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Definition: A term for addressing someone who has been at work or school longer than oneself. A senior, a superior, an older graduate, an old-timer.

A person can refer to someone as a Sempai or they can append it to the end of their name like an honorific.

The opposite term or the term for a Sempai referring to their junior is a Kouhai


  • This term appears a lot in school dramas. Pick any show where the school is the setting and one is likely to hear it.

More Japanese

List of Japanese Words

Page of Japanese terms that appear in the shows