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Amidst the neon glow and martini atmosphere, the dapper crowd clamored shoulder-to-shoulder to get a glimpse of Tsunami Restaurant sushi, and edible flowers draped across the beautiful models of Penthouse Club Baton Rouge.

The art commonly called “body sushi” is derived from the obscure and rather uncommon Japanese practice of Nyotaimori (“female body presentation”) where sushi and sashimi are displayed on the female form and served. Nantaimori (“male body presentation”) is the companion art form in which the sushi is displayed on the male form. While it isn’t strongly linked with traditional Japanese culture, Nyotaimori is a unique form of entertainment in the Land of the Rising Sun. However, its origins have been lost to antiquity. Many suggest that New York City was the first place in America to introduce this unusual art form to American audiences.

Donovan Duplantis and Toon Nguyen, general manager and manager of Tsunami Restaurant respectively, were fascinated with the idea. Many Eastern cultures have pioneered interactive edible novelties, like the dancing squid dish, and the downtown sushi venue wanted to produce their own masterpiece.

“Simple things originated in Asia along the lines of interactive food,” said Duplantis. “When it came over into the Western cultures, it was initially very taboo. Only now is it starting to gain popularity.”