Saturday, May 22, 2010


Yesterday Mr. Furui paid me the extreme compliment of commenting on my blog. I am just tickled pink to think that an esteemed physicist would bow to explain the theory/formula that was the inspiration for his wife's quilt. And that he thought I'd be able to understand it!!! For details look in the comments of the Mrs. Furui's Electric Quilt post.

It occurred to me when writing that post that Mr. Furui is probably Dr. Furui. And his students and colleagues know him as Prof. Furui. In Japanese the title would be sensei. But sensei can mean anything from a hairdresser, to an English teacher, to a sports coach, to a politician, to a medical doctor, to a pastor, to someone with a PhD. It's all sensei in Japanese. A little discouraging after all those years of study and research and university tuition. This is possibly a reflection of the humbleness in Japanese society. (Sensei in Chinese characters means someone who has gone the path of life before).

I couple of years ago I did write a post about titles in Japan and how they are used in everyday conversation and why I refer to my quilting friends as Mrs. So-and-so. My English students call me "Tanya-teacher" being a literal translation of "Tanya sensei" or sometimes I'm just "Teacher" to them. I can't seem to get any of my younger students into the habit of calling me Mrs. Watanabe though I would prefer to be plain ol' Tanya.

Anyway, I feel like I'm cheating Mr. Furui from his proper title but still I call him "Furui-san" and he is just Mrs. Furui's husband to me.

Begging apologies, Furui-san.

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