As I noted in an earlier posting, Japan is one of the most non-religious countries in the world. So I am not completely surprised something like this could happen. However, the event is truly disturbing. In fact, since I do not know the sensitivities of all my readers, I have chosen to put the topic below the fold. Suffice it to say that if you are easily grossed out, it’s better to simply pass on this story.
As you probably know, secular ethics typically boil down to a form of hedonistic embrace that is constrained only by the following principle: as long as an act does not harm anyone against their will, there is nothing wrong with it. Thus, according to this secular ethic, what follows below is perfectly okay. In fact, you could probably get PZ Myers to defend it.
The story is entitled:
Tokyo Transsexual Cooks and Serves His Own Genitals at Public “Ham Cybele” Banquet, Police Shrug, “It’s Not Illegal” [warning: article contains graphic photos of the “meal.”]
“Please retweet. I am offering my male genitals (full penis, testes, scrotum) as a meal for 100,000 yen…. I will prepare and cook as the buyer requests, at his chosen location.”
On Sunday, April 13, Tokyo illustrator Mao Sugiyama (who goes by the nickname “HC”), publicly seasoned and braised his own genitals on a portable gas cartridge burner, and then served them to five eager diners who each paid about $250 for the meal (a sixth was a no-show). The genitals had been returned to the asexual Sugiyama, frozen and double-bagged in plastic, following elective genital removal surgery on his 22nd birthday in early April.
After initially considering eating them himself, Sugiyama offered the meal on Twitter in mid-April to the first person willing to pay 100,000 yen (about $1,250). But after the notoriety that his tweet caused, he organized a public banquet, dubbed “Ham Cybele – Century Banquet,” at the “Asagaya Loft A” event space in the Suginami Ward of Tokyo. “Century” in Japanese is a homophone for the Japanese word for “genitals”; “Ham Cybele” refers to the Anatolian mother goddess, prefixed with an appropriate word for tough meat to create a phrase whose initials match Sugiyama’s artist name of HC.
The day before the event Sugiyama tweeted, “I’m starting to thaw them out,” and posted this photo (warning: not for the squeamish). On the day of the event a crowd of about 70 mostly twenty-somethings gathered, five to a table, to listen to a piano recital and panel discussion before the dinner.
Update: Tokyo residents can meet Chef Sugiyama in person on Friday May 27 at the Abilletage corset shop and tea salon from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The shop is on the third floor of the AM/PM convenience store building on Meiji Douri street between the Shinjuku Station Southern Plaza exit and Yoyogi Station of the Yamanote Line. Sugiyama will be cooking and serving waffles certified to be free of genital material. In addition, he will be selling books of his illustrations and demonstrating nail art techniques.
All I can say is that from my Christian perspective, this is so wrong. And on so many levels.