Just as a fwiw... I sometimes use the sempai-kohai terminology with the kids in our kids program. But really not as any sort of strict "you must do this" sort of thing and certainly not with the depth of meaning it can often take on. As a matter of fact I don't use the terms very often. I'll just remind them that the students who have been there longer have some degree of responsibility in helping the newer ones. It's good for the kids in keeping them focused on their own behavior in class and helps build them up a bit, giving them a bit more confidence feeling they need to help and demonstrate proper behavior as well. As they get older, well, we don't talk about it much any longer.
Now of course this isn't the full "deep, richly cultural" meaning of sempai/kohai. But since the kids think it's special and important it can be helpful in teaching them better self-control, to help their fellow students, responsibility, etc.
So I don't get all that wound up about this stuff. And it's not like we're worshiping at the alter of all things Nihon...
Last edited by Keith Larman : 09-06-2012 at 01:12 PM.
Reason: Really freakish typing error. Not sure what i was thinking of typing, but I got it wrong...