Talk:Hirohito/Archive 5

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The deceased's only official name is Shouwa now, so that's where the article should be. Common use is not always correct. —Nightstallion 18:32, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia's article location is based upon common use, not some abstract standard of correctness. And what is correct in Japan is not necessarily what is correct outside Japan. And outside Japan he's still pretty much always called Hirohito. You can rant about this being "incorrect" all you like, but it's the way of the world. And if you want to move the article, do a proper move proposal with a vote, since this is certain to be controversial - you don't just get to make the decision unilaterally. john k 18:35, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia's article location is quite obviously not always based exclusively upon common use; why would German Democratic Republic not be at East Germany, for instance? But fair enough, let's leave it here for now then. —Nightstallion 18:44, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
There are some obvious exceptions, but that is the basic rule. Obviously, if you can acquire a consensus for this article to be moved, then so be it - there appears to be a consensus for German Democratic Republic as opposed to East Germany, and the issue has been discussed a great deal. While I am personally partial to the article being at Hirohito, my main concern was that the move was done without any discussion. I think a move to a well-established and frequently edited article like this ought to be done after discussion, not unilaterally. john k 20:48, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
This discussion takes place for a long time now, and I think no "consensus" can be reached if it means a near unanimity. But if a simple majority is needed (and why should it not be?) then it can be found. I will try here to take an inventory of the Talk page already written about it and to make a census of the opinions already stated (I list each user once only):
  1. In this page (up to now): for "Emperor Shōwa": User:Švitrigaila and User:Nightstallion. For "Hirohito": User:John Kenney,
  2. In Talk:Hirohito/Archive 1#Article name: Fror Emperor Shōwa": User:Danny, User:Stevertigo. For "Hirohito": User:TakuyaMurata, User:Tannin. No opinion expressed: User:Stan Shebs.
  3. In Talk:Hirohito/Archive 2#Renaming article: for Emperor Shōwa: User:Bhinneka, User:antares911, User:Jefu, User:Parallel or Together?. For "Hirohito": User:Jnc, User: (unregistered),
  4. In Talk:Hirohito/Archive_3#"Showa" versus "Hirohito": for "Hirohito": User: (unsigned and unregisterd) and User:Meyer (after saying he's neuter). No opinion expressed: User:Wwoods,
  5. In Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(Japan-related_articles)/misc14#Posthumous_name_of_Emperors: Neuter: User:Dekimasu.
  6. Other opinions can be found on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style for Japan-related articles/Japanese Emperors, but they interfere with other questions ("Must we add "of Japan" after the name, or "Emperor" before?"...) that make very difficult to make a census.
Feel free to add other links to previous discussion or to add your own. I really think that the pro-"Emperor Shōwa"s outnumber the pro-"Hirohito"s, but it's sure the difference is not overwhelming. Švitrigaila 23:53, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Taking up a long series of opinions expressed over several years is not a good way to determine the consensus. Why not have a proper vote on the subject, if you want to get it moved? The clear result of your survey of past discussions appears to be "no consensus". Certainly we can't establish a consensus from these past discussions. Why not start it anew and try to get new people into the discussion? john k 19:24, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Also, no, a simple majority is not what is required. What is required is some kind of consensus. It doesn't necessarily have to be unanimity. It could even be a simple majority, if there's a consensus ahead of time that the issue can be decided by majority vote. But a fair, open process is absolutely necessary, and some agreement ahead of time of what kind of support for a change would be necessary to allow the page to be moved. john k 19:26, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

