Japanese are outraged that mere foreigners would dare to criticise their culture of eating live animals after seeing a video of a vivisected squid struggling for life on a plate, even if many of them appear to be of the opinion that it is the very acme of bad taste.

The video behind the spat:

Odorigui, “dancing eating,” is a relatively uncommon form of sashimi in which the animal is still alive when eaten, similar to the better known “ikizukuri.”

The best known examples include various species of squid, octopus, shrimp and goby, which are served live in various stages of dismemberment (or in the case of goby, swallowed whole with a mouthful of soy sauce).

The practice is somewhat notorious for the risk of parasitic infection it carries, although in Japan the animal welfare implications appear mostly to be considered a non-issue.

The video’s original uploader comments that he believes “the sodium in the soy sauce is causing the legs to move and that it is at least incapacitated,” and a Japanese commenter also scathingly comments that a mere foreigner would not know this (evidently not having read the poster’s original comment).

Whether this is true or not, it is clear from other odorigui cuisine that this is at best unintentional and the intent is that the animal be live and moving around on the plate.

Supposedly most of the culinary appeal is from the freshness of the animal’s flesh, but the evident glee which most odorigui/ikizukuri diners display before actually tasting their meal does tend to suggest other motivations are at play:

Predictably, the original response to the video from western audiences was largely one of disgust and outrage at this flagrant cruelty to ika-chans, but when Japanese were recently made aware of this disapproval they soon became outraged themselves (although given the rarity of the practice it is doubtful whether many of them have ever actually eaten odorigui themselves):

“This is traditional. Foreigners, don’t force your values onto us!”

“I agree. But I could never eat this!”

“How pitiful for foreigners to have to deny themselves such a delicious meal just because of religion!”

“People who say this is cruel have had their brains eaten by maggots. Eating any living thing is like this. If you think this is cruel, have some sympathy for the other meat and vegetables you eat!”

“Living squid are gross…”

“Even amongst Japanese I think many would consider this cruel. I wouldn’t want to eat this.”

“Damn Japs are crazy!”

“We should stop this. It makes me feel ill to see it.”

“I understand why people want it fresh, but having its head dance around on your plate and then uploading videos of the spectacle is bad taste. You can’t help but think they are enjoying tormenting it on their plates.”


“Gross, and sick!”

“Westerners have no right to criticise us! They killed whales just for oil, cats for being black, burned old women for being ugly and Africans for sport!”

“I’ve eaten live octopus on a fishing boat, it’s delicious, supermarket stuff can’t compare. Freshness makes a huge difference to seafood. But I’ll admit, this is gross.”

“Poor Ika-chan. This is a miserable thing to do to it. At least make it into a splendid sashimi display.”

“Looks delicious.”

“If you don’t like it, don’t eat it! Shut your mouths, foreigners!”

[In English:] “I have never eaten this, but DO NOT CRITICIZE other country’s culture. White people eat meat. Japanese eat fish.”

[In English:] “This is not a typical Japanese cuisine. It is a joke in bad taste cuisine of some pervert made​. I am Japanese. Almost all Japanese can not eat that food like this.”

[In English:] “This is the way of eating depending on which it is very primitive and should be criticized.”

“I’d like to try icefish odorigui.”

“This is seriously poor taste. It’s just like playing with your food.”

“They have bullfighting in Spain! Europeans exploit Africans for their resources! America slaughters the middle east for its oil! If you think doing this to a squid is cruel, you have no business living in modern society.”

“I’m Japanese, but this is messed up.”

“I live in Hokkaido and I can’t believe this outrageous stuff is happening in the same place!”

“How barbarous to complain about a nation’s culinary culture. You can really see how aggressive these Americans and Europeans are.”

“This is sick, even most Japanese would get culture shock from seeing it. Some morons are just trying to show their supposed patriotism by supporting it.”

“Delicious. Sashimi is Japanese culture. Japanese who say they couldn’t eat this are just ethnic Koreans.”

“This is how those Koreans eat octopuses. Some ethnic Korean probably imported the practice here.”

“People who say they couldn’t eat this are just ethnic Koreans or foreigners.”

“Overseas they have no culture of eating things alive so they’ll never understand.”

