Artists tend to have a muse in their life that moves them to create art. A Japanese artist, popularly known as the “vagina selfie artist,” uses her own lady parts to demystify female genitalia through dioramas, lampshades, remote-controlled cars, accessories, smartphone cases, and more. The latest project of 42-year-old Megumi Igarashi, who works under the pseudonym Rokudenashiko, has come under scrutiny after she shared 3D prints of her vulva to supporters of her vagina boat project. It ultimately landed her in jail.

Rokudenashiko was placed under arrest by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Monday for the transmission of “obscene” data of the blueprint used to create the 3D genitalia. The vagina artist sent the 3D prints to 30 people who supported her artistic venture through a crowd-funding site, according to Kotaku, a gaming website. The 42-year-old was accused of a Japanese penal code dating back to 1907, where it is illegal to sell or distribute obscene objects.

“A person who distributes, sells, or displays in public an obscene document, drawing or other objects shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than two years, a fine of not more than 2,500,000 yen, or a petty fine. The same shall apply to a person who possesses the same for the purpose of sale,” reads Chapter XXII, Article 175.

The police claims Rokudenashiko collected approximately one million yen ($10,000) in exchange for the scans, but local media reports she denied the allegations and does not recognize the 3D scans as obscene. The vagina artist told the police, “I cannot understand why the police recognize the 3D data as obscene material,” according to Kyodo.

Rokudenashiko designs and sells a range of products and artworks that are centered around the motif of female genitalia. Her desire to build a 7-foot-long vagina kayak to row across the river was an artistic vision that turned into a reality. The vagina artist found the 3D printer could easily help her build the kayak after creating miniature versions of the vessel. “3D scanner can be used to make a [vagina] boat that will go across the ocean!” she wrote on the campaign website.

The artist’s work not only speaks to her curiosity of her own body but aims to deter common views that consider the vagina taboo in Japanese society. Rokudenashiko believes because the word “manko” — Japanese slang for female genitalia — is frowned upon, she grew up to think her vagina was abnormal. Meanwhile, the penis has become “part of pop culture,” being honored with pop art pieces.

“My work is against discriminative / ignorant treatment of the vagina,” Rokudenashiko said. She seeks to elevate the vagina’s status by using vulvic art in hopes of reaching the same status the phallic symbol has in Japan.

Women’s sexuality is still suppressed in Japanese society, while men’s sexuality is glorified, and even celebrated. Recently, Japan hosted its annual fertility festival, Kanamara Matsuri, by parading giant models of erect penises through the streets. 

Currently, a Change.org petition has been launched to protest Rokudenashiko’s arrest, which has reached over 17,000 signatures.