There are pros and cons, once again. Before all, I wouldn't like to live again the nightmare this conversation was on French Wikipedia. This discussion can go to far and to fast and be very hard to follow. The same arguments reapperaing again and again with no advance... I must admit my only nervous breakdown about Wikipedia was on that occasion!
It could be intersting to present it better and expose clearly and systematically the arguments in one clear short consensual text. And vote after on this text, without modifying it.
A simple majority can be enough to rename the article, I think, because if there's no overwhelming tendency to keep Hirohito, there is no reason to keep the present title which is an exception to the naming conventions for all the Japanese Emperors and Empresses (including emperor Shōwa's wife, Empress Kōjun). The exception has to be justified, not the title that follows the rule.
The basic arguments are very simple. For Emperor Shōwa:
  1. The custom in Japan is to call an Emperor by his regnal name, exactly like the pope in the Catholic Church, for example. The only difference is that the Japanese Emperors get their regnal name when they die, but this regnal name is retroactive for the length of their reign, or even for their whole life. When Hirohito died, he took the name Shōwa Tennō (that is Emperor Shōwa).
  2. Every official text calls him Emperor Shōwa or Shōwa Tennō, including the web site of the prime minister, the Imperial Household Agency Homepage, this unofficial homapge about the imperial family, and so on (note they accept to use the given name of the living Emperor Akihito while he's still alive; theoretically, he should be called only "the Emperor" with no name).
  3. This custom is Japanese and some users say it can't be borrowed in English. That's untrue. This custom is respected even in English for all the Emperors before him. Why Emperor Shōwa could be a problem, and not Emperor Fushimi (whose personal name was Hirohito), or Emperor Taishō, Shōwa's father?
  4. Some users say "Hirohito was his name and Emperor Shōwa was just a title; we call people by their name, not by their title." But no, once again. Hirohito was not his name, it was only his given name. Calling him Hirohito is just like calling George W. Bush George. It's not always derogatory (depending of the context) but it mustn't be used like that in an official text or a reference text. And what about Prince Akishino, which is a title and not a given name? Why does this title cause no problem on Wikipedia?
  5. When a dispute happens on Wikipedia on such issues, the habit is to see the official web pages or the web page of the person himself. For example, there is currutly an argument about Showtaro Morikubo's name; and the main argument is "Showtaro Morikubo is how the name is spelt on his official website and other sites. Other examples in which the style preferred by the person in question is used over the precise Japanese transliteration include Asuca Hayashi, Kohmi Hirose, and Maki Ohguro." So why not with Emperor Shōwa?
  6. A manual of style exists about this issue. It states that we should "use the form [[Emperor {name}]], which is a partial translation of their posthumous name" except for Hirohito. For him, "it is also acceptable (sic) to refer to him as Emperor Hirohito". What "acceptable" means is a great mystery in a manual of style. A manual of style is made to give instructions about what to do, not to note there are de facto exceptions and to contort around them. If it's just to record formally there are some articles titled like this and there is one title like that, it's not worth writing a manuel of style. It's not a manual of style, it's a catalog. I tried to have it modified, but I was answered by other users that though they don't disagree with me it was not the place to discuss it and that the Hirohito article must be moved first. That reinforts my opinion that this is not a true manual of style.
For Hirohito: It is the most commonly known name in the West. I agree with this, but I consider it's not a good reason, and it's the only reason there is for Hirohito.
  1. It's not a good reason because common ideas can't and mustn't be the base of an encyclopedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia based on consensus and votes, but there are some limits to this principle. If such a principle is adopted for the title of the articles, it can be adopted for everything. So we can vote for example: is Pluto a planet or a dwarf planet? The International Astronomical Union decides on it: it has adopted a definition of the words "planet" and "dwarf planets" and has applied it systematically. Pluto is a dwarf planet. We can't decide on Wikipedia by a vote after surveying what most people think about it! For Emperor Shōwa, it's the same thing. There is a very official Imperial Household Agency in Japan and a Government. They rule on this issue. They have an official list based on a systematic classification. Several emperors have been renamed centuries after their death according to the new system. And they decided the emperor's name is Emperor Shōwa. On no account have we the power to decide something else based on "common knowledge".
  2. During the discussion on the French Wikipedia, some users tried to introduce other arguments. Either they were the same argument, reformulated, rewritten, but bringing nothing new, or they were very artificial or even stupid. I quote several of them: "We can't call him "Shōwa" since this word is to similar to "Shoah"!" or "On the English Wikipedia they call him "Hirohito" so we can't call him something else!" (and whatabout the Japanese Wikipedia then?) or "If we move the article then readers looking for "Hirohito" won't be able to find him!" (and what about redirects? this is not a paper encyclopedia!) or "The article is about the man, not the Emperor!" (and we should move Pope John Paul II to Karol Wojtyła and Joseph Stalin to Iosif Dzhugashvili for the same reason...)
All that is to say that this issue is simply an issue about two conceptions of what must be presented in Wikipedia. Either a systematic presentation, founded on clearly established rules to classify subjects, articles and their titles, or a empiric presentation, based on the observation of the habits or beliefs and not of any attempt to organise and classify the knowledge. An encyclopedia must be systematic to be serious and scientific. That's why the general argument that "when two terms are possible, chose the most commonly used" doesn't have its place here. It can be admitted that "when two terms are equally possible and perfectly equivalent in meaning and place in the system they are in, we can chose the most commonly used if there is no other way to prefer one". The "most commonly used term" must be the last argument to use if there is no other. Not the first one if we want to be scientific.
That's why I think the manual of style concerning the names of the Japanese Emperors must be rewritten, eliminating the unusefull exception and the article must follow the rule and be moved to Emperor Shōwa.
Švitrigaila 14:24, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Svitrigaila - you present a lot of good arguments for use of Showa, and some bad ones (the case is not analogous to popes, who are, of course, most commonly known by their regnal name, and universally referred to that way in the media.) There is something to be said for consistency, but I think you go too far in trying to argue that Hirohito is "wrong". It is not incorrect to call him Hirohito in English, and it is not only the media, but also scholarly works that do so. I would add that the case is hardly clear-cut for all emperors - Meiji and Taisho are certainly sometimes referred to as Mutsuhito and Yoshihito. And of course, when the current emperor dies, I suspect he will still normally be called "Akihito," as we currently call him, rather than "Heisei". Anyway, let's get some outside input here. john k 16:26, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

