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The Real Meaning behind of Japanese Word, “Itadakimasu”


There is one of the common words Japanese people usually say “Itadakimasu”. This word is one of my favorite words as well.

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I always sit down at the dining chair, put my palms together and say “Itadakimasu” at loud before eating food whenever I eat with my family since I was little.


I never start eating till my mom says, “yes please go ahead”.

This is like a way to communicate with my mom and it is also my good old days with my mom.


I never change my habit saying “Itadakimasu” before eating after junior, middle, high school and college,,, even when I studied abroad to the U.S after college!


Even now, I put my palms together and say “Itadakimasu” whenever I eat something no matter where I am.




The Meaning of “Itadakimasu”



“Itadakimasu” is a word Japanese people says right before they eat food. In general, the meaning of “Itadakimasu” is showing some respects to person who cooked food.


However, there are some more meanings too! Even some Japanese might not know about the fact that there is a word “Inochiwo” hiding before “Itadakimasu”.



“Inochiwo” is “I take your life” in English. As a human being, we cannot live without taking others life. We eat animals and vegetables.



Japanese people repent to others life by saying “Itadakimasu”.



In other words, “Itadakimasu” means “I am so sorry for taking your life and am greatly appreciate to be able to have your life.”




In addition, “Itadakimasu” could have one more meaning when we write it in Chinese character.


“Itadaki” means “the top” in Chinese character.



Usually, we suppose to gain others life from below with respects. However, we look down others life when we try to eat them because we put food on table.



That is one of the reasons why we put palms together to the food and take a bow to show respects to the others life.


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The spirits, which support “Itadakimasu”


I just wonder what is behind when the word “Itadakimasu” created and background of it.


I think there is a relation with Japanese “Bonbu” spirit.


“Bonbu” is one of the terms for Buddhism and it means, “We are not conclude worldly desires and we are stupid people”



In other words, we never know what we are going to do depend on the fortune and we are very unstable. Here is the sin of human.


The point is it doesn’t end just a “Bonbu” spirit.




Japanese people tried to repent as much as they could. It shows how great the Japanese spirit is.



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