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Japan artist on trial over vagina art says fighting for free expression

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 01:14

Japanese artist, Megumi Igarashi, goes on trial in Tokyo facing charges of obscenity after making objects modeled on her vagina. Rollo Ross reports.

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A Japanese artist made an appearance in a Tokyo court on Wednesday April 15 to face charges of obscenity after making objects modeled on her vagina. Megumi Igarashi was arrested last year after building a kayak with a top shaped like her vagina as well as distributing 3D images of her genitalia. According to the criminal code of Japan, genitalia used in the distribution of indecent materials, like pornography, must be covered. SOUNDBITE Japanese artist, Megumi Igarashi, saying (Japanese): "The difference between Japan and other countries is Japan is still backwards in terms of women's sexual expression, and it's not acknowledged at all except as something for men's pleasure." Her lawyer also agreed that as an artist, she had a right to freedom of expression. SOUNDBITE Lawyer, Takashi Yamaguchi, saying (Japanese) "Her artworks, including plastic, FRP products made with 3D printers, resemble female genitalia, but I don't think they incite desire, which means they don't violate any obscenity laws." Although the depiction of female genitalia is taboo in Japan, representations of male organs are often shown at shrines and at public festivals. Igarashi faces up to two years in jail and fines of around $21,000 dollars if she's found guilty.

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Japan artist on trial over vagina art says fighting for free expression

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 01:14