As far as my opinion is concerned, I'm mostly very keen on standardisation and having all things orderly and correct (putting, as you noticed, "correct names" before "common names"), so I'm 100% for Shouwa (and Heisei, once Akihito's dead). —Nightstallion 12:22, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Be patient. Not regular patient, be historically patient. Right now everyone over the age of 20 are entirely used to Hirohito - we already know exactly who that is - and we see no reason to change our term for the guy just because the Japanese decide to do so. It's totally not a Western thing for a historical person's name to suddenly change after their death. He's only been Shouwa for 10 or so years. Give it another 10 or 20 years, until no-one will be confused about who this strange "Shouwa" person is, then you can make the change here.
I'm actually suprised to see the term Hirohito excluded from use within all the article texts here. Remember, I grew up for 20 years seeing the words "Emperor Hirohito" in every single place. I don't see any good reason to go and re-edit everything.
I'll bring up a point that leans towards Nightstallion's views - if we're using Shouwa in all of the text body, why not also for the article name and title? What was the reason people allowed all of the text contents to be written Shouwa instead of Hirohito? Consistency *is* a virtue.
Here's a related question. Why do we call it "Japan" when that's not what the Japanese call it? By your standard we should be re-writing everything in Wikipedia to use their term - and I'm not saying I'd oppose that - but it would be re-writing the English language - which is getting ahead of ourselves. We're not supposed to be changing our culture, but rather documenting it. :) CraigWyllie 23:31, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your contribution to the debate. I have several remarks about it.
Firstly: if I clearly understand what you say, you imply that "Hirohito" is the English form of "Emperor Shōwa" (or "Shōwa Tennō"), or a kind of English translation of it (like "Japan" is an English translation of "Nihon", as "Japon" is the French translation). You're not the first one to write that, and I'm strongly against this opinion. "Shōwa Tennō" 's translation is "Emperor Shōwa" (or sometimes "the Shōwa Emperor"). When a Japanese author writes abouth him, he calls him "Shōwa Tennō", and when his article is translated in English, "Shōwa Tennō" is not translated by "Hirohito". Look at this and that for examples. And if he uses "Hirohito", it's translated in English by "Hirohito". In my opinion, it's not a matter of translation. I's a matter of habits, and there are good and bad habits.
Secondly: you write it's a matter of time and we must wait that "Emperor Shōwa" is more often used than "Hirohito". But the usage will change only if people who know the Japanese Emperors' regnal name system use it properly. Usage doesn't change in time if no-one use the new one. You can make a law reforming the spelling of English language, but if you write in it "this law will be implemented when a majority of people use the new English spelling", nobody will ever use it. You say you use "Hirohito" because you're more than 20-year-old. But if a teenager is looking for informations about this man he has never heard about and look at his Wikipedian article, why would he take the good habit to call him "Emperor Shōwa"? Habits won't change if we don't make them change.
Thirdly (and it may be the most important thing in my opinion): facts, scientific truths, historical truths and so on don't change in time. The knowledge we have on them can change and we can correct a fact we thought to be true with a truer one, but we never never never must admit to hide something we already know, waiting people to be ready to hear it. An encyclopedia is made to teach the reader. It's the very aim of it. We already know that this emperor's regnal name is Emperor Shōwa. We know by which naming system this name occurs. It can be explained (and it is!) in the article's text. We don't have to wait the public to be aware of it. When the International Astronomical Union decided that Pluto is no longer a "planet" but a "dwarf planet", Wikipedia did'nt wait the people to be accustomed to the new decision before changing Pluto's article.
Fourthly: yes, consistency is a virtue. But once an unconsistency is created, it's a shame to try to restore consistency around this unconsistency instead of trying to fix it. In our example, dead Japanese Emperors are called by their posthumous regnal name throughout Wikipedia. This is a consistent rule. Calling Emperor Shōwa "Hirohito" is an unconsistency. To change all existing occurency of "Emperor Shōwa" by "Hirohito" for respect of consistency serves only to reinforce the original unconsistency. It's far simpler to rename the article. There will be a great work of correcting the links in the other articles, but I'm ready to do it myself if I must.
Fifthly: this habit of calling a Japanese Emperor by his given name is nothing more that an ethnocenteric view. It's a custom in the West to use the given name of sovereigns. We speak about Emperor Napoleon, King George, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles... but this habit is not used in Japan for Japanese sovereigns. They are not in the area of application of that custom, as neither are US presidents for example. You won't call George W. Bush "George" in an encyclopedia (even if you can do it in your private life if you're sure to be understood). If you must abbreviate his name, you say "Bush", not "George". And you wouldn't write "we see no reason to change our term for the guy just because the American decide to do so".
To resume all my arguments in one: if a naming system exists, let's use it (and let's explain it when necessary). We mustn't let received ideas or permanent historical mistakes or bad habits or unnecessary unconsistencies interfere with it. The most commonly used form of a name must never be an argument to choose a form against another, except if there is absolutely no other way to discriminate between two forms.
Švitrigaila 12:28, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
You also have some excellent points. Replying to your points one by one:
First point No, I am not implying that Hirohito is the translation of Showa. I can clearly see that it's Japanese custom to call the Emperor by a completely different name after his death.
Second point I dislike changing something just because of some other Culture's practice. We're writing the English version of Wikipedia. I say stick with the English cultural perrogative, where one's name during your life is the same name you are referred to after you are gone. The fact that prior Emperor's are currently known in the West by their after-death names is simply due to the fact that our society wasn't referring to them by their "living names" while they were alive.
If you go to anyone right now, and ask them who "Emperor Showa" is, you'll get a blank stare.
Until as such time that all other encyclopedias and the school system starts referring to him exclusively as the Showa, I'm in the "Common English Usage" camp.
Third point Agreed. Although I dislike the after-the-fact re-planetizing of Pluto. Just as I dislike the after-the-fact changing of what "Megabytes" means. (Everyone knew exactly what it meant before the disk drive manufacturers marketing departments started screwing with things.)
Fourth point No-one who speaks English created the inconsistency! And it's not an inconsistency, it's merely another less-common name for him, one that is the preferred usage in Japan or BY Japanese. Not in the West by those speaking English.
Fifth point Yes - this is the English Wikipedia. I'm voting for Western customs and standard practices. I do not want the world to be PCified to death.
Note - see my next comment a few paras down as well..
CraigWyllie (talk) 02:23, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

