At West Hollywood’s sushi bar, Hadaka, the executive chef and owner, Edward Brik knows that sex sells. To prove his point, Edward has introduced the sushi service “nyotaimori” at his restaurant. The sushi presentation, also known as body sushi, is a colorful assortment of sushi rolls, sashimi and raw fish that are carefully arranged on a semi-nude female model (the “semi” qualifier being a few strategically-placed banana leaves). The model must be trained to lie still for hours and be able to endure constant exposure to the cold sushi placed on her body.
Eddie Lin, a freelance writer and co-author of the food blog Deep End Dining, recently attended a body sushi presentation and wrote an article about it for the New York Times. He found that the history of nyotaimori is largely unknown but it has been associated with Japanese organized crime (“yakuza”). Many experts in Japanese culture are aware of the practice but don’t fully know its origins – although some speculate that its popularity may have risen during Japan’s economic boom in the late 1980s, when many Japanese had money to burn and found innovative and creative ways to indulge.
Eddie talks with Evan about the sometimes controversial but undeniably sexy side of nyotaimori.
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