Why Japanese people say “Itadakimasu” before they eat.

In Japan, there is a culture of saying “Itadakimasu” before eating. Many people living in Japan must have been taught by their parents to say, “Before you eat, always say Itadakimasu.”

When I live in the United States, I have never met anyone who says “Itadakimasu” before we eat. At that time, I felt why Japanese has such a culture.

So this time, I would like to introduce

1. Why is it customary to say “Itadakimasu” in Japan?

2. Do such cultures exist outside of Japan?

1. Why is it customary to say “Itadakimasu” in Japan?

What does “Itadakimasu” mean? The word “Itadakimasu” is a humble language, a honorific that expresses respect for the other person. Therefore, it is said that “Itadakimasu” has the meaning of gratitude. Itadakimasu is a word that expresses gratitude to the people who prepared food, animals, fish, and vegetables.

It is not known why such a custom is and when it began. However, it is said that the word “Itadaki” became a humble expression for “getting” or “receiving” to express gratitude when receiving something from a superior. Then, this culture permeated.

2. Is there a culture of saying “Itadakimasu” outside of Japan?

Unfortunately, as far as I researched, I couldn’t find a country that uses words with the same meaning as Japan. However, I would like to introduce some words to say before eating.

France: Bon appetit

Italy: Buon appetito

UK: Let’s eat

The meaning and usage of “Itadakimasu” are different, so it seems that other countries do not have the same word as in Japan.

We will say “Itadakimasu” such as above picture.




1. なぜ日本では「いただきます」を言う習慣があるのか?

2. 日本以外にはそういった文化が存在するのか?





2. 日本以外には「いただきます」と言う文化が存在するのか?


フランス:Bon appetit(召し上がれ)

イタリア:Buon appetito(召し上がれ)

イギリス:Let’s eat(食べましょう)


Japanese Culture