The Orient still foxes the West. Anything that doesn’t conform to the West’s idea is considered bizarre or exotic. Point in case is Nyotimari restaurants that have been a rage in the US for a while now. Nyotimari, the age-old redundant Japanese tradition of serving sushi platter on a naked woman borders on sexual eroticism. It was a tradition of the 19th century, followed by the Japanese samurai fighters after their war victories, where geishas would perform as a nyotimari.
The tradition has been long dead in Japan, except few underground restaurants in the country, who try to cash on it for the sheer erotica. While in America, nyotimari is an exotic eastern hocus-pocus, in which quite often, American girls agree to become naked models for a price.
The trend is not wide-spread, but whatever handful of eateries specialize in this food display, publicizes it as a popular Japanese trend. Americans loosen their purse strings for eating like the Japanese, whereas the truth is, this tradition has been long dead in Japan.
The food adventurers need to follow a strict decorum while eating off raw fish from a naked lady, lying motionless. Most of the restaurant owners make sure guests try or utter no obscenities. But some owners let patrons eat off directly from the model. The very idea is so repulsive that it would make my flesh crawl.
I feel nauseated by the fact that the raw fish would degenerate when it comes in touch with the warm human body. Also, what could be the fun of having a live platter, who would remain lifelessly still? I bet, the guests are kicked up about the whole display that they forget all about the food.
Nyotimari is probably a fad in the US, an adventure for the rich. In India, such a tradition would draw brickbats, quite literally. The nation erupts into a seizure at the very mention of nudity. Indians object to a kissing scene between a husband and a wife in TV; I wonder how people will react if we ever mention nytoimari to them.
There has been a court ban on risqué pictures on condom covers; also several schools and colleges have banned skirts to retain the moral atmosphere intact. In such a scenario, all I can say is that sleazy hotels might get inspired by nyotimari, and let pot-bellied men lick off a tangri kabab from a nude model.
Although we Indians won’t be flummoxed by the strange occidental ways, the prospects of picking food from a firang model might make us salivate. After all, fair-skinned IPL cheerleaders have been complaining that men ogle at them, and make dirty gestures while they dance on a sixer…