1. #1
    FinalLegion's Avatar
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    Question about title

    I frequently run across the term O'Sensei on other forums. When this happens, there are some people who are quick to correct the term to O-Sensei or O Sensei.

    Is O'Sensei the grammatically correct form?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FinalLegion View Post
    Is O'Sensei the grammatically correct form?
    Only if you're Irish.

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    NeilG's Avatar
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    Assuming you're serious, "o-sensei" is the common romaji spelling. Nobody uses apostrophes in romaji, although the choice to use a hyphen, space or nothing to separate parts of a word seems a little random to me. Osoto-gari/o-soto-gari/osoto gari/osotogari are all romaji flavours of the same thing I've seen.

    Anyhoo, as a title it is only used legitimately in Aikido to refer to Ueshiba Morihei. Legitimate Japanese budo/bujutsu organizations outside of Aikido hombu don't use this term AFAIK. Every other use I've seen has been from some flavour of crap trying to gain legitimacy by using the loftiest title they can steal. They might also use soke or dai-sensei or whatever other **** they can think of to confer some gravity on their fake qualifications.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilG View Post
    Assuming you're serious, "o-sensei" is the common romaji spelling. Nobody uses apostrophes in romaji, although the choice to use a hyphen, space or nothing to separate parts of a word seems a little random to me. Osoto-gari/o-soto-gari/osoto gari/osotogari are all romaji flavours of the same thing I've seen.

    Anyhoo, as a title it is only used legitimately in Aikido to refer to Ueshiba Morihei. Legitimate Japanese budo/bujutsu organizations outside of Aikido hombu don't use this term AFAIK. Every other use I've seen has been from some flavour of crap trying to gain legitimacy by using the loftiest title they can steal. They might also use soke or dai-sensei or whatever other **** they can think of to confer some gravity on their fake qualifications.
    we're a dojo that practices judo, tomiki aikido, "kokushikan" karate and a gendai jujutsu system founded by my sensei.

    we have photos of kano jigoro and tomiki kenji on the wall and if we have to name them the acceptable terms for them are "kano jigoro" and "tomiki kenji" *or* "tomiki o-sensei."

    we *never* refer to kano as "kano o-sensei" and even my sensei is called "soke" by his jujutsu students as opposed to "o-sensei", so it seems to be a purely aikido thing. i just call him "sensei" and he never seems to mind.
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    NeilG's Avatar
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    Here's the thing, when referring to a sensei in person it is always acceptable to call them simply "sensei" or "name-sensei". Using any other title is usually Not Done. If you are introducing sensei to students at a seminar, you would say "this is X-sensei from Y-dojo" and not mention their rank or any other formal title they might have. A traditional Japanese person would not be happy at being introduced like "this is X-sensei, hanshi hachidan".

    The sensei would never refer to himself by those titles or any other honorific including "-san". For example, someone might say "hello, my name is Honda" and you would reply "pleased to meet you, Honda-sensei" (or Honda-san depending on your relationship).

    If you were sending out a notice about the seminar you would use those titles. You would also list qualifications for your instructors on your website.

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    FinalLegion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilG View Post
    Assuming you're serious, "o-sensei" is the common romaji spelling. Nobody uses apostrophes in romaji, although the choice to use a hyphen, space or nothing to separate parts of a word seems a little random to me. Osoto-gari/o-soto-gari/osoto gari/osotogari are all romaji flavours of the same thing I've seen.

    Anyhoo, as a title it is only used legitimately in Aikido to refer to Ueshiba Morihei. Legitimate Japanese budo/bujutsu organizations outside of Aikido hombu don't use this term AFAIK. Every other use I've seen has been from some flavour of crap trying to gain legitimacy by using the loftiest title they can steal. They might also use soke or dai-sensei or whatever other **** they can think of to confer some gravity on their fake qualifications.
    I'm sorry if it came off like I was joking but I really did want clarification on this...and now I've got it =)

    Your two posts in this thread have been chock full of a lot information that was unknown to me. I really do appreciate the time you took to not only explain it but put it all into context for me.

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