800 000 yen fine.

Japan's prolific pornography industry caters to all imaginable tastes, but tough obscenity laws mean genitalia normally appear pixillated or blacked out.

Images of male and female genitals can be found throughout the country, however.

Last month, revellers carried giant phalluses through the streets of Kawasaki, near Tokyo, to worship the penis and pray for fertility in an annual festival. AFP
Copyright © Africa 24 News. All rights reserved. Distributed by Africa Metro Global Media (www.africametros.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

Africa 24 News publishes around multiple reports a day from more than 40 news organizations and over 100 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which Africa 24 News does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify Africa 24 News as the publisher are produced or commissioned by Africa 24 News. To address comments or complaints, Please Contact Us.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *