Talk:Iwo Jima

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When and how did Japan gain control of Iwo Jima? Is there any significant historical events on the island prior to WWII? LordAmeth 10:15, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I also would like to see more information about Iwo Jima pre- and post-WWII. When was it first inhabited? By whom? Were there "natives" like on other Pacific islands, or was it only inhabited during industrial-era? How about its significance during WWII? When was it decided that Iwo Jima was important? I just saw a TV show saying it became important to the US during the approach to Japan as an emergency landing site for US bombers en route to Japan, and to allow fighters to escort them. Anyone have more details about this? --greenmoss 03:07, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I was wondering about the 'ex-Islanders' bit too. From when till when was the island inhabited? 20:24, 24 January 2007 (UTC) (Hah, pretty silly of me to sign without loging in first. Lewis Trondheim 20:24, 24 January 2007 (UTC))

It was June 1889 the island was first inhabited. And the island officially became Japanese territory on September 9th 1891. You can read the island history on Ogasawara Village homepage. --Oda Mari 18:50, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

I deleted misinformation in pre-war history section. Hope you don't mind.Oda Mari 04:51, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

But the information you deleted is not necessarily incongruent with that presented on the web page you cite, so I’m not sure that deleting it is appropriate. How about putting the information back and fixing its shortcomings instead? Jim_Lockhart 05:52, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
First of all, I don't trust my English writing. Did you know there was a longer history section before? And I think that's not bad. More accurate than my deleted information. Isn't it better to put that one back? If it's possible. Please take a look at the page history 21:28, 30 April 2006. I don't know why but it was deleted on 3 May 2006. Oda Mari 14:37, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
If someone doesn’t have a look and revive the older history section, I will as soon as I have some time; meanwhile, don’t worry about your English writing. As long as it’s understandable, someone will rewrite it—and probably ask questions about ambiguous spots (or at least tag them). That's an opportunity for you to see how copy editing works and to get get accustomed to it. Best regards, Jim_Lockhart 16:20, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your encouraging words. I'll try when I have some time. I'm not that 暇 right now. Besides I've been here for a couple of months and there's still a lot to learn. I'm doing by 習うより慣れろ way,though. I've noticed now that an IP address user pointed out it in the Lost Information section here. Btw, is my English understandable enough? Oda Mari 17:03, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I’ve found the material you mention and moved it here. It looks like a fair translation of the Japanese Wikipedia article but needs to be copyeditted and otherwise cleaned up. I suggest working on it on this subpage, then introducing it into the article when doing so would not be disruptive. Perhaps you or someone could also check the sources at the bottom of the main article (these have not changed) for in-line citations. Best regards, Jim_Lockhart 14:04, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! I'm going to work on it. Little by little though.Oda Mari 14:35, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

The reference for the sensationalistic paragraph about the taking of heads/skulls as souvenirs is not complete/valid. I'm not disputing the claim, but sensationalistic claims should definitely have complete, reliable references. In the absence of a valid reference, the paragraph should be removed. 42GeoCPU (talk) 22:29, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Requested Move: Island has been renamed[edit]

The island has officially been renamed. The kanji have remained the same, but the reading has been changed to "Ioutou". Bueller 007 05:01, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

It's already added in the Name section.Oda Mari 06:35, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but we could have a discussion if the whole article has to be renamed...

The island has been renamed in Japanese, not English; there is thus no reason to rename the article in English. Jim_Lockhart 14:14, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I buy that. While there are some exceptional place names that change by language (Japan vs. Nihon), for the most part the English name is based on the original name in the target language. My view is that the island name changed without reference to language. When a person moves to a foreign speaking country, their name may adapt to the language phonology, but it does not fundamentally change. When a person's name is officially (ie, legally) changed, that becomes their name in other foreign speaking countries as well. I think that a case could be made here. There is even the Template:R from historic name template that could be used. Bendono 00:22, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
It think it would be better to wait a couple of years to see whether the new old name sticks—in English or in Japanese. My hunch is that there’s a good chance that it won’t in either language, and especially not in English, or at least American English, because of all the American blood that was spilled there. Some are likely to dismiss or resist the change, especially in English, as a ploy by the Japanese to whitewash history. So I would create the redirect as you describe above, but make Ioto and Iōtō redirects to Iwojima for the time being. But this is just my thinking, so of course I’m not going to oppose any change that goes in the opposite direction (’t ain’t worth the trouble <g>). Jim_Lockhart 02:06, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Regardless of the opposition, though, the official name has changed. I will not push the issue now, but fully expect others to in time. All appropriate redirects (Iōtō, Iwōtō, Ioto, and Iwoto) already exist. Bendono 02:31, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Iwo To didn't, which is what at least one news source is transliterating it as ([1]), so we should watch out for things like that. Also, the official name is not the most important thing to consider. Naming conventions say we should use the common name, and I doubt many people are going to start referring to it as Ioto now, so we should leave it at Iwo Jima, at least until it becomes clear that people are calling it Ioto (if they ever do). --Rory096 04:40, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
[2] Fox News has it translated to Iwo To also. 14:31, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
In the future, please be a bit more careful when making wholesale changes of this sort. You broke a number of links, and all in an effort to forward your clearly outside policy, outside guidelines, outside consensus viewpoint. Tomertalk 17:15, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

In this case, the simple answer is Wikipedia:Avoid neologisms. Even though Iwo To may have been the islander's original name, that's not the name the world knows the island by. Since Iwo To has been in extremely limited use until now, it is a neologism and should be avoided as the article title UNTIL the name passes into general use.--Alabamaboy 17:17, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

It doesn't fit the definition of neologism. - BanyanTree 19:51, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
It does, however, without equivocation, fall squarely under the ægis of this (in great detail) and this. It might be informative to hear something from the folks at Wikipedia:WikiProject Japan, but until people start saying "Iwo To" instead of "Iwo Jima", the article should stay at Iwo Jima. For the same reason, Myanmar should still be at Burma, and the case for major cities in India being at their new "official" names is pretty weak. (And Gdańsk should still be at Danzig). Teeth.png Tomertalk 21:21, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't we stick with English common usage? Roma is at Rome, München is at Munich ... this article wasn't at Iōjima before this change, so I'm not really sure what the justification for now moving it to Iōtō (or other variant) from Iwo Jima would be as the current title is already at odds with standard romanization. The first sentence as is (Iwo Jima or Iōtō or Iwōtō or Iwoto or Ioto or Iō Tō or Iwō Tō or Iwo To ...) is a mess as well. Unless someone can persuade me otherwise, I would support leaving the article where it is, and simply mentioning the official name change in the Name section. CES 00:44, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

It's an official name change, not just a usage change. The page should be moved. See Mumbai. Exploding Boy 02:27, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Surely, the difference between this and Bombay/Mumbai is that a significant number of Indian people (speaking English, I might add) actually call the city Mumbai. I'm sure the decision of the Japanese government to change the official name will not alter what English-speakers call the island, nor Japanese-speakers for that matter. If usage does indeed change over time then there'd be a case for moving it, but not right now.
P.S. I also cleaned up the opening sentence. There's no need to list all of the various romanisations in the first sentence - it was just unreadable. Bobo12345 02:37, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

A lot of English speakers still call it "Bombay"; the article is at Mumbai. The indication is that this, like "Mumbai," is a change to a historical name. Exploding Boy 02:42, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

My vote is to move this to Iwo To and redirect from Iwo Jima. It's the official name now and how it will be referenced in future maps, books, etc. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia first and an archive second. --Aaronp808 03:10, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I think CES's comment above that "this article wasn't at Iōjima before this change" is the most important thing that's been said here. I am happy to have a cleaner lede, but I am opposed to any article location that doesn't reflect common English usage. To move the page now would be prescriptive instead of descriptive, and that's not the correct order of operations for a tertiary source. "Iwo To" is incorrect in both languages. Dekimasuよ! 03:23, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
If the article was misnamed to begin with, that error shouldn't be propagated for legacy sake. Shouldn't the title of an article be the official name, and the redirects be representative of colloquialism, rather than the other way around? --Aaronp808 04:41, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
It is a little more complicated than to simply say that it was "misnamed". Historically before the modern spelling reform, the name of the island should have been spelled as Iwōjima or even Iwôjima. The /w/ has not been pronounced for centuries. Think of English with silent /k/ (knife, knee etc.). Word boundary is also an issue in that Japanese has the word shima meaning "island". When combined with another word, the initial sh may become voiced (ie, shi -> ji). So both Iwōjima and Iwō Jima are acceptable. English incorporated the word at this stage. For whatever reasons, some English writers dislike diacritics, so they are sometimes (not always) dropped resulting in Iwojima or Iwo jima. Vowel length is crucial in distinguishing between io , which are minimal pairs. Due to encoding advancements and other developments, to a greater extent today diacritics are being retained. This is especially true in academia. Back to the story. Later in the mid 1940s, Japanese modernized their spelling systems which more closely reflected the modern pronunciation. As /wo/ is now pronounced [o], the /w/ is removed: Iōjima. English had already incorporated the spelling with the /w/ and for the most part did not correct the spelling.
In my opinion, Iōtō is the best spelling (regardless of English vs. Japanese). Iō Tō is OK, but less than ideal. I do not think that their is a need for the historical w anymore, but it can be forgiven. Ioto, Iwoto, Io To, and Iwo To are plain sloppy, unprofessional, and unbecoming of an encyclopedia. Bendono 05:19, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
This is no longer a case like Tōkyō, which has an accepted English spelling (Tokyo) which is where the article is located. Our practice here has long been to use the English spelling where one exists, but the native spelling where no accepted or commonly used spelling exists in English. Keeping the article at Iwo Jima makes no sense: while that was the accepted English spelling of the old name, the island is no longer called Iōjima, besides which お is properly romanized as o, not wo. Since it's an official change of name, the article should reflect that, and with proper romanization.
As to the issue of combining or separating the words, following the examples of Hiroshima and Hokkaido/ō, Iōtō is the obvious solution. Exploding Boy 05:34, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
With the exception of Tōkyō / Tokyo, I agree with what you write. The spelling Tōkyō is found in a great many English publications, as well as at the actual Tōkyō station. I happen to live in Tōkyō. Wikipedia may have decided upon Tokyo, but that is far from the reality of the situation. Bendono 05:42, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
There is a commonly used name in English regardless of actions by the Japanese government, and that is not going to change for a long time. If Japan changed the name of the Seto Inland Sea from "Setonaikai" to "Setonaiyō", I sincerely hope that we would not react to that by automatically moving the article to the Setonaiyō: "Result was to move the page, English name outdated, doesn't call it an ocean". As far as the romanization is concerned, I'm not sure Hokkaidō should have any bearing, since it's not the same kanji. I agreed with your conclusion for (Iōtō) as far as the transliteration is concerned. Dekimasuよ! 05:49, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Again, I point to the example of Mumbai. The common English name was Bombay. We don't persist in using that name for the article. Ditto Myanmar and Kolkata. Exploding Boy 05:55, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I also think this article should stay at Iwo Jima. Per WP:NC(GN), a common English name takes precedence over a local official name. --Kusunose 06:09, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
The policy states If the place does not exist anymore, or the article deals only with a place in a period when it held a different name, the widely accepted historical English name should be used. If neither of these apply, the modern official name, in articles dealing with the present, or the modern local historical name, in articles dealing with a specific period, should be used. Exploding Boy 06:12, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
The two sentences of the policy which preceed your quote, which you failed to copy accross are: When a widely accepted English name, in a modern context, exists for a place, we should use it. This often will be a local name, or one of them; but not always. Bobo12345 06:39, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

That doesn't supercede the second portion. I think it's fairly clear that the article name should be changed. There's plenty of precedent on other articles as well. Exploding Boy 06:43, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Note though that Iwo Jima [sic] is not modern anymore. It is historical. More precisely, it is a widely accepted historical name. Bendono 07:02, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Right. For example, if we're talking about the Battle of Iwo Jima, "Iwo Jima" is appropriate. But the place is a modern place with an official name; that's what we should be using. Exploding Boy 07:11, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I see what you mean, but it depends on your interpretation of historical. The decision of a few paper-pushers with little better to do with their time does not consign the name Iwo Jima to the historical dustbin overnight. The overwhelming majority of English-speakers (and probably Japanese-speakers too) will continue to refer to this island as Iwo Jima, mainly because it derives its notoriety from the Battle of Iwo Jima but also because they will not have heard about the name change. The difference with the Mumbai/Bombay case is that English-speaking Indians (and a growing number of other English-speaking people) actually call the city Mumbai. It's not simply written down somewhere on a dusty piece of "official" manuscript in a city office somewhere. Bobo12345 07:19, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
  • The "Jima" and the "To" are written the same in Japanese in kanji. The "To" is the "on" form (= the Japanese pronunciation of the word as borrowed from Chinese), and the "Jima" is the "kun" form (= the native Japanese form). Japan seems to have merely changed its standard Roman-alphabet transcription. It is as if English was written in kanji and we used the same kanji symbol for "water" and "aqua" and "hydro". The change from "Iwo" to "io" is because over time the Japanese syllable "wo" changed to "o", and this was finally realized during a major Japanese spelling reform during the American Occupation of Japan after WWII. Anthony Appleyard 09:48, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
A redirect would be quite appropriate here, consider Peking/Beijing and other examples given here. (BBC News) 12:25, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

The assertion that the name change is official therefore should trump English usage is silly in the extreme. The official name of Munich is München. The official name of Rome is Roma. The official name of Copenhagen is København. The official name of Germany is Deutschland. The official name of Switzerland is Confœderatio Helvetica. The official name of many places is very different from what they are called in English. Officially, Bombay and Calcutta are Mumbai and Kolkata, respectively, and Danzig is Gdańsk. Officially, Burma is Myanmar. The official name the Czech government has asked people to use when referring to their country is "Czechia". In all these cases, the English name if it exists, should be used. This is spelled out in the various links I have provided above, most important of which is WP:UE. To say that what some government in a far-off land decides to do about how they officially refer to some place under their sovereignty must cause an immediate change in how people not subject to that government refer to said place is ludicrous, and even if that ludicrous assertion were accepted as somehow rational, only if it were accepted by everyone overnight would this mad drive to change the name of this article (as well as the Burma, Bombay and Calcutta articles) make any sense. This is advocacy, pure and simple, not encyclopædic writing. It is a blatant (I'm suggesting misguided, not malicious) attempt to use Wikipedia to forward one group of editors' beliefs about how everyone who speaks the language should refer to, in this case, places. Orwell would be shocked. Tomertalk 15:02, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't know about Orwell, but I'm a little shocked by this post, to be honest. Exploding Boy 15:34, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Why, exactly? Tomertalk 15:39, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
"Silly in the extreme"? "Orwellian"? "Ludicrous"? "Mad"? Exploding Boy 16:05, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Yes. Yes. Perhaps "pell-mell" would make you happier? Tomertalk 18:21, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Just some thoughts ...

  • I'm not entirely sure that countries or cities are the best comparison here ... we're talking about an island, a geographical land form. I think dekimasu makes a good point about how we likely wouldn't change the name of the Inland Sea article if it was renamed by the Japanese. Would we rename the Matterhorn article if the Swiss or Italians renamed it to something else in their languages (note: Matterhorn is only the English name, not the local name)? Again, if this article was at Iōjima I'd have no problem with moving it to Iōtō but "Iwo Jima" is not just a "historical" English title, it's one used in modern times as well--and it's deeply entrenched in the English language as well, much like Matterhorn. Let's not be fooled by "Iwo Jima"'s similarity to the original Iōjima either ... if 日本 had only been pronounced Nippon and the Japanese decided it should now only be Nihon I don't think we'd be rushing to change the article title of Japan (even though "Japan" is essentially a mutation of "Nippon/Nihon").
  • All news stories I'm seeing note that the Japanese Geographical Survey Institute has adopted this change, but have any international and/or English-language institutions adopted this change? That would be more convincing to me.
  • Let's remember that "Iwo Jima" does not equal Iōjima. I find it interesting on the Japanese Wikipedia page that they explain the English name as "Iwo Jima(イオージマ)", treating it differently than the Japanese spelling/pronunciation (and I'd argue that this treatment is a little conservative ... to me イヲジーマ would be closer to the English pronunciation).
  • I'm not terribly passionate about this, as ultimately redirects make article titles essentially irrelevant, but I am always concerned when there is a rush to move away from English common usage and I would like to see some stronger arguments to be persuaded a change is needed. Examples alone are not convincing, as there are precedents that could justify either a change or the status quo. CES 15:10, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Well put. Tomertalk 15:39, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Btw, オ and ヲ are pronounced the same by most Japanese (there are a few exceptions in dialects); the kana combination CES wants to reflect English /wo/ is ウォ, though this still doesn't quite capture it. HTH, Jim_Lockhart 15:53, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

All the arguements for and against are pointless because the Island was named Iwo Jima in an error due to mispronunciation. It was Iwo To in both English and Japanese until the error was made. If it was a spelling error or the island had remained in western hands then arguements to keep Iwo Jima may have had some substance.
The fact that Iwo To has now been made official indicates that that name is what it is intended the world use or (as the spelling remains the same) they would have just left both forms in usage. The page should be moved. Wayne 17:03, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Right. And Orange should be moved to Norange for the same reason. cf. non sequitur. Tomertalk 17:58, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Huh? Exploding Boy 18:00, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
It's obscure, I'll grant you, so I'll let you have this one free. See Orange (word)#Etymology. The only way this is any different is because of the amount of time that's passed since the original "mistake". Tomertalk 18:21, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Now who's being silly? Exploding Boy 18:36, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Orange is a result of metathesis (in simple terms, spelling errors) not mispronunciation.
A recent example somewhat similar to the Iwo Jima name change is Ceylon. It was Ceylon in english for hundreds of years while to the Sinhalese inhabitants it was still Lanka. In 1972 the name was officially changed to Sri Lanka by the government and the western world immediately started using the new name while still keeping it's previous uses. For example we still buy Ceylon Tea. conflict between the new name and the battles fought there which seems to be the main reason to keep a wrong name that had very limited use over a very short period of time. Wayne 19:21, 21 June 2007 (UTC) :The island is a part of Japan. If that country changes the name of the island (and it has), who are we? to dispute it. Move the page to it's new name. GoodDay 18:51, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I am for the name change to Iwoto or Iwoto, with redirects from Iwojima. English is far to arrogant a language when it come to these issues. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Claytonian (talkcontribs)

We should wait before we rename the article. Until many English speaking countries use the name and our maps and atlases, etc rename the island to be Iwo To, then we should continue to call it Iwo Jima. When it becomes official, then we can change the name to Iwo To. Azn Clayjar 16:14, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Iwo_to is Japanese island, so Japanese goverment's statement should be the only "official one". If not, could you tell me your idea when to define "Time to say <Iwo_to becomes official name>"? Your feeling? Who are "We"? After renaming the section, "redirect from Iwo_jima to Iwo_to" would work well. Do you need more? Poo-T 01:49, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Sure. See above. Rklawton 13:02, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

PRE-WW2 info[edit]

This article is lacking in the pre-WW2 history section. There were over 1,000 civilians living on the island pre-WW2, we need more info on those residents and how they were expelled post-WW2.


The island has been officially renamed to "Iwo To" which was the original name before WWII. Any thoughts on chaging the name of the article?,2933,285005,00.html


The official name got changed in the local language, however on Wikipedia, English placenames are given preference over local placenames (on cases where there is an estabilshed English version of said place, for example). So by this logic, Iwo Jima, Japan, and Venice are preferred over Iōtō, Nihon, and Venezia.
So no, that alone would not be enough of a reason to rename this article. —Tokek 13:59, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, look immediately above this topic for many thoughts. Bendono 14:18, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Well... Japan has not changed the spelling of the name in Japanese.. just its pronunciataion. [3] announces the name change and also uses it (Iwo To, not just the Ioto transliteration), so the conclusion may not be so foregone. It's not clear that this is really analogous to Venice etc. -- Evertype· 14:20, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
In different contexts, the Iwō Tō romanization is justified; e.g., in reference to the pre-war "Iōtō" discussion, so (Evertype) please stop reverting it. I think you should leave such fine differences (in the discussion of how the name’s pronunciation has changed over the years) to people like Bendono and me, who are familiar with the changes. Jim_Lockhart 14:33, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
"Stop reverting it"? I'd only made one change. And I know a little something about romanization and transliteration. Iwo Jima and Iwo To are spellings in English. Both should be in the article. The romanization of the kanji as Iojima and Ioto is another matter. Both of those should be in the article as well. -- Evertype· 14:40, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Guys, I'm a fan of transliteration. I'm convener of the ISO subcommittee responsible for transliteration. But this recent "[also romanized Iwōtō, Iwoto, Ioto, Iwō Tō, Iō Tō, Io To, and Iwo To]" is pretty silly. You are confusing the issue greatly, Bendano, and Wikipedia isn't an exercise in transliteration exegesis. Iwo Jima' and Iwo To are two spellings in English for the names in question. Both of those need to be in the article, in bold, as spelt names for the island; they have appeared in the English-language press and are comprehensible to ordinary readers. The macronized and non-macronized other alternatives are of interest to you (it is clear) but you've overloaded the article with them needlessly. I'm going to revert to the simpler form and ask you to respect that. I don't think I'm being unreasonable. -- Evertype· 14:59, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree. Actually, the romanization variations should be outside the parentheses, for one thing, since 1) what’s inside the parentheses is intended to illustrate the two possible pronunciations in current Japanese, and these are Iōtō and Iōjima. The alternate English renderings, Iwo Jima and Ioto or Io To, should appear outside the parentheses to separate them from the romanizations of the Japanese pronunciations.

With respect to my “please stop” comment, I must admit that I was a bit hasty and I apologize: It looks like several of us were editing at the same time, and I had harmonized and reharmonized our versions several times, only to repeatedly get the “simultaneous edits” warning (very frustrating, especially since my edits were the most pervasive). HTH, Jim_Lockhart 15:09, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Hello, U.S.Wikipedians. I'm Japanese Wikipedian. There are few Japanese who object to the thing named Iwo Jima in the United States. However, a formal name in Japanese only became Iwo To/IoTo. By the way, it is on the island that returned to an old name in which it belongs to Tokyo. There is Iwo Jima in which it belongs to Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan, too and here pronounces Iwo Jima for a long time. - -- 09:37, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

The basis to call "unified" , not reverted, is the discussion between Geographical Survey Institute and Japan Coast Guard (makes charts):「地名等の統一に関する連絡協議会」において協議をした結果、2007年6月18日以降、村の申請(現地の呼び名を採用する原則)通り、呼称を「いおうとう」と変更することとした。」 They say Toitsu=unify in the council meeting. "revert" or "change" mislead the world. - 06:31, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I reverted your edit, as the usage of the word "unify" did not sound natural in English (to my ears at least). It is interesting to note that in your citation, the last part of the sentence is 呼称を「いおうとう」と変更することとした。 ... which talks not of "unifying" the name at Iōtō but changing the name to Iōtō (to create consistency). There is likely another way to word it, but for now I reverted your edit. CES 11:27, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

The debate is that the name was odiginally "Iwo-to" - however, maps available from the US Library of Congress dating from 1920 definitively show that the name, as pronounced in English, is "Iwo-Jima". I will be providing a scan of the map within the week. This, by the way, predates the argument of "1940's-era IJA officers making a mistake" as had been reported in the Japanese media.Ceabaird 22:22, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Iwōtō looks like a mistake[edit]

Since Hepburn romanization is strictly phonetic, 硫黄島 would be written as Iōtō, not Iwōtō. —Tokek 13:59, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. As discussed above, the w is retained from the historical spelling (いわうじま Iwōjima, but actually pronounced [Io:jima] ) before the modern spelling reform. The word was introduced into English before then. Now the official name is いおうとう which is, as you write, Iōtō. The only issue is that adding the w makes it seem sort of like the older form, which is probably why some people choose it. Bendono 14:26, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Are you sure it was いわうじま and not いをうじま, "before the modern spelling reform"? From the news coverage I've read (weak as a reliable source, I admit more readily than most) "before the modern spelling reform" it was far more likely いをうとう than either いわうじま or いをうじま. Tomertalk 14:34, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Bendono 14:31, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
[citation needed] Tomertalk 14:34, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm just saying, you're arguing about "strictly phonetic", yet you're transliterating わう as "wō" instead of as "wau", and then claiming that "wau" has magically become ō (おう) because of a spelling reform. Cite a source, pls. Tomertalk 14:37, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
The kana spelling をう never existed. Bendono is correct: it was わう, which was (and is) pronounced おお; hence: . Jim_Lockhart 14:41, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
OK, this isn't a Japanese class, but I still don't understand how "wau" would have come to be transliterated as "wō". A citation would still be nice. Tomertalk 14:48, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
You're right, this is not Japanese class. However, I will humor the request. Historical /au/ contracts into [o:]. Draw yourself a vowel triangle, place /a/, /u/, and /o:/ on it. Notice the proximity of /o:/ in relation to /a/ and /u/. In uncareful or slurred speach, /au/ contract into [o:]. Over time (centuries), this resulted in /au/ becoming /o:/. It took a little longer to update the spelling system. It is a standard phonological process not unique to Japanese. Any other questions on the matter, please leave a note on my talk page. Bendono 15:09, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Do you access to a decent J-J dictionary? Most also list the historical spelling in addition to the modern. Here is one example: Daijin. Bendono 15:35, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
But if you want to know how わう becomes , you’re going to need a Japanese class—or at least one in Japanese kana orthography. Before the 1946 reforms, all non-verb combinations of a-gyō and u or o were rendered as a long o vowel: か+う , さ+う , etc. This is still evident in, e.g., adjectives in their form when conjugated with ございます: あか(赤)い+ございます⇒あかう+ございます⇒あこうございます。If this doesn’t convince you, I’ll dig out a reference somewhere; nonetheless, it () is correct. HTH, Jim_Lockhart 14:58, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Addendum: see Historical kana usage#Spelling reform. Though wa+u > isn’t shown in the table, you can see the change illustrated with other gyō. And (to add to what Bendono describes above) this phenomenon is still observable in particularly the western dialects of Japanese, where the a+o and a+u to ō liaison is still evident in the vernacular. HTH, Jim_Lockhart 15:24, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Haruo Shirane: Classical Japanese: A Grammar. Exploding Boy 15:31, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Yup thanks. My Japanese is almost exclusively spoken, unfortunately. Tomertalk 15:36, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
The book is conveniently written in English. Exploding Boy 06:31, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
There are two 硫黄 entries in a Sanseido's Japanese dictionary published in 昭和9年(1934). いおう and ゆわう. And ゆわう is the main entry.Oda Mari 15:46, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
The dictionary is mixing modern and historical spellings. Most likely this is because the word ゆわう is archaic and obsolete, so it is being quoted in the historical spelling. いおう, on the other hand, is the modern pronunciation, even in the 1930s. Modern いおう has a historical spelling いわう[4]. ゆわう is the historical form of what is now ゆおう[5] (if the word were to still be used). /i/ ~ /y/ is an often found variation in Japanese phonology. A few examples off the top of my head include: yuku ~ iku, yoi ~ ii, ime ~ yume. I may have a more complete list at home. This is getting really far off topic. If you wish to pursue it further, leave me a message. Bendono 00:20, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I think you are reading the historical kana wrong. Doesn't the dictionary say ゐわう? It might look like ゆ but it is ゐ, archaic kana for /i/. --Butakun 19:26, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
You really have no idea what you are talking about. The historical spelling of いおう is いわう [6]. An older word for it is ゆわう, which if it still existed would be spelled ゆおう [7]. It is not ゐわう or ゐおう, and ゐ is not the archaic kana for /i/, but for /wi/. They both coexisted as separate sounds originally. /wi/ weakened into [i] long ago and is now spelled as い. But it has absolutely nothing to do with this issue. Bendono 21:48, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

At the head: Since Hepburn romanization is strictly phonetic. What?! I learn something new every day! -- Hoary 13:23, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Phonetic rendering[edit]

I provided the English pronunciation provided by Webster's, and mojibake reverts it back because he believes that Webster's is wrong? On what authority? Who is trumping one of the largest and most-used English dictionaries in the world? --tortdog 14:32, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Please re-read the message. I removed it because it did not display correct, ie mojibake, as stated in the response. Perhaps your copy / paste did not work correctly. I can only speculate. Try again. Bendono 14:36, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
No, his pronunciation symbols are off and did not turn into mojibake. The problem is that M-W uses an idiosyncratic rendering for pronunciation in its web edition. Wikipedia uses IPA. If you hadn't deleted it, I would have. Jim_Lockhart 14:41, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
The pronunciation symbols are those used by M-W Online, and are accurate. It is ("E-(")wO-'jE-m&) and that is NOT mojibake. E is ea as in easy. wO is w+o as in go. jE is j + ea as in easy. m& is m + & as in a and u in abut. The symbols are correct. Perhaps you don't agree with Webster's phonetic symbols, but your disagreement does not make Webster's wrong. Go to the site at and confirm the pronunciation. It is correct (and how I've heard it as well).

So we can fix this pronunciation to conform to online Webster's, right? Or does someone have a better source than Websters? --tortdog 15:48, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Let's just stick to IPA. [ˌi·wo 'dʒi·ma] or [ˌi·wo 'dʒi·mʌ]. I pronounce it the former way, MW seems to be suggesting the latter. (Unless MW uses & for /ə/, which is just plain crazy. ;-) Tomertalk 17:11, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, this looks right—though I too wonder about the second pronunciation. Jim_Lockhart 02:20, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

name change section created[edit]

I feel it is necessary to have a seperate section to explain the name change. Chris 18:59, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't think the name change requires a section separate from the section already devoted to the island's name. Doing so gives way too much weight to the name of the island, seemingly implying that the name is one of the most important things about the island. That may seem to be the case based on the discussion page, but that is not an accurate reflection of reality. I have, therefore, merged non-redundant material from your section into the ==Name== section, here. Cheers, Tomertalk 20:28, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Cool. Chris 00:28, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

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 to move the page to "Iwo To". A separate request to move the page to Iōtō can be found below. Dekimasuよ! 00:07, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Iwo Jima → Iwo To —(Discuss)— The Japanese government has officially changed the name of the island. —Aaronp808 02:59, 21 June 2007 (UTC)


