Japanese Artist Cooks & Serves His Own Genitals
"The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star."
When the famous 19th century food writer Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote those words, it’s doubtful that he had Mao Sugiyama’s menu in mind. It’s no secret that the Japanese are known to savor dishes that would make many Westerners shriek. Just take a look at the episode of the Travel Channel’s "Bizarre Foods" where culinary guru Andrew Zimmern visits the country and tries a mayo milkshake, reptile blood, tuna eyeballs and raw goat testicles.
Even a culinary explorer like Zimmern may even feel a bit queasy after sampling the offering of one Japanese chef, who cooked and served his own genitalia to five diners at an upscale banquet in Japan last month The Braiser reported.
Although the Japanese authorities could not arrest Mao Sugiyama, 23, for cannibalism, police did charge him with indecent exposure two months after serving the one-of-a-kind (and only-once-of-a-kind) meal.
Before Sugiyama, a Tokyo artist and self-described asexual, turned 22, he voluntarily underwent genital-removal surgery. Then in May, he charged five patrons about $250 each to eat his penis, testicles and scrotal skin, which were seasoned and garnished with mushroom, garlic and other spices.
On April 8, Sugiyama tweeted, "[Please retweet] I am offering my male genitals (full penis, testes, scrotum) as a meal for 100,000 yen ...Will prepare and cook as the buyer requests, at his chosen location." It wasn’t long before five individuals made an offer to eat his private parts.
Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department, in a statement, said it would not be long before the district prosecutors would receive criminal papers against the young man and the event’s organizers.
According to a South African newspaper,Times Live, Sugiyama said he launched the event and dinner in order to raise awareness about "sexual minorities, x-gender, asexual people." A spokeswoman for the MPD said the four people who put the event together conspired to "openly display the artist’s severed male genitals to the assembled 71 guests" at a music club on May 13. All the diners owned up to consuming the meal, the police spokeswoman said.
If Sugiyama is convicted of indecent exposure, he can be sent to jail for two years and slapped with a $32,000 fine.