English is no longer the posession of British or American people. Not a few Japanese speak English and read the English version of Wikipedia, and they never use the term Hirohito because that sounds very rude. As American local English or British local English, you may use this wording as this article's title. However, if we treat English as an international language, we should use the term Emperor Showa instead. Tenpa 15:49, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, actually, I think changing Hirohito's name to Showa is ingenious. That way, if anyone questions the emperor's culpability in the war, it's easy to say: "Oh, no, that was Hirohito who did that. Not Showa. He's the good guy." Very clever of the author(s) of this article. Congratulations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:28, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Like Joseph Ratzinger and Pope Benedict XVI?... Švitrigaila (talk) 13:06, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, just like him. Good point. As usual. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:59, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Ahhhh, there's the CRUX of the whole disagreement, quoting Svitrigaila from above:
...if we treat English as an international language...
So is English Wikipedia the "international version" of Wikipedia? Do we accept whatever customs apply from all the other cultures in the world? Or do we stick with Western cultural practices? Which cultural practice is "the one correct" one? I'm going to stick to the Wikipedia naming conventions for now. CraigWyllie (talk) 02:23, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

I've never been happy about the Wikipedia naming policy (I'd rather have articles at the most accurate name, and redirects from the 'common' name, so that e.g. the article would be at Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici, with a redirect from Lorenzo de' Medici), but as long as we have the 'most common version' rule, let's follow it. Basically nobody in the world of 'English as a principal language' speakers, other than people with some special interest in Japan, will know who 'Emperor Showa' is. End of discussion. Feel free to try and change the general policy - I'd be more than happy to support you in that (and of course we'd change this to 'Emperor Showa' if it passed). Noel (talk) 12:27, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I am Japanese. It translates with the machine. I'm sorry in strange English. I think that Emperor Showa is good of the title in my conception. Some Japanese put the meaning of contempt and call His Majesty by the name of Hirohito. And, cannot Hirohito be forwarded to Emperor Showa?Therefore, when the title can be gotten as Emperor Showa, it is glad. However, I do not intend to do to insist strongly. It would be greatly appreciated if the annotation could be applied for how named Hirohito to call when there is a thing taken in the meaning of contempt in Japan or. -- (talk) 18:18, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

"Emperor Shōwa" or "(The) Shōwa Emperor"?

Which form is closer to the original meaning? I have heard both versions. Since "Shōwa" also characterizes his era, I think the second one is more correct, because "Shōwa" is not just a name like "(Emperor) Hirohito". -- megA 12:42, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

The two are used by historians such as Peter Wetzler and Herbert Bix. Bix also use Showa alone in Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, 2001, pp.687, 688. --Flying tiger 14:21, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Emperor Shōwa is far more commonly used than Shōwa Emperor. And many people don't seem to understand that his name is actually Emperor Shōwa. Emperors are posthumously renamed using the name of the era during which they reigned. After the current emperor dies, for example, he will be renamed Emperor Heisei (this renaming will appear in the same law that proclaims the name of the new era that will attach to the reign of Crown Prince Naruhito). Therefore the reference (in both Japanese and English) is not meant be a phrase where Shōwa is an adjective that modifies the word emperor (which wouldn't be capitalized if that were the case). "Emperor Shōwa" is actually his name (the word tennō, commonly translated as emperor, also appears as part of the name in Japanese). The name should also not take an article. I personally believe all references like "(The) Shōwa Emperor" stem from the above misunderstandings and are, therefore, incorrect.-Jefu (talk) 16:49, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I think that the usage "Shōwa Emperor" arises from analogy with some of the later Chinese emperors, who are never referred to by their posthumous names, but instead by an era name which was never actually a personal name for that individual. Thus "Qianlong Emperor" rather than "Emperor Qianlong", because "Qianlong" was not his name either during life or posthumously—he reigned during the Qianlong era. By analogy, Hirohito reigned during the Shōwa era and he would thus be the Shōwa Emperor. An advantage of this naming convention is that the current emperor is not named Heisei yet, but he is already reigning during the Heisei era, so one might refer to him as the Heisei Emperor, and this would be a lot closer to his posthumous Japanese name than Akihito is. However, I certainly don't recommend a unilateral switch to this convention, so Wikipedia shouldn't consider it until other people start doing it.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 18:50, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

As I understand things, Emperor Shōwa is in fact correct usage for English, and other languages in Europe use analogous practices. The Japanese people actually refer to current Emperor Akihito, for legal purposes, as H. M. The Present Emperor (今上天皇陛下 Kinjō tennō heika?); birth and incorporation dates since 1989 are filed by the form the (z) Day of the (y) Month of the (x) Year of Peace Attained (平成(x)年(y)月(z)日 Heisei (x)-nen (y)-katsu (z)-nichi?)" where x= the current Gregorian year minus 1,988--Japanese legal practice since ancient times, accounting for current reigns. B. C. Schmerker (talk) 05:19, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Except that "Heisei" is never translated. It is written as "Heisei". ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:36, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Hirohito's Authority

According to the article, "[t]he central question is how much real control the Emperor had over the Japanese military during the two wars." I think the answer is that the Emperor had considerable power. The most compelling piece of circumstantial evidence on this point is the manner in which the war ended. After (and only after) the two atomic bombs had been dropped, the Emperor told the people it was time to surrender, and they did. If he could direct the surrender of the nation in so expeditious a manner, he had great power. If he had been only a figurehead, under the total control of the military, he could not have done that, and he would have been denied the opportunity to broadcast to the people on that topic. Thus, I conclude as follows: either (a) as long as things were going well, he supported the military and did not exercise his power, or (b) he fully supported the military and its actions, and surrendered only when he saw that the situation was hopeless.