[In English:] “Shit American cannot understand Japanese culture. I like to eat fish arive.”

“I don’t understand why roasting a squid isn’t cruel but eating it alive is?”

[In English:] “No cruelty, such as from a nuclear bomb.”

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    Comment by Anonymous
    22:07 07/04/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    What a pitiful lack of values.
    I'm from Spain, and we have bullfighting. And it is cruel. I won't start defending it just because some "foreigners" would call it cruel.

    Some people need to grow some "cojones", and some values of their own.

    Avatar of an orgasmic loli
    Comment by an orgasmic loli
    22:10 07/04/2012 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    bullfighting indeed is really weird and disgusting. Glad there's a spaniard out there willing to denounce it.

    Avatar of Powerpuff Loli
    Comment by Powerpuff Loli
    00:15 08/04/2012 # ! Good (+0.5)

    There's actually quite a few of them opposed to it. But hey, people have enjoyed snuff shows since Roman times.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:00 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Lions, wolves and eagles kill the animals. Dont make stuff up, all these animals are very surgical in how they take stuff down because they dont want to hurt themselves. Just because a few start before the job is done some times it doesnt mean that this is a normal practice. Specially when 9 times out of 10 the animals are completely worn out and they basically just huddle around the kill and rest.

    Anyway, none of that has anything to do with making up some dish so it could look pretty which is what is being done here. This has nothing to do with some natural way of eating.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:00 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    humans are suppose to be able to separate themselves from wild beasts due to more intelligence. Smarter animals in the wild kill their prey and humans are not struggling to fund ways to kill prey. I dont care that we eat all kinds of animals but damn... have some respect and decency and put them out of their misery.

    using crucifixion as a reason to support this is stupid because smarter humans realized that its inhumane, and we are not snakes, wolves, lions or eagles, WERE HUMANS! we have millions of ways to kill our prey unlike animals which only have one or two. I hate PETA but i also hate dumb ass barbaric practices that is used only for show.

    makes me want to turn you all into soylent green and feed you to the squids and lions and wolves.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:31 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    badnwagon is not a proposition and is not an argument . we are not crayfish , we are humans . And we supposed to have some compassion because of your large brains .

    Avatar of Mauvais
    Comment by Mauvais
    02:22 09/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'd say the last things I'd want to be killed by are a mantis or an octopus. Both have excellent ways of ensaring their prey, but small mouths to chew with. Any videos I've seen of a mantis eating includes the prey writhing around for a good long time while they are slowly nibbled away. No thanks!

    As for anyone who thinks that eating a cow is the same as tossing a live octopus on the grill, you are quite simply stupid, and have no compassion. Cows are killed before being carved up, because they would suffer tremendously otherwise. What do you think it feels like to be held down by a pair of tongs and burned alive? If you are curious, you might try touching a hot grill for a small preview. You'd rather die first, wouldn't you?

    Would the freshness of a meal be affected in any way if you killed the creature moments before cooking it? Think... Then think longer about how that grill felt.

    I'm no vegetarian, but I think humans are perfectly capable of giving their prey a quick death.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:47 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually most animals that don't use venom or a method of suffocating their prey don't really care if it's alive or not. Wolves, lions, vasps, eagles - there is no killing blow, they're only incapacitating their prey and sometimes happen to kill it doing so.
    But even among venomious animals it's not uncommon. The point is why to use as much venom to kill something if it's enough when it's stops moving?
    I consider human an animal as well, a predator - no doubt about it. If someone's morals don't allow him to do something like that then he doesn't.
    Personally - I would eat those. (Except for octopus - simply cause I don't like how they taste).

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:17 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    There are some, hyenas/wolves for example. THey dont care if you are alive or not, they will just eat you. And ofc all parasites.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:38 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    various snakes have poisoning which is meaned to kill the target over a longer run (usually comparable to "bleeding out" time)

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    04:32 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Having a man impaled ass first on a pike at the edges of the Colosseum and spending the rest of the day slowly letting the weight of his own body kill him is true cruelty.

    This article makes me curious though. How many animals in the wild eat their prey live? I was considering that this is no more cruel than any animal in the wild, but then I remembered most have a killing blow, then eat the fresh kill. So I'm now wondering if there are animals that don't kill first. I do know certain insects incapacitate only like the article implies they're doing with soy sauce.

