The meaning of "Itadakimasu"

I bought clams at the supermarket and put them into the salt water at home yesterday.

I was going to make steamed clams with sake.

Then I found that clams were moving more actively than usual.

I wanted to show them to my children, so I called them, "Come on! You will be able to watch clams are moving!"

They came running to me immediately saying "I want to watch them!".

"Wow! They were moving!"

They were excited to watch that one of the clam was splashing water from its mouth.

They watched them for a while, then my 6-year-old son told me seriously.

"Are you going to kill them from now?"

I answered, "Of course. I am going to make steamed clams with sake. You like it very much, don't you?"

He said, "No! I feel sorry for them. I want to raise them!"

My 4-year-old daughter also said,

"Don't kill them, mom. You are cruel!"

I told them,

"They can't live apart from the sea.

 You always say "Itadakimasu" before you eat something, don't you?

 It means that we are going to eat lives of other living things gratefully.

For example, you like fried  chicken, don't you?

They were also alive before.

So I think we may eat them with thanks, and you will grow bigger."

They were listening to my story seriously.

I don't know whether they could understand our common way of thinking of "Itadakimasu" or not.

They ate clams saying "How delicious they are! How nice!"

I wish that they will be able to eat without likes and dislikes of food and understand my story some day.

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  1. Simple but beautiful story indeed.
    I hope your children and all next generation kids will grow up to understand & be grateful the important thing of interdependence/mutualism between humans and natures.

    _"It's not just about the destination, but the journey"_


    1. Thank you for your nice comment.
      I agree. They told me " Are vegetables alive, too?"
      They might be able to understand about what I told them.

  2. Hi. I've come here through 'Nihon Blog Mura', and I'm deeply impressed with your story.
    'Itadakimasu' is a beautiful expression which we should not take for granted.

    Romi @ In the Way Everlasting

    1. Thank you for your comment!
      Thanks to children, I could realize the thing again which we usually forget about it because it is too normal for us.