From the country that invented bizarre things like cuddle cafes and penis parks—and brought us Pokemon Go—nothing tops the strange tale involving artist Rokudenashiko (Japanese translation: “Good-for-Nothing Girl”). Her popularity skyrocketed to celebrity status after being arrested for “distributing obscene materials.” The crime: Rokudenashiko happens to specialize in making art from her manko.
Spark of Genius
Every artist has their inspirations, and Rokudenashiko is no different. Following a vaginal rejuvenation procedure, Rokudenashiko wondered why she was so disconnected from the most intimate part of her body. She decided to examine why there is so much stigma associated with the vagina. The result became a popular art series entitled “Deco-Man” (Japanese translation: Decorated Pussy). She finds working with the vagina fun and funny.
In all Forms
Determined to make her manko a pop-culture icon, Rokudenashiko incorporated a silicone mold of her vulva within each piece. Her work ranges from a table lamp, complete with an illuminating clitoris to radio-flyer manko, a remote controlled mano car, and vulva smartphone cases. All of the public interest came with unexpected attention from the police.
Rokudenashiko was riding the wave of fan adoration. They adored her cute manko art and figurines, but Japanese officials were not as amused. In 2014 she was arrested on obscenity charges. The obscene material in question: an open source vector file of her vagina.
The court accused her of distributing files to patrons who crowdfunded the “Pussy Boat.” Prosecutors claimed during the trial that Rokudenashiko used her vagina art to entice the public’s sexual arousal. The court found her guilty of distributing a digital vagina. However, she was not-guilty for exhibiting it as an art object. The punishment, which has never applied to penises, resulted in hefty fines.
Luckily, the fines did not stop her art and she happily rowed down the Toyko River in a vagina-shaped kayak.
The Japanese court did not realize their public shaming of Rokudenashiko would lead to worldwide media attention. Which begs us to question—how is it possible for a country that sells copious amounts of sexually explicit schoolgirl manga can arrest an artist and her cute, harmless vagina?
Rokudenashiko did not shy away from the controversy and decided to explore the titular question; what is obscene? Her new book, What Is Obscenity? The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist and Her Pussy illustrates her personal battle with the Japanese legal system and examines society’s hypocrisy of celebrating the penis while criminalizing the vagina. Whether her book is meant to tip the scales of sexual inequality, or enable women to feel less shameful about their own manko, one thing’s for certain—the vagina has the right to be treated with respect and honor.
We could not locate a viable website for this artist. Get to know Rokudenashiko on her twitter page.1