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Jeremy Young
05-03-2005, 04:00 PM
I have an interesting question/discussion for the community. At least, interesting to me. I was talking with my girlfriend (she is japanese) and i was practicing my japanese and told her "watashi wa aikido no seito desu" or that i am an aikido student. She told me no...i am an aikidoka. I asked her the difference then between seito and ka and she explained that "-ka" would denote someone who was a "professional" while "seito" would denote maybe a lower rank practitioner. Anyways, that made me think about the fact that we often say "i am an aikidoka...or he/she is an aikidoka". Is this really correct to say?? And if it really does make a difference, when do you cross the line from seito to ka? Granted i am no "ka" (i am just now preparing to test for ikkyu) but i was wondering what other aikido practitioners thought about that.

Jeremy Young
Tatsumaki Dojo
Springdale, AR

Sonja2012
05-04-2005, 01:26 AM
Jeremy,

I have just started to learn Japanese myself, so for me this is an interesting question indeed ;-) Looking forward to the answers!

Regards,
Sonja

Anat Amitay
05-04-2005, 01:32 AM
I really can't help with the japaneese, but many languages have different words for semiliar meanings.
For example, in English- a school student and a university student- you use student for both terms. In hebrew you use a different word for each, so maybe that is something of a simelarity between "ka" and "seito"- it depends on where you use the term.
Anat

Peter Goldsbury
05-04-2005, 02:12 AM
I have an interesting question/discussion for the community. At least, interesting to me. I was talking with my girlfriend (she is japanese) and i was practicing my japanese and told her "watashi wa aikido no seito desu" or that i am an aikido student. She told me no...i am an aikidoka. I asked her the difference then between seito and ka and she explained that "-ka" would denote someone who was a "professional" while "seito" would denote maybe a lower rank practitioner. Anyways, that made me think about the fact that we often say "i am an aikidoka...or he/she is an aikidoka". Is this really correct to say?? And if it really does make a difference, when do you cross the line from seito to ka? Granted i am no "ka" (i am just now preparing to test for ikkyu) but i was wondering what other aikido practitioners thought about that.

Jeremy Young
Tatsumaki Dojo
Springdale, AR

Well, your girlfriend is right as far as it goes, but only as far as it goes. Seito is used of school students who are not old enough to be gakusei. And also for pupils. So, at a stretch the middle-aged lady with a 14-year old son, who trains in my dojo and is a relative beginner at 2nd kyuu, could conceivably be a seito, but I would never call her such. But nor is she really an aikidouka\at least she would not say so: she practises for a hobby.

As with English, there is always a context and native speakers tend to take this for granted.

Best regards,

Jeremy Young
05-04-2005, 09:27 AM
Peter:

Thanks for umm...clarifying that. As always with japanese i find myself even more confused! Lucky for me she was a teacher for a girls junior college in Osaka so she can help me with the "Teacher/Student etiquette". Are you training in Japan now? If so, can i ask a question? She was telling me that in school in japan it is customary for the teacher to say "hajimemasu" and the students "onegaisimasu" and at the end of class "owara(?)masu" and the students "domo arigatou gozaimasu". Have you noticed where this is customary of the instructors to say "hajimemasu" and "owaramasu" in the dojos also in japan?
Thanks in advance.
Jeremy

rob_liberti
05-04-2005, 09:44 AM
When the kids leave the kids-aikido-class in the dojos I visit in Japan they bow to the shomen, then bow to the room and say shitsudeishimasu (sp?!!!) - loosely meaning excuse my rudeness (for leaving).

When the adults enter the room, we bow to the shomen, then bow to the room and say "ohio gosaimasu" / "konnichiwa" or "Konbanwa" depending on the time of day. When the adults practice with each other they bow to the teacher, and then bow to each other and say "Onegaishimasu" which means something like "will you help me or work with me" and has the feeling of "new beginning". Some people don't seem to get this, so I've been looking for a smart a** phrase for like "will you pretend to work with me" or "please struggle as unproductively as possible" that I may be able to get away with in the States but I haven't put too much time into this....

When adults finish practicing they say "Domo Arigato Gosaimasu" - which is like thank you, thank you and a very polite verb meaning something like "to be" (?!) but with the feeling of something is "finished for now". And of course when the adults leave we bow to the shomen, and then to the room and say "Domo Arigato Gosaimasta" - which is like thank you, thank you and a very polite past tense verb meaning something like "to be" (?!) but with the feeling of something is "completely over".

The actual translations differ from the associated feelings a bit. YMMV.

