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In Nyotaimori, a nude woman's body serves as a food plate

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.[1] Nantaimori (男体盛り) is the male equivalent.[2]

The Japanese practice of nyotaimori – serving sushi on a naked body – is said to have its origins in the samurai period in Japan.[3] 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."[4]

Nyotaimori originated in Ishikawa Prefecture[5][6][7] and continues to be practiced there.[8]


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.[3][9]

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.[3][10][11]


Guest eating sushi directly from a model's body at Burning Flipside event, USA, 2007

The practice has been described as decadent, humiliating, cruel, and objectifying.[12][13] 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".[1] It has received popularity in Japanese organized crime.[13]

Worldwide reception varies as several countries have banned the practice.[12] In 2005, China outlawed nyotaimori on naked bodies, condemning it due to public health reasons and moral issues.[14][15] In Hong Kong, organizers of a brunch event with nyotaimori have met with backlash from the public, as they were accused of sexism under the pretense of art.[15] The nyotaimori was subsequently cancelled for the then-upcoming event.[15]

The birthday party of South African entrepreneur Kenny Kunene on 21 October 2010, which hosted African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema and featured nyotaimori,[16] was criticised by Congress of South African Trade Unions secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi, leading to a political row.[17][18] The ANC Women's League condemned nyotaimori at Kunene's party as an attack on the bodily integrity and dignity of women in South Africa.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bindel, Julie (12 February 2010). "'I am about to eat sushi off a naked woman's body'". The Guardian.
  2. ^ Danovich, Tove. "Is Naked Sushi All About the Nigiri or the Nudity?". Vice.
  3. ^ a b c "Naked Sushi Makes Waves in Vancouver", Inside Vancouver, 6 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Naked Sushi: Eat but don't touch the plate", Vancouver Sun, 30 August 2014.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "【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.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "Your Fantasy Of Eating Sushi Off A Naked Woman In Vancouver Is Now A Reality", SuperVancouver
  10. ^ "Naked ambition: Diners pay $500 to eat sushi off NUDE MODELS at Florida restaurant" Daily Mail, 6 August 2012.
  11. ^ "Naked Sushi Now in Vancouver", VanCity Buzz, 28 August 2014.
  12. ^ a b Vipers, Gareth (1 June 2010). "The world's weirdest dining experiences". The Independent. p. 4. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014.
  13. ^ a b 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ a b c "Hong Kong 'naked sushi' event cancelled after online backlash". South China Morning Post. 17 October 2017.
  16. ^ Malema Eats Sushi With Kenny Archived 4 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Zalebs
  17. ^ Vavi's Sushi War Hots Up Archived 7 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Sowetan, 29 October 2010
  18. ^ COSATU Deputy Lashes Kunene, The Sowetan, 1 November 2010
  19. ^ A chat with 'Sushi King', Tonight, 6 February 2011

External links[edit]