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#314811 - 01/13/07 11:59 PM Termonology
fatguy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 146
Quick question, I see that when referring to a sensei you say sensei after the name ex: Suino sensei. Im curious, when speaking to them directly do you actually say "Suino sensei" or is that just how its written and you say sensei suino?
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#314812 - 01/14/07 08:21 AM Re: Termonology [Re: fatguy]
A.J. Bryant Offline
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Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 98
Loc: Indianapolis, IN USA
The quick answer is: X-sensei works most of the time (i.e., Suino sensei), but in a more intimate environment where it's obvious who you'd be addressing, just "sensei" is fine.
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#314813 - 01/14/07 10:18 AM Re: Termonology [Re: fatguy]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
"Sensei" when used as an honorific, comes after the name in print and when spoken. You can also refer to someone just as "sensei" both in print and when spoken. In that case it is being used as a title, rather than as an honorific.

"Sensei SoAndSo" is not really appropriate. That would be squeezing Japanese terms into an english grammar format and sounds silly to those who know a little Japanese.
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#314814 - 01/14/07 02:07 PM Re: Termonology [Re: Charles Mahan]
fatguy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 146
I see. Is it the same when referring to someone of higher status than sensei? Although ill probably never meet a Soke, I hear a large amount of hype about calling someone that because of people making themselves a soke. For this reason, if i were to speak of one, would i say it in the same manner as sensei? or should i refrain from calling him soke altogether and just say sensei?
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#314815 - 01/14/07 03:22 PM Re: Termonology [Re: fatguy]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Soke is another honorific similar to sensei and works very much the same.

I believe it would be unusual to refer to the soke as such with when speaking to him. For instance, if I were training with Ikeda-soke and had a question, I might say "Sensei, Shitsumon ga" in my rather fractured Japanese, and then pantomime my question the best that I can. Then on the way back to my hotel, I would frantically call up my instructor and tell him what a wonderful time I had training with the soke. When he is teaching, the soke is sensei.

BTW, you can't make yourself a soke. I don't believe it is actually possible. Soke is a position you inherit, or are chosen for. You can create your own art, but then you would be considered the founder, and there is another term for that. While techincally you are the first leader of the system, the word for founder would be more appropriate than soke. If someone create's their own system, and then insists that other people call them soke, its a great big red flag.
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