Photo/IllutrationMegumi Igarashi, center, enters the Tokyo High Court on April 13 with her defense team. (The Asahi Shimbun)

The Tokyo High Court on April 13 upheld a ruling that dismissed an obscenity charge related to “vagina art” but found the artist guilty of distributing obscene material.

Both prosecutors and the defendant, manga artist Megumi Igarashi, had appealed the district court ruling.

The high-profile case sparked debate on whether the works created by Igarashi, 45, and modeled on her vagina were obscene.

Igarashi, who writes under the pen name Rokudenashiko (good-for-nothing child), was indicted on two charges in 2014.

One charge was related to her vagina art work that was on display at a Tokyo sex toy shop. The other indictment concerned the sending by e-mail of 3-D data from the scanned image of her vagina. She was charged with violating the law on digital distribution of obscene material.

The Tokyo District Court in May 2016 found Igarashi not guilty of displaying an obscene art work on the grounds that the work could not be “directly linked to an actual female sexual organ.”

However, the court convicted her of distributing obscene material because the 3-D data was an accurate reproduction of the shape of the female sexual organ and “it produced a strong sexual stimulus.”

The court fined Igarashi 400,000 yen ($3,650).

Igarashi’s lawyers argued that the 3-D data “was very rough and could not be considered a precise reproduction.”

The defense also said the district court ruling would hinder artistic freedom and urged the high court to find Igarashi innocent on all counts.