Rob

Jeremy Young
05-04-2005, 10:24 AM
Rob-san:

I think the "onegaisimasu" and "domo arigatou gozaimasuta" are pretty standard, so always when i am asked to lead or teach a class that is what i say to the students also. so i was surprised to learn that at least school teachers in japan are saying something different to the students. "Sitsudesimasu"?? Honto?! that is very interesting! Did you ever notice though what the Teacher was saying to the students...were they also saying the same phrase back to the students or were they saying something else with the students responding with "onegaisimasu" and "domo arigatou gozaimasuta"??
As for the smart a** phrases...that is funny! Sometimes i feel that way too...
Arigatou gozaimasu
Jeremy

Peter Goldsbury
05-04-2005, 10:29 AM
Peter:

Thanks for umm...clarifying that. As always with japanese i find myself even more confused! Lucky for me she was a teacher for a girls junior college in Osaka so she can help me with the "Teacher/Student etiquette". Are you training in Japan now? If so, can i ask a question? She was telling me that in school in japan it is customary for the teacher to say "hajimemasu" and the students "onegaisimasu" and at the end of class "owara(?)masu" and the students "domo arigatou gozaimasu". Have you noticed where this is customary of the instructors to say "hajimemasu" and "owaramasu" in the dojos also in japan?
Thanks in advance.
Jeremy

Hello Jeremy,

I assumed from my profile that you knew I live in Hiroshima.

In my classes at Hiroshima University, I sometimes say "Hajimemasu" (if I am teaching the class in Japanese), when the bell rings and it is time to start class. At the end, I sometimes say "Owarimasu" (in Japanese) or "Now you can escape" (in English).

But that is a school or university class. In the dojo, I usually say something softer, like, "hajimemashou(ka)". After lining up, we then bow to the shoumen and then to each other, when we will all say "Yoroshiku onegai(ita)shimasu". When the time comes to end training, I will usually say, "Yamemashou(ka)", or "Owarismashou(ka)", line up, bow to the shoumen and to each other, when we will say "doumou arigatou gozaimashita" (obviously in the past tense, since the training has finished).

Best regards,

Jeremy Young
05-04-2005, 11:00 AM
Peter-san:
Thank you very much for clarifying that and helping me understand how to use those 2 phrases. That was exactly what i needed to know and i think i understand their use much better now.
Jeremy

Jeremy Young
05-04-2005, 11:01 AM
Also, to forum subscribers...
sorry, this should have been posted in the language section and not "general" i did not think about that at the time.

James Young
05-04-2005, 11:35 AM
Regarding the first question, I hear the term aikidoka (usually mixed in english conversation) so often now I just accept it without hesitation but in speaking Japanese I personally usually don't refer to myself or someone like myself as an aikidoka or seito, but rather say something like "aikido wo yatteiru" or I do (practice) aikido. I'm not a native but to me that seems more natural. Although aikidoka is used somewhat commonly, like was mentioned in Japanese the "ka" usually denotes the preceeding noun as one's profession, such as "shashinka" or photographer or "ongakuka" or musician. That is why I don't tend to use it.

Regarding the second point, I have heard a few different things that were said before the bow-in/out at the dojo. When I practiced in a university club in Japan after bowing to the shomen the shusho (captain of the club) would turn around and say "Honjitsu no keiko hajimarimasu" (Today's practice will now begin) and then we would bow to him with the normal "o-negai shimasu". Then at the end of practice after bowing to the shomen he would say "Honjitsu no keiko owarimasu". (Today's practice will now end.) As the university club culture runs very strictly to tradition of the club, of course this was all said very formally (psuedo military-like) and I don't think it is the norm at dojo outside of that environment, but is just another example related to what was asked.

Jeremy Young
05-04-2005, 11:46 AM
James:
Thanks...that is what i was finally told to say "i do (practice) aikido" after arguing the point with my girlfriend that i was definetly not aikidoka. and i did not know that -ka also denotes other professions.
arigatou gozaimasu
jeremy

batemanb
05-04-2005, 02:04 PM
I was looking for this old thread this morning, but it took me a while to post it.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1919&highlight=professional+aikidoka

Interestingly, I had a sensei over from Japan last week, he referred to students in his dojo as seito at one point during our conversation :).

Regards

Bryan

Jeremy Young
05-04-2005, 02:54 PM
Brayan:

Thanks for posting that link. What one of the guys said about maybe using -ka to refer to others but maybe sounding boastful to refer to yourself this way is kind of my way of thinking.

maikerus
05-04-2005, 10:08 PM
Interestingly, I had a sensei over from Japan last week, he referred to students in his dojo as seito at one point during our conversation :).

That's a good point. If "seito" doesn't make sense as Peter described it, then what would you call your own students (in Japanese)?

cheers,

--Michael

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