    Avatar of caiooa
    Comment by caiooa
    06:49 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    almost all arthropods

    Comment by Dark Mage
    01:17 10/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Even one of my cats which had a taste for birds would dispatch them with surprising efficiency before eating them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:01 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hmm, quite a few animals eat their prey alive:
    Cranes tend to catch fish, or other prey animals and throw them back into their gullet - still moving.

    Some large fish do the same. The Grouper opens its mouth quickly, sucking in water and prey, without any killing blow.

    It's only two examples, but their are so many more that do the same.

    It's only cruel in the eyes of humans. Dolphins, Whales, Dogs, Cats, and a probably many other animals will actually play with their food, while it's still writhing in pain., before eating it.

    Killer Whales toss seals and penguins through the air... just for the hell of it.

    So, really it's only cruel if you believe it so.

    Nature doesn't give any fucks. Lol.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:13 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I've seen housecats eat plenty of living bugs. Whales, sharks & dolphins will open their mouths & swallow large mouthfulls of krill & small fish.

    The reason large game is struck with a killing blow by predators is that it's a very difficult thing to eat an animal that can still run it's ass off.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:02 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Raw oysters----which I love---are technically still alive until they make contact with your stomach acid. I've even seen a few twitch on the half-shell before tossing them back. But that's a huge difference from flailing tentacles & limbs.

    Avatar of AzureXuchilbara
    Comment by AzureXuchilbara
    05:14 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    One thing I learned (personally) in life is the more you are alive when in pain, the more you suffer before the paramedics anesthetize your wounded ass before you wish you were better off having a quick death from the experience...

    That said, if they eat the animal live, I would rather they swallow it whole or even kill it with a knife stab right between the eyes of the octopus...

    Being on top of a grill/dunked in a soup bowl is not a natural way to die for ANYTHING...

    Food or not...Quick and painless is the way to go...


    Yes, I had a relative that went on a vacation to Spain and taped a bull-fighting event she went to...

    It is not art, nor is is a 'positive' form of Spanish culture in the eyes of this anime-loving Pyramid Head...

    It's just good, old-fashioned animal snuff with gladiator-like 'fairness' slapped into it for the sake of the masses wanting to see some animal agitated and confused spill it's blood on the sand by the hands of a flamboyant 'tough guy'...


    Now if that bull was a mutated Necromorph, things would be much more fair...And a hell of a lot entertaining, knowing that it actually and truly becomes a BATTLE TO THE DEATH...


    *goes into a day dream of Isaac Clarke in a matador outfit fighting a Necromorph Bull*

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:15 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Eating live octopus is stupid. Because it's harder to eat that way. Only novelty what you get from it is the cruel eating a still living thing. That octo flailing it's tentacles looked cute thought, but still getting those tentacles to stuck your throat or mouth isn't very pleasant. The cook should kill the octopussy and then put it in the plate. It would still be fresh.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:28 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    What IS the natural way to die, if not with a predator's teeth deep in your flesh?

    Also live ika is fun to eat.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:03 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't now about Spain, but we do it in Mexico

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:11 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Is it true about them serving up Bull's Balls in local Spanish restaurants?

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:44 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    A man walks into a Spanish Restaurant & orders the regional specialty: Bulls Balls.

    He eats the finely prepared dish, compliments the chef, but then asks the following: "It was quite delicious, but for some reason I was expecting the balls to be bigger.

    The chef replies: "Senor.....sometimes it's the bull. And sometimes it's the matador."

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:06 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The amount of hypocrisy in this thread is OVER 9000!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:02 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The over 9000 part has gotten old and tired for a while. Need to come up with something better...

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:30 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    quote for truth..

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:07 11/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    i wouldn't eat those myself but its not like they tortures it to death for fun, they eat it alive, a tzhing that happens every day in nature.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:08 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Seafood doesn't get any fresher than that. I saw a show on the Travel Channel in which the host tried out some living lobster. He said the taste was just out of this world.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:04 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    That host really know his stuff, the taste is really out of this world.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:30 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope he tries rotten shark meat which is a delicacy to the icelanders.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    18:31 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm not a fan of eating live things myself and I'm from the actual culture itself.

