Melbourne: A Japanese artist, who has been charged with obscenity for distributing plans of how to build a kayak shaped like her vagina, has denied the charges when she appeared in court. In a case that has sparked debate over censorship, Megumi Igarashi told judges at Tokyo District Court that she had done nothing wrong in giving 30 people the 3D printing code to produce "pu**y boats' because neither the data for female genitals nor her artworks shaped like female genitals are obscene, News.com.au reported.
Igarashi was first arrested in July, but was freed several days later following a legal appeal and after thousands of people signed a petition demanding her release. Tokyo police arrested her again in December, on three counts of distributing obscene data, namely CDs containing computer code for a 3D printer that would allow users to make copies of the vagina-shaped kayak. She was held in custody for around a month before being granted bail.
She told journalists and supporters after the hearing that she has been arguing that it is strange to single out one part of a human body that every woman has and treat it as obscene, adding that some people say her works are cheap and not even art, but that should not justify police moves to arrest her. One of her lawyers, Takashi Yamaguchi, said that it is extremely outrageous that anybody can be arrested and forced to stand before judges because of making artworks or working as an artist.
If convicted of distributing or possessing obscene materials for the purpose of selling, Igarashi could face up to two years in jail and/or a fine of as much as 2.5 million yen...