This week is officially 50 years since the first ever Nuru massage. To celebrate the occasion we are taking a look back at the past fifty years of Nuru; from its beginnings in Kawasaki City, Japan to its early days in the west and ultimately where we are today; with Nuru being the most popular erotic massage service in the UK. – We’re crazy about it!
First off let me introduce myself, I’m Calum Scott and four years ago I started a thread on Reddit opening a discussion on Asian erotic massage in Britain. As it turned out lots of people were looking for information about this and as the thread grew so did a desire in me to find out all there is to know about the Asian erotic massage culture in the UK. So I started my blog, and every week for a year I posted religiously with new facts, historical, present day, interviews, opinions, the lot.
This year I am making headway with my latest project, a book. The book which should be available to buy in the autumn will be a collection of stories, voices, historical artefacts, statistics and figures. For now, to wet your whistle, here is what I’ve learned about the ever so popular and ever so pleasurable Nuru massage.
Where did Nuru massage start and how has it evolved?
Nuru massage was invented in Kawasaki City by a lady called Miss Hamada, a leading erotic massage parlour owner in Japan at the time. Hamada was already prolific for her inventive massage styles and modern twists on older massage styles. The year was 1968 and Hamada went down to the public baths to do her washing, it was while she was there that she witnessed a number of Japanese elders scrubbing their bodies with an intriguing substance. Originally used as a body scrub, Nuru gel is made up of a rare seaweed ‘nori’ that is only found in Japan. What attracted Hamada to the substance was the unique nature of it; Nuru gels properties allow it to be both incredibly sticky and slippery at the same time. Hamada saw the advantage of these properties as a base for an erotic massage. After purchasing the gel, Hamada experimented with creating an erotic massage and by the end of the month had invented Nuru Massage.
After being very popular within Hamada’s parlour and quickly spreading through Kawasaki City and other regional parts of Japan, the massage took off. With tourists sampling the style and going home with word of its wonders, Nuru for a period in the 80’s/90’s was like gold dust. Wealthy foreigners sought out Hamada’s parlour for the authentic experience and were willing to pay a lot for it. After saving for a number of years Hamada’s Massage Empire grew and grew. Branching out across Asia and in popular European cities, Hamada’s empire became a family run
Today, 50 years on from Hamada’s discovery of Nuru gel, an authentic Hamada Nuru massage parlour exists in London town. Today you can get an authentic Nuru massage at a reasonable cost in the United Kingdom. In fact, since its dawn, Nuru gel is now established as one of the most popular erotic massage styles around the world – in most erotic massage parlours Nuru massage, or some version of it will be offered. An authentic Nuru massage is, in my opinion, best to get from an Asian masseuse and I would recommend requesting to see the Nuru gel before – to ensure it’s the real deal (I’ve heard horror stories of petroleum jelly and pva glue!)
Find out what Miss Hamada’s granddaughter’s views on Nuru massage are
Miss Hamada’s whereabouts are currently unknown; I did try and contact her for an interview with no luck. I did however get in contact with one of her representatives and was invited to go for tea with her granddaughter Amy, who currently runs her London Nuru parlour.
We met on a Tuesday morning at a pleasant coffee house in Marylebone. I’ll have to admit I was a little embarrassed at the beginning of our meeting as I think there had been some crossed wires – Amy was under the impression she was meeting a documentary filmmaker who was looking to make a documentary about her grandmother (of course this was not the case as I explained.) After making it clear my intentions – to learn more about Miss Hamada and the history of Nuru for my blog, we got on like a house on fire!
I’ve transcribed some of our chat below:-
CS: “So why Nuru, what made your grandmother interested in it?”
AH: “She was always looking for the next best thing, an oil that could rejuvenate the skin, make you more youthful – that is something she is very interested in now, haha. But no, with Nuru I suppose it really just presented itself to her – an act of God- she sometimes says. Of course knowing what we know now, it is quite obvious why nuru makes such a good base for massage…sometimes I wish she had discovered a self-cleaning gel, but c’est la vie.”
CS: “Nuru is notoriously messy.”
AH: “Tell me about it, you should see my parlours laundry bill!”
CS: “So what made you want to follow in your grandmother’s footsteps?”
AH: “Well I can’t say I’m as passionate about the whole thing as she is but I am interested in it. Honestly I just sort of fell into it. After studying at University in Manchester I really wanted to stay in the UK, then gran offered me the parlour as a business enterprise and I moved up to London the following week. That was a long time ago now, I have no complaints.”
CS: “What do you think is the future of Nuru?”
AH: “Hmm, interesting question. I can’t really say there is much further we need to take Nuru but I can make a prediction on the erotic massage industry in general. I think we’re in a really interesting period of transition now – in Britain anyway. In the past Britain was a lot more prudish when it came to anything related to sex, sure prostitution has always been a prominent industry here but anything a little more ‘exotic’ has been frowned upon. Over the past couple of years, in London especially, the younger generations’ interest in erotic massage has spiked. I mean we could psychoanalyse the reasons until the cows come home. Personally, I think it has to do with the loneliness of living in the city along with the generation of self-care and mental and physical fitness. People in Britain have woken up to the mental and physical health benefits of erotic massages and in the age of tinder, no one’s really that prudish anymore.
CS: “I completely agree. So what is your prediction for the future of erotic massage?”
AH: “That it will be looked on as it is in the east, people will go for massages as they would go to a dentist, a hairdresser. It will be embedded in to the culture, part of the monthly routine.”
CS: “Well looks like you’re in the right business then.”
AH: “Oh no, there’s much more money in drugs! (pause) I’m kidding.”
CS: “Hahaha, right you are.”
So what do you make of that then, the descendant of Nuru predicts a bright future for the erotic massage industry in Britain and I can’t quite seem to disagree with her.
As always post your comments below, let’s get a discussion started.
Until next time,