Nyotaimori ("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 is the male equivalent.
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."
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.
The practice has been described as decadent, humiliating, cruel, and objectifying.