Thread: Sensei?
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:59 AM   #17
oisin bourke
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Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 359
Re: Sensei?

I think the term implies a type of relationship with one's instructor. I think Ellis Amdur coined the phrase "at once intimate and distant". It certainly makes sense in a Japanese cultural context and I would certainly use the term for Japanese instructors, but even this is flexible.

For example, I would refer to my Shakuhachi teacher as "xxx Sensei" when addressing him in public (in relation to shakuhachi activities), but I always addressed as "xxx San" outside of that context because it "felt" right. I always referred to my martial Arts instructor as "xxx Sensei".
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