What are “itadaki-masu” and “gochiso-sama” in Japanese? If you a fan of Japanese anime, you should have heard the word “itadaki-masu” before a meal and “gochiso-sama” after meal. At home, we Japanese are educated to say those phrases before and after meals and if the children miss to say them, parents would let them say.
Both phrases are originally from religious concept. Itadaku, as a verb, literally means receive in polite expression. Japanese say itadaki-masu before meals to appreciate two things. The first appreciation is for all the people who relate to the cooking- not only cooks themselves but also others such as farmers and clerks of supermarkets. The second appreciation is for lives of all food, not only livestock or fish but also vegetables. Every meal, we appreciate that all lives turn into part or our lives.
In terms of gochiso-sama, the one we say after meal, it is a phrase to appreciate the host who prepared the meal. Originally, “chiso” literally meant running around. In the ancient times, it was not easy to prepare all ingredients and cook. “Chiso” turned its meaning into a great meal after years. And “go” and “sama” are both terms to add more politeness on a word.
Now you understand what they are. Don’t you think it is a nice habit? Let’s try to say “itadaki-masu” before meals and “gochiso-sama” after meals at home, if you like the concept!