I am aware of the usual meanings of the お世話 in reference to someone helping, taking care of someone. But recently I ran into sentences where it was used to describe a place where someone is being trained and working:

First one (context described here):


Second one:

Context: Mother B is entrusting her daughter to Mother A who will be working at the same place as her daughter.

A, 娘がお世話になる職場の方としてご近所の母親友達として母子共々よろしくお願いします

Given these examples it seems it can also be used to describe work places/places of training? Can someone explain the logic behind this? Because I can't really find any interpretation that isn't it meaning that someone is doing someone some favor/help, so could anyone explain the logic behind this?

I'm assuming it's something cultural/politeness thing.

EDIT: Clarification:

It's as goldbrick assumed. The problem here isn't so much the grammatical side of things and the relative clauses, I tend to get them. Problem is more that in my cultural background if you said:

place where someone is taken care of/looked after etc.


workplace where someone is taken care of...

frankly I'd assume they are talking about a hospital or something and not in a million of years it would occur to me that it could be tied to a workplace or somewhere someone is being educated trained.

Context wise, the character has basically joined a type of military, so they will be trained in using their skills and will work for that organization. So it's definitely not one way thing where some place or some work place is where someone is just being given help.

NOW that it has been brought to my attention I kinda can see it, thinking is probably that colleagues/company will look after someone or something. Unless someone has a better way of explaining how Japanese think about this.

To put it another way, SPECIFICALLY, I wonder how one should go about translating this into English so it makes sense to English speakers. I guess simply dropping that bit or replacing it with what we ASSUME/what kind of "help" is being done is one way to go about it but that feels like making a bit too many assumptions about authorial intent.

I hope I'm now clearer about what my question (if it's even a question TBH) is about.

2 Answers 2


This is not specific to お世話になる, a set expression that is used with gratitude and means "to be treated well" or "to be taken care of" as a whole. It's not related to cultural/politeness things, either. This is just how Japanese relative clauses work. What you are seeing is an adverbial-head relative clause constructed from:

My daughter is taken care of in this place.

Move この場所 to the end, drop で, change は to が, and you'll get 娘がお世話になっている場所 or "the place where my daughter is taken care of".


EDIT: Looks like my translation of "to be taken care" was misleading. Sorry for my bad English. (But then isn't this question a duplicate of the question you linked...? You've seen the linked question and understood what's written there, right?) 世話になる is an intransitive verb that refers to every good thing someone has been done from someone else, and this word is always used with the mood of "thank you" or "kindly". That's why お世話になりました by itself is a polite way to say "Thank you (for everything you have done to me/us up until today)" in Japanese, and you can say this to your teacher, your physician, your boss, your lawyer, your parents, or anyone who has been kind to you. Anyway, to translate (娘が)お世話になっている場所, you can just use "the school", "the office", "the hospital", "the training site", etc., depending on the context. After all, it refers to a place, and including the nuance of お世話 is not really critical in this context. But you really need to include the nuance of "thank you", something like "the place where you are kindly training my daughter" might work.

  • 1
    I think that お世話になる is quintessentially Japanese polite/humble language. In the second example in OP's question, the speaker's daughter is working there, providing labor in exchange for salary and other benefits that are due her. Framing this relationship as just her receiving help and care may be perplexing to some people outside Japan.
    – goldbrick
    Jul 29, 2018 at 23:16
  • @goldbrick 「お世話になる」の意味自体はOP自身がリンクしている別の質問に譲ればいいと思います。とりあえず「お世話になる」が「場所」を修飾しているという文法自体は「それを見た場所」とか「海が見えるビーチ」とかと何ら変わりないし、敬語とも無関係ですよね。質問者のレベル感から考えると違和感のある質問ですけど、それでもそれを聞かれているとしか読めませんでした…
    – naruto
    Jul 29, 2018 at 23:32
  • I agree the syntax of "お世話になる場所" has nothing to do with Keigo. But I wasn't sure that was the point of the question. And to me it looked like OP did not find the answer in the linked thread really relevant here (I am aware of the usual meanings ... But recently I ran into sentences where it was used to describe a place where someone is being trained and working ; I can't really find any interpretation that isn't it meaning that someone is doing someone some favor/help), and if that is the case, I have to agree with them.
    – goldbrick
    Jul 30, 2018 at 0:30
  • But let's not waste our ink any more and let OP be their own spokesperson :)
    – goldbrick
    Jul 30, 2018 at 0:30
  • @goldbrick yeah you are right. This isn't really a grammatical question, but about meaning since in my cultural background you wouldn't say your job is taking care of you. I explained it now more clearly in the edit up above. More specifically I was wondering how to go about translating this for others. Which I know is a tricky question. Jul 30, 2018 at 10:17

You are right.

Japanese people often use “お世話になっている場所” to describe a workplace.

In the background, they infer that you are taken care of by colleagues and superiors in a workplace.

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