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Why do Japanese say Itadakimasu?

1. Introduction

The Japanese phrase “Itadakimasu” is an expression of gratitude and respect that is used before meals in Japan. It has many different layers of meaning, and is deeply rooted in the culture of Japan. In this article, we will discuss the origins, meaning, and cultural significance of this phrase and explore how it is used in conversation.

2. Origins of Itadakimasu

The origins of the phrase “Itadakimasu” can be traced back to ancient Shinto rituals. In these rituals, offerings were made to the gods or spirits before eating a meal. This was done as an act of gratitude for all that had been provided by nature or by the gods themselves. Over time, this ritual evolved into the phrase “Itadakimasu” as a way to express gratitude for what one was about to receive.

Japanese Snack Box

3. Meaning of Itadakimasu

At its core, “Itadakimasu” is an expression of gratitude and respect. It can be translated literally as “I humbly receive” or “I gratefully accept” and conveys a sense of humility and appreciation for what one is about to receive. The phrase can also be seen as a reminder that all things come from nature or from the gods, and should be respected as such.

4. Cultural Significance of Itadakimasu

In Japan, saying “Itadakimasu” before eating a meal has become part of daily life for many people. By saying this phrase before each meal, it serves as a reminder to be thankful for all that one has been given and to appreciate each moment in life more fully. This practice has become so ingrained in Japanese culture that it is often said even when eating alone or with family members at home rather than at formal occasions such as meals with guests or business partners.

5. Examples of When Itadakimasu is Used

The phrase “Itadakimasu” can be used in many different situations where food is being served or eaten:

– Before meals at home with family members
– Before meals at restaurants
– Before snacks or treats
– Before drinking tea or coffee

6 Variations of the Saying

In addition to the traditional version of “Itadakimasu” there are several variations that are commonly used:

– Gochisousama desu – Literally translates to “it was a feast” and is usually said after finishing a meal

– Gochisou sama desita – Literally translates to “it was a feast indeed” and is usually said after finishing a meal

– O-machi kudasai – Literally translates to “please wait (for me)” and is usually said when someone needs some extra time before starting their meal

7 How to Use Itadakimasu in Conversation

When using “Itadakimasu” in conversation it should be preceded by bowing your head slightly while saying it out loud with everyone else present doing the same thing simultaneously if possible.This gesture shows respect for those who have prepared the food as well as those who will be consuming it together.Additionally,if you are not familiar with Japanese customs,you may want to ask someone else who does know how best use this expression.

8 Conclusion

In conclusion,it’s clear that “itadakimasu” holds deep cultural significance within Japanese society.Not only does it serve as an expression of gratitude but also serves as reminder to appreciate each moment in life more fully.Whether you’re living in Japan or just visiting,learning how use this expression properly can help you gain greater insight into Japanese culture.

9 Sources & Further Reading


This article has provided an overview on why do Japanese say “itadakimasu” but if you would like further information on this topic please refer sources below:

– [Japanese Etiquette 101: What Is ‘Itadakimasu’?](
– [What Does ‘Itadakimasu’ Mean?](
– [Why Do We Say ‘Itadaki Masu’ In Japan?](https://www3sokucomicsnet/archives/20180903_232774html)

Why do Japanese people say let’s eat before they eat?

So atadakimasu means that man is grateful to the animals and plants that sacrifice their lives so that we can eat. And thanks to everyone involved in providing us with food. Finally his definition has a deeper meaning. For the young generation people still say eat meat.

Do Japanese say itadakimasu alone?

However it is normal and polite to say itadakimasu when eating with others but almost never when alone.

What does itadakimasu actually mean?

Itadagimasu あもます (いつるます) means accept accept (politely). This explains why you say it before meals. Finally you get food. Itadakimasu (and its dictionary form itadaku 顶くいただ) comes from Japanese Buddhist roots that teach respect for all living things.

How do you respond to itadakimasu?

The correct phrase before eating Itadakimasu comes from the word Itadakimasu. Those who prepare the food return to Dozomeshiyagir.

What is considered rude while eating in Japan?

Blowing your nose and making chewing noises at a table is considered bad manners in Japan. On the other hand it is considered polite to empty a plate of rice down to the last grain.

Why is it rude to eat all your food in Japan?

In Japan skipping a meal is not considered rude but rather a sign that one wants to help others. Conversely a complete finish indicates that the person is very satisfied with the rice and therefore does not want to offer more.

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