This has got to be some of the most bizarre news coming out of Asia this week.

On July 14, a female artist who has distinguished herself with her female genitalia-inspired artwork has been arrested. Her crime? For distributing ‘obscene’ 3-D printer data about how to make an authentic mold of her own vagina via digital means. More details after the jump.

Note: While there are no explicit images after the jump, some of the content could be deemed NSFW.

You may want to think twice next time you make something with a 3-D printer. It seems the new technology will soon usher in a whole new debate about what is deemed ethical to replicate. Back in May, a man in Kawasaki City sparked off the issue after he was arrested for possessing working pistols made using a 3-D printer (possession of firearms by ordinary citizens is illegal in Japan). As of this Monday, we can add another name to the list.

Police arrested female artist Megumi Igarashi, who goes by the name of Rokudenashiko, which translates to something like  “Good-for-nothing girl,” on July 14. She was taken into custody on the grounds of distributing ‘obscene’ digital files about how to make an accurate mold of her vagina using a 3-D printer. She has denied the charges, contesting that the models are not obscene. It all seems rather unfortunate given that Igarashi has spent a long time campaigning in order to break taboos regarding discussions of vaginas in Japan.

▼Introducing Rokudenashiko and her lifelong mission


Igarashi originally gained attention for her art incorporating vagina motifs (which she calls “dekoman”; a portmanteau of the words “decoration” and manko [“vagina”]). As she explains in the below video, Japanese people rarely use the actual word for “vagina” in conversation–instead, they usually refer to it as asoko, which means something like “down there.” After experimenting with making molds of her own asoko, she began making artwork, including dioramas, comics, and even published books, all united by a common vagina theme (our favorite has got to be the vagina Gundam!).

Here are a few quotes from the below video to give you an idea of where she’s coming from:

“…But soon her vagina became an endless source of inspiration.”

“If you play golf you also need to get the ball in the hole”–Rokudenashiko on making a golf diorama using one of her molds

“She dreams about a world full of vagina-shaped objects. ‘For example a vagina plane, a vagina house…a vagina door, a vagina bed. I want my vagina to travel around the world.'”

▼Listen to Igarashi explain her work in her own words and make a very special mold.

▼Here are some of the artist’s creations:

Get the idea?

Most famously, last year Igarashi embarked on a venture to realize her dream of creating an authentic vagina boat based on scans of her own *ahem* ‘pattern’ which could actually be sailed in water. Of course, as anyone who has tried to build a vagina boat before will tell you, this is an incredibly expensive undertaking. Our artist turned to crowd-funding site Campfire to raise funds for the project, and sat down to see if the money would come pouring in.

▼Plans for her vagina boat to sail around the world


And boy, did it ever! Although her original goal was to raise 514,800 yen (US$5,070), the artist ended up far surpassing that total with 1 million yen ($9,847) in online donations!

▼Above and beyond expectations!


But this is where the trouble comes in. Igarashi had promised to give supporters who donated 3,000 yen or over ($29.54) data about how to replicate her ‘pattern’ on a 3-D printer. Passing along this data, deemed “obscene”, to her supporters is what led to her arrest on July 14.

Some of you may feel a bit a skeptical after reading this, but these events did indeed take place. Rokudenashiko has been featured in high-end news sources such as the Huffington Post and has even attended international art exhibitions. We hope that she is able to extricate herself from this situation soon–we happen to think that her golf course diorama is brilliant, and would love a copy for our office!

Sources: IT MediaNews on Japan, Kotaku US
Images: YouTubeCampfire