I'm Your Sensei! Er, Master! Er...Wait...

Am I the only one who remembers that back in 2011, Wu was referred to as “Sensei Wu?” It wasn’t until 2015 that he adopted the moniker “Master Wu.” Why the change? Were people complaining that using the word “Sensei” was offensive for some reason? I can’t see how that could’ve been the case, because “Sensei” is defined as a wise teacher of martial arts. Wu definitely fits this criteria, given that he teaches his students ninja skills. So what was the mindset behind making him the “Master?”


I am also super curious about this change. “Sensei” always sounded a lot cooler to me than “Master”.


They changed it due to the appropriation of the title for a lego theme being deemed insenseitive.


I really want to say something, but I won’t.


i have no idea, maybe “master wu” just is easier to pronounce.

I think there was some issue about it in different countries, but I really don’t know.

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I’ve seen different theories, but nothing concrete.

In addition to what was said above, I’ve seen some people saying that it was because Wu starting being more of a leader than a teacher in the later seasons. Other people say it was simply one of the changes they made in the soft reboot that happened with the movie.

Sensei Wu explanation
As far as I can tell, the only official statements are pretty vague, but it kinda sounds like Lego might be afraid of being accused of cultural appropriation. Honestly I don’t see why “sensei” would be a problem when ninja is fine, since both are Japanese. My theory is that they were worried about using a Japanese title for Wu, given his white voice actor and the fact that Wu himself has Caucasian features (they’re not so obvious when he’s old, but flashbacks show him with light hair; plus, Garmadon and Lloyd definitely look white).


No, the “Master” term was in use before the movie. As I said in my opening post, it began in 2015 with the Possession wave.

Lego had already been accused of cultural appropriation…at least, by some people on BZPower.

I dunno…pretty much every minifigure in the TV series has yellow skin…but you do have a point in that the majority of the cast is white.

huh, I never even noticed the change (granted, I don’t follow Ninjago very closely)


I still struggle to identify what exactly can be considered inappropriate about the term “Sensei”. As far as I know, it has just one universal meaning, which is teacher. Just because it may mean something else in other languages shouldn’t really matter.

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