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Mochiwa Mochiya Blogs

Welcome to the Mochiwa Mochiya blog page where you can find out more about Japanese translation, language, and culture. Feel free to leave a comment or share any posts that tickle your fancy!

  • Writer's pictureJason Khoh

Beautiful reframes in Japanese - arigato


Hands up if you agree many people are familiar with the word ‘arigato’ as a way to express one’s thankfulness in Japanese? 🙌


Okay, now that I’ve got your attention, I wanted to introduce you to a lovely expression I learned from my wife: ‘arigato suru’.


At first glance, you might think it has the same meaning as kansha suru (感謝する) - and yes, you’d be right. Japanese will use ‘arigato suru’ to remind children to say thank you - eg, ‘chanto arigato surun da yo’.


But an even more useful (and dare I say more eloquent) way to use this phrase is when you’re getting rid of something - ie, as a replacement for the verb ‘suteru’ (捨てる).


We have two young daughters, so at our place we’re constantly trying to get rid of as many unnecessary items as possible - ‘danshari’ (断捨離) and ’seiri seiton’ (整理整頓) are ways to describe this action in Japanese. So when my wife and I ask each other if it’s okay to part ways with a particular household item we use phrases like, ‘kore arigato shiyo ka?’ or ‘kore arigato shite mo ii’?


It’s a beautiful way for us to reframe the way we look at disposing items. To actually thank the item - just prior to it being discarded - for the value it brought is a lovely little gesture, don’t you think?


What beautiful words and phrases do you like to use in your daily lives?


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