John Paul Parks (talk) 12:36, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Hirohito was the compete ruler of Japan.He was a "God on earth" by the japaneses.Perhaps, Hirohito sent to death more people than Hitler and Mussolini togheter, but during the Cold war, "Uncle Sam" needed a friend in Japan.In politics, there's no friends or foes;there's interests and targets.The atomic bombs sent to be forgotten, all Hirihito's war crimes, since 1931.Only not nobles such as Tojo went to the gallows.Agre22 (talk) 22:14, 2 August 2008 (UTC)agre22

Do you really think Hirohito send more people to death than Musolini or Hitler? check your facts--EuroHistoryTeacher (talk) 16:14, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Misleading reference

An anonymous IP made the following edit: [1]. As this is contrary to how I learned Japanese history, I checked the first resource. It is rather deceiving without the full quote:

Two words of caution are called for here. First, I call Emperor Shōwa "Hirohito" throughout this article because that is how he is best known outside Japan among non-Japan specialists.

The last bit among non-Japan specialists really needs to be quoted here. Also, it makes no claim about the "English-speaking world". Also, the reference should explicitly state that this is from page 6 instead of forcing the reader to search throughout the whole article for it.

Here is another resource:

The emperor himself lives namelessly ("His Majesty the Emperor") but intimately with the name of his death. Thus, he who was known in the West as Hirohito became Emperor Shōwa on January 7, 1989 [...].

The book is titled In the Realm of a Dying Emperor: Japan at Century's End by Norma Field (ISBN: 978-0679741893); page 20.

I am not very good with editing Wikipedia, so I hope that someone can deal with these issues appropriately. (talk) 13:47, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Great comments. I have attempted to incorporate your references into the article. (talk) 23:16, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
And I reverted your edit. Those comments add nothing new. The introduction is already too heavy and doesn't need a personal comment made by one author. This quotes can be used as references in footnotes, not as part of a general introduction. Švitrigaila (talk) 16:15, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. As the original comment made clear, the reference is being used inappropriately. It claims: "In the Western world, he is best known as Hirohito" when the reference does not make that claim. I agree that the personal comment of the author is unneeded, but if it is to be referenced, then it should be referenced appropriately or just removed. What do you recommend? Perhaps a Name section to move it out of the intro. Bendono (talk) 21:23, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Two different things bother me in those quotes. Firstly I'm not an English native speaker, but even if I speak rather bad English, I think I clearly understand it when I read it. And I can't understand the mening of a sentence such as "The emperor himself lives namelessly ("His Majesty the Emperor") but intimately with the name of his death". For me such a sentence is no clear English. I don't think his death has a name, he didn't live in Lyra Silvertongue's world. As in "First, I call Emperor Shōwa "Hirohito" throughout this article..." Who is "I"? If it's "Wakabayashi, Bob Tadashi", why not writing "Wakabayashi Bob Tadashi calls him "Hirohito"..."
But (and that's my "secondly"), who's that Wakabayashi? Why should there be in the introduction of an article about Emperor Shōwa a sentence about "Wakabayashi"'s opinion? That's non-sense. The article is better as it is now, and if we want a reference, we add a footnote and that's all. We can make a "name" section if it's long enough, but there must be added that in every official source, Japanese or not, hes's called "Shōwa" and not "Hirohito", and that Japanese sources even written directly in English call him "Shōwa". Švitrigaila (talk) 11:07, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
The first quote is fully explained in the next sentence: "Thus, he who was known in the West as Hirohito became Emperor Shōwa on January 7, 1989 [...]". In other words, he looses the name Hirohito (="namelessly") and becomes known as "Shōwa" (="the name of his death").
As for the second reference, I fully agree with you. However, currently that reference is being used inappropriately say: "In the Western world, he is best known as Hirohito." Nowhere in that passage does it say that. Rather, it says that Wakabayashi and Tadashi (whoever they are) "call "Emperor Shōwa "Hirohito" throughout this article because that is how he is best known outside Japan among non-Japan specialists". So 1) they recognize that his name is Emperor Shōwa and 2) only rename him for their article (not all of the Western world), and 3) renamed for non-specialists. All in all, it's not a very good reference. Unless it is appropriately referenced, it fails WP:V. I think there are two options: 1) remove it, or 2) fully quote it. I'm OK with either and would like to hear other opinions. Bendono (talk) 14:20, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
When he (Wakabayashi Bob Tadashi) or they (Wakabayashi and Bob Tadashi, who knows?) say(s) "in this article", which article they are talking about? Not Wikipedia's article I suppose? Then there musn't be a sentence containing the words "in this article" in this article! I prefer to erase totally the quote. Švitrigaila (talk) 14:30, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


