meaning of itadakimasu

It is in the evening at March 11th, 2013 now.
Two years has been past since the huge earthquake in Tohoku area, Japan.

Today, I saw many people were talking about the earthquake on TVs, newspapers, magazines and also news feed on facebook etc.  I will never forget it as same as the earthquake which I had experienced in Kobe in 1995.

Today, I would like to write about the word “Itadakimasu” because I am living now and think I have to appreciate.

“Itadakimasu” is a Japanese word which people are saying before eating meal.
It is our common custom and some people who have been to Japan may know it as a kind of manner.

It means “receive” politely.
What do we receive?
It is a life of something like cows, pigs, chickens, fishes, vegetables…., they have their life.  But we need to eat something to be alive.  In another word, we are killing something’s life and eat it to be a live.  So we are receiving something’s life to be alive.

“Itadakimasu” is including our appreciation that we receive life of foods.

Many people died at the earthquake.
But not only one in Japan, but also other huge one in China, Taiwan, Turkey, New Zealand etc.  Also not only earthquake, but also other natural disasters, wars, accidents….

Now I can write this article because I am alive.
Therefore, I can enjoy meals.
I want to keep appreciating with the word “Itadakimasu.”