From the country that invented cuddle cafes and penis parades—and brought us Nintendo and Pokemon Go—nothing tops the bizarre travails involving artist Rokudenashiko (Japanese translation: “Good-for-Nothing Girl”). She skyrocketed to fame after being arrested for “distributing obscene materials.” The crime: Rokudenashiko happens to specialize in making art from her manko.
Spark of Genius
The spark of inspiration for Rokudenashiko is no different from any other artist. Following a vaginal rejuvenation procedure, Rokudenashiko wondered why the disconnect between her and the most intimate part of her body. Why do women go to such great lengths and pain to rejuvenate their pussies? So, she decided to examine why there is such stigma associated with the vagina. The result was much more than she expected and wound up being a widely popular art series entitled “Deco-Man” (Japanese translation: Decorated Pussy).
Rokudenashiko finds working with the ‘vagina’ subject matter both fun and funny. Why not? Vagina’s come in all shapes and sizes. They vary in color and texture. Some look sad while others look happy. Determined to make her manko a pop-culture icon, Rokudenashiko started with a silicone mold of her vulva. She realized the shape worked perfectly with other materials and started incorporating her manko into other pieces like table lamps, complete with an illuminated clit to radio-flyer manko to a remote controlled manko car and vulva smartphone cases. Manko’s for everyone. That is until all the interest in her art caught the attention from government officials and the pussy patrol.
Riding the wave of fan adulation, Rokudenashiko was excited about expanding her reach with the manko art. Her fans could not get enough of the adorable manko figurines. Her iconic manko was everywhere and even had its own art opening. She even sent people digital art files thanking them for their support. Unfortunately, Japanese officials were not amused. In 2014 they arrested Rokudenashiko on obscenity charges. The obscene material in question: an open source vector file of her vagina.
She was accused of distributing files to patrons who crowdfunded the now infamous “Pussy Boat.” She happily can be seen rowing down the Toyko River in a vagina-shaped kayak. The prosecutor accused Rokudenashiko of using her vagina art to entice the public’s sexual arousal. She was found guilty of distributing a digital vagina. However, she was not-guilty for exhibiting it as an art object. The punishment resulted in hefty fines but no jail time.
But here’s the ironic twist—Cocks are everywhere in Japan. They even have their own parade and yearly celebration. People walk the streets sucking on cock-shaped lollipops and ride on mock cock floats. So why all the fuss over one pussy?
As fate would have it, the arrest and public shaming of Rokudenashiko had the opposite effect. All of the media attention sparked outrage from women around the globe and prosecutors had egg on their face. Now more than ever, her work is now known all over the world. Rokudenashiko even created a book about her bizarre tale.
But here is the question. Japan is known for its overwhelming obsession with underage school girls. How is it possible for a country that sells copious amounts of sexually explicit schoolgirl manga arrest an artist and her cute, harmless vagina?
Not the End of the Story—Just the Beginning
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. The Vagina has every right to be seen and heard no matter the context.
I could not locate a viable website for Rokudenashiko. But you can follow her twitter page.