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.
Japan's first "naked restaurant" opens in Tokyo next month with draconian rules of entry -- podgy prospective diners will be weighed and ejected if found to be too fat. Following the lead of establishments in London and Melbourne, "The Amrita" -- Sanskrit for 'immortality' -- also has strict age restrictions, with only patrons between 18 and 60 allowed in, after they check in their clothes and put on paper underwear provided by the restaurant. Guests found to be "overweight" will be refused entry to the restaurant, which opens on July 29, and will not be entitled to a refund, its website points out.
Travelling is about embracing new experiences. In Japan that can mean leaving your clothes, along with your comfort zone, in a neat pile far behind. Japanese onsens, or communal hot springs, adhere to ancient traditions which include bathing naked.
Yet these men and women — old and young, all shapes, sizes and ethnicities — whose bodies are exposed from every angle, whose nude images grace my walls, remain unknown to me. I rarely know their names. Who are these people who bare all to a room full of strangers?
Overweight prospective diners will not be welcome at Japan's first 'naked restaurant'. Following the lead of establishments in London and Melbourne, "The Amrita" -- Sanskrit for 'immortality' -- also has strict age restrictions, with only patrons between 18 and 60 allowed in, after they check in their clothes and put on paper underwear provided by the restaurant. Guests found to be "overweight" will be refused entry to the restaurant, which opens on July 29, and will not be entitled to a refund, its website points out.
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The history of nudity involves social attitudes to nudity in different cultures in history. It is not known when humans began wearing clothes, although there is some archaeological evidence to indicate that clothing may have become commonplace in human society around 72, years ago. Anthropologists believe that animal skins and vegetation were adapted into coverings as protection from cold, heat and rain, especially as humans migrated to new climates; alternatively, covering may have been invented first for other purposes, such as magic, decoration, cult, or prestige, and later found to be practical as well.
In fact I think the best time to be nude is when you have a lot of clothes on, and maybe a coat. So to strip off and bathe in front of a bunch of old Japanese dudes, not to mention a few of my fellow travellers with whom I shared miso soup earlier and would have to make small talk with for the next 10 days, filled me with the sort of apprehension that weirdly manifests in hearty bravado ie. It was great!