- Feb 3, 2005
- Reaction score
- Huber Heights, OH
Similarly, it's common for school kids to refer to their teacher as Mr., Miss, or Mrs. So-n-so, even in social contexts. "Dad, this is Miss Looks-to-young-to-be-a-teacher. She's my teacher." (Maybe I'm getting old.)I would assume. In western countries, refering to someone in the third person as your karate sensei is appropriate. I think addressing them as sensei outside of the dojo is what sticks out.
I suspect that in Japan, sensei are addressed as such outside of their chosen place of practice, but sensei is a normative honorific in Japan. I suspect that in Japan, addressing someone with the English honorific of "sir" or "maam" in normal conversation would also stick out. It isn't insulting or ridiculous, and I suspect that many would at least be familiar with the words (most everyone in the US has heard the word, "sensei" and could use it in context), but Japanese already has honorifics that serve the purpose.
When I went to school Parent-Teacher conferences, I used to ask the teacher to refer to me by my given name, all friendly-like. I eventually gave up when I realized that the poor teacher was meeting dozens of parents and they only know the kid. "Mr. Lawson" is a polite way of saying "Christophers' Dad who I don't want to have to memorize his first name too" ...only shorter.
Now if I have to call the school to pick the kid up, I'll ID myself as something along the lines of, "This is Mr. Lawson, Christopher Lawson's father." In this case, "Mr." is less of an honorific and more of a way of being polite without requiring people to memorize crap (my name) that they don't care about and don't need anyway.
Peace favor your sword,