Jessica Perry gets undressed and lies flat on a table. As she gets decorated with flowers, leaves, and bamboo sheets, she is preparing herself for a typical day on the job using her body as a living sushi platter. Having worked as a freelance model for the past three years, Perry was approached by Mike Keenan, the head chef for Naked Sushi, who asked if she would be interested in being a model. Intrigued by the offer, Perry researched the practice of nyotaimori and contacted some models that have worked with Keenan in Toronto. They had nothing but praise for [Keenan]. He was very kind, he was responsible, and he was very professional. A typical shift for a naked sushi model usually consists of 10 to 15 minutes to prep the body with decorations and sushi and an extra hour or two serving food at events such as birthdays, bachelor, and bachelorette parties. Despite the fact that being a naked sushi model was her own choice, Perry and the company she works for have faced a number of critics.
Sex + Food
Be still, rogue toe. Don't you dare surrender to that muscle cramp. Now is not the time.
Post Digital Network
I first noticed the publicity for a monthly series of British "nyotaimori" evenings last summer. Nyotaimori, or body sushi, is Japanese, and it isn't normally on offer in London. But periodically temporary operations do pop up in cities around the world, each time sparking newspaper headlines. The word nyotaimori is usually translated as "female body presentation", but a friend who has studied Japanese tells me it means something more like "piling something on top". Which sounds significantly less appetising. Guests will ONLY be informed of the location of the next Flash Sushi dinner once they have paid for their sitting in full. What did the organisers expect to happen? I had to walk through a hippy cafe serving bean stew and carrot salad, and then finally — after going up and down a filthy fire escape and getting lost in a dark corridor smelling of cats — I pushed open a door and found myself in a dark room festooned with purple velvet and filled mostly with men in their 20s sipping champagne.
The Japanese practice of nyotaimori — serving sushi on a naked body — is said to have its origins in 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. Nyotaimori originated in Ishikawa Prefecture    and continues to be practiced there. In traditional nyotaimori , the model is generally expected to lie still at all times and not talk with guests.