Was the Emperor's birthday on April 29 a national holiday in Japan? Or did he have an 'official birthday' on a different date, when the celebrations were held? Something similar to this happens for Elizabeth II of Great Britain. (talk) 09:58, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Shōwa Day Mr.Clown (talk) 15:43, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Coronation Image

The image claims his coronation was in 1926; when in fact, it was in 1928. GoodDay (talk) 22:13, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Infobox Header

Twice in the last eight days I've reversed drive-by edits that removed "/Hirohito" from the article's infobox header. I strongly feel the header should indicate both names "Emperor Shōwa" and "Hirohito" until such time as the editors reach a consensus to favor one name over the other. Although I doubt the drive-by editors will pay attention to this discussion, I urge all to exercise restraint, patience, and respect for their fellow editors. -- Meyer (talk) 05:52, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Streamlined lead re. emperor's two names.

I have streamlined the article lead with the following goals:

  1. Increase prominence of the name "Hirohito" to a level roughly equal to "Emperor Shōwa". Hirohito is his most common name outside of Japan, and the name general readers will expect to find when they start reading the article. I do not intend to deprecate the use of "Emperor Shōwa", but the less common name should be introduced after the more common.
  2. Simplify the lead's discussion of the emperor's two names. Too much of the lead was a representation of the editors' arguments over which name to favor which are of no interest to the general reader.

-- Meyer (talk) 18:50, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Name in infobox

I was going to be bold and do this, but it seems controversial so I'll float it here first. I think the order of the names in the infobox should be changed to put Showa first. My reason is that all previous Japanese imperial infoboxes have the era name exclusively. Now, I can see why in the case of this article we should have Hirohito there as well, but it seems more consistent and reasonable to at least put Showa first. Template:Emperors_of_Japan also uses Showa (exclusively), so we should adjust this article to reflect that usage. Orpheus (talk) 06:42, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

The article should be renamed as "Emperor Showa", using the same naming methodology than all other articles of Japanese Emperors. The current name "Hirohito" seems to me intentionally disrespectful, which is not something Wikipedia should get into. If not objected in a week's time, I will carry out the move. --Drieakko (talk) 23:44, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh what amount of comments of the proper article name in the Archives. I think the article should use the name that is offered for the English language texts by the Japanese Imperial Household Agency, and that name is "Emperor Showa", optionally "Emperor Showa (Hirohito)". I do not see much reason to use any other resource as the basis for the article naming, unless for obscure political reasons. See Agency's official Internet site, e.g: --Drieakko (talk) 00:01, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
See also --Drieakko (talk) 00:04, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Nobody objected to this, so I've made a couple of changes. First, I added a "Personal name" field to the infobox, which displays directly underneath the image. Then I moved Hirohito from its current position to the Personal name field. That way it's still there, it's prominent (directly under the picture) and the infobox title is consistent with all of the predecent Japanese emperors. Orpheus (talk) 00:23, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Just over a week in the middle of year-end holidays is not enough time to gather opinions on this proposal. I'm reverting the change to the infobox header. The infobox should reflect the article itself, which uses both names but favors Hirohito as that is currently the more commonly used name in general English. If it's to be changed, wait for a consensus to form among a cross-section of editors, not just two who have time over the holidays. -- Meyer (talk) 06:20, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Re: Edit at 13:38, 5 January 2009 by Orpheus

The order of the names in the infobox header should correspond with the article name and the information presented in the article lead. As the discussion archives show, these elements have been developed based on consensus reached over long years of acrimony and multiple polls. Please do not change any of these elements until there is discussion to document a significant shift in that consensus. Reverting the infobox header. -- Meyer (talk) 04:01, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus for move.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:58, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Requested move - Jan 2009

