Video of Odori-Don: Dancing Zombie Squid Sashimi

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Odori Don is a hakodate dish where a squid’s head is removed and its legs are served nearly fresh. So fresh that adding soy sauce to the squid causes its legs to dance, even with its brain detached. That’s right–this squid dances without its brain*.

banner Video of Odori Don: Dancing Zombie Squid Sashimi

Odori-Don means:

Literally “dancing squid rice bowl”. A live squid with its head removed is served on top of a bowl of sushi rice, accompanied by sashimi prepared from the head (usually sliced ika (squid) and ika-kimo (squid liver)) as well as other seafood.

I recently learned that cephalopods have their neurons distributed throughout their body. Maggie over at Boingboing, believes this is a possible reason why this squid, without its head, retains so much motor ability.

Food Japan says the name is patented by the restaurant Ikkatei Tabiji, where the dish is 2,000 yen per person. But other places serve a similar plate under different titles.

Ikkatei Tabiji

8-20 Wakamatsu-cho



*There are some smart comments below which indicate that the brain in this animal is near the eyes, and so, still present.

2 Responses to “Video of Odori-Don: Dancing Zombie Squid Sashimi”

Craig says:

The brain of a squid is very close to the eye – the squid is this video isn’t dead – removing the top of the head has just removed a lot of it’s digestive system – seems pretty awfully cruel to me.

Jonah Lester says:

I used to teach biology lab to college students and dissected many many squid. They do have a brain, and from the image, the brain is actually still intact. That’s no zombie squid. The mantle and viscera were removed and it still has a functioning eyes and brain.


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