Serve a Meal in Japan

serve a meal in JapanWhen Japanese people serve their guests a meal they often say, “I have nothing at all to offer you, but please eat what there is.” Of course, if there really was not anything to offer, the guests could not eat.

They meaning of this expression is “Even though you eat this, please do not feel that you have eaten anything.” In other words, it comes from the same way of thinking as the phrase, “This is really an insignificant thing I offer you.”

Further, when Japanese people meet someone they have not seen for some time, they often say ” I was most rude the other day.” This also seems to cause concern to a lot of foreigners, because it makes them think in the following manner- ” I do indeed remember seeing this person the other day, but I can not remember him doing anything that seemed rude to me, so he must have done something rude that I did not notice.”

But there is actually no need at all to worry like this, because the Japanese person who says this is thinking in the following manner-“I do not remember doing anything particularly rude to this person when I saw him the other day, but since I am a careless person, I may have done something that was a bother to him without knowing it, so I must apologize for anything that I may have done.”