CorrectedCultureEssayEtymologyJapanese tradition

Teshio ni Kakeru (手塩にかける – Raising with Tender Care)

  • Teshio ni Kakeru


    Have you experienced raising or cherishing a child, an animal, or a plant by your own hands?

    There is a saying for this in Japanese: teshi ni kakeru (手塩にかける).

    The te in teshio means “hand,” the shio means “salt,” and ni kakeru means “to sprinkle something.”
    「手塩」の「手」は “hand,” 「塩」は “salt,” 「かける」は “to sprinkle something” を意味します。

    In the past in Japan, people had their meals at zen (膳 – small dining table), and a small amount of salt to adjust the flavor of the meal was put on top of the table.
    (It is thought that originally this salt was placed there to purify the zen.)

    This salt was called teshio (手塩), and people adjusted the seasoning by sprinkling the salt by their own hands, so teshio ni kakeru has come to mean that you raise something carefully by yourself.

    Example sentences
    Musume wo teshio ni kakete sodateta (娘を手塩にかけて育てた – I fostered/cherished my daughter carefully.)
    Teshio ni kakete sodaterareta yasai wa oishii (手塩にかけて育てられた野菜は美味しい – Vegetables raised by hand are delicious.)

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