What Is Food Prayer in Japanese? Understanding the Cultural Significance

Uttering "Itadakimasu" acknowledges the interconnectedness between humans, nature, and the processes that sustain life. It exemplifies the values of mindfulness, harmony, and appreciation for the nourishment that sustains us.

What Is the Japanese Meal Prayer?

The Japanese meal prayer, known as “itadakimasu,” holds deep cultural significance in Japan. Before indulging in a delicious meal, it’s customary for Japanese individuals to utter this polite phrase, which conveys gratitude and appreciation to all those involved in the preparation of the food. The term “itadakimasu” reflects the inherent value placed on acknowledging the efforts of those who’ve worked diligently to provide sustenance.

The phrase also represents a spiritual connection between the person consuming the meal and nature. It highlights the deep reverence for the resources used to create the nourishment on the plate, including plants, animals, and the environment as a whole. Japanese culture places great emphasis on harmony with nature and preserving the balance between humans and the natural world. “Itadakimasu” serves as a reminder of our role as custodians of the Earth and encourages a mindful and appreciative approach towards the consumption of food.

The act of saying “itadakimasu” before a meal also promotes a sense of mindfulness and presence during the dining experience. It sets the tone for the meal, allowing individuals to fully immerse themselves in the flavors, textures, and aromas of the food. By starting the meal with gratitude, it fosters a deeper connection with the meal itself and enhances the overall dining experience.

When shared among family, friends, or colleagues, this phrase reinforces the bonds between individuals and fosters a sense of unity and gratitude for being able to enjoy the meal together.

It serves as a reminder to approach each meal with humility, appreciation, and presence, honoring the efforts of all those involved in it’s creation.

Now that you know the appropriate phrase to say after a meal in Japan, it’s time to delve into the proper etiquette for holding chopsticks and handling dishes.

What Do Japanese Say After Eating?

After enjoying a delicious meal, it’s customary for Japanese people to show their gratitude by saying “gochiso sama deshita.”. This phrase, which translates to “it was quite a feast,” is a way of expressing appreciation for the food and acknowledging the efforts of the person who prepared it. It’s a polite and respectful way to conclude the dining experience.

In Japanese culture, the act of sharing a meal is considered a special occasion. The tradition of expressing gratitude after eating reflects the importance placed on food and the significance of communal dining.

Some individuals may choose to express their thanks in a more personal or informal manner, depending on the context and relationship with the other diners. However, regardless of the specific words used, the underlying sentiment remains the same – a sincere expression of gratitude for the food and the company.

By understanding and participating in this tradition, individuals can fully embrace the spirit of Japanese dining, where every meal is seen as a meaningful and enjoyable experience.


It encompasses a deep sense of appreciation, acknowledging the efforts and sacrifices made to bring food to the table. It’s a reminder of the interconnectedness between humans and nature, an acknowledgment of the blessings we receive from the Earth. By uttering this phrase, individuals not only show gratitude but also pay homage to the rich cultural traditions and values ingrained in Japanese society.

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