Nyotaimori (女体盛り?, "serve (foods) on the female body"), often referred to as "body sushi", is the practice of serving sashimi or sushi from the body of a woman, typically naked. Nantaimori (男体盛り?) refers to the same practice using a male model. This subdivision of food play is originally an obscure Japanese practice not common in Japanese culture but 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 chill 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.
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 doing the serving. Guardian columnist Julie Bindel notes that the woman 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. Also, the ANCWL condemned nyotaimori at Kunene's party as an attack on the bodily integrity and dignity of women in South Africa.
- Bull, Brett. "Nyotaimori: a Japanese tradition?" The Japan Times, 3 December 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- Bindel, Julie. "'I am about to eat sushi off a naked woman's body'", The Guardian, Friday 12 February 2010.
- "Girl body sushi: too raw for China". People's Daily, 23 May 2005. (Xinhua.) Accessed 1 April 2010.
- "Naked Sushi Night Coming To Minneapolis". CBS13.com, 13 February 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2010.[dead link]
- Malema Eats Sushi With Kenny, Zalebs
- Vavi's Sushi War Hots Up, The Sowetan, 29 October 2010
- COSATU Deputy Lashes Kunene, The Sowetan, 1 November 2010
- A chat with 'Sushi King', Tonight, 6 February 2011
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