＊Spell Sharing - Ritual＊
We sing this song before each meal followed by Japanese meal grace “Itadakimasu” (see the next page for the meanings)
For trees so tall and sky so blue For friends and foods We thank you Itadakimasu
木々がとても高いこと 空がとても青いこと 友達と食べ物に 感謝します いただきます
Before each meal, Japanese people place their hands together in front of their hearts and say “Itadakimasu (ee-tah-dah-kee-mah-su /いただきます）.” Then, we bow slightly and start eating.
The phrase “Itadakimasu” itself means “I humbly receive/accept it,” and you can use it when you receive gifts, awards, or anything. When we use the grace “itadakimasu” before meals, we are saying “we humbly receive the food, lives, and all the hard work behind the food.” By saying this we show our appreciation and respect to all plants and animals who shared themselves with us, Mother Earth, gods and goddesses who shared their energy and harvests, farmers who grow food, all other people who put their work to deliver the food, and people who cook the food. Not only that, we show appreciation for the fact that we have food to eat and we are healthy enough to eat, and we have family and friends to share our food.
It is a simple phrase, and it can take as short as 5 seconds to do this blessing. However, it always reminds us we are living through efforts by others, and we should never forget our appreciation for them.