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Sensei was a generic term for "master", "teacher" or "doctor". It could be used to refer to any authority figure, such as school teacher, professor, priest, lawyer, or politician. It could be used on both genders.
Sensei & Dojo Edit
A sensei had sufficient mastery of his school's techniques that he had been asked to teach them to the next generation. Its duty was not only to teach, but to maintain the honor of his school and guard the secrets of his technique from outsiders. A true master might even seek to create new techniques of his own, or even new schools.  Sensei of martial arts usually lived and or worked at a dojo. They were a master of the school's technique and instructed the students of that school. Students could have very little contact with the sensei of their school, but would definately know who the sensei was and would have met him at least a handful of times. 
Sensei was most commonly used in a school for a teacher, by both students and teachers, and was considered a more friendly term than calling him or her by the family name plus sensei (as an honorifics). A male teacher Isawa Tanaka would initially be called "Tanaka-sensei" by his students and after a while, students switch to simply "Sensei" if that was what Tanaka-sensei would like to be called. Fellow teachers might call each other sensei after becoming familiar, but when they considered each other friends, they usually started calling each other by the family name alone, the first name, or by a nickname. 
See also Edit
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