  • Strongly oppose Our guidelines, one of which is quoted above, are based on the fact that this is an English Wikipedia, intended to be understood by English-speakers. When (and if) English usage changes, our article should be moved; one of the signs that English usage has changed is that this will provoke little or no resistance. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:26, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I too must oppose, and agree with PMAnderson do Nort re: resistance. Tomertalk 20:31, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Umm, yeah, oppose. Has an almost iconic stature in English language as Iwo Jima. olderwiser 20:53, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Opposse As discussed in depth above, the official name is Iōtō. I can also accept Iwōtō and Iwō Tō, but not Iwo To. Read the official press release which states the name is いおうとう (Iōtō).
  • Oppose for now, but expecting to move eventually (see "Discussion" below). ~ Jeff Q (talk) 21:31, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose for the near future. We should go with the name that is most commonly used in the English language. It will probably take years, at a minimum, for the new (old) name to permeate the English vocabulary. Johntex\talk 22:11, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per common English usage. --Groggy Dice T | C 22:22, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Let's wait until usage changes in the English language first. Then you could consider a move. Bobo12345 22:49, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English).--Alabamaboy 23:39, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. Chris 00:29, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the reasons given above, namely that we should use the most common English name for articles. Evil Monkey - Hello 00:38, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose, since the island is commonly known as Iwo Jima in English. AecisBrievenbus 00:42, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Wait - I see no harm in revisiting this matter next year. Rklawton 02:07, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now. Reasons are ditto with most of the opposing opinions above, but mainly because Iwo Jima is the established English name. “For now” because I think we should wait to see how the name change affects usage in the Japanese as well as English vernacular, and English usage should take precedence over Japanese. Jim_Lockhart 02:17, 22 June 2007 (UTC) (Slightly ammended Jim_Lockhart 05:44, 22 June 2007 (UTC))
  • Comment. I would argue that WP conventions do not apply as the problem is one of mispronunciation. The majority if not all of the common usage is in regards to the war time history which changing the page will not affect. It can not be equated to English names being used for foreign cities as those inhabitants accept it as common usage while the Iwo Jima/To inhabitants do not and find it offensive. We could keep it on it's current page but I suggest we would need to be more detailed on why "Jima" is wrong and perhaps give precedence to the official name in the text? Wayne 04:52, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
    • For record, it's not "mispronunciation" but more of "ignorance". For example, it's always "Fuji-yama, geisha, tempura" despite Japanese never using "Fuji-yama". Original inhabitants always used "Iwo-to" (or Iōtō). --Revth 05:59, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
      • For the record, it is neither: the ~tō and the ~jima readings (pronunciations) are both equally valid in Japanese, and such variation is common throughout Japan. By “such variation,” I mean that the natives of a given place might use one pronunciation, while people in other areas might use another, with the “mistake” becoming an issue only when someone makes a fuss about it. Japanese geonyms are notorious among Japan specialists for their obscure readings, which until a few years ago could often be determined only by calling the local authorities and asking them. HTH, Jim_Lockhart 06:08, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
        • I agree with Jim ... the reality is that words, including place names, are transformed as they go from language to language. This isn't necessarily "ignorance" any more than calling Japan "Japan" instead of "Nihon" is ignorance. It's just "what it's called" in English. I would be curious to see if the Japanese themselves even adopt this new "official" reading, as it is my understanding that most people who do not live on the island (i.e. 99.99999% of all Japanese) call it Iwo Jima (well, Iōjima). And I'm not really sure what your support is for the "those inhabitants accept it as common usage while the Iwo Jima/To inhabitants do not and find it offensive" remark is. My guess is that many people on Iwo Jima don't really care, and my guess is that a number of people who live in Paris, Munich, Rome etc. cringe a little bit every time they hear an English-speaker use the English pronunciation of their hometown's name. I oppose moving this article for now ... "Iwo Jima" is a somewhat unique case as a geographical/non-political entity and the name has become entrenched in the English language--particularly in the U.S. Let's wait and see if there's a trend toward calling this place Iwo To; otherwise, let it stay at Iwo Jima. CES 11:39, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
          • I oppose the move as well. However, in Japan (such as on Japanese TV documentaries) this island is usually called Iōtō, while Iōjima refers to a different island in Japan (see also: ja:硫黄島). —Tokek 12:54, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The article should be moved to Iōtō. Exploding Boy 05:17, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  • My thoughts exactly. And hence my opposition. Bendono 05:26, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Support the last time I checked, this island was a part of Japan. They've changed the island's name. Who are we? to dispute it. GoodDay 18:57, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
    Nobody is disputing Japan's right to rename areas under their sovereignty. They haven't renamed anything, in fact, they have simply adopted an official pronunciation for use in official Japanese government functions. That is all. The official name of Japan in Japanese is Nihon. By your "logic", we should therefore have the Japan article at Nihon. Nonsense. Spain is not at España, nor Germany at Deutschland. Neither are Munich at München or Moskow at Moskva. I'm getting sick of repeating myself... Tomertalk 21:49, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Are you? Well then once again consider the many, many, many examples where English does use the native form of names, including, yet again, Mumbai, Myanmar, Kolkata, et al. Exploding Boy 16:39, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

:::Well then, someone better tell Wikinews. They've given the impression Iwo To is an English form. GoodDay 22:09, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

See below, where I've addressed just how irrelevant your valid point is to this discussion. Tomertalk 00:57, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Wait a sec, Iwo To is the English form (not a Japanese form). Of course I prefer English (see bottom of talk page). GoodDay 17:33, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose Fg2 04:37, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:UE and... the "To" thingy at the end just looks too much like a preposition.--Endroit 21:21, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not only is "Iwo Jima" commonly accepted English, but "Iwo To" is just poor Romanization. I could be convinced to accept a move to Iōtō if there was also an historical article created at Iwo Jima. Amake 01:30, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - The article should be at "Iwo Jima" (reflecting WP:UCN) or "Iōtō" (reflecting the accurate romanization of the Japanese name). Currently, if asked to decide between those two, Iwo Jima would have my vote. Neier 04:53, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose the English name of the place is "Iwo Jima". It should be noted that sometimes the ENGLISH name of a location is significantly different from the current official name, or current official latinization. 07:30, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose, since we should follow English usage. As PMAnderson mentions above, only when/if the new Japanese name (or pronunciation) is adopted by English-speakers should this article's title be changed accordingly. - Ev 12:53, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. At first I thought "of course I support this", but following the discussion here, I realize the place hasn't really changed names, it is just another spelling of the same name. Thus, no move is necessary, but the alternative spellings should of course be noted in the article. And for historical purposes, it should be Iwo Jima anyway, even if that would be a redirection page, just as we write Stalingrad and not Volgograd when we write about the Second World War. -*Ulla* 03:13, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    Actually, it's not an alternate spelling, it's an adoption of an official pronunciation for the same old spelling. The adoption of the new official pronunciation, however, exclusively affects actions of the Japanese government, and has no relevance to English pronunciation or naming for the island. This discussion is even more ridiculous than if the UK handed the Falklands over to Argentina tomorrow, when Bendono and crowd would be throwing hissy fits on Talk:Falkland Islands about how the article should be moved to Islas Malvinas, despite the fact that there's a well-established English name, used by all the inhabitants, namely "Falkland Islands", but now since they're Argentine territory, English Wikipedia is promoting archaism by not...becoming Spanish Wikipedia. Unspeakable nonsense. Tomertalk 03:23, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Ambivalent/Neutral. Either Iwo Jima or Iōtō is fine. One is the traditional English name and the other is the official name. Either one will work. Since we can use redirects to make sure all the possible spellings arrive at this page, and can explain all of the possible names in the first sentence of the article, it really doesn't matter exactly which word is at the top of the article. If everyone here had busied themselves adding cited information to this article instead of arguing about the name, it might be close to Featured-level quality by now. CLA 07:05, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose. The "official name" is in dispute. This name change does not affect Japanese maps or documents, but all maps and documents published in languages using the Roman alphabet. This is strictly a political move, much like the US Congress re-naming french fries to "freedom fries" In this case, let me direct everyone to this article:

Thus to announce to the English-speaking world that henceforth Iwojima is no longer to be known as Iwojima is a decidedly political act. It places the rocky isle in a man-made fog, off-limits, or at least temporarily rendered indistinct and off the foreigner's map.

Ironically, the putative name change is next to meaningless in Japan where the name of Iwojima will continue to be written as it always has been. The only change is in how it is to be read out loud. Native speakers of Japanese have long called it Iwojima (mistakenly or not) in the first place and are apt to continue calling it that unless it becomes a trick test question in Japan's new patriotic curriculum. Without government fiat, both readings are fully acceptable variations to a native speaker.

The mischief inherent in altering the phonetic rendering of Iwojima to Iwoto is that the change is distinct enough to require a new orthography in English, causing cartographers to spill unnecessary ink, or more ominously, causing the old name of the island to sink without a trace. With a deft linguistic sleight of hand, an islet with a contested history is permanently locked in the past, veiled in willful inscrutability.[8]

In any case, we have a case where a historically accepted name, of a battle-ground, which is now only inhabited by military personnel, is being changed to reflect a current historical viewpoint. The Japanese page for Iwo-jima states that there are references to the island as "iwo-jima" going back to the Meiji period. Ceabaird 01:07, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


Along the lines of Septentrionalis's argument above, we are probably never going to move Japan to "Nippon" or "Nihon", but we use Beijing instead of the former "Peking" because it was widely adopted by English-language publishers and other reliable sources. However, it's much too soon to make this determination. Let's wait for the once-and-future name "Iwo To" to be broadly adopted within the English world. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 21:31, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

And it may not be; governments have been known to change their minds, and Timor Leste does not seem to be taking off. But let's see what happens. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:24, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

For what it's worth, there is also Iōjima, Kagoshima which has the exact same name (硫黄島) as "Iwo Jima" [sic] except that it is part of Kagoshima prefecture. Also, it's name did not change, unlike this one (Iōtō). Bendono 16:29, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

