Itadakimasu

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Context:

The informant is a 23 year old Japanese male. He was born in Nagoya, Japan where he spent the first half of his life. When he was 13, he came to the United States to attend high school and has been living in California ever since. The informant currently resides in Inglewood, CA and works in animation.

Itadakimasu is something we say before we eat. This translates to “I will be having this” in a very polite way. But what you’re really doing is giving thanks to everyone that has put this meal in front of you. You are not only comparing this to Christianity when you are saying Grace, you are saying thank you to everything that you are grateful for. When saying Itadakimasu, you are saying “thank you” to the people that made your food, everyone who brought out your food, the animal that gave its life to provide nourishment for you, the people that caught and collected the food, your mother or father who has bought this food, it encompasses everything. 

Analysis:

Japanese folklore is very centered on making sure that food and things in general are being treated well and appreciated. A lot of that is reflected in the Japanese mindset. Being mindful about other things around you. The whole concept of mindfulness is very important.