OT a segue to science: Newtons famous quote "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." springs to mind, with Einstein perhaps eclipsing him?. Whilst the context of the quote is unclear, its a neat statement of the foundation of modern science. A PhD is the completion of an apprenticeship where there is the expectation that at the beginning the student is the Kohai and by the completion of the PhD is the Sempai to his supervisors, albeit in only the particular field of his/her PhD.
Perhaps in science, this is not so different to Shuhari, where one is expected to step from the shadow of the supervisor and create (and continue to create) something new. With a broard brush stroke Shuhari is the norm in science, rather than the exception. (Science in Japan I think wrestles with this concept though)
These cross cultural metaphors are hurting my head