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What Does Itadakimasu Mean and Where Does It Come From?

What Does Itadakimasu Mean and Where Does It Come From?
(Last Updated On: May 11, 2022)

Japanese Word

The Japanese word itadakimasu is used by many Japanese-speaking people around the world before they eat, whether they are in Japan or not. But what does it actually mean? And where does it come from? In this article, we’ll look at the history of the word, as well as some interesting background on the practice of saying it.

A brief history of itadakimasu

While itadakimasu may sound like gibberish to some, others will immediately recognize it as a Japanese word. At its most basic level, itadakimasu is used to mark a meal about to be consumed—the equivalent of saying let’s eat! in English.

itadakimasu in hindi
itadakimasu google translate

How people use it in daily life

One of Japan’s most famous Japanese phrases is Itadakimasu.

It is the polite form of the verb ‘to receive’ (I humbly receive). Many visitors to Japan don’t realize that people still use this word on a daily basis.

When you pay for food at a Japanese restaurant or about to enjoy a delicious meal at home, people in Japan say itadakimasu.

This is basically thanking one’s dinner or lunch on behalf of your whole family.

Where and when to say itadakimasu

Itadakimasu is said before a meal. The literal translation is ‘I humbly receive’, so it serves as a reminder to be grateful for your food and offer gratitude to those who have helped you get it.

Most restaurants will say something similar before serving patrons. If you’re dining with friends or family, they may repeat after you so they remember to say their own words of thanks. There are no rules about when to say itadakimasu. Some people like to do it out loud right before taking their first bite; others prefer saying it silently or mentally just once during the whole meal.

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There is also no set wording that must be used; some will bow as a sign of deep respect while saying itadakimasu while others opt not to include any physical movements at all—it’s completely up to personal preference.

Itadakimasu facts
where does itadakimasu come from

Other uses of itadakimasu

The origins of Itadakimasu are not entirely clear—though there are several theories—but one idea is that saying itadakimasu is thought to help ensure a successful outcome.

It is important to note that in addition to its use at mealtime, Itadakimasu can also be used when opening anything.

For example, a Japanese person might say, Itadakimasu before opening a package or email.

How to say thank you in Japanese

Most of us are aware that saying thank you in Japanese is straightforward.

And it is, but there’s more to it than just Arigatou gozaimasu (thanks).

If you want to be truly polite and Japanese-like, then you need to follow up your thanks with the ‘itadakimasu’ (literally, I humbly receive) before eating or drinking.

meaning Itadakimasu

Frequently Asked Questions

Itadakimasu is actually the polite and humble form of the verb “to receive”, so it actually means, “I humbly receive”. But most commonly, it is used before having a meal, meaning ”let’s eat”. Saying Itadakimasu is a basic Japanese Dining etiquette running in Japanese dining culture since ancient times.

Yes, it is a basic Japanese etiquette to thank for the food, to express your gratitude.

Itadakimasu is a polite expression of showing gratitude before having a meal. It is a Japanese food culture to thank for the food provided. It also means ”let’s eat”. Like commonly seen, food in anime cartoons is eaten after saying Itadakimasu by bowing down as a sign of respect.

Japanese people say ‘Gochisosama’ after eating, meaning ‘it was quite a feast’, and all hold their hands as a sign of respect to form their thoughts and feelings.

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