I (humbly) receive (this meal)
Itadakimasu is traditionally used to begin meals in Japan. It is supposed to mean “I receive” or “I humbly receive the gift of this food” but it may literally translate as “I take your life.”
This is related to the Buddhist philosophy that all life is sacred. Living organisms, plants and animals have given their life to human beings. The term is an expression of gratitude for their sacrifice and for all who played a role in preparing, cultivating, ranching or hunting the food.
Sometimes we just forget that a single plate of meal is a result of hard work from so many things. Osen, the okami of Isshouan, bring those ideas as their way of preparing meals. Shinya Shokudou also give some humble atmosphere. If eating a particular dish has ever caused you to reflect on moments from your past, then each dish has its own story.