See above section for latest start of discussion. Orpheus (talk) 00:29, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose for the same reason it failedlast time (Archive 4). Hirohito is the most common English name for the Emperor. TJ Spyke 01:45, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Controversial request, has been discussed many times, in this case Wiki rule on monarchs should apply, also this article needs to follow the established format of other Japanese monarchs. Gryffindor (talk) 03:55, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose this is not the Japanese Wikipedia. "Hirohito" is the English name. (talk) 05:06, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - the man is unquestionably known best in the English-speaking world as Hirohito, not his posthumous name. WP:COMMONNAME and WP:UE apply here; even if there was evidence that modern English usage is trending towards Shōwa (of which none had been presented), Wikipedia will only change once that trend has become the most common practice, not before. Parsecboy (talk) 05:38, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Hirohito is the most widely used title in the English speaking world. Oda Mari (talk) 06:12, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Hirohito is the most commonly used name, thus it should remain as it is. Skinny87 (talk) 08:22, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • (e/c) Oppose - Hirohito is by far the most well-known name for this man in the English language. Resolve this with something in the lead sentence saying "Hirohito, or Emperor Shōwa, ..." ? —Ed 17 (Talk / Contribs) 08:24, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Hirohito is indeed well known as that name especially following World War 2. Both entering Hirohito and Showa goes straight to the article and that is sufficient enough.--CorrectlyContentious 08:58, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Hirohito is the preferred choice. MBisanz talk 09:13, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support There are two reasons WP:COMMONNAME cannot be applied directly: 1. He has been renamed. 2. WP:NCP mandates the name not to be insulting. (N.B.: The word Emperor is needed for disambiguation.) — 3247 (talk) 09:33, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support What's wrong with having the correct name as the article title, and Hirohito as a redirect? Wikipedia isn't the Catholic Encylopedia either, but we still renamed the Joseph Ratzinger article when he became pope. We're not bound to follow common usage when common usage is wrong, and this seems like a very simple error to fix with no negative side effects. Can anyone give a reason why it would be harmful to the project to rename the article? Orpheus (talk) 09:45, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:NAME: this guideline recommends using the most common name for people and things, and 'Hirohito' is always used in English-language references. Nick-D (talk) 09:50, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. He is primarily known as Hirohito in English, see also Encyclopaedia Britannica and Columbia Encyclopedia. The Benedict XVI example doesn't apply here IMO, since the pope is generally known under his new name now. I don't see how "Hirohito" can be insulting. Markussep Talk 10:10, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • "Also, some terms are in common usage but are regarded as offensive (Mormon Church, for example). In those cases use widely known alternatives (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). When in doubt, check a mainstream reference work. A term can only be considered offensive if a verifiable, authoritative source can be quoted as citing it as such.
  • This does not mean that we should avoid using widely known pseudonyms like Mark Twain, Marilyn Monroe, Billy the Kid, or widely known common names of animals and other things. But it does mean that we need to temper common usage when the commonly used term is unreasonably misleading or commonly regarded as offensive to one or more groups of people."
  • Seems pretty unambiguous to me. Do we have a reliable source that referring to the emperor as Hirohito is offensive to a reasonable group of people? Orpheus (talk) 10:20, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

I would prefer Hirohito to Emperor Showa however I would someone to clarify that calling him Hirohito is not the same as calling President Bush, Bush. カンチョーSennen Goroshi ! (talk) 12:34, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose This is the English Wikipedia, and titles are expected to reflect what most English-speakers will recognize. I am American and have read extensively on the Pacific War and never once even seen the term "Emperor Showa" mentioned. Perhaps on the Japanese Wikipedia he should be called that, if that's how he's known in Japan, but in every single English source that I've seen he's been called Hirohito. – Joe Nutter 14:41, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose The only renaming I would support is "Warmongering and mass murdering piece of crap" -- (talk) 22:28, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

When he was born, he was named Hirohiro. It's a name called imina/諱. He was also given the title Michinomiya. While he was a boy, he was called Prince Michi/Michinomiya or His Royal Highness Michi/Michinomiya denka. When he became the crown prince at the age of eighteen, his name became Crown Prince Hirohito. Imina/諱/いみな [2] is a real name of a noble person and only the holder of the name can use it. People called him the Crown Prince/kotaishi/皇太子 or His Royal Highness Crown Prince/kotaishi denka/皇太子殿下. And when he became Emperor, people called him the His Majesty the Emperor/tenno heika/天皇陛下 or referred as the current emperor/kinjoutennnou/今上天皇. When he died, his official name became Emperor Showa. Japanese people do not use Hirohito when refer to him. Unlike the English speaking world, just calling his/her first name without kun or san except family members or very close friends is very impolite in most occasions in Japan, though the article title of the current Emperor is Akihito. See the Imperial names and the Historical names sections in Japanese name and Japanese honorifics#Royal and official titles too. Oda Mari (talk) 17:09, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Oda, your points are probably quite valid for the Japanese Wiki; the problem is, we're on the English Wiki, and what is the polite way for Japanese people to refer to the man is not really our concern. What matters is presenting our articles in a manner that most English-speaking people will recognize. If you ask any random person in the US, UK, Canada, or Australia (not meant to slight any other English-speaking countries, but they're the four biggest) who Emperor Shōwa is, they'd probably have a blank stare on their face. But ask them who Hirohito is, and the majority of them could probably at least tell you he was the Emperor of Japan during WWII. It's the same reason we don't use honorifics like "Peace Be Upon Him" when referring to Mohammed, even though Muslims would probably be more offended by this than Japanese people are of the lack of kun or san in regards to this man. Parsecboy (talk) 05:20, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
To Parsecboy. I voted 'oppose'. See the fifth vote. Because this is en Wiki. I just explained about his name in Japan. Because some editors seem not to understand his and Japanese names and how the honorifics is used in Japan. Oda Mari (talk) 05:38, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose While it might be a good idea of English usage to catch up with Japanese usage someday, that hasn't happened yet, and Wikipedia is not the proper forum push for that change: We have to reflect current general English usage. We need to support both names, and we do already with redirects and explicitly in the article text. Although using the emperor's personal name may be impolite in Japanese (though I think "bizarre" is more apt than "impolite" as Hirohito/Showa's personal name has not been used generally in Japan since his accession in 1926), the usage is not implicitly offensive in English. Also, unlike other Japanese emperors, Hirohito/Showa is a figure of world history in his own right as a wartime leader of a major world power, and as a published author in English (he published marine biology papers in English under the name Hirohito during his reign). (I think most of the Showa-clique editors must still be on vacation. This vote is surprisingly lopsided in view of the history of this discussion.) -- Meyer (talk) 06:14, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


" The Emperor's favorite pastime, pursued since childhood, is the study of marine biology. He spends two afternoons a week in his laboratory. On his periodic field trips he is so impatient to peer into the dredges to see what they have brought up from the sea bottom that he sometimes bumps heads with his fellow scientists. Occasionally Hirohito reaches into a dredge and gets nipped by a crab.

