You might have heard stories about the ancient art of nyotaimori and how many people enjoy it all over the world. But what is this art form? Where did it come from? Why does it raise so many questions and controversies?
Here, you will learn everything you need to know about it. Prepare to dive into the world of nyotaimori — the naked sushi.
What Is Nyotaimori
Nyotaimori, or body sushi, is a practice of serving food in a rather specific way. Instead of using normal, traditional plates, guests will be eating sushi off a naked woman. Yes, you read it right. Nyotaimori is an art form of eating sushi off a female’s naked body.
There are numerous sushi restaurants in Japan, and each will try to bring something unique to the table. And having an incredible and exciting sushi experience is something that you can easily find in nyotaimori sushi restaurants.
Some people claim that this tradition dates back to the samurai period. Back then, it was a part of the celebration after defeating an enemy. They say that samurai would go to a geisha house and enjoy this unusual type of serving.
But there is another theory. It claims that nyotaimori originated from crime families in Japan. Apparently, it was something that Yakuza members would enjoy, and the primary customers were rich and powerful. Or at least that’s what the theory says. The only thing that’s certain is that there is a lot of mystery behind nyotaimori and its origins.
However, it is more than obvious that this mystery is part of the excitement that comes with it. Other than the naked lady in front of the guests, of course.
How You Do It
So, you want to learn more about nyotaimori? Maybe you’re planning on enriching your next family dinner or going on a trip to Japan. There are a couple of important rules for this procedure. Firstly, the model (aka the naked lady) must at all times lie still and avoid talking to guests.
Sushi chef will place food on her body, but not directly. To avoid any type of sanitary problems, sushi is placed on leaves to avoid touching her skin. Furthermore, it is placed on flat surfaces on the body where there isn’t a chance of sushi rolling away. The last thing you’ll need is for your guests to chase sushi rolls across the floor.
Typically, sake or champagne are served with the food, and that’s about it. At least when it comes to the naked restaurant. But guests also have a set of rules they need to obey. All guests should avoid talking to the model at all costs, and they need to be as respectful as possible.
Any type of inappropriate gestures, comments, or contact with the model is a big no, and guests may grab sushi using chopsticks only. Of course, this is what applies to the majority of the restaurants, but some have more loose rules. You can still find restaurants where guests can nibble rolls off of nipples or similar.
The Reaction of the West
As with most things coming from Japan, the reaction has been quite polarized. Many people enjoy the idea behind it, and they believe that it would make an excellent dining experience. However, there are those who deem the whole act degrading, humiliating, objectifying, and decadent.
One of the reviewers of the nyotaimori restaurant in England said that it looked like a morgue with all the women lying around motionless. While naked sushi is gross for some, there are others who went as far as to make it illegal. China made eating food off the naked body forbidden due to public health concerns.
As you can probably expect, nyotaimori found its place in the United States too. They always look for a way to make bachelor parties more spectacular, and strippers are not enough for some people. So, they decided to focus on Japanese culture and tradition and make it even more exciting.
Nyotaimori was also a topic among feminists. Yes, they dislike the idea behind it. Even though some people say that even men can be models (in which case it is called nantaimori), the reaction was the same. The majority of models in naked sushi are still women, and many see it as a way of objectifying them. As for the models, there are strict rules everyone needs to follow. Touching or taking photos is strictly forbidden, which makes the models feel safe, and they are paid quite well too.