It is ultimately a subjective matter, but at some point a term/name stops being "foreign" and enters the English language in its own right. A while back there was a debate about which words to include in the List of English words of Japanese origin page. The following requirements were set:
  • 1. Does the word occur in English texts with any regularity?
  • 2. Is it listed in any major English dictionaries?
  • 3. Is the word used by people who don't speak the foreign language?
Iwo Jima clearly meets all three. Iōjima, Kagoshima clearly does not. As of now, Iōtō does not either. Until English-language dictionaries and reference texts start referring to Iwo Jima as something else, change is not needed. Thanks for adding the Iōjima, Kagoshima article though, I'm glad we now have an English version. CES 17:41, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
The name "Iwo Jima" is firmly established in English. I'm not good at predicting what a billion speakers of the language will do, so I can't foresee what the name will be in a year or ten or fifty, but if a different name such as "Iwo To" takes the place of the present name in English we can reconsider. What happens in Japanese is largely irrelevant to article titles in the English Wikipedia. As has already been pointed out, we do not use the official name of the nation in the article on it. Of course, the contents of the article can and should inform readers of events like an official name change. By the way, if any change were to be made, it would be a good opportunity to get rid of the "w" -- did Japan officially eliminate it in 1959? Fg2 04:48, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I thought the commonest pronunciation in English was /ˌiwəʊˈʤimə/ or /ˌiwəˈʤimə/ or similar; it seems odd to spell this without the w. I've no objection to Iōtō, but the article now starts "Iwo Jima or Iwoto or Iwo To"; why the second and third of these? -- Hoary 09:18, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Because some contributors saw those additional renderings somewhere and seemed rather adamant about having them included as valid variations. I realize it’s getting rather dense, but to avoid repeating what’s already been covered, I suggest read this page more closely (above) or going through the edit history to see how it (the intro) evolved to this stage. Jim_Lockhart 09:54, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Because the name was officially changed. However, it did not change to Iwoto or Iwo To, but to いおうとう, hence Iōtō. But if people want to deny reality and leave the page as it, so be it. I have no problem with removing "Iwoto" and "Iwo To". I have tried, but they continue to come back. You're welcome to try, though. Bendono 11:33, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
True: Iwoto and Iwo To are screwy transliterations, since there are no circumstances in which the w is necessary other than when referring to (i.e., directly discussing) pre-war transliterations derived from いわうたう, and any media using them now must be doing so out of confusion. Ioto, Io-to, and Io to—with or without diacritics, are the only justifiable transliterations of the current (i.e., newly fiated <g>) reading. (My personal preference would be Ioto because it’s simplest—though I bet it won’t be long before we start seeing Iohtoh as well!) Happy yohtoeing <g>, Jim_Lockhart 13:32, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikinews, reported the English name being changed from Iwo Jima to Iwo To. PS- I hope this page movement isn't being held up, because of American historic reasons (example: Battle of Iwo Jima). GoodDay 20:55, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
The confusion over Japanese names, English transliterations, and English names is not surprising, and was not made clear in the mainstream press, either. From what I can see of "Japan changes Iwo Jima's name" and its edit history, Wikinews never made any explicit claim that the English name was changed. We all were confused by this situation. GoodDay, please don't blame Wikinews, which only followed the lead of its sources. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 00:17, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
My apolgoies to Wikinews, after all we're all part of the same family Wikimedia. Once again, I've let my emotionalism get the best of me, I'm sorry for the fingerpointing. GoodDay 01:10, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

As noted above —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bendono (talkcontribs) 11:33, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

the magic of wikipedia is that you can type in your search and it will take you to the correct page. changing a page name isn't going to have the same effect as it would in a paper encyclopedia. no one is going to get lost flipping through pages. there's no harm in redirecting iwo jima to a new page with the correct name with something like 'formerly known as' at the beginning. the name we use offends the residents. it makes no more sense to keep using it than it would to use the N word as the page name for african americans. after all, both words are common in public usage and there's no debate what they refer to. 14:08, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Actually, it's more like changing the official pronunciation of Georgia to "Jawjuh" because that's how the locals say it. Rklawton 14:15, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Hardly. Exploding Boy 15:42, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Discussion of name, history in Japanese Wikipedia article[edit]

It’s been a long time since I bothered checking it, but this discussion—plus the comment above by Tokek, motivated me to take a look at ja:硫黄島 (東京都). It has a rather long explanation of the changes in the reading of the island’s name and how they evolved (sans the details about phonetic and orthogpraphic changes), as well as a content-rich section on the island’s pre-war history. Maybe those of us who read Japanese should have referenced it earlier—doing so might have saved a lot of typing!

Anyhow, the article says that at one time, the islanders and the Japanese army called it , while at the same time the Japanese navy (IJN) called it jima! It says that the US got the Iwojima reading from the IJN, and that even in the post-war period, the pronunciation given on government-published maps has gone back and forth between the two. The latest change resulted from a petition by former inhabitants and their descendants that found its way up through the Ogasawara Village council (via a council resolution) to the MoLIT*/GSI, which approved the change on the basis of a law that allows municipalities to ask the government to establish the name used by the locals as the official one. (IMHO, the existence of such a law is further evidence of the elasticity of Japanese geonyms.) Anyone for harmonizing the “Name” and a “Pre-war history” sections with the Japanese article? Just a thought... Jim_Lockhart 13:44, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
* I realize that this isn’t the official abbreviation, but I think it makes for a far-more entertaining pronunciation! :D


I don't foresee widespread acceptance of the fiat renaming of the island (which, as far as I'm aware affects only official usage by the Japanese government, and exactly nothing else...)... Here's a new news snippet, anyways, for your reading enjoyment... Tomertalk 16:15, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

This page should now be moved to Iwo To. The Japanese Government has changed the name (to it's original form), appeasing the island's residents. GoodDay 18:17, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
See above, starting here. CES 18:37, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
The government of Japan does not dictate English usage. Period. If they try to, there will be another war. Tomertalk 21:44, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Iwo To is the English form, according the Wikinews. GoodDay 22:06, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
If that's what Wikinews says, Wikinews is incorrect—unless it's simply indicating that Iwo To is a transliteration of the neoarchaic Japanese which case what wikinews says is correct, but utterly irrelevant to this discussion. Tomertalk 00:55, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Amazing. And this is news to me too: I'd read that it had changed the pronunciation to イオウトウ. Did Asahi Shinbun get that wrong? Show me an authoritative source for a declaration that the pronunciation is イウォト, and the laughter might die down. -- Hoary 04:04, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
In the 'Survey' above, I chose to Support the page move. Why?, because I believed Iwo To was the English form of the island's (new?) name. I thought the 'Japanese' form was in Japanese letters (those cubes). This is getting confusing, dare I ask - What is the English version of the island's name? Is it still Iwo Jima or is it now Iwo To? If the former, leave page as is, If the latter, move page. GoodDay 17:40, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
You've hit the nail on the head. Let's do what we can to minimize confusion. At this point, it's pretty clear that most English speakers have never heard of Iwo To (WikiNews and Japanese geographers notwithstanding). So for the time being, English speakers should be able to search on Iwo Jima and end up where they expect. That may well change, but the point now is to confuse as few people as possible. Rklawton 21:08, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
However, the English is not Iwo To. Consider this English language article: [[9]]. So both Iwo To and Iwoto can be found in English. Why would two different forms exists if there really is an English form? Because each news agency looks at the single official press release and then makes their own spelling. That is why there are multiple spellings. It is not English. And as noted before, these resources have their own editorial guidelines that omit diacritics. So when they write Iwo To or Iwoto, they really mean Iwōtō or Iwō Tō. Why would their be an /w/ in the spelling? Because of the historical spelling Iwōjima (or Iwō Jima). Adding the w makes the new form resemble the old name. Iōtō, Iwōtō and Iwō Tō are acceptable, but Ioto, Iwoto and Iwo To are not. We have the official press release. It trumps all other conflicting resources. Bendono 21:24, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, if you ask a hundred native English speaking people if they've heard of any of these, most will say "no." Most will recognize only "Iwo Jima." As a result, we should use "Iwo Jima" because that's Wikipedia's editorial guideline for article names. Rklawton 22:12, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Depends, if the English name of the island is now Iwo To. If so, we must 'move' this page. GoodDay 22:48, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, that's not how it works on Wikipedia. You'll want to read up on Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names). What matters is how English speaking people refer to the place. Rklawton 22:58, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
This was discussed above. The historical name is Iwo Jima, and this name should be used when discussing the place in a historical context, as at Battle of Iwo Jima. Since there now exists a new modern name with no English standard, the native name should be used. Exploding Boy 23:02, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Someday, this page will be moved to its new English name Iwo To; just not today. GoodDay 23:12, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Why on earth would it be? That spelling makes no sense at all. Exploding Boy 23:16, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Why would it not be? As I've said in the 'Survey - Discussion section', I hope this isn't a 'historical' dispute. English speking editors not wanting to change the 'name' because of the Battle of Iwo Jima for example. I've found that trend in some of the Opposing editors -explanations' in the Survey. GoodDay 23:22, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Because, as has been discussed at length, there's no wo there (it's an o), and even if there were, wo is romanised without a "w." Exploding Boy 23:28, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

The Survey is quite clear (overwhelmingly in favour of Iwo Jima), I'll abide by it. Again, someone straighten out Wikinews (as they've apparently, mislead me). GoodDay 23:35, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
So it's settled. The English name of this island, is still Iwo Jima. GoodDay 00:13, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

...No... I don't think it's settled at all. Exploding Boy 00:13, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Now I see, this is a 3-way dispute: 1) I prefer Iwoto or Iwo To. 2) You prefer the 'Japanese spelling' and 3) Others prefe to just keep it as Iwo Jima. GoodDay 00:22, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

The consensus for keeping this article at Iwo Jima is clear, but if the discussion is continuing anyway ... I disagree with the comment that "Iwo Jima" is only the "historical" English name for the island. Even after the Japanese have changed the reading of the island's name, "Iwo Jima" is still in use in the English media. [Here's an example]. Until official and/or popular English-language sources start using something other than "Iwo Jima" to refer to this island, Iwo Jima is still the "widely accepted English name in a modern context" which the naming conventions prefer. Again, this gets back to my earlier point that "Iwo Jima" is not just a bizarre romanization of Iōjima, but an English-language place name in its own right. Iōjima is the historical Japanese name, but this does not mean that "Iwo Jima" is no longer the modern English name. If someone wants to start another poll including other romanizations of いおうとう that's fine but I don't expect the result to change. CES 00:28, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Whatever & whenever the English name is established, I'll support it. I can't (however) support a Japanese translation (the cubes). GoodDay 00:39, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
A Japanese translation? Despite all those smug anglophone myths you may have heard about how the Japanese have no originality and instead sedulously ape the western world, one thing they don't normally do is derive their domestic placenames by translating foreign terms. (There are numerous other misunderstandings above, but none quite as nutty as this one.) Oh, just one more thing: I don't think that anyone has suggested renaming this (or any other) article in Sino-Japanese script. -- Hoary 13:20, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
That's good. I was getting the impression, some people wanted to move this page to a 'non-English' title (non-English letters). If I came across as racist, I'm sorry for that (because I'm not racist). If I thought this page was being moved to 'French', 'German', 'Russian' letterings etc, I'd be against that too. GoodDay 16:52, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
The consensus of the vote is opposition to "Iwo To", not support for "Iwo Jima". And it should be opposed because it is contrary to what the official press release says: いおうとう, hence Iōtō. As pointed out several times, the English spelling can not be "Iwo To". Look at these two links again: Iwoto[10] and Iwo To [11]. Conflicting names. "Iwo Jima" is wrong on multiple levels, but unless we are going to spell it correctly, then there is no need to replace one poorly spelled name with another. The conclusion is that we all know that the name has officially changed. However, we will not accept that and will continue to use the historical spelling. Another poor day in the life of Wikipedia, but far from the first, and certainly not the last. Bendono 14:03, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
How about, then, a vote on whether to leave the article at “Iwojima”? Or one about moving it to “Iōtō”? There is obviously no consensus to moving it to “Iwo To.” Jim_Lockhart 14:58, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Started below. Exploding Boy 15:46, 24 June 2007 (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.

