Musician’s rule against eating rice means half of the sushi he orders gets thrown away.

J-rocker Gackt isn’t just loved for his music, but also for his surprise school graduation visits and slender, toned physique that has fans wanting to undress huggy pillows of the star. But there’s one more thing that sets Gackt apart from other musicians: his diet.

Despite being born and raised in Japan, Gackt never eats white rice. It’s been almost 20 years since he ate any (as part of a symbolic gesture to give up his favorite foodstuff in order to focus his energies on becoming a better musician), and while that’s unusual enough for a Japanese person, what’s even more surprising is that he still loves eating at sushi restaurants.

▼ Gackt, voted Japan’s most handsome blond celebrity

“But wait,” you might be thinking, “sushi is raw fish, right? What’s it got to do with rice?” Well, technically sushi includes rice, specifically rice seasoned with vinegar. Slices of raw fish served by themselves are called sashimi.

▼ Nigiri-style sushi, with slices of raw tuna atop vinegared rice

▼ Sashimi

In other words, Gackt could easily just order sashimi when he goes out and get the fish without any rice. But nope, he likes ordering sushi, eating just the fish topping, and leaving the rice untouched. Why? Because he thinks the sushi fish tastes better.

That’s not to say that chefs use higher quality fish for sushi than they do for sashimi, however. While appearing on broadcaster Fuji TV’s Mezamashi TV morning talk show on February 19, Gackt explained his logic with:

“With sushi, the fish is placed on top of rice that’s been treated with vinegar. While it doesn’t make the fish taste especially vinegary, there’s a slight scent of the vinegar that gets transferred to the fish. I love this aroma, and because of that, I want to eat the fish topping from sushi, and not sashimi.”

Having just fallen in love with Japan’s new microwavable potato chips because of how good they smell, we can understand Gackt’s reasoning. That said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind everyone that eating just the fish topping from sushi and leaving the rice to be thrown away is considered a major breach of Japanese etiquette. Even Gackt himself says he feels bad doing so (though apparently not bad enough to change his eating/ordering habits), and while it’s likely his celebrity status or a personal relationship with the owners of the restaurants he frequents gets him a pass, we definitely don’t recommend trying to imitate his unorthodox sushi style.

Sources: Livedoor News/Daily via Jin, Livedoor News/Music Voice
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso, Wikipedia/Tatoute

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he wonders how much restaurants could charge other customers for a new menu item: “Sushi Rice Left Over by Gackt.”