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Japanese 3D-printing vagina artist found guilty of obscenity

Megumi Igarashi has been fined for circulating 3D-printable files of her genitals, but a judge has decided that her vagina-shaped kayak is all good.

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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi was all smiles outside of court in Tokyo on Monday, despite her conviction on obscenity charges.

Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Japan's legal system has spoken: Data is sexy, boats are not.

A Japanese artist was found guilty of obscenity and fined 400,000 yen ($3,725) on Monday for distributing files online that would allow people to make 3D print-outs of her vagina.

Megumi Igarashi, who goes by the pseudonym Rokudenashiko, which translates as "good-for-nothing girl," was arrested in 2014 and charged with breaking Japan's strict laws, which prohibit public displays of genitalia.

"The data realistically reproduce the shape [of the genitalia] and stimulate the viewers' sexual desire," said the judge presiding over the case, as reported by The Mainichi.

The artist's lawyer argued that the 3D printing files were "not obscene because they were a work of art."

Although convicted for distributing the files, Igarashi was cleared of charges that a 3D-printed kayak she made based on scans of her vagina also broke the law. The judge decided that unlike the scans of Igarashi's lady parts, the kayak did not resemble an actual vagina enough to arouse the desire of onlookers.

Igarashi explained in a blog post that she made the kayak and other vagina-based artworks to challenge the taboo in Japanese society on the representation of genitalia. An English translation of her book "What is Obscenity?" is set to go on sale on Tuesday.