My teacher is using humble language…

So I’m starting tsugaru shamisen lessons in January and I’ve been corresponding with my teacher who is always using super polite humble language with me. I’m not really sure how I should be writing to him. Is it because I’m not just a student, but a paying customer?

It’s maybe slightly awkward because he’s also living in the UK, is youngish (but a couple of years older than me), and often goes by his first name rather than family name so I don’t think he’s too bothered. But still, I don’t want to be blatantly rude.


How would you feel about asking him what sort of language would be appropriate for you to use, acknowledging your inexperience with the language and cultural norms?

(I’m assuming you’re corresponding in Japanese. Do you use any English at all with each other?)


Standard (ます・です) politeness seems sufficient since it (should be) obvious you’re a learner.


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