The Japan Times featured an interesting article by Brett Bull about nyotaimori (女体盛り), the custom of feasting on food served atop a [mostly] naked woman. Googling for images for this entry, I’d reckon a guess that the practice is far more popular overseas than it is in Japan nowadays, with specialty services popping up stateside and the infamy of the practice amongst people all around the world. A colleague whose job it is to entertain people from overseas on tech tours of Tokyo once commented that nyotaimori was almost always brought up by groups of businessmen, and how difficult it was to discover a place where they could experience the phenomenon. In the end he said he did discover a place that offered it — at a far more extravagant price then most would be willing to pay. Check out Jake’s quote in the article for information on how the practice has died out with the yakuza.
Nyotaimori: a Japanese tradition?
“Female body arrangement” may exist in Japan, but you’ll have to look underground to find it
By BRETT BULL (Special to The Japan Times)
For at least as long as nyotaimori ― the practice of serving sushi on the body of a naked female’s torso ― has been making inroads overseas, the media has been raising the same question: Where does the practice fit within the context of Japanese culture?
For an answer, one can turn to the 168-cm-long body of Miho Wakabayashi. Until last year, the 30-year-old’s bare stomach and limbs were adorned with fish and fresh fruit slices once a month at the Sleeping Beauty “happening bar” in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. (Such a drinking establishment is one in which customers engage in uninhibited intimate activities with one another.)
“It was a show promoted as a special event,” says Wakabayashi, who is also a part-time stripper, sometimes performing at the legendary Rokku-za theater in Asakusa, and an actress in adult films. “It was used as a kind of ice-breaker intended to draw laughs.”
Yet it is generally nonexistent today, she believes, “and because it is so rare, when the organizers of the bar announce they are going to do it, it is a good way to get more people to attend.”
Perceptions of nyotaimori overseas, however, are quite different. News stories covering the openings of nyotaimori enterprises from Florida to London over the past decade refer to it as a form of Japanese food culture and not as an underground activity ― a misunderstanding that has resulted in substantial resentment.
Read the rest here [via the Japan Times]
See also: Platter of the day [via the Japan Times]
13 thoughts on “Eating sushi off a naked girl: yay or yuck?”
Ah, I never knew the name of this practice before. My poor secluded American self assumed it was a larger practice than it is, but an honest inquiry into it does make it seem reasonable that it would be so outrageously expensive that only a very select few “in-the-know” places and people actually practiced the activity.
That being said, it’s on my “List of Things to Do Before I Die”.
I remember hearing a story on NPR about someone in the US starting such a restaurant. I dunno if this is the same place I heard on the report, but here’s an article from 2008.
Apparently I need to take my Minneapolis friend up on his offer to come visit.
I have read about this several times over 10-15 years however always the report was of a foreign restaurant which offered it.
My wife, who is Japanese, had not heard of this and did not believe it existed until I showed her the news item in the paper.
It isn’t a standard part of the Japanese sex industry like “esute” though it may have been done privately — how would we ever know.
It sounds like one of those lascivious stories that westerners have always enjoyed about the ‘orient’ since it started at Egypt.
It does sound like a lascivious story about “decadent crazy Asians” but it has been something done in the past, as the Inagawakai (Japan’s third largest organized crime group) arrests a few years ago illustrates. It’s just not something that’s done on a regular basis. However, I don’t think it’s as popular in Japan as it now seems to be in the West. It’s an odd practice that did began in Japan. Please tell your wife, yes-there are some places in Japan where this is done but it’s not a standard practice.
With all the talk of herbivorous men and carnivorous women out there, I’m surprised we don’t hear more about the opposite, 男体盛り.
You should visit Doshisha in November.
Normally I like to lick the plate afterwards. Do you think they would mind?
I’ve never heard of this before, but it certainly sounds like an interesting practice, and one I wouldn’t mind trying for myself. I just have one question; Is there such a restaurant here in Australia?
Not that I know of. 😀
If you feed to the greedy persons such a little foods,what will they do,when the foods are all over?
Why is it always sushi? Why not a hot, buttery pit-roasted roast pig over a naked girl’s body? Sushi or fruit seems to feel too “cold” and not as enticing from an erotic perspective, unlike a hot, warm, “meaty” meal like roast pig. Not saying I’m a creep, but then again, I might as well be for being bothered by the food choice in this practice.
You have an excellent point. I think the hot buttery pit roasted pig might singe human flesh, though.
If you are eating any sushi at all in America some of your money will most likely go to the Moonie Church. The biggest supplier of frozen fish in the USA is True World Foods, controlled by the Moonies. Their founder’s ties to th Yakuza are well known.