The word sashimi means “pierced body”, i.e. “刺身” = sashimi, where 刺し = sashi (pierced, stuck) and 身 = mi (body, meat). The culture of eating raw fish started in China as early as 500 BCE and the delicacy arrived in Japan during the Heian Period.  This word dates from the Muromachi period, and was possibly coined when the word “切る” = kiru (cut), the culinary step, was considered too inauspicious to be used by anyone other than samurai. This word may derive from the culinary practice of sticking the fish’s tail and fin to the slices in identifying the fish being eaten.