Itadakimasu (Now, I get your soul)

Yutaka Niibe at 2017-06-23T10:19:07Z

In Japan, it is common practice for everyone to say "itadakimasu" for each meal. Without saying that, we can't start eating.

The direct translation would be: "Now, I get your soul". It's a very short version of prayer before meals. We recognize "soul" for each food.

I was explained that it's because of Buddhism, but I don't see such a practice in China, Thailand, or India.

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Or.. it would be: thanks creatures.

The philosophy behind is:

草木国土悉皆成仏

Everything is Buddha.  Those who eat or be eaten.

Yutaka Niibe at 2017-06-24T12:15:44Z

In China, it's just "EAT RICE". :-)

Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) at 2017-06-25T23:24:36Z

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The practice is basically between those who eat and those being eaten.
For example, I say "itadakimasu" even if I eat alone.

Yutaka Niibe at 2017-06-26T07:35:06Z