Greimel article[edit]

I’ve changed the order of sentences here for logical flow.

Also, User:Jeffq says he made the citations consistent, but the link takes readers to the USAToday website, not that of the Washington Post. Even if the article is the same, perhaps it should be attributed to the linked site. HTH, Jim_Lockhart 08:30, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Oops! I was going to use the Post originally (when I created the citation), but later decided to go with USA Today because its article was a single webpage. I just forgot to change the citation. Thanks for pointing this out, Jim. I would have fixed it earlier but I only just noticed this topic buried in the blizzard of "Survey" posts.
By the way, my changes of punctuation were intended to impose consistency, as I feel that half a dozen different styles of quotes, double quotes, typographic quotes, apostrophes, etc., in a single article looks ragged and unprofessional. I also admit I favor "straight" punctuation over Unicode typographic characters because ordinary mortals can find the former on their keyboards. But I'm not gonna fight over it. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 11:01, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Survey 2[edit]

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.

There seems to be no support (and rightly, in my opinion) for moving this page to Iwo To. As several users have pointed out, such a spelling would be inconsistent with modern pronunciation and romanization anyway.

This survey is to guage levels of support for moving this page from Iwo Jima to Iōtō. Exploding Boy 15:46, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Support. Iōtō is the correct romanization of the official name, and reflects the correct pronunciation. "Iwo Jima" was the misromanization of the old name. Exploding Boy 15:46, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose, the island has iconic status in the English-speaking world as "Iwo Jima". If and when there is convincing evidence that common usage in the English language is something other than Iwo Jima, then we can talk about moving the article. olderwiser 16:04, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Opposed - this runs contrary to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names) to wit: When a widely accepted English name, in a modern context, exists for a place, we should use it. This often will be a local name, or one of them; but not always. . Rklawton 16:18, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose as before. Iōtō (or Iō tō) is the romanization of the Japanese name; the English name is Iwo Jima. Jim_Lockhart 16:10, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose this is the English Wikipedia. I'd rather move to Iwo To or Iwoto. GoodDay 16:21, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Support If you were to ask 1,000 English speakers if they had heard the name Iwo Jima in any other context than the battle they would all say "NO". Changing to the correct page with redirects to it will not change anything in regards to the battle (which seems to be the main concern) but would be more accurate for an encylopedic article. Wayne 17:20, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    Question Whether learned from a map, textbook, or movie most folks know of this place as "Iwo Jima", what matters is by what name is this place known by most English speakers. So, how is it relevant the context in which English speakers learned of an otherwise obscure Pacific island? Rklawton 17:30, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    What people learned has now changed. See the official press release. Bendono 21:56, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    Wayne's point is somewhat misleading. If you were to ask 1,000 English speakers if they had heard the name "Iwo To" in any context at all, you would likely get 1,000 blank stares. For the time being, by far the most commonly recognized name for this piece of geography in the English-speaking world is "Iwo Jima", in any context. This may change, or it may not. Time will tell. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:44, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    Maybe because "Iwo To" is essentially meaningless. But I'd wager a lot of English speakers have no clue that Calcutta is now Kolkata either. Exploding Boy 06:51, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppese per WP:NCON and WP:NC(GN). Britannica, Columbia and Encarta use "Iwo Jima" as their article title. The NGIA GNS server recognize "Iwo Jima" as the conventional English name. There is a widely accepted English name Iwo Jima so we should use it. --17:51, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    Those encyclopedias are out of date. The name official changed on the June 18th. Information changes and is not static. Bendono 21:56, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    If they change their articles, either on line or in next year's editions, let us know. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:59, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - "Iwo Jima" is the widely accepted English name. English common usage trumps the Japanese Geographical Survey Institute. CES 18:21, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    "Iwo Jima" was the widely accepted English name. That name officially changed on the June 18th. Ignorance is not an excuse. Bendono 21:48, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    Wikipedia doesn't do official names; it never has. If you wish to argue that policy, the place to do so is Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:59, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    Surely you are familiar with WP:NCGN. In particular, read the section titled 1. "Iwo Jima" is a historical name. This article is about the island in modern context. There is new official name: "Iōtō". Bendono 23:56, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    To me it's quite telling that your link is to a Japanese source. To me, [this link] matters much more. It's a Google News search for stories on Iwo Jima. Note that even after the "official" change, the island is still called "Iwo Jima". "Iwo Jima" as a place name clearly has a life independent of the original Japanese name. CES 22:40, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    Not just a Japanese source. But the official press release detailing the name change. It does not get any more official than this. Bendono 00:10, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    Japanese officials are not in a position to dictate English names. Jim_Lockhart 01:31, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We are not here to surprise our readers, we are here to communicate with them. The change in this island's nomenclature June 18th is of course one of the things we should communicate. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:59, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as before, since our naming conventions require us to follow English usage and reflect the widely accepted English name. Until it's clear that English-language publications (books, newspapers, magazines, even TV) have widely adopted any form other than Iwo Jima, this article should not be moved. - Ev 22:02, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - "Iwo Jima" is still the most commonly used English name. For WP precedent, see Cat Stevens, who changed his OWN name, yet wikipedia has held the article at the most familiar name. WP:UCN seem very hard to trump. Also, per WP:NC(GN) (Foreign names should be used only if there are no established English names; most places do have established English names. Rationale for historical usage should be explained on the article's talk page and in the name's section of the article about the geographical place in question. If no name can be shown to be widely accepted in English, use the local official name. (emphasis added)) Neier 22:11, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    You should re-read WP:NC(GN). Quote (with own emphasis):

    When a widely accepted English name, in a modern context, exists for a place, we should use it. This often will be a local name, or one of them; but not always. If the place does not exist anymore, or the article deals only with a place in a period when it held a different name, the widely accepted historical English name should be used. If neither of these apply, the modern official name, in articles dealing with the present, or the modern local historical name, in articles dealing with a specific period, should be used.