    Some older family members have tried it here and there but even they thought it was a cruel practice (albeit they tout freshness, even though that's a moot point scientifically. Well preserved meats/fish are just as fresh).

    Even with lobster and the like, the idea is to kill it quick and not inflict lasting harm. I've seen that everywhere from Japan to even Lobster-central like Maine. Freshness is one thing, but a LOT of fish eaters usually don't do ikigui or anything like that. Because the live=fresh thing is just silly science and negligible.

    I'm really disgusted at people hiding behind any and all criticism behind "it's our culture". That's not how it always works. Though I can see how it may offend to hear foreigners' views on it. But again, native Japanese aren't all fine with it either, nor for hardcore fishmongers.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:37 10/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I can understand eating live sea food. It definitely tastes better. I do it often myself with oysters and lobster sashimi. But to make it dance is something entirely different. That is not traditional, that is not culture. That is someone's idea of trying to sell their food by having a shock appeal to their dish. And anyone who says defends this dancing squid as traditional is just ignorant and have no clue what they're culture really is and is, in fact, shaming their culture.

    Eating something raw is not the same as eating it live, and it's certainly not the same as watching it try to run off your plate but you've crippled it so it cannot.

    Comment by Anonymous

    They should shut up indeed.

    And they also should stop, Like complaining about Dog meat. Japan and other western countries alike.

    Dog are man best friend, but in few asian countries It's a Food, like cats and bats or rabits. no diffrent with chicken or Cow

    Avatar of Ihmhi
    Comment by Ihmhi
    05:12 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    How about Greenpeace and those other animal rights folks go after all of those evil predators who eat animals live out in the wild? I'd love to see them go protest a shark or a pack of wolves. I'm sure it would go well!

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:01 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Humans have reason and larger brains......well looking at you post i guest some humans do not

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:09 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    'Civilized' humans like us f**ked up the planet even way worst than the animals. I guess just because we have 'larger brain' and 'reason', doesn't mean that we're wise enough..

    Comment by Anonymous

    who the fuck cares, humans have been eating other animals for forever. Get over it and grab a burger.

    Avatar of Gradius
    Comment by Gradius
    01:12 08/04/2012 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    The BIG difference retard anon @00:47 those thing are begin tortured to death, that never is the same as instant kill.

    Avatar of cats2
    Comment by cats2
    04:15 08/04/2012 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Most lobsters in any establishment that isn't a fucking hole in the wall/not in a country like Japan, freeze the Lobsters an hour before boiling them so they don't feel it..

    Even the more commonly used knife behind the eyes so it doesn't suffer in the pot is understandable.

    The laws in most places are just so the animals don't suffer. Which is exactly what Japanese are doing with this and ikizukuri..

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka
    03:41 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    lobsters gotta be either boiled or that one trick done to their backs of their "heads" so you don't eat the poison it's body starts producing if you prepare it "dead." and then start eating it >.<

    Oh hell just google it, it's all in there, I can't remember the entire thing right now, too busy watching dancing bird video :D

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:15 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    If someone ate an industrial chicken/turkey, I would consider him more cruel that any Odorigui eater. People should know how the food they eat is made before looking at others food.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:27 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Boiling live lobsters?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:09 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Only certain humans throughout history made a habit of torturing their food to death, though. The rest of us are happy with one quick chop.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:25 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Somebody needs to watch Food Inc. if you think cows live a "happy life" before they get on your dinner plate.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:08 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Then are you saying rhat they lived a good life before their deaths?

    Torturing an animal for only a couple of minutes is much better than torture one for several years.

    Just think about it, did you really think that the hamburger that you just eat was a happy cow?

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:51 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    The cows are happy enough. Really, what does a cow do in it's lifetime?

    Graze: Cows are fed regularly. Check.

    Mate: Cows are mated regularly. Check.

    Roam the countryside: Domesticated Cows have no desire to roam anywhere because that's been bred out of them. So, check.

    Avatar of Senjou
    Comment by Senjou
    07:09 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    True, no use caring nowadays.

