Nyotaimori (Japanese: 女体盛り, "female body presentation"), often referred to as "body sushi," is the extremely rare practice of serving sashimi or sushi from the body of a woman, typically naked. Nantaimori (Japanese: 男体盛り) refers to the same practice using a male model. This subdivision of food play is originally an obscure Japanese practice that has attracted considerable international media attention.
Before becoming a living sushi platter, the person (usually a woman) is trained to lie down for hours without moving. She or he must also be able to withstand the prolonged exposure to the cold food. Before service, the individual is supposed to have taken a bath using a special fragrance-free soap and then finished off with a splash of cold water to cool the body down somewhat for the sushi. In some parts of the world, in order to comply with sanitation laws, there must be a layer of plastic or other material between the sushi and the body of the woman or man.
—Jack Herbert, Nyotaimori (Body sushi), Japan for the Uninvited
In the experience of Guardian columnist Julie Bindel, the models in London were hired through an agency, and had no prior training.
Promoters, eating participants, and proponents of the practice often say that nyotaimori is a form of art.
This argument is rejected by some feminists, who argue that it objectifies the woman or the man doing the serving. Guardian columnist Julie Bindel notes that the women being used to serve the food, on at least one occasion in London, looked "as if in a morgue, awaiting a postmortem."
Worldwide reception varies. For public health reasons, China has outlawed food served on naked bodies.
Tickets for naked sushi night may cost around US$75, which may include sushi, sake and champagne. Others, such as that attended by Bindel, may cost £250.
South African entrepreneur Kenny Kunene's birthday party on 21 October 2010 that hosted ANCYL president Julius Malema and featured nyotaimori was criticised by COSATU secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi, leading to a political row.
Nyotaimori in Popular Culture
The practice of nyotaimori is mentioned in passing in a number of Hollywood movies as well as in some anime and manga.
* In Showdown in Little Tokyo, Dolph Lundgren's character comments on it
* Nyotaimori was parodied in the 2009 film Brüno, where the title character serves sushi to Paula Abdul on the body of a naked Mexican man, causing her to leave in disgust
* In the Sex and the City movie, Samantha Jones makes sushi and covers her body with it for a Valentine's Day present
* In the movie Rising Sun (1993), the character Eddie Sakamura eats sushi off a naked woman before being busted by Harvey Keitel and Wesley Snipes.
* In both the anime and manga Kodomo no Jikan, teacher Daisuke Aoki-sensei is running a cooking class. One of his students, Rin Kokonoe, who has a crush on him is constantly trying to flirt with him and places food on her (clothed) body. Aoki-sensei then tells Rin that nyotaimori is not a form of cooking.
* In the anime Kanokon, Chizuru gets into a body-sized sushi boat naked in attempt to hit on Kouta.
Naked Sushi Premier-Nyotaimori http://www.NakedSushiEntertainment.com
Nyotaimori, “female body presentation”, is a service allowing restaurant customers to eat from the skin of a naked woman. Apart from her crotch, which is usually covered with some kind of garnish, the model’s modesty depends on the (temporary) position of the food on her body. Also known as “body sushi”, this phenomenon received a lot of media attention in the West in the 1990s. This coverage massively exaggerated the popularity of nyotaimori in Japan – these restaurants are actually very rare, and generally associated with organised crime rather than being mainstream.
Aside from the obvious attractions of salivating over a nubile body, it is claimed that nyotaimori warms the food to body temperature. Apparantly, this allows the diner to focus on the texture and taste, rather than its temperature. However, many people fail to see the advantage of sushi being lukewarm and slightly sweaty.
Jobs in nyotaimori are not for the ticklish or fidgety. Models are trained to lie still for hours, and they must be able to endure unexpected splashes of cold water and prods with chopsticks. Her body must be completely shaved, and specially washed with fragrance-free soap before the feast. Traditionally, the meal is eaten directly from the skin of the model, but hygiene laws in many countries prevent this – forcing restaurants to wrap their girls in clingfilm to prevent contact between skin and food. According to custom, the model should be a virgin, but this doesn’t seem to be observed any more.
The spread of nyotaimori outside Japan has been limited. Some restaurants started offering human platters, only to withdraw the service months later when faced with the moral backlash. In 2005, China, continuing its valiant crusade for human rights, banned restaurants from providing nyotaimori service, saying the practice “insults people’s moral quality”. For the handful of Western restaurants that still provide body sushi, stiffer rules have been imposed – customers cannot talk to the “plate”, molest her, or say anything offensive to or about her. She’s still naked though.
A similar delicacy is wakame sake, which is poured down a model’s body and drunk from the cup formed by her closed thighs. The name “wakame“, meaning soft seaweed, refers to the pubic hair floating in the drink. This is not widely-practiced, and wakame sake is even rarer than nyotaimori.
Nyotaimori aka Body Sushi
Anika Naked Sushi