addressing one's or someone else's father respectfully in Japanese (父上)

Like a number of other East Asian languages, Japanese uses a complex system of honorifics, i.e. a system where a number of different levels of politeness are expressed in language via words, word forms or grammatical constructs. These can range from addressing someone or referring to someone with contempt (very informal) to expressing the highest level of reference (as used in addressing or referring to God) or any number of levels in-between.

One important aspect of addressing someone else in one’s or someone else’s family is by selecting the correct word when referring to them. One way to do this is through the usage of an appropriate title within a conversation as shown here in the widely-used Japanese Shinkaiyaku (新改訳) Bible of 2017.

When the speaker humbly refers to his or her father in the presence of respected interlocutor(s), chichi (父) is often used (see addressing one’s father humbly / respectfully in Japanese (父)).

In some conversations, archaic honorific forms for “father” are chosen that also contain chichi (父) and typically indicate a greater level of respect. That includes chichi-ue (父上). An interesting contrast between the use of of chichi and chichi-ue can be found when there is a reference to “my father and your father.” The former is addressed with chichi and the latter with chichi-ue (for more see 1 Kings 15:19, 1 Kings 20:34, and 2 Chronicles 16:3 along with addressing one’s father humbly / respectfully in Japanese (父)).

(Source: S. E. Doi, see also S. E. Doi in Journal of Translation, 18/2022, p. 37ff. )