Back in July, we reported on a Japanese woman named Megumi Igarashi, who had been arrested in Japan for selling 3D printable files of her genitals. The files which included designs for a 3D printable kayak, had Igarashi in hot water, as Japanese laws are very harsh when it comes to showing or depicting one’s vagina.
A few days after we ran our story, there was an outcry of support for Igarashi. Supporters felt that the Japanese laws, which came down too hard on women, while allowing men to celebrate an annual “penis festival“, should be reconsidered. Upon the support that Igarashi received, which included signed petitions, letters to government officials, and online fan groups, she was released from prison.
““I had no idea why I had to be arrested and detained because I don’t believe my vagina is anything obscene,” she explained, following her release. “I was determined I would never yield to police power.”
While, she was released from prison, the charges were not dropped. Now, unfortunately Igarashi has been arrested yet again, on what is being referred to as suspicion of sending a link “that shows her plan to create a boat (kayak) using three-dimensional obscene data, to a large number of people”.
It appears as though this arrest may be a change of heart on part of the Japanese legal system, as the charges appear to be the same, accept for the fact that these new charges name new individuals as recipients of the 3D printable files. Also arrested, along with Igarashi, was a sex toy shop manager named Minori Watanabe, who was arrested for “displaying obscene goods in her shop window in collusion with Igarashi”. This took place between October of 2013 and July, when Igarashi was initially arrested.
The Tokyo Court should have some explaining to do after the re-arrest of Igarashi today. It is assumed that the latest arrest is due to the fact that Igarashi still remains opposed to obeying the Japanese laws, and has continued to distribute her 3D printable files of her genitals to those interested. The court system should be getting plenty of opposition from those who supported Igarashi the first time. It should be interesting to follow this story to see what comes of Igarashi, and if her attorney is able to get her released yet again.
One Japanese supporter of Igarashi had this to say after learning of her latest arrest:
“This is a crackdown on equality of freedom of expression and it is a serious human rights violation. Police power should protect the citizens and not interfere with the free activities of citizens.”
Many in Japan feel the same way. If you are a supporter of Igarashi, and feel that she should be freed, feel free to sign the petition asking for her release. What do you think about this latest news? Discuss in the Megumi Igarashi forum thread on 3DPB.com.