The Emperor's scientific pursuits have earned him induction into Britain's 300-year-old Royal Society, a ceremony likely to be a high point of his European trip. Only British kings can pull rank to get into this learned group. The only other foreign monarch who is a member now is Sweden's King Gustav VI Adolf, a horticulturist."

Austerlitz -- (talk) 20:57, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Need more source citations

Richardshusr made an interesting addition to the war crimes responsibility section about the influence of US war-time propaganda, but didn't indicate a source. I almost added a {{fact}} template, but saw that the entire section has been flagged for citations since last September. On a controversial article like this, additions without citations are almost valueless. Let's try to go the extra mile and cite sources whenever we add content. -- Meyer (talk) 08:04, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

A Google search located the article that was the source of the added paragraph, so I have added the citation. However, I also had to replace the paragraph with a summary since the text had been lifted directly from the source. The general comment about the need for sources stands. -- Meyer (talk) 08:27, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I've added a number of citations. However, the lead paragraph to this section remains unsourced and would benefit from citations.
Many people from countries once part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere see Emperor Shōwa as responsible for the atrocities committed by the imperial forces in the Second Sino-Japanese War and in World War II. Some feel that he, some members of the imperial family such as his brother Prince Chichibu, his cousins Prince Takeda and Prince Fushimi, and his uncles Prince Kan'in, Prince Asaka, and Prince Higashikuni, should have been tried for war crimes. Because of this perception of responsibility for war crimes and lack of accountability, many Asians residing in countries that were subject to Japanese invasion, as well as others in nations that fought Japan, retain a hostile attitude towards the Japanese imperial family.
--Richard (talk) 16:27, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Partially protect?

This article gets so much drive-by vandalism, it's a real pain to maintain. We could save a lot of rv's if we restricted updates to registered editors only (partial protection). However, the restriction would have to continue indefinitely, which goes against the grain of WP policy. Anyone else think it's worth making an exception to save all the scut work this page requires on an on-going basis? -- Meyer (talk) 04:10, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

The issue of the Emperor's responsibility for war crimes

It would be more appropriate to discuss the Emperor's responsibility for war crimes in the name he used during war events and not the name granted to him posthumously. This works better as Hirohito is also his personal name.

As he stands to face the judgement of history, he will do so as Hirohito the man and not as the Emperor Showa, a name adopted upon his death.

Thus I would urge the edit of this section to drop the reference to Emperor Showa.

That said, given that the judgement of history is placed upon the conduct of the person in question directly by name, and not by title, should not the title "Emperor" also be dropped as being prejudicial--at least for the purposes of this section of the biography.

This is the case in comparable biographies on Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:37, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I note the section refers to the man as both Emperor Shōwa and Hirohito.
The appropriate name for this man is such a controversial subject that I am opposed to any changes made for the sole purpose of using the "correct" name unless a new discussion here shows that a new consensus has been reached by the editors. In the absense of that, we should use the name found in our source, or assume good faith on the part of the previous editor. -- Meyer (talk) 00:48, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Date format m-d-y versus d-m-y

On 3 July editor Silverhorse changed some of the dates in the article body to day-month-year format. Seeing that the bulk of dates in the article body remained in month-day-year format, and not seeing any justification for a switch to day-month-year, I reversed Silverhorse's change and then "hand" edited a few pre-existing day-month-year dates in the infobox and lead. -- Meyer (talk) 02:29, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Finally managed to finish the editing i start a few days ago it now matches other pages regarding non usa pages Silverhorse
From Wikipedia Manual of Style (dates and numbers):

In June 2005, the Arbitration Committee stated that when either of two styles is acceptable, it is inappropriate for an editor to change an article from one to the other without substantial reason. For example, with respect to British date formats as opposed to American it would be acceptable to change from American format to British if the article concerned a British subject. Edit warring over optional styles (such as 14 February and February 14) is unacceptable. If an article has been stable in a given style, it should not be converted without a style-independent reason. Where in doubt, defer to the style used by the first major contributor.

There is no WP standard for date format on "non usa" pages other than what's discussed on the page cited above. It is inappropriate to change the date formats simply for the sake of changing date formats. Since early editors of the article used m-d-y format, that's the format that should be used now, barring a major rewrite. I'm reverting Silverhorse's last change (then recreating the bot's addition of war:Hirohito link). -- Meyer (talk) 01:40, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

WWII Surrender Conditions in Lead

At 08:30, 25 November 2009, Wiggalama changed a sentence in the article lead that had previously indicated that Japan's surrender was unconditions to indicate that the surrender was conditional on the Emperor maintaining his position. I have modified the sentence to remove mention of the surrender terms for the following reasons:

  1. Wiggalama's change is incorrect. The terms of Japan's surrender were set down in the Potsdam Declaration, which expressly calls for an unconditional surrender. Although the Japanese government proposed adding the condition of maintaining the Emperor, it was rejected by the Allies.
  2. Terms of the surrender are more detail than is appropriate for the lead of this article. The later section Last days of the war already contains a thorough account of the discussions surrounding the end of the war.

--Meyer (talk) 02:15, 26 November 2009 (UTC)