What is the meaning of Sensei?

What is the meaning of Sensei ?

Post by Kiki

FaceSensei, you told me I should call you “Sensei” but I don’t know the meaning of “Sensei.” Could you tell me why I should say “Sensei”?


Sensei means “Instructor or Teacher.”

Well, the word “Sensei” means “Teacher” in Japanese. Here is the Japanese character, 先生. In general, the two Kanji are used in Japan to describe someone who teaches in a school; however, Japanese people also use “Sensei” when referring to a leader, a guide, a coach, a professor, a master, or an instructor. At a martial arts school, Sensei is your instructor.

You may see the two Kanji, 先 and 生. The first Kanji can be translated as”before”, “in advance,” or “first.” The second can be translated as”life” or “be born.” So, “先生” means “a person who was born before you.” In Japan, there is a custom to respect seniors or people who have more experience and knowledgeable than you. Now you know why students in Japanese martial arts refer to their instructors as Sensei.

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  1. January 3rd, 2015

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