Saturday, August 11, 2007

itadakimasu & gochisoosama

Yesterday as I was watching a lunchtime soap opera, I learned something new.

The soap opera was talking about saying "grace" before eating. Do you say something before taking part of food? How about when you are done?

In Japan, we put our hands together (palm to palm) and say "itadakimasu". (Apparently, many children and adults in Japan do not say this nowadays. In fact, when Satoshi said "itadakimasu" and "gochisoosama" at a restaurant he was eating lunch at, the owner was impressed and mentioned to him that not many people say "itadakimasu" or "gochisoosama" any more.)

Saying "itadakimasu" is a way to thank the person who made the food you are about to partake in (which I knew) and also it is a way to tell the food that you are about to partake in "I am receiving your life and am grateful for the nutrients and energy you will give me" (which I didn't know).

I guess it is similar to what we said in pre-school before eating our lunch---"God is great, god is good, let us thank him for our food. Amen"

Also, at the end of the meal, we again put our hands together and say "gochisoosama"--thank you for the delicious meal.

So, if you don't say anything, try "itadakimasu" and "gochisoosama". It is a nice way to thank the person who cooked the delicious meal and also a way to show your appreciation for the food itself.

7 comments:

OkiHwn said...

My folks in the office still say it. Guess because they're older, not like the young today.

K & S said...

I think it is great that you eat together as an office too, Nate!

Take care.
Kat

Anonymous said...

our parents MADE us say this when we were growing up, so we'd try to say it as fast as possible like in one syllable - so it didn't sound anything like it was supposed to. we were such brats! (still are, i guess) -bourgogne

K & S said...

At least your parents made you say it Bourgogne, mine didn't and I had to learn to do it at 20-something when I studied abroad and lived with my host-family :)

Take care.
Kat

OkiHwn said...

We have a lunch room that the office folks eat their lunch. Most of the Okinawans bring their own bentos. But before starting they usually say their "itadakimasu".

Barbara said...

Growing up we always said Grace at Christmas and Easter. I've had several Japanese students stay with us in recent years and they have all said a small grace before eating.

K & S said...

Like I said Nate, it is nice that your office eats lunch together :)

That is nice that you said grace at Christmas and Easter, Barbara and that they students that stayed with you also did too.

Take care you two.
Kat