Mae (前) in Japanese means in front but also means ago, thus is used to refer events in the past as well to point something that is front….
At the beginning this didn’t make sense to me, despite the fact that I am Western person: the past is behind, it already passed; the future is in front, it is coming. Japanese people seems to be confused with this fact, they agree that future is in the front because it is coming but they also say that the past is in the front “in front,前 “…that is not congruent right?. How is possible that both the past and the future be in the front….seems like many Japanese people have not thought about this until the question arises.
Well if thinking of 前 as Latin “prae” everything makes sense (except for the point that, both present and future being in front), prae means before, but also means in front.
Prae and 前 both refer to spatial dimension: in front, and temporal dimension: before.