    "Iwo Jima" is not modern anymore. It is historical. That officially changed on June 18th. This article deals with the present island in modern terms. For articles dealing with historical contexts, such as Battle of Iwo Jima, "Iwo Jima" is appropriate per this guideline. However, this article is not about the historical place, but about the place in modern context. The name has changed, and per this policy so must this page. If, on the other hand, this article is about the historical place named "Iwo Jima", then another article titled "Iōtō" dealing with the modern island in modern context seems appropriate. Bendono 23:49, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    This is quite possibly the most convoluted illogic I've ever read. All geographers beware. Since there is no longer a Roman province of Latium, you must henceforth and forever more refer to the place as Lazio. And for those of you who don't care what the Dutch have renamed their country, Holland is also now taboo. Bendono is now making all the rules, and none of them make any sense... Tomertalk 23:55, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    What rule do you claim that I made? Did you even read WP:NC(GN)?. To my knowledge, I have never edited that page. The name did officially change and our own guidelines dictate the need for change. Other such examples include Mumbai, Myanmar, and Kolkata. Their historical names, Bombay, Burma, and Calcutta respectively, are more familiar (even today). However, they are just that: historical. "Iwo Jima" is historical. That changed on June 18th, and that change was done officially. Bendono 00:06, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    As one of the editors who wrote that section of WP:NCGN, I can assure you that you misread it; I will see if it can be made more clear. As for Mumbai, the argument is that English speakers, including the local English speakers have in fact changed what they say. It was moved some years after the change of official name, which was in 1995. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:40, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    I read your edits to WP:NCGN. Two issues. 1) There are no local residents in Iōtō anymore. There are occasional visits, but special permission is needed in advance. 2) While there is great enthusiasm, English is not much of a reality in Japan. However, in the last week, I have had several conversations (in Japanese) about the name change. It made quite a bit of news here, and seems to be fairly well known. Bendono 01:18, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    Google searches aren't ideal, but I think it's interesting to note:
    • Mumbai: 29.7 million hits, Bombay: 19.8 million
    • Myanmar: 54.7 million hits, Burma: 32.6 million
    • Kolkata: 9.72 million hits, Calcutta: 11.8 million
    • Iwo Jima: 2.32 million hits, Iwo To: 0.144 million, Iwoto: 0.0142 million, Iōtō: 226 hits
    The "new" forms you cite: Mumbai, Myanmar, Kolkata, etc. have been adopted into common usage, in most cases eclipsing the old form. As of now, at least this is not the case with Iwo Jima. Below you state: "Iōtō" is English. I hate to break it to you, but no English speakers appear aware of this fact. CES 01:00, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    If it were not for Wikipedia, I would only know these places by their historical names. The names officially changed and that is clear to me from reading the articles, in particular the titles as I only skimmed the articles. On the other hand, when I look at "Iwo Jima", it is not immediately clear that the name really did change. By leaving this page at "Iwo Jima", we are perpetrating old information, and to an extent, perhaps hiding the newest and most correct information, or at least not making it a first priority. The change to Mumbai, for example, occurred in 1995. There has been more than a decade to reflect that change. The official name change to Iōtō occurred exactly a week ago. It will take time for that to be reflected in Google. An official press release is available detailing the name change, and that should be of paramount important. Bendono 01:18, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    Your views are on the issue, especially in light of what everyone else is telling you, are so at odds with the general rules that govern WP naming, that it's becoming difficult to believe you're not just arguing for argument's sake. You are, essentially, on the road to turning this into a one-editor effort to restart the Gdanzig war, only here instead. Tomertalk 02:57, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    Only because I am right. You do not even need a human being to make this decision. Just process the facts. There was an official name change. "Iwo Jima" is now historical. Our own guideline WP:NCGN supports this. There is no need to argue or even discuss it. The facts and resources are there and plainly available for inspection. If a million people told me that 1 + 1 = 3, I would still not believe them. However, a Wikipedia consensus would be sufficient to establish such a concept. That is all that is happening here. Bendono 03:13, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    Knock off the personal attacks. There’s no reason to assume Bendono is not arguing in good faith. That aside, Iwojima vs Ioto is not Gdansk vs Danzig: it is not a matter of national pride! Although I disagree with his conclusions, Bendono’s points are still perfectly logical as well as valid, and they do not deserve scorn and derision! Jim_Lockhart 03:25, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Again, this drive to remove English names for places in foreign countries is ADVOCACY. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a soap box. If you have an axe to grind about what a place should be called, find. Go away and do it somewhere else. There's plenty of room here to cover the fact that an official pronunciation for the island has been adopted by the Japanese government...but that's it. Report it. That doesn't alter English usage, it alters Japanese government policy. Period. Tomertalk 23:41, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    Yes, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. And it should be up to date. "Iwo Jima" is a historical, obsolete name that has official been changed to "Iōtō". "Iōtō" is English. It should not need stating, but the Japanese is 硫黄島. Bendono 23:52, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
    Sorry, but I (respectfully) disagree that Ioto (let alone with the diacritics) is English. The established English name is Iwojima (I think that even Iwo Jima is too much of a concession to Japanese sensibilities [etc]), and I don’t even think comparisons with Stalingrad and Leningrad are valid because these names were seen by most of the English speaking world as eratz names, as with Karl-Marx-Stadt for Chemnitz. 硫黄島 is Japanese for the Japanese to abuse as they will; further, I wonder whether the description of this as a name “change” is really valid: Reading the Japanese descriptions of the name’s history, I note that the reading of that kanji string has bounced back and forth forever, and that all the GSI did was settle on consistently using the Iōtō reading in Japanese (読みを「硫黄島」に統一する), not “changing” (改名する、改称する、名称を変更する、など) the name. Regardless, these are still things taking place in Japanese, and—although I agree that Wikipedia should take the lead among encyclopedias in noting geonym and other similar changes—it still remains to be seen how the English-speaking world is going to react to this. Jim_Lockhart 01:15, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    Arguing whether it is a name change, pronunciation change, or unification generally amounts to the same thing in the end. We will have to agree to disagree whether Iōtō is English or not. But either way, it is now a historical name. And there are no other consistent, official English names to replace it with. Defaulting to Iōto as found in the official press release is the most WP:NPOV and authoritative spelling. Bendono 02:42, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    Agreeing to disagree is fine on this point—if in future the English-speaking world follows the Japanese name change, then the article’s title should be changed to reflect that; but until then, I remain opposed. As for Iōtō being the most NPOV options: I disagree here too, since I think this assertion involves a misundertanding of what NPOV means (it means that we don’t take sides in describing things, not that we remain neutral in naming articles—something that is impossible and why the most common, current English name is preferred in naming them). Regards, Jim_Lockhart 02:56, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    "Iwo Jima" is historically common. If it were merely an issue internal to the Japanese language, then you would not find any English news articles about it, especially in major newspapers. That is not the case though. Several have been linked to already, as well as this article being mentioned as current event. And each publication has their own romanization preferences ranging from Iwoto to Iwo To, and possibly even others. Wikipedia also has their own romanziation system and guidelines. The most NPOV thing is to honestly romanize what is listed in the official press release. WT:NCGN also supports this issue (modern, official, etc). Bendono 03:07, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    Actually, it is also currently the most common usage in English. No one has presented any evidence to the contrary. The Japanese bureaucracy can call the island whatever they please, but until there is convincing evidence that that name has been adopted as common usage in English, the name in English is the name that people use to refer to the place. olderwiser 03:22, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    And it is; we state the decision of the Japanese government; which is so far confined to the Japanese name that you can't find documentation in English. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:40, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    As a non-English speaking country, what you are requesting is not possible. There is much that is not available in English. Which is why a translation will be needed. I do not propose naming the article 硫黄島 (Japanese), but rather to Iōtō (English). If that is still unacceptable, then even "Sulfur Island" is better (but not desired) than the historical "Iwo Jima". Bendono 02:42, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    I understand the point of contention: whether "Iwo Jima" is just a historical romanization of Iōjima or whether it is a modern English place name in its own right ... but the consensus is clear. Ultimately, time will tell whether Iwo To, Iōtō, or something else will replace Iwo Jima. But for now, there is no debating that "Iwo Jima" is the common name both pre- and post-renaming. We need to move on ... no new points are being raised. Let's use this passion to improve the article ... thanks to the magic of redirect pages ultimately it doesn't really matter what the article title is. CES 01:00, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    • English does not have an Academy; English is determined by the consensus of its users. It is not determined by any government, British, American, or Japanese; a proclamation of the Japanese government cannot change it. Therefore, if Bendono cannot find documentation on this in English, English has not changed; and our policy is to follow English usage where it exists. It plainly does here. (There is also the question whether the Japanese government intended to change English usage, or only Japanese usage; I would not swear to the former by the article>) I trust the former is a newish point; and we can now move on. Septentrionalis PMAnderson; 14:36, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. How many times must clear-cut reasons why this name change should not happen be repeated on this page? In addition, the consensus is obviously to keep the name as Iwo Jima. Please stop bringing up survey after survey when this issue appears to be settled.--Alabamaboy 01:29, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
There was a specific reason for this survey, as noted above. It wasn't a frivolous exercise and it doesn't help anything to suggest it was. Exploding Boy 17:12, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. The name (pronunciation, spelling, whatever you wish to call it) official changed (press release) on June 18th to いおうとう (Iōtō). "Iwo Jima" is now a historical name. Per WP:NC(GN), the modern, official name (Iōtō) is to be used as the article deals with the modern island in modern context. (Iwo Jima is appropriate for historical context such Battle of Iwo Jima.) Precedent for such a change include Mumbai, Myanmar, and Kolkata, which are less familiar than their historical names (Bombay, Burma, and Calcutta respectively). "Iwo Jima" was the widely accepted name. Now that it has changed, that is a widely accepted historical name. It will take time for the new name to be well known, but ignorance of the official name change is not an excuse. Information changes and is not static. Perpetrating the historical name (Iwo Jima) over the official modern one (Iōtō) is a disservice to readers and to knowledge in general. It is unbecoming of an encyclopedia. An official press release is available detailing this change. Present the facts. Bendono 02:42, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose the English name of the place is "Iwo Jima". It should be noted that sometimes the ENGLISH name of a location is significantly different from the current official name, or current official latinization. 03:30, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose based on Wikipedia policy (cited above), English-language publication practice (mentioned above), and massive consensus (listed above). Bendono has made his/her point, but should accept that it is not sufficient to justify the change at this time. Time and publications will tell us when it is logical to make any such change. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:40, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Ambivalent/Neutral. (Repeating my comment from above) Either Iwo Jima or Iōtō is fine. One is the traditional English name and the other is the official name. Either one will work. Since we can use redirects to make sure all the possible spellings arrive at this page, and can explain all of the possible names in the first sentence of the article, it really doesn't matter exactly which word is at the top of the article. If everyone here had busied themselves adding cited information to this article instead of arguing about the name, it might be close to Featured-level quality by now. CLA 07:09, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    Yes, well we’re such a band of nitwits that we need you to shake us up by telling us that. Meanwhile, if you’re intending to take your own advice, please note that there’s an under-construction page here just dying for your constructive input, though letting Mari work it over first might be the (gasp!) polite thing to do. Jim_Lockhart 09:22, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
    You can see by the "to do" list on my user page that I keep plenty on my plate. Since I'm slowly working my way through the Pacific War, I'll eventually get to the Battle of Iwo Jima with the sole goal of taking it featured, if someone else (hopefully) doesn't take it there first. CLA 02:41, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
    Indeed I did look at your user page (albeit after writing my comment) and was quite impressed by what I saw there, especially your rationale for working on articles related to the war. I share your sentiments in that respect, though I tend to concentrate on articles concerning the European theater and the Holocaust. The content of your user page even made me wonder whether your comment—which seemed a bit like a gratuitous swipe—was out of character. In any case, I’d like to get this naming controversy out of the way so some of us can get back to working on the substance of the article. Best regards, Jim_Lockhart 03:56, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose In the English Wikipedia, we should use English for firmly established place names. Just as we write "Japan" rather than "Nihon" (and as we use English for many more place names, as others have listed), we should name this article by the English name of the island, which remains "Iwo Jima." "Iōtō" would be my second choice, but a distant one. Fg2 10:15, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose — This is a slam-dunk case: I get 1,490,000 hits for "Iwo Jima" -Wikipedia. And I only get 31 hits for "Iōtō" -Wikipedia. (I'm restricting my searches to English only). Therefore claiming that "Iōtō" is in any common usage in English must be some kind of a misunderstanding.--Endroit 14:43, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • You neglected to filter out all of the hits that refer to the historical name. Remember the name only changed officially one week ago. Bendono 17:02, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
My Google counts are fine. If you feel anything wrong, go ahead and filter them out, then show us the outcome... I'm all ears.--Endroit 17:41, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore Endroit's Google hits for Iōtō are only 14 distinct pages; of those 14, one is not in English, and six of the others say things like "Iwo-Jima (Japanese 硫黄島 Iōtō, or Iōjima, meaning 'sulfur island') is a volcanic island in Japan, part of the Volcano Islands (the southern part of the"; which indicate that they are both stating Japanese usage, and are likely to be mirrors of this page, not filtered out by "- wikipedia". So there are still five orders of magnitude difference. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:22, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Iwo Jima is the name in use by English speakers today, never mind what the Japanese goverment has decided to do. If English usage changes to Iwo To whatever in 10 years, let's talk about it again, but I'm confident it won't. It's quite sufficient to mention the name change in the opening paragraph, and also to have a separate section in the article, although if you ask me, at the moment that section has far too much prominence in the article for its relative importance. Bobo12345 03:49, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. How do you say that in English? Leave it be at the current name in honor of the last person alive that raised the American flag on the summit of Mount Suribachi who passed during this discussion. Vegaswikian 02:31, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. What finally brought me to explicitly express an opinion in this survey was a new AP story today calling the island Iwo Jima (see, for example, Yahoo!). I doubt that the English name for the island will change, and we shouldn't be acting predictively, anyway. Dekimasuよ! 10:18, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. WP naming conventions favor most common over official names of things. Official name changes should, of course, be noted in the article text, but are irrelevant to the pagename. Sohelpme 03:32, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose still. --Groggy Dice T | C 07:45, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Can we close this survey now? It's clearly opposed by almost all. Bobo12345 09:09, 28 June 2007 (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.

