Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles

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WP:VG/GL#Non-English games[edit]

Archives of this discussion can be found at /VGGL and /VGGL2

WP:VG/GL mediation[edit]

Is city disambiguation necessary?[edit]

For cities, use the form [[{city-name}, {prefecture-name}]]; for example, Otaru, Hokkaido. Exception: For designated cities, use [[{city-name}]] without appending the prefecture unless disambiguation from another city or prefecture is necessary.

Does this require, say, Yuza being moved to Yuza, Yamagata, even when there is no other Yuza (as MChew has just done)? In fact, Yuza redirects to Yuza, Yamagata! This seems to be in violation of normal titling guidelines—normally we don't disambiguate unless necessary. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 06:21, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Every of the several hundred Japanese municipality, former municipality, district, former district articles use the [[{city-name}, {prefecture-name}]] format, with the sole exception of designated cities. This was settled through consensus several years ago, and is now regarded as the standard MOS. --MChew (talk) 00:56, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
@MChew: Can you link to the discussion? I have trouble believing that the project would require unnecessary disambiguation, and even if it did, a WikiProject can't override sitewide guidelines without just cause. I suspect the disambiguation scheme was decided on only for those municipalities that require it. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 01:20, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Isn't it the same situation for every single American city though?—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 02:03, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Nope: Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles... Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 04:05, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Waukegan, Illinois, (Toronto is Canadian), San Jose, California.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 04:12, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
And why do you think Cambridge is disambiguated? Have you read the guidelines and understood why disambiguation is done? Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 04:19, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
There's still all those Hawaiian locations that I posted at WT:JAPAN and probably plenty of other locations throughout the U.S. that have disambiguation when there's feasibly no reason to have it.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 04:25, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, all without any discernible purpose and contravening the guidelines that say not to disambiguate without reason. I'll ask again: have you read & understood the guidelines? Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 04:39, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
The sitewide guidelines acknowledge that the naming convention for US cities can include the state name, even if not necessary for disambiguation purposes. Please see [Disambiguation]: “In some cases, including most towns in the United States, the most appropriate title includes the non-parenthesized State name as a tag, even when it is not needed for disambiguation”. The same site-wide convention states: “If specific disambiguation conventions apply to places of a particular type or in a particular country, then it is important to follow these.” The specific convention mentioned is under: [Region-specific guidance]. Thus, sitewide guidelines on disambiguation defer to the WikiProject in the case of Japanese municipality naming conventions. --MChew (talk) 08:24, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, but I asked for links to the MOS:JAPAN-specific discussion you said took place Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 09:35, 13 July 2014 (UTC).
The format “city, prefecture” dates from the start of the MOS. There have been a number of discussions on changing the MOS to “city” over the years, including [1] in 2005, and [2] in 2006 in which a compromise consensus was reached to keep the existing MOS, with the exception of the designated cities of Japan, which were changed to the “city” format.
This incidentally is similar to WP:USPLACE, also given in the wiki-wide convention [Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names)(section United States)]; “Cities listed in the AP Stylebook as not requiring the state modifier in newspaper articles have their articles named “City” unless they are not the primary or only topic for that name. In other cases, this guideline recommends following the "comma convention" as described above.” --MChew (talk) 14:07, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
I think you're probably aware of just how contentious USPLACES is, so that's not a particularly strong argument, especially since the rationale behind USPLACES is irrelevant to Japanese places. Anyways, I've opened an RfC. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 21:24, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Mandatory disambiguation for Japanese places?[edit]

Should MOS:JAPAN continue to require disambiguation for unique place names? Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 21:17, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

MOS:JAPAN currently reads:

For cities, use the form [[{city-name}, {prefecture-name}]]; for example, Otaru, Hokkaido. Exception: For designated cities, use [[{city-name}]] without appending the prefecture unless disambiguation from another city or prefecture is necessary.

