Jun 27, 2017

Japanese Dojo Terminology

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Edited: Jul 15, 2017



Translation: Hall of the Devine Warrior




Translation: Grandmaster (Soke Masaaki Hatsumi)




Translation: Master Instructor (10th Dan and above)




Translation: Instructor (5th Dan and above)




Translation: Teacher




Translation: Assistant to the teacher




Translation: Place of martial arts training




Translation: Stop!




Translation: Receiver (Training partner receiving the technique)




Translation: Giver (Training partner giving the technique)




Translation: Hello


"Domo Arigato Gosaimasu"

Doh-moh Adi-gah-toh Goh-zai-mass

Translation: Thank you very much (formal)




Translation: Thanks (casual)


"Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo"

She-kin Harah-mit-zoo Dai-koh-mee-yoh

Translation: Every moment holds the potential to lead me towards enlightenment


"Sensei Ni Rei"

Sen-say Nee Ray

Translation: Bow to teacher



On-eh Guy-ee She-mass

Translation: Please teach me




Nov 19, 2017

**NOTE: I am not a native nor fluent Japanese speaker. I am simply a student who is learning it as a high school subject, but I also use a lot of free time studying this language. There might have been mistranslations due to differences in casual Japanese conversations and martial arts terms. (see yame for example)

***There was very little romaji (using latin script to write Japanese) because they are already stated above in the original post.



Bujinkan: 武神館 (ぶじんかん)

Hatsumi Masaaki: 初見 良昭 (はつみ まあさき)

  • In Western culture, the surname is the last part of someone's full name, but in a lot of Asian cultures (in this case, Japan), the surname is first. Maasaki Hatsumi is how you'd address the 宗家(そうけ)(soke) in Western cultures, but in Japan he'd be called Hatsumi Maasaki because the surname is Hatsumi.

Head of family; originator (literal translation): 宗家 (そうけ)

Instructor: 師範(しはん)

Teacher: 先生(せんせい)

Senior: 先輩 (せんぱい)

Dojo: 道場(どうじょう)

Stop!: 止め!(やめ!)(literally 'to stop; cease action')

  • 止める is the verb 'to stop', so I wasn't sure why る(ru) was cut off since 止め (yame) has no actual meaning. This might be a barrier between casual Japanese conversation and martial arts terms.


Receiver: 受け(うけ)

  • Cultural Note: Due to the fact that this word has numerous, similar translations it can be easily misidentified as a different word. In martial arts, uke translates to 'the receiver of the technique', but in pop culture such as manga or anime, the word is easily misinterpreted as something else. (Refer to translation no. 5 in the Jisho.org definition of 受け)

  • In other words, I almost had a laughing fit the first time I heard this word being used in a self-defence class.


Hello: 今日は(こんにちは)

Thank you (informal/casual): ありがとう

Thank you (formal/polite): ありがとうございます

Thank you (incredibly formal): どうもありがとうございます

Every moment holds the potential to lead me towards enlightenment: 四拳 波羅蜜 大光明 (しけん はらみつ )

Bow to teacher: 先生に礼 (literally: teacher-to-bow)

Onegaishimasu: traditional meaning is actually 'Please', to say "Please teach me" add よろしく (yoro-shiku) at the beginning (よろしくお願いします)(yoro-shiku onegai-shimasu). Other translations when adding yoro-shiku mean "Please remember me; please help me; please treat me well; I look forward to working with you​"

  • In other words, when we're bowing to the teacher and saying onegai-shimasu we are literally saying 'Please'.

Instructor: no words found under the word shidoshi (しどし), shiidoshi (しいどし), or shidoshii (しどしい) that mean 'instructor' or any similar words.


Giver: no words found under the word tori (とり) or toori (とおり)

tori (とり) means 'bird' and toori (とおり)has multiple meanings, the most common being 'avenue', 'street', or 'road'.

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