It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it be moved. --Stemonitis 05:50, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Actually, the consensus was a nearly unanimous decision in diametrical opposition to the proposal...i.e., do not move, not "no consenus"... Tomertalk 06:52, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Battle of Iwo Jima[edit]

There seems to be this constant fear that if this page is moved, the relating Battle of Iwo Jima page will also be moved. Well the Battle.. won't ever be moved. My examples - Battle of Stalingrad and Siege of Leningrad, as you can see, they haven't bee moved to Battle of Volgograd or Siege of Saint Petersburg. My point is, Battle of .. pages are not retroactively re-named. GoodDay 17:44, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Of that I had no doubt. However, the fact remains most English speakers know of this by one name and our guidelines state that it is this name we should use. Rklawton 17:48, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
I think it's fair to say that the guideline is open to interpretation in regards to this particular case. Exploding Boy 21:18, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Who has this fear? I searched for "battle" in this talk page and the only time this issue has even come up is when people who want to move this page attribute it to people who want the page to stay. Every argument I've seen for keeping the page at Iwo Jima cites English common usage, not a fear of changing the Battle of Iwo Jima page. Millions upon millions of English speakers know this island as "Iwo Jima". The reason is clearly the battle. But a historical reason for modern common usage does not somehow de-legitimize the fact that "Iwo Jima" has become the accepted English name for this island. CES 18:26, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
There's no doubt that "Iwo Jima" is the accepted English version of "Iōjima." But that's no longer the island's name. Exploding Boy 21:18, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this matter of interpretation. You say "Iwo Jima" is the accepted English version of "Iōjima". I say "Iwo Jima" is the accepted English name for an island in the Pacific--a name spawned from but no longer tied to the original Japanese name (much like the name "Japan" itself). We have voted twice and the clear consensus favors the latter interpretation. Unless anyone has anything new to add, it appears that this article should stay at "Iwo Jima." CES 22:22, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
I guess so. Now the question becomes what spellings to include in the opening paragraph. Exploding Boy 22:25, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Very well, I take it back (suggesting a 'fear factor'). I don't wan't this discussion (page movements) turning into a political-historical debate. Besides, the 2 current 'Surveys' are quite clear in their desires for the page to remain Iwo Jima. On that undisputable note, I accept Iwo Jima. GoodDay 18:41, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

How far to Iwo Jima?[edit]

This article says "The island is located 1,200 kilometers (650 nm) south of Tokyo... ." Battle of Iwo Jima article says "Iwo Jima is a volcanic island about 1,800 km (1118 miles) south of Tokyo... ."

I love that we have 20000000 words on what to call the damn thing, and we don't even know where it is... Maybe we should be calling it "Hawaii"?DougRWms 02:12, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

[This site] indicates that Iwo Jima is 656 miles (~1050 kilometers) from Tokyo. This would be consistent with the map on this page. CES 02:46, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
What you wrote likely indicate that someone looked at "1200km" and simply replaced "km" with "miles" and copied the number. If US stopped using mile-system, we wouldn't have any more of such confusions. --Revth 02:39, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

I used the measuring tool in google earth (lol), and it showed exactly 1217,69 kilometer. So I guess this article has the right answer. //MrCursed —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:46, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Opening lines[edit]

I've removed Iwo To and Iwoto from the opening lines. The Page Movement Surveys (above) clearing show that editors here, prefer Iwo Jima as the only English name. Having the other English names, contradicts the Page's title. What does everyone think? PS- This 'talk page' needs to be archived (it's getting too long). GoodDay 20:09, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree. The neoarchaic name is well-covered in the ==Name== section, where it should be. Tomertalk 20:15, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. "Iwo Jima" is the only name commonly used in English. CES 00:04, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Encarta updates to Iwo To, adds Sulfer Mines and Sugar Refineries[edit]

Encarta, another well-known encyclopedia, has formally updated the name of their article from the historical Iwo Jima to Iwo To. To quote a few passages:

  • Iwo To, formerly known as Iwo Jima [...]

  • In 2007 the Japanese Geographical Survey Institute announced that it was renaming Iwo Jima as Iwo To, the name given to the island by its original Japanese inhabitants.

This should not be a surprise since the name of the island officially changed last June. As discussed earlier, Battle of Iwo Jima should not change because the name is appropriate in historical context. And Encarta does precisely that: [12]. The Wikipedia situation is rather ironic in face of the verifiable official announcement as well as numerous English-language news reports, and now another encyclopedia. Bendono 07:13, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

However, as has been stated before, the entire reasoning behind the renaming has been found to be unsupported by facts. A 1920 US Naval nautical chart obtained from the US Library of Congress states, quite definitively, that the English name for the island was "Iwo Jima" - this is at least 20 years before WW2 and the "accidental renaming" of the island cited by so many of the articles covering the current Japanese governmental proclamation. I would submit that not everything in the newspapers is true, and it is not the purpose of wikipedia to get caught up in these sort of disputes. Ceabaird 05:51, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Regardless of your opinion, the information is official, verifiable, made big news in many (many) newspapers, and as a result another (English language) encyclopedia has since updated their information. Bendono 06:11, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
And regardless of your opinion, the rulings of Japanese agencies do not determine the common name in English and neither do the practices of Encarta have any direct bearing on Wikipedia. olderwiser 08:22, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
No, of course not. But another professionally edited (English language) encyclopedia, along with numerous (English language) newspapers should have a huge bearing on the issue. Regardless, the issue is not about being common; the name Iwo Jima is now historically. Bendono 09:00, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
No, one of Wikipedia's naming guidelines is to use common names, which is not necessarily the "official" name. olderwiser 10:35, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I am well aware of that guideline. Here is another one: WP:NCGN. More importantly, though, is WP:V in which all of this is verifiable, especially in regard to the Encarta entry. Bendono 10:52, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Bendono, thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention. This is a trend we need to keep an eye on, but until common usage shifts away from Iwo Jima it is my opinion that this article should stay at Iwo Jima for the reasons discussed above. "Iwo Jima" is clearly the "common English name" thus should be the title, and "Iwo To" being the "local official name" and used in the occasional English language source deserves mention in the lead, all per WP:NCGN. Official name change or not ... I very much doubt that the average user will be searching for "Iwo To" instead of "Iwo Jima". CES 11:42, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Encarta's entry also states "Principal industries include sulfur mines and a sugar refinery." (Emphasis added.) That can't be right, can it? I thought the only thing there was the Japanese Naval Defense Force base. I'm trying to confirm, but can't read much Japanese.DougRWms 10:26, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm not an expert on Iwo Jima, but skimming the Japanese Wikipedia page it appears there are no permanent residents, and only military personnel and support staff are allowed on the island. Before the war, it says that sulfur (hence "Iojima/to" meaning "Sulfur Island"), sugar, fishing, and cocaine (!) were among the primary economic activities ... but it doesn't seem like any of that goes on anymore. CES 11:47, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Mmmmmm! Fish, sugar, and cocaine! DougRWms 13:29, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
CES is right. There's a deleted-and-then-retrieved history section here. Talk:Iwo Jima/History etc (working page). It needs a lot of copyedits and clean-ups. please help and work on it. Oda Mari 14:10, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Citing archived copies of journal webpages[edit]

After I fixed a problem with a Bulletin of Atomic Scientists citation (more or less), DougRWms asked in a subsequent article edit summary, "Is the original article available anywhere?" I actually cited the archive link and date of a Wayback Machine (Internet Archive) copy in the restored citation, but I used a format that has yet to be implemented for the {{cite journal}} citation template. It adds the "archiveurl" and "archivedate" parameters already in use in {{cite web}} and other templates. But it won't actually show up in the References section until an admin with template expertise decides to implement it, because the template is protected from editing by mere mortals, for obvious reasons. I recommend folks who wish to see this done say so at Template talk:Cite journal#template expansion needed. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 23:44, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for trying Jeff Q. My concern was just that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and ancillary page sited in footnote 7 are decidely anti-nuclear, and subsequently represent a biased view. But the assertion that there were nukes on Iwo Jima is clearly attributed as the studied opinion of the authors of the cited article, and not as fact. Obviously it would be nice to have the full article, so that people can read the conclusions in context, but I think it meets Wikipedia guidelines as is.DougRWms 04:15, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


Is there anyone who lives on Iwo today? if so how many? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:35, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Japanese troop counts in articles contradict[edit]


And compare the numbers of total Japanese troops and the number of surrenders. (talk) 23:19, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Numbers don't add up[edit]

Check number of Japanese soldiers and casualties in this article and compare to the current article, they're different: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

War Dead[edit]

Have remains of U.S. and Japanese war dead been removed from the island? I don't see any evidence of cemetaries in Google Map imagery. --Virgil H. Soule (talk) 19:07, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Eruption history?[edit]

  • What is known about Iwo Jima's eruption history? Is it likely to erupt again?: the long steady magma buildup that is making Iwo Jima rise, looks ominous. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 06:13, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
As far as I know, there has been no big eruption or no record about it. This is the recent record in Japanese. Oda Mari (talk) 17:09, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Iwo Jima 'Map'?[edit]

The map in the info-box can hardly be considered a map of Iwo Jima with only a 'spec' stuck out there in the middle of the ocean to represent it. You can't even discern its shape. What we have really is a map of Japan and it sort of looks like something a child colored in a coloring book. Is this the best we can do? The blurry sat' photo doesn't do it much justice either. WP needs a map task force, as maps of this 'quality' too often appear in articles. btw. Before I made this criticism I looked through WP to see if there is anything else. The internet has an assortment of maps. I found a decent one but its a military aviation map with all sorts of 'aviation stuff' inscribed over it. Will upload it after I render its sharpness and color tone. Hope it works. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 23:30, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Confusing use of "home islands"[edit]

The first time the term appears in the article, it implies Iwo Jima isn't one of the home islands, and the second time it appears, it clearly means that it is. Can someone with knowledge of the subject clarify/fix whichever is wrong thanks. (talk) 19:50, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Name, again[edit]

  • This has been a subject of discussion already, but I suggest that the article name should be changed to "Iwo To". Even in the United States, not the official name is "Iwo To" despite the island is still widely known with its old name of Iwo Jima. See description in Japanese article with citation.

アメリカの資料においても、一部はこの変更に追従して「Iwo To(イオートー)」と改められており、JTWCの台風進路予想図などはその一例である。一方、「Iwo Jima(イオージマ)」は第二次世界大戦中最大の激戦だった記念地としてアメリカでも特に有名であるため、「Iwo Jima」の名称に特別な感情をもつ者もアメリカ海兵隊の関係者を中心に多くおり、退役軍人組織のひとつである「ベテランズ・オブ・フォーリン・ウォーズ」はこの変更に不快感を示した。改名反対の声明を出した団体もあるという。-- (talk) 20:20, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Unedited Google translation of the Japanese text: "In the materials of America, has been renamed "Iwo To (Ioto)" and to follow the change this part, such as typhoons course of JTWC forecast map is one example. On the other hand, for the "Iwo Jima (Iojima)" is especially famous in the United States as a memorial ground was a fierce battle during the Second World War up to, those who have a special feeling in the name of "Iwo Jima" is also in the United States Marine Corps the cage around the many stakeholders, and showed discomfort to this change, which is one of the veterans organization, "veterans of foreign Wars". That there is also a group that issued a statement of opposition renamed." Anthony Appleyard (talk) 21:08, 15 August 2013 (UTC)