For example, 'a tennis master'?

3 Answers 3


If you are looking for adjectives to describe skill here's a few:

上手【じょうず】 (generally speaking) good at ~

巧妙【こうみょう】 mysteriously skillful at ~

~の天才【てんさい】 a genius in ~

熟練した【じゅくれんした】 This one is my favourite, it has the meaning of practised to perfection.

Some examples:

I am good at tennis.

That tennis player is skillful.

a genius in tennis

an expert at tennis

an expert tennis player

  • From @Samurai Soul's question, I'd say the word he is looking for might be '選手【せんしゅ】' (I see it in your examples, but not in the list of words above them).
    – Dave
    Aug 4, 2011 at 17:03
  • Just curious if マスター itself is used anywhere outside of 完全マスター.
    – jkerian
    Aug 4, 2011 at 17:03
  • @Dave 選手 just means a player. It does not mean that it is a master.
    – user458
    Aug 4, 2011 at 17:11
  • Oops. Sorry, as @sawa pointed out, 選手 on its own is not enough. I meant: qualifier + 選手 like 優れた選手
    – Dave
    Aug 4, 2011 at 17:28
  • Regarding 上手: It can easily sound arrogant to use 上手 to describe yourself this way, which is why you'll hear 得意 more often. Of course 上手ではない and 上手になりたい are perfectly fine. Aug 4, 2011 at 17:39

I think for sports, the word プロ 'professional' is usually used to refer to a skilled player, even if that person is not actually a professional. For Japanese sports like judo or sumo, there are specific words that describe what level the player is at.

  • +1 Oh, of course! I should have thought of that. I use プロ myself all the time in english and Japanese. Good one. Aug 4, 2011 at 21:23

At least for the taiko video game it is 達人 (たつじん) meaning "master / expert" not sure if this carries over to sports

  • Krillin used 達人 to describe Jackie Chun as an expert fighter in Dragon Ball, for what that's worth
    – sartak
    Aug 5, 2011 at 19:58

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