The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Licking things at sushi train restaurants is the latest viral Japanese trend

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Julia Mio Inuma

02 Feb 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

In Japan, self-designed "sushi terrorists" are licking communal soy sauce bottles. The Washington Post explains how these pranksters have set off a "national wave of revulsion."

TOKYO - They lick communal soy sauce bottles and spit on other people's sushi rolls. They slurp from spoons in communal bowls. And they laugh into the camera.

These pranksters, looking to go viral online at conveyor belt sushi restaurants, have become the buzziest topic on Japanese social media this past week. Their videos have each generated millions of views and have sparked so much outrage and disgust that a new term is trending: "sushi tero," short for sushi terrorism.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content