Nyataimori is the much fabled "naked sushi" of Japanese origin. It's extremely difficult to find sushi restaurants that serve this openly.
The reason for the difficultly in finding places that serve it (at least in America) is how the sushi is served, namely that it's on a naked body. This is normally a reasonably young and attractive woman and it has many feminists angry (perhaps rightly so if they don't see any value in a cultures traditions or art). There have been protests. Many in fact.
The rough translation of the word nyataimori is "Adorned body of a woman."
This type of art (yes, it's an art) is well accepted in Japan. Tokyo is world famous for this type of dinner theatre and art practice.
Rumors of locations in Berlin, London, San Francisco, New York and Paris are perhaps true, but I haven't been able to find any place that's open about it. Many of the rumored places have been closed as a result of protests.
Seattle, Washington is known to have a sushi bar with a Nyataimori night, but it's more of a buffet than a personal table. Manchester, England is known to have a rather (75 British pounds) pricey Nyataimori option but no fingers are allowed, chopsticks only.
If you have found a place that serves nyataimori style sushi openly or privately, please contact me so I may amend this FQA.
A person reports about San Francisco:
"Perhaps the best way to get Nyataimori style sushi in San Francisco without being yakuza, is to post on craigslist for attractive, clean young women who like to lie very still.
A person reports about Tokyo:
"It's highly improbable that any such place would let white people in.
A person reports about Berlin:
"It's rumored that some homosexual nights have nyataimori inspired dinners on the bodies of young attractive gay men.
An early 90's film buff reports:
"Popularized in the minds of late-night HBO viewers everywhere by the execrable 1991 action film Showdown in Little Tokyo
A reader of the boingboing
weblog made some points regarding the word Nyataimori (as quoted from boingboing
Matt says, "I hope this doesn't come off as know-it-allish, but just FYI, the Japanese word for sushi served on a naked lady is not nyataimori but nyotaimori (女体盛り):
nyo (女) - woman
tai (体) - body
mori (盛り) - helping, plateful, serving, arrangement, etc.
I guess it's possible that nyataimori is some regionally-accented version, but I've never heard of it and Google doesn't turn much up. Incidentally the male version is 男体盛り, usually pronounced nantaimori."
As a result, I have updated the spelling to be both versions. Feel free to contact me for more updates! ( jake @ yak.net )
Michael Borgwardt wrote in to say (22nd Aug 2005):
To be blunt, I'm pretty sure your "Nyataimori FAQ" at
is full of crap when it says "This type of art (yes, it's an art) is well
accepted in Japan."
As far as I can tell, it's on obscure form of softcore prostitution that
is just blown way out of proportion by western media who really love that
combination of porn-that-can-be-passed-off-as-art and look-at-those-
If you enter the Japanese word in Google, the first five links consist of
three blog articles about some restaurant in China offering the practice
and being closed because of it, one newspaper article that doesn't exist
anymore but seems to have been USA-related, and the Japanese Wikipedia
article, which is rather short and factual. No trace at all of "art"
or "tradition". In fact, this blog entry:
says that "apparently Nyotaimori is some sort of fad in Europe right now
and there are a lot of Europeans who think that Asians (or more exactly
Japanese) have this as common entertainment."
He may have a point but I never thought the Japanese were wacky nor do I feel that this gets very much media attention. Perhaps he's one of the people offended by this FQA?
And then a few days later I received an from "michael smith" email saying (irony abound):
Aloha. Let me confirm that Yes, I do or rather will be doing, Nyataimori. My name is Dawn Nash and I am the owner of a small business called The Romance Specialists. While most of my business is very "clean" and focused on weddings, anniversaries and other legit couples activities, I will be hosting Nyataimori dinners or lunches upon client request. The meals will take part in the private dining areas of selected restaurants, therefore, I am not limited to just sushi. I prefer Italian - Lasagna noodles work wonderfully for covering his or her modest parts. I will do them for both men or women of any race. You must be 21 years or older to participate and no fingering. The cost is anywhere from $250 - $1,00 per person with a 4 person minimum. If you would like more information you may call me at 808-256-7661. Mahalo for your interest.
Someone from Chiago wrote in to offer this bit of information (as of Nov 2005):
Kizoku sushi in chicago offers body sushi or nyotaimori.
In April 2006 I was informed:
Re the naked sushi – the photo from boingboing was taken at a party here in Seattle a little over a year ago. It was my friend Kevin’s birthday party, in fact, and yes, I was at the party. The model is Noel, and she actually reprised her role last night at an art shot. See http://www.sushiseattle.net for the info. She’s become rather tired of the whole thing, in fact, since everyone keeps booking her to do it. Go figure.
Next year we’re going to do a naked Passover Seder as a parody.
(more photos of Noel on my site, BTW – www.amblerphoto.com J)