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Eating sushi off a naked woman's body for Rs 2.58 lakh: Dining event lands Taiwan club in potential trouble

The origins of nyotaimori lunches/dinners can be traced back to the Edo period (1603-1868), when wakamezake—the practice of pouring sake into a woman's genitalia for drinking—was popular in the red-light districts of Japan.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 11:16 IST

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A private club in Taiwan has reportedly come under the scanner of authorities for hosting a dinner in which sashimi was served on top of a naked woman described as a "sushi boat".

The "nyotaimori dinner"—as the tradition is called in Japan—was hosted at a private club in the coastal city of Taichung, reported South China Morning Post, adding that leaked images online showed a young naked woman with her body painted with floral decorations lying on a table, food covering her private parts.

The guests—more than 20 in number—reportedly had dinner directly off her naked body.

The publication further said that the dinner was expensive, with the feast costing $3,100 (Rs 2.58 lakh) per person.

Once images were leaked online, the dinner sparked widespread criticism, prompting local authorities to take action over the possible violation of public decency laws. An investigation is currently under way.

While the club faces potential action, it should be noted that nyotaimori originated from a tradition that is centuries old.

The origins of nyotaimori lunches/dinners can be traced back to the Edo period (1603-1868), when wakamezake—the practice of pouring sake into a woman's genitalia for drinking—was popular in the red-light districts of Japan.

As Japan saw strong economic growth in the post-WWII era, this practice made its way from red-light districts to the burgeoning hot spring bathing industry in the Ishikawa Prefecture, and nyotaimori was also introduced as an advertising tactic to attract male customers. The practice was subsequently adopted by catering and sex work establishments.

Of course, the practice has seen strong criticism outside Japan, and has been described as sexist, decadent, humiliating, and cruel.

Nyotaimori is banned in several countries, including China (which claims control over Taiwan), which prohibited it in 2005, citing concerns over public health and moral issues.

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Published 28 June 2024, 11:16 IST

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