Basic Japanese : Japanese business titles
The last post of “Japanese honorific titles” series.
For people who are in a (supposed-to-be) honorary post, their business titles are generally used.
There are too many to pick up everything, so I just write about some of the most common ones.
Each of them can be used after the person’s name.
In “Dalziel and Pascoe” series, a British mystery, the two protagonists call each other by first name (“Andy” and “Peter”) even at office, although Dalziel is in the higher position than Pascoe.
This is quite unlikely in Japan no matter how close they are.
It is probable in private, but never at work.
In the company I work, brothers used to be in the same office.
They always called each other by family name with their business titles at work.
Japanese business titles
- Used chiefly for teachers or medical doctors in address or speech.
We use different word, “hakase”, for a “doctor” who has a non-medical doctor degree.
- Also used for professional creators like cartoonists, novelists, painters, etc.
- Government representatives seem to be called with this title by people like their secretaries in speech, according to TV dramas.
- Generally for a person who has a longer experience at the place you belong to and no other titles like “buchou”.
A senior in age, position, skills, etc.
- Frequently heard at school, especially at clubs.
- I assume it’s rather rare to be used at office.
People usually call others with their business titles, and to a person without titles, “san” or “kun” is more often used.
- The opposite of “senpai” is “kouhai” (junior person), but “kouhai” is never used as a title.
“Senpai” can be used after the person’s name, while “kouhai” not.
Statuses in a company
Actually, those statuses are not stated in the law, so they may vary from company to company.
For example, there are no “fuku-shachou” or “jyoumu” in the company I belong.
The following are common statuses in a general rank order from the highest.
The kanji character “chou” is used in many statuses.
It means “the top”, “the head” or “the leader” in this case.
For a store manager, the word “tenchou” (lit. “store leader”) is used.
For a factory head, “koujyouchou”. (“koujyou” means “factory”)
- A company chairman.
In Japan, “kaichou” is often a retired “shachou”.
In this case, “kaichou” is non-executive.
- The word is also used for the head of a society or a group like a student council or PTA.
- For a company president.
- Puller-ins may use this to any men with an honorific title, “san”.
- For a vice-president.
“Fuku” means “sub” or “assistant”.
- For a senior managing director.
The word “senmu” literally means “entirely on tasks”.
- For a managing director.
“Jyoumu” literally means “always on tasks”.
- For a department director.
- Generally at school, this word is used for a club president.
- For a section head.
- For a unit head.
The word literally means “mainly entrusted”.
In the Cabinet
Frequently seen in news.
Common people usually call them just by name or with “san” (some may use “chan”), rather than with their business titles.
I call the present Japanese PM as “Abe san” or “Abe” in usual conversation.
[Shushou or Souri]
- The prime minister.
The official Japanese word for the prime minister is “Naikaku souri daijin” (“naikaku” means “the Cabinet”).
However, “souri daijin” is more often used in speech, and the most common word is just “souri” or “shushou”.
“Shushou” is a short version of the Japanese words meaning “the head minister of the Cabinet”.
Latest posts by kara (see all)
- Basic Japanese : “Sumimasen” – “Thank you” in Japanese - June 24, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Arigatou” – “Thank you” in Japanese - May 29, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Go-chisou sama” – Phrase after meal - May 27, 2015
Sugawara no Michizane is the person who is worshipped as god of study at the shrine, “Dazaifu Tenman-guu”. “Sugawara” is the family name and “Michizane” is the first name. He is also well-known as one of the Big Three Onryou (vengeful spirit) in Japan, along with Taira no Masakado and Emperor Sutoku. Life of Sugawara […]
Large numbers in Japanese : Thousand to quadrillion From thousand to quadrillion, the common units you hear in everyday life in Japan including in the news. As I wrote in the previous post, for digits over ten, “4” is always read as “yon” and “9” as “kyuu”. “7” is generally “nana”. For bigger numbers than […]
Old-fashioned / historical “I” in Japanese The following “I” pronouns are well-known and can be quite often heard / seen in historical stories especially those which are set in the Edo period. But, these are rarely used in the present time. Neutral [Temae] “Temae” literally means “before hand(s)”. The near side of someone / something. […]
General Info : Japanese Alphabetical orders There are two patterns of Japanese Alphabetical orders. One starts with “A”, “I”, “U”. This is now used at school to learn Japanese Alphabets, Hiragana and Katakana. Known as “Gojyuu-on” (lit. “fifty sounds”). The other starts with “I”, “Ro”, “Ha”. Probably this was more commonly used before. Known as […]
Go-chisou sama (deshita) This phrase is said after meal. It expresses appreciation to people who prepared or cooked the meal. “Chisou” literally means “running around”. The Kanji character for “chi” means “run fast” or “travel fast on horseback / by car”. The “sou” character means “run”. People used to run around (or ride around on […]
General, but not very often used “I” in Japanese Several first-person singular pronouns for common people, only used by some. Neutral [Jibun] “Jibun” means “oneself”. Can be used by anybody according to circumstances, but I guess few common people use this as a usual pronoun for themselves. Maybe male athletes often use this, especially in […]
The rest of “Iroha-uta”, line by line Line 3 From a Buddhism thought, “Free from living and dying(, by entering Nirvana)”. [First half] Meaning: The deep mountain called life, “Ui” is also a Buddhism word. It means “every thing and phenomenon which comes from various karma(, always lives and dies and never lasts forever)”. Some […]
At first, I was going to write about how to say “you” in Japanese, but the most common “you” word is a person’s name usually with suffix like “san”, “kun”, or “chan”. (ex. Hanako-san) This way of calling is used as third person as well. In this post, I’m trying to explain the variants and […]
After Michizane’s death in 903, people, who were involved with the conspiracy to frame him, died in a mysterious death one after another. Also, there were natural disasters in Kyoto. Victims of vengeance by Sugawara no Michizane Year: Person 906: Fujiwara no Sadakuni (Age: 40) 908: Fujiwara no Sugane (Age: 53) He reported to the […]
Barrier for Masakado? There are seven main shrines (including “Kubi-zuka”) for Masakado. They are said to have been built to seal the powerful spirit of Masakado as well as to make use of it. [1. Torigoe shrine] It is not officially admitted, but this shrine is said to be the place where Masakado’s hand(s?) is […]