Don J. Modesto (Don_Modesto) wrote:
I was corrected--far too belatedly, in my opinion--for describing myself as a teacher in Japan. Someone would ask, in Japanese, "What do you do?" and I'd innocently answer, "Eigo no sensei."
This, I was informed, is presumptuous, as Jun commented. The proper term seems to be "kyoshi" as in "Eigo no kyoshi desu."
Jun, would this apply to aikido, too? Do we have "aikido no kyoshi"?
I am not Jun, but I think I can answer your question. The presumptuousness of referring to oneself as 'Sensei' or X-'san' is based on conventions relating to the use of honorifics in the Japanese language and applies across the board. This is an extremely refined art, and I see it in operation every day here at university meetings.
As to whether 'kyoushi' is an appropriate term to use, this has nothing to do with usage concerning honorifics, but with accepted job categories. I am not a kyoushi (which means something like 'lecturer') in my university, so I cannot use the term. In any case, an aikido kyoushi would be someone who lectures in aikido at an academic institution or technical college. In my own dojo here I am the 'sekininsha' (person responsible) and my two colleagues would be 'shidoin'. But 'Aikido o shidou suru' (I teach aikido) sounds less presumptuous than giving oneself an 'official' job category (I am an aikido teacher).
Finally, pressure of work prevents me from making any further contributions to this forum (and the AJ forum) for the next few months. I will have a look from time to time and occasionally post in the Japanese language section.
Best regards to all,