Nyotaimori is japanese for "female body presentation". (It is sometimes called "body sushi".) It is the practice of eating sashimi or sushi from the body of a woman, typically nude. As a result of being served on a human body, the temperature of the sushi or sashimi comes closer to body temperature, which some may see as a downside or a benefit.
The practice is, in fact, not in any way common in Japan and generally associated with prostitution and the yakuza. Western media reporting of the phenomenon severely misrepresents this to the point that it is perceived in Japan as a European fad.
Before becoming a living sushi plate, the woman is trained to lie down for hours without moving. She must also be able to withstand the prolonged exposure to the cold food. Her body hair, including pubic hair, would also be shaved.
Before service, the woman would take a bath using a special fragrance-free soap and then finish off with a splash of cold water to cool the body down somewhat for the sushi.
In some countries, in order to comply with sanitation laws, there must be a layer of plastic or other material between the sushi and the body of the woman.
"I have to wonder is nyotaimori is an erotic experience or if the dining party is indifferent to the naked woman on the table."
An erotic act consisting of a woman shaving off all of her body hair and having sushi/raw fish decorate her body. The sushi is then eaten off by another person or more people.