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Nyotaimori (女体盛り, "serve (foods) on the female body"), often referred to as "body sushi", is the Japanese practice of serving sashimi or sushi from the naked body of a woman. Nantaimori (男体盛り) refers to the same practice using a male model.
The Japanese practice of nyotaimori – serving sushi on a naked body – is said to have its origins in the samurai period in Japan. In the words of chef Mike Keenan, "The naked sushi idea began during the samurai period in Japan. It was a subculture to the geishas. It would take place in a geisha house as a celebration after a victorious battle."
"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."
In traditional nyotaimori, the model is generally expected to lie still at all times and not talk with guests. The sushi is placed on sanitized leaves on the model's body to prevent skin-to-fish contact and on sufficiently flat areas of the body off which the sushi will not roll. Nyotaimori is considered an art form.
Usually champagne and sake are served in naked sushi restaurants. Guests must be respectful and observe the strictest decorum. Talking with the models is highly discouraged. Inappropriate gestures or comments are not tolerated and diners can only pick up sushi with chopsticks, although rules in some restaurants are less strict. For example, in some restaurants guests can nibble nori rolls off nipples if they choose.
This section may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. (April 2015)
The practice has been described as decadent, humiliating, cruel, and objectifying. 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". It has received popularity in Japanese organized crime.
The birthday party of South African entrepreneur Kenny Kunene on 21 October 2010, which hosted ANCYL president Julius Malema and featured nyotaimori, was criticised by COSATU secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi, leading to a political row. The ANCWL condemned nyotaimori at Kunene's party as an attack on the bodily integrity and dignity of women in South Africa.
- Bindel, Julie (12 February 2010). "'I am about to eat sushi off a naked woman's body'". The Guardian.
- "Naked Sushi Makes Waves in Vancouver", Inside Vancouver, 6 September 2014.
- "Naked Sushi: Eat but don't touch the plate", Vancouver Sun, 30 August 2014.
- "日本人が抱く、裸体への悲しき郷愁「女体盛り」の深すぎる歴史を探る！". R-18. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- "【ニッポンの裏風俗】お手頃料金で遊べる温泉風俗". メンズサイゾー. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- "日本人が抱く、裸体への悲しき郷愁「女体盛り」の深すぎる歴史を探る！". 日刊サイゾー. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- "山乃湯の宴会コンパニオン・スーパーコンパニオンプラン一覧". スーパーコンパニオン旅行. 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- "Your Fantasy Of Eating Sushi Off A Naked Woman In Vancouver Is Now A Reality", SuperVancouver
- "Naked ambition: Diners pay $500 to eat sushi off NUDE MODELS at Florida restaurant" Daily Mail, 6 August 2012.
- "Naked Sushi Now in Vancouver", VanCity Buzz, 28 August 2014.
- Vipers, Gareth (1 June 2010). "The world's weirdest dining experiences". The Independent. p. 4. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014.
- Strong, Jeremy (2011). "A Short Poetics of Cruel Food". Educated Tastes: Food, Drink, and Connoisseur Culture. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 168–189. ISBN 9780803219359.
- Roberts, Christine (5 August 2012). "Nipples covered in wasabi? Sure! Florida patrons willing to drop at least $500 can have sushi served on prone body of nude model". New York Daily News.
- 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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