So basically, adding "Ka" ( 家 ) is really no different then adding "ist" (Aikidoist) in English, and while it can be used with a tone of reverence, it's not really an extra special honorific like Dr.
Maybe it is kind of akin to "Sir" in English? "Sir" has an older meaning of nobility, and is still used to show knighthood in England. However nowadays "Sir" is commonly used to be polite to when addressing any adult male, regardless of status. Would you say this is a fair comparison?
Well, there is a seeming arbitrariness about the matter.
is a hybrid term in Japanese, not in common use. Like 柔道家 juudouka
, it has come to be accepted to denote someone who practices aikido as a regular pastime. KA seems to be preferred to other suffixes, like SHA (者, meaning person).
However, someone who trained hard at bujutsu
, like Takada Sokaku, wandering round Japan doing 武者修行 musha-shugyou
, was called a 修行者 shugyou-sha
, not a shugyou-ka
. Why? I do not really know.
On my computer, 合気道者 comes out readily when I type in ‘aikidousha
', but 合気道家 never appears when I type in ‘aikidouka
'. With judo, the situation is reversed: 柔道家 (juudouka
) is clearly accepted by my computer kanji dictionary, but not ‘aikidouka
Since ‘aikido' has become anglicized, there is a similar arbitrariness about what to call someone who practices aikido. The name has to sound ‘right' in English.
This kind of issue is partly what makes the study of Japanese kanji so interesting.