I know that nowdays 先生 is used as the honorific for medical doctors (among others), but I'm curious what honorific was used in older periods, Edo and Sengoku specifically.

Also if this usage of 先生 is entirely modern, when and why did it become such?

  • Basically this is an old Chinese-origin title, and I believe 先生 is natural at least in samurai stories set in these periods (e.g., 石川先生), but I don't know real historical usages.
    – naruto
    Aug 5 '20 at 1:20

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