Japanese Rice Balls Rolled in Cute Girls’ Armpits Allegedly 10 Times More Expensive Than Regular Ones

Armpit onigiri is a bizarre take on the classic Japanese snack where cute girls allegedly press the rice using their armpits and infuse it with their pheromone-containing sweat.

The origins of armpit onigiri, aka underarm onigiri, are not very clear. Some sources claim it was inspired by an iconic scene in the manga Mahōjin Guru Guru (Magicle Circle Guru Guru), where an old man assists the protagonist by rolling rice balls with his armpits. This theory is supported by the plethora of armpit onigiri anime-style artworks that can be found online, but as for how the bizarre treat transitioned into real life, that still remains a mystery. And it was weird enough to know some people are actually trying armpit-rolled rice balls in their own homes, but apparently there are restaurants that proudly serve armpit onigiri to customers willing to pay 10 times their regular price.

Photo: Sirabee

Real-life armpit onigiri first made news headlines in Japan back in 2016 when Sirabee posted a series of photos of a young office worker preparing the treat for a male coworker. The experiment was supposed to answer a burning question: Is onigiri rolled in cute girls’ armpits tastier than the regular kind? Apparently, the conclusion was that it had a poorer texture and was harder to hold than regular onigiri, but did indeed taste better.

Recently, Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post (SCMP) posted an article on the bizarre Japanese treat, claiming that it is sold in restaurants where cute girls disinfect the parts of their body that the rice balls come in contact with before exercising to produce sweat. They then use their armpits instead of their palms to knead and shape the rice balls.

“Some restaurants openly demonstrate the process, proudly promoting their star chefs and the unique technique by allowing customers to visit the kitchen,” SCMP writes.

The recent article went viral on social media and was later picked up by other international news outlets, but as far as I can tell, there is no proof of restaurants actually selling this weird type of onigiri. Hygiene regulations alone would make this service a major liability for any establishment, so I am very skeptical about its existence. That said, there is no denying certain people’s fascination with armpit onigiri, as evidenced by its depiction in manga and anime.