In Japan, we say ” Itadakimasu ” before eating.
And when the meal is over, we say ” Gochisosama “.
These are unique Japanese expressions that cannot be translated into English.
Why do Japanese people say” Itadakimasu ” ” Gochisosama “?
Etymology of “Itadakimasu”
The word “Itadakimasu” comes from Shinto.
In the olden days, Japanese people had a custom of offering food to the Gods before eating it. Also, the word “Itadaku” is a humble word for the words “eat” and “get”.
This ritual was literally taken from the act when God(or high ranking person ) was offered and received it, recipient had the food raised above his head. And from then, it gradually became an expression of gratitude before meals.
Meaning of “Itadakimasu”
This is said to have two meanings.
1 Words of gratitude to those involved in the meal
Thank you to everyone who cooked the food, the carriers, the farmers, the dairy farmers, the fishermen, and so on.
2 Words of gratitude for the ingredients
It was thought that not only animals that became fish and meat, but also vegetables and plants had life.It means thank you for giving your life for me.
Meaning of “Gochisosama”
The word feast includes the word “Chiso”.
This means “run around.”In the old days,people have to go to various stores to procure gorgeous food to entertain their customers.They couldn’t prepare ingredients in supermarkets and websites like they do today.
They added the polite word “go” to the “Chiso”.
The word “Gochiso” itself has changed to mean “luxury food ,treat or feast.
They anthropomorphized this word and added “Sama”.
The word “Gochisosama” became a thank-you word for the person who prepared the food, and a greeting when the meal was over.
“Itadakimasu” and “Gochisosama” are words unique to Japan.
The word itself has various meanings.It’s very interesting, isn’t it?
It’s simple Japanese, so please remember and use it.
The person who cooked the meal will be very happy.