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Posted on Dec 28, 2007 in admin, For Kids | 17 comments

Obento song

Every day at Japanese immersion preschool, my son’s class sings this song before they eat their bento lunches. It encourages the children to wash their hands, eat anything they’re given, and be polite. In Japanese there are a couple of standard phrases everyone says just before and after eating. “Itadakimasu” (I’m receiving…) is said right before you eat, and “Gochiso sama” (Thank you for the meal) is said right after. The song teaches the children these two important mealtime phrases, and is often sung in Japanese preschools before lunch. There are different variations on the spoken part at the end, depending upon the school.

The Obento song is less involved than the Bento Box Song I wrote about previously. I found a video on YouTube of a child (not mine) singing the Obento song at Japanese preschool — pretty amusing. There’s also a clear audio version here — enjoy!

Obento no Uta (Bento Song)

(Japanese version here)


Obento obento, ureshii na
Otete mo kirei ni narimashita
Minna sorotte goaisatsu (Itadakimasu!)

Obento obento, ureshii na
Nan demo tabemasho, yoku kande
Minna sundara goaisatsu (Gochiso sama!)

(Spoken) Te o awasete
Minnasama go issho ni
Itadakimasu
Dozo meshiagare

Translation:

Obento obento
So happy (hooray!)
My hands are clean too
Now that we’re all together,
Let’s say “Let’s eat”

Obento obento
So happy (hooray!)
Let’s eat anything & chew it well
Now that we’re all finished,
Let’s say “Thank you for the meal”

(Spoken) Let’s put our hands together
Everyone together
Itadakimasu (“Let’s eat”)
Please start eating

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  1. Cute song!

    Unrelated, but I made my first trip to a Daiso yesterday. I went to the one in Union City. It was incredible! I hope they get their online store up soon, because I’m moving in a month! Do you know of any good, similar stores in the DC-metro area?

  2. Cute song indeed! Biggie – You have to promise us to sing this song and post a video if you are crowned for another award at next year’s Food Blog Awards!!

  3. I would sing this song when I was in kindergarten, too!

  4. @1 from Stephanie: Hmm, it looks like there are a few DC-area stores (H-Mart, etc.) listed on the Bentolunch LiveJournal community’s geographic shopping guide here: http://community.livejournal.com/bentolunch/1078782.html

    For more stores, you might try posting a message on the Bentolunch LJ community itself, and maybe on the Flickr “bento boxes” group linked in my sidebar to the right.

    My fingers are crossed that Ichiban Kan will open their online store soon; I know a lot of you are itching to check it out!

  5. @3 from Yoshi: Very nostalgic for you then, no? (natsukashii!)

  6. Haha the kids are so cute in the video,
    I always say itadakimasu when I’m eating out with my friends,
    Feel weird if I just dig in without doing anything!

  7. @7 from Cindy: Yes, it’s like saying Grace, but without religion. A nice meal-opener.

  8. Biggie, what is Japanese immersion preschool? That probably sounds really dumb. XD But, is it a pre school you can take your kids to that teaches them Japanese/Japan culture? I would love to put my kid in that when I grow up. ^_^

  9. @9 from dejikowaffo: No, not a dumb question at all — I’m not sure I’d know myself if we hadn’t heard about it through the local Japanese grapevine. It’s a preschool where they speak to the kids mainly in Japanese, with an element of culture thrown in (how much depends upon the school). Depending on your area, you can find immersion schools for all kinds of languages — there are a number of Chinese immersion schools here. Some of them aim to duplicate the overseas preschool experience exactly, others go for more of an American approach mixed with the other language/culture. I’m a fan of the latter…

  10. Un, tottemo natsukashii :)

  11. what a great song!! it’s nice to see the school promoting such healthy habits – ESPECIALLY at lunchtime. terrific!!

  12. Adorable! :D

    Kind of off-topic, but I was just wondering, how tall are you, biggie?
    I’m planning on going to Japan in a year or so and I’m 5’6” and a half.. I’m afraid that I’ll be taller than the men there!

  13. @14 from Siea: I’m just under 5’10″, so I wound up embracing the height difference in Japan, wearing my 2.5″ pumps to work with a suit, and enjoying the air above everyone else’s heads in the subway. 5’6″+ is a little on the tall side for a woman in Japan, but not overly.

  14. Thanks for the reassurance! All of the exchange students this year were on the short side, so it got me worried.

  15. Oh, that’s pretty cool!
    Whenever I grow up I’d love to put my kids in a class like that.
    I know I wanna have kids so I can make them bentos XD
    Hmmm…I wonder if I could join one right now…XD Not really. But I want to join some sort of Japanese class because it’s hard to learn on my own. I’m getting better, though. Sorta off-topic, but in Japan is it weird to see bento stuff everywhere when it’s hard to find in the US? XD

  16. @17 from dejikowaffo: If you’re learning Japanese, I’d encourage you to take a class or get a conversation partner — very helpful to the learning process. I haven’t been back to Japan since having my son, so I’ll let you know next time I go!

  17. Hehe, I couldn’t imagine what that would be like. I hope to go to Japan maybe this summer or the next (although it’ll probably never happen X____X). I’d probably come home with several suitcases of bentos! XD