    Cruelty happens all over the world and keyboard condemnation is not going to eliminate cruelty once and for all.

    Might as well sit back and live an ignorant life.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I am not a Spaniard, yet I find bullfighting intriguing, don't be a pansy, go watch a bull fight

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:29 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I will watch a bullfight when you fight fairly and don't murder the bull when it wins. Who's the pansy again?

    Comment by Anonymous

    bullfighting is an art

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:56 07/04/2012 # ! Drivel (-0.7)

    pls, someone pls comment on the quick hands and superb knife skill from the chef. it takes years of practice guys.

    btw, its food and culture. they enjoy theirs, u enjoy urs..

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:55 07/04/2012 # ! Good (+0.5)

    How are some of these methods of cooking any different than what some of us Americans are used to doing? I think boiling crawfish (NOT "crayfish," the English name given to them was originally crawfish and then you dumbfucks fucked it up) and crabs alive then eating them isn't too far off from what the Japanese are doing. I guess it's all a matter of if there's a lid on the pot cause if you can't see them scurrying about trying to not die, it must not actually be happening.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:28 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Did it occur to you that the same people who are outraged at this may be (a) not Americans or (b) American, yet just as outraged at boiling crawfish?

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:52 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Logic on the internet is a commodity rarer than gold.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:35 09/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    see. told ya. :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:43 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's a wierd experience to have a stand on an issue before I'm even aware of it. So many "generous" people have stuffed my mouth with what they think we Americans should say. Are we Americans merely inanimate ventriloquist dolls or are we people just like you who are capable of drawing our own conlusions.

    PS: When I said "generous", I really ment stupid. I was worried that you didn't catch that because of your... "mental condition".

    Check out the replys to this comment later. If any, they should be pretty funny. I imagine that people will enjoy trolling my own opinion. :P

    Comment by Anonymous

    From many many travels around the world, I would have to say that Americans are the most ignorant and biased people in the world.
    You may think its hypocritical of me to bag a particular culture like this, but the only culture I have trouble comprehending is the bigoted one Americans have gone to large extents to make sure people view their culture as such. Little wonder that exploiting the Middle East and China finally ran out and the size of the U.S national debt is impossible to measure. I can't wait to see the U.S dethroned as the biggest claimed financial power in the world. Just by looking at the population of the U.S compared to China for example makes me sick that the U.S clearly profits from crappy priced exports among other things while other countries are forced to import with trade barriers like taxes to compete with local prices.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:10 07/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    americans and their double standards.. what do u expect?

    Avatar of Martijn
    Comment by Martijn
    00:37 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    At least those are cooked and dead when eaten, unlike eating them alive and very raw.

    Comment by Anonymous

    We only cook them to make them taste better, but if it taste better raw you leave it like that.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:31 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Cooking kills bacteria and other nasty stuff which would really like to eat you in return.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    01:19 10/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It also kills parasites though freezing also can kill worm eggs.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:43 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, in ye olde English times words were different so what? They spell check cheque and color colour so what if we now call them crayfish? I hear them called crawdads as well so, who cares about spelling and names? I’m sure the Native Americans had a name for them we completely fucked over.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I guess you could call it a moral paradox like Schrodingers cat and the like, but in the end we are predators and they are prey. If the shoe was on the other foot I would doubt they'd show any mercy to us.

    Avatar of Pyrolight
    Comment by Pyrolight
    01:11 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    They don't "scurry around", they die nearly instantly like lobster. Shellfish are notoriously sensitive (aka die) to heat.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Stop murdering the English language you dumbfuck American. It's 'CRAYFISH', 'GREY' AND 'COLOUR'.

    Avatar of kajunbowser
    Comment by kajunbowser
    14:45 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Go lurk more, you foppish twit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:20 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Its alright, its less easier for them to make a mistake if they change it to something easier to spell. I mean their average intellect as a whole has been proven to be less than monkeys with no sign of educational reform, I think you're wasting your time in the first place trying to discuss with Americans

    Comment by คภєк๏
    01:17 08/04/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    The name "crayfish" comes from the Old French word escrevisse (Modern French écrevisse). The word has been modified to "crayfish" by association with "fish" (folk etymology). The largely American variant "crawfish" is similarly derived.

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