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Vagina Kayak Artist Asks, ‘All This Fuss Over Pussy?’

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You might remember the story of Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi, a.k.a. Rokudenashiko, who built a kayak modeled on her own vagina*. She was arrested twice for allegedly violating obscenity laws when she mailed 3D scanner data of her vulva to her Kickstarter backers and faced a possible 2-year jail sentence and $20,000 fine.

The verdict of her trial will not be announced until May 9, 2016, but Rokudenashiko has already been fined over $6,000. In a press release, Rokudenashiko points out the hypocrisy of her trial when participants in the Festival of the Steel Phallus hold models of penises, eat penis-shaped candies and view illustrations and vegetable carvings of penises. She asks, “All this fuss over pussy?”

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Rokudenashiko is not letting her trial hold her down. She’s partnering with online retailer MASSIVE on a campaign called FREE MANKO. Fans can buy T-shirts that show an (adorable!) vagina mascot called Manko-chan; all proceeds go to fund Igarashi’s North American tour this May and her legal expenses. Also in May, Rokudenashiko will release a graphic novel memoir of her time in jail titled, What Is Obscenity? The True Story Of A Good For Nothing Artist And Her Pussy.

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Rokudenashiko’s statement to the police sums up why she’s committed to making vagina-themed art: “I make fun, cheerful things that attempt to overturn prevailing perceptions of female genitalia. I’ve attempted to make things specifically for supporters of my work, but then was indicted and arrested, as you know."

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“While I find the whole ordeal absurd, it is precisely because of my arrest that so many more people have been able to think more seriously about the perception of female genitals and of their right to a freedom of expression, which is ultimately a good thing.”

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Preach. We’re excited to see what Rokudenashiko does next — and are already planning outfits around those adorable vagina tees.

*Yes, we know that it’s technically a vulva.

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Images via MASSIVE

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Erika W. Smith is BUST's digital editorial director. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erikawynn and email her at erikawsmith@bust.com.

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