Megumi Igarashi

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Megumi Igarashi
Loz roku1.png
Born (1972-03-14) 14 March 1972 (age 49)[1]
Other namesRokudenashiko (Japanese: ろくでなし子 / 碌でなし子 "good-for-nothing girl", "bad girl", "little ne'er-do-well")
OccupationJapanese sculptor and Manga artist[2]
Known for
  • Using her vulva in works of art
Notable work
  • "Decoman", a series of decorated vulva molds
  • A kayak modeled on a 3D scan of her own genitalia[2]

Megumi Igarashi (五十嵐恵, Igarashi Megumi), who uses the pseudonym Rokudenashiko (ろくでなし子 or 碌でなし子), is a Japanese sculptor and manga artist[3][4] who has received public attention for her work featuring female genitalia. She considers it her mission to demystify female genitalia in Japan, where she believes that they are "overly hidden" in comparison to phallic imagery.[5]


On her website, the artist described how, growing up, she had never seen other women's genitalia, didn't know what they should look like, and was therefore concerned that her own vulva was abnormal. At first, when she began to use a mold of her vulva to create dioramas, she treated the idea light-heartedly.[6][7] However, after receiving a lot of criticism and backlash, she began to use her art as a statement. She would like women to be able to speak about their bodies without shame, and believes that the vulva should be a "part of the body ... no different from arms or legs".[8] She would like to make the vulva something that is "casual and pop", saying, "[The] vagina is treated like it's something underground and hidden, so I want to industrialize and mass-produce it." [9]

Her pseudonym, Rokudenashiko,[10][11] is a combination of rokudenashi ("reprobate", "bastard", "good-for-nothing", "ne'er-do-well") and the diminutive feminine suffix -ko (usually translated as "girl" or "little"). It therefore roughly translates to "little brat".


Igarashi has made many vulva-themed works, including a chandelier, a remote control car, necklaces and iPhone cases. The small dioramas are part of series called "Decoman" (a play on the word manko, Japanese for "cunt"). Much of her art was confiscated during a police raid, but photographs document her work.[9] Looking to make something larger, Igarashi considered making a door, and a car, before settling on a kayak, inspired by the connection between female sexuality and the sea.[9] She made a kayak based on a 3D scan of her vulva.[12] She paid for this project through a crowdfunding campaign, sending the 3-D data of the kayak to all donors who contributed over ¥3,000.[13]

Igarashi also created a cartoon character named Manko-chan (translated as Miss Pussy). Manko-chan has been made into manga, figurines, stuffed animals, and a full-size costume.[9]


  • Rokudenashiko, What is Obscenity ? The Story of a Good for Nothing Artist and Her Pussy (Koyama Press, 2016), tr. from Japanese original by A. Ishii (ISBN 978-1-927-668-31-3)

Legal trouble[edit]

In July 2014, Igarashi was arrested and spent 10 days in a Tokyo women's prison[14] for the alleged violation of Japanese obscenity laws, for e-mailing the 3D scanner data of her vulva in March to people who supported the crowdfunding campaign to build the kayak.[5] More than 21,000 people signed an online petition urging the government to free her.[15] She was released a week later after having successfully appealed her detention.[16]

On 3 December 2014, Igarashi was arrested for suspicion of displaying an obscene object, along with Minori Watanabe (who uses the pseudonym of Minori Kitahara), a writer, feminist activist and sex shop owner.[17] Watanabe was later released.[18] On 24 December, Igarashi was indicted and planned on pleading not-guilty, according to her lawyer.[19] She was charged with "obscenity display", "obscenity electromagnetic record", and "obscenity electromagnetic recording medium distribution".[20] On 26 December 2014, she was released on bail.[21] Her trial began 14 April 2015 in Tokyo District Court.[1][22] On 8 May 2016, the court handed down its decision. She was found not guilty of the charges related to the kayak, on the grounds that the sculpture, with its bright color and decoration, "did not immediately suggest female anatomy", in the words of the BBC report. However, she was found guilty of the charges related to the 3D data, and was fined ¥400,000 (roughly US$3,500), about half what the prosecution had suggested was appropriate.[23] If she had been found guilty then she would have faced up to two years in jail and fines up to ¥2.5 million.[24]

Her case drew international attention. For instance, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart noted that in Japan, female reproductive organs remain taboo while there is a festival dedicated to the penis.[4]

The documentary #Female Pleasure by Swiss director Barbara Miller accompanied Igarashi during the trial. The film is a portrait of five women committed to a self-determined female sexuality, including the artist.[25][26]

Personal life[edit]

