Review: What is Obscenity?: The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist and her Pussy

What is Obscenity?: The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist and her PussyWhat is Obscenity?: The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist and her Pussy by Rokudenashiko
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I first heard about Ms. Rokudenashiko on the Daily Show years ago. A couple years ago I remembered her story and added the book to my wishlist. In 2018 I got it for Christmas. I had no idea the book was a manga, I thought it was just a regular prose book. It works so well as a manga, I’m glad the story was told that way.

Does the book answer what Obscenity is? No, not really. Instead it’s 2 manga plus an interview with a famous person about Ms. Rokudenashiko’s art. The first manga tells the story of her imprisonment from her crowdfunding project to 3D-scan her vagina and make it into a kayak. The second is a prequel that gets us to the point where the first one begins. The interview is the most philosophical part in terms of tackling obscenity.

Things I learned in this book:
– the Japanese work for pussy is manko
– just as in America (perhaps anywhere there is democracy?) there’s a tension in police work. Unlike a totalitarian system you can’t just randomly imprison people. You need reasons and there is pressure to have success – measured as convictions. This leads people in power (police, judges, politicians) to act in unethical ways in order to react to the pressures and expectations placed upon them.
– On the plus side drugs and rape are almost non-existent in Japanese jails
– On the minus side, the rules there are draconian – you can get in trouble for sighing the wrong way. Also, (I don’t know if it’s like this in America) but they limit your amount of showers and that SUCKS!
– despite being the country that gave us hentai manga and anime , they are very repressed about vaginas in Japan

Also, I guess it’s universal in modern society for us to be unfair to female-bodied people? And that sucks.

Overall, this is a cutely told story about an artist dealing with incarceration and trying to understand why her society is the way it is. I recommend it if you’re not too uncomfortable reading the word pussy….a lot. (Both in English and Japanese)

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Published by Eric Mesa

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