Igarashi married Mike Scott, the frontman of The Waterboys, in October 2016. Their first child, a son, was born on 2 February 2017.[27]


Many disputes about women's rights, artistic freedom, censorship, and double standards in Japan due to Igarashi's arrests.[14] One is that Igarashi is exposing the absurdity of Japan's obscenity law as representations. For instance, male genitalia are shown at shrines and festivals (such as the Kanamara penis festival) as well as pornographic images of children in manga and anime are still at large. According to The Guardian, "How can it be OK for comics to publish underage pornography but illegal to invite people to 3D scan your vagina?"[28] After the announcement of the verdict for her second arrest, more than 1,000 tweeted expressing anger and questioning the logic of the court.[14] Igarashi says "The vagina has been long regarded as obscene while the penis is considered pop".[14] From The Guardian who quoted Watanabe, "Japan is still a society where those who try to express women’s sexuality are suppressed, while men’s sexuality is overly tolerated".[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Tokyo prosecutors seek fine in trial against 'vagina artist' Megumi Igarashi - The Japan Times". The Japan Times. Retrieved 27 February 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b "Japanese Artist Megumi Igarashi Arrested For Obscenity In Tokyo". ArtLyst Ltd. Retrieved 25 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Artist denies obscenity charge: 'My vagina is like my arms and legs'". Asahi Shimbun. 16 July 2014. Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b "3D PRINTED VAGINA KAYAK ARTIST ASSERTS INNOCENCE AGAIN IN JAPANESE COURT", April 15, 2015 (retrieved May 13, 2016)
  5. ^ a b c McCurry, Justin (15 July 2014). "Vagina selfie for 3D printers lands Japanese artist in trouble". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-07-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Igarashi, Megumi. "Profile". 6d745. Retrieved 9 May 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "I make art pieces with my vagina, which I would rather call Manko (MK). I thought it was just funny to decorate my vagina and make into a diorama, but I was very surprised to see how upset people get when they see my works or even hear me say the word Manko."
  8. ^ Hoffman, Michael (2014-08-09). "Ah, vaginas! In defense of taboos". The Japan Times Online. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  9. ^ a b c d "In the Studio With Japan's Controversial Vagina Artist". Vice. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  10. ^ "ろくでなし translation / definition". Google translate.
  11. ^ "碌でなし translation / definition". Google Translate.
  12. ^ Kendall, Philip (18 July 2014). "Here's that "vagina kayak" Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi made with the help of crowdfunding". RocketNews24. SOCIO CORPORATION. Retrieved 25 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Tokyo prosecutors seek fine in trial against 'vagina artist' Megumi Igarashi". The Japan Times Online. 2016-02-01. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  14. ^ a b c d McNeill, David. "Japanese artist jailed over 'obscene' kayak design". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  15. ^ "Japanese Vagina artist Megumi Igarashi released after week in jail". IANS. Retrieved 2014-07-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Tokyo vagina artist released by police". Japan Today. 19 July 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Manga artist arrested after displaying 'obscene' work in Tokyo shop". The Asahi Shimbun Company. 4 December 2014. Archived from the original on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Writer released after arrest over displaying salacious objects at adult shop". The Japan Times. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "Vagina artist Megumi Igarashi indicted on charges of obscenity". The Japan Times. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ "Vagina Kayak Artist Moves On to Painting - artnet News". artnet News. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  21. ^ "「お酒を飲みたい」保釈されたマンガ家・ろくでなし子氏 自身のキャラクターを並べて記者会見に臨む". otapol. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Justin McCurry (April 15, 2015). "Japanese artist goes on trial over 'vagina selfies' Megumi Igarashi, aka Rokudenashiko, who made kayak modelled on her genitalia, argues in court that her artwork is not obscene". The Guardian. Retrieved April 15, 2015. If found guilty, Igarashi could face up to two years in prison or a maximum fine of 2.5 million yen for distributing obscene objects. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ "Japan vagina artist cleared over kayak model but fined for data distribution". BBC. Retrieved 9 May 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ McCurry, Justin (April 15, 2015). "Japanese artist goes on trial over 'vagina selfies'". The Guardian (London, England). Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  25. ^ "IMDb". Retrieved 6 March 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ "Review: #Female Pleasure". 6 August 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ "On February 2, 2017, I Had a Healthy Baby Boy". Rokudenashiko (official website, in Japanese). 8 February 2017. Archived from the original on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ Jones, Jonathan (2016-05-10). "It's obscene that Japan found Megumi Igarashi guilty for her vagina art". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-03-09.

External links[edit]