This means that places that do not need to be disambiguated (for example, Yuza) are being preemptively disambiguated (Yuza, Yamagata). The rationale appears to be based on the contentious neverending debate that is WP:USPLACE, but the rationale behind USPLACES does not hold for Japanese places. For example:

  1. Nearly 50% of US places need to be disambiguated
  2. Style guides recommend [place], [state] for US places
  3. It is common in speech and writing to refer to US places as [place], [state]

I'm not aware of any style guide that recommends MOS:JAPAN's titling convention, and I know from personal experience that people don't go around saying things like "Yuza, Yamagata" (compare to how frequently people will say "Omaha, Nebraska" without thinking).

It seems to me that MOS:JAPAN's mandating disambiguation for place names is unnatural, unsupported by style guides, serves to solve no identified problem, and is instruction creep. I think it's time to do away with it and fall back on standard naming conventions. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 21:17, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Naming conventions in Japan for the most part match what we're doing here in English. For anything other than the major cities that everyone knows, they will append the prefecture name. There may only be one article known by the name "Yuza" on the English Wikpedia, but I'm pretty sure that in reliable sources it is mentioned as being in Yamagata rather than just being acknowledged as a Japanese city.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 21:21, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Which is why the article itself says it's a town in Yamagata. Your comment has nothing to do with titling. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 21:29, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
it shows that in common parlance, minor cities and towns throughout Japan are disambiguated as much as the lesser cities of the United States.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 02:50, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
It shows nothing of the sort, you've cited no source to demonstrate it, and you've not demonstrated any pressing need for it to be done in the titles. Itnever would have occurred to me to look up Yaizu under Yaizu, Shizuoka. People simply don't refer to it that way as a habit, the way that Americans habitually refer to Phoenix even in casual speech as "Phoenix, Arizona". In sixteen years living in Shizuoka I have yet have heard a single person refer to Yaizu as "Yaizu, Shizuoka". Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 03:06, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Further, USPLACES, as has already been pointed out, is hotly disputed---hardly a precedent for MOS:JAPAN to follow. Even Canadian articles don't follow it---check out Medicine Hat and Seven Persons (population 231). Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 03:17, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't know. Every time I see the news on nhk they always add the prefecture name. Even if it's the uchinaguchi inspired names of the places here.—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 05:27, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
  • First, let's be clear that this isn't a disambiguation issue... the issue is the desire for recognizability and naturalness. To me the underlying question is simple... are Japanese towns and cities generally (ie not specifically) referred to using a "town name, province name" format, or a "town name" format (without the province appended)? I don't know the answer to that question, but we would look to sources (not our own personal observations) to determine that answer. In other words... first we see which format the sources use, then Wikipedia should consistently use that same format ... because that format (whichever it is) will be more natural and recognizable. Blueboar (talk) 12:06, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

I very much agree with ending this (really rather odd) idea. Really rather odd if you are not an American, since this sort of naming convention is almost entirely a US thing -- have you ever heard a non-American say "London, England" or "Paris, France". (Or "Tokyo, Japan" for that matter.) Imaginatorium (talk) 12:09, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

No... but then those are large cities that almost anyone would be familiar with. It is more common for non-Americans to append the province when they refer to smaller cities and towns. A lot depends on who the person is talking to... For example, an English friend of mine will say he comes from "Odstock" when talking to someone from Wiltshire, but he will say he comes from "Odstock, Wiltshire" when speaking to people who are not from the area. Blueboar (talk) 12:47, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

User:Blueboar is correct. Here is what I suggest we all do;

  1. Edit this section and copy/paste these numbered bullets into a new comment from you below, and fill in the following
  2. think of a Japanese city:
  3. go to that city's article
  4. find a category to which it belongs that is a category that includes other cities in Japan. Category: (remember to insert colon before word Category)
  5. Click on that category
  6. randomly pick a city with a unique name in that category. City:
  7. Do some searches on the web, in Google books, and Google scholar (if the city name is not unique; go back to previous step).
  8. report back on your findings regarding the usage of that. Report:

--В²C 18:08, 14 July 2014 (UTC)


  1. think of a Japanese city: Yokohama
  2. go to that city's article
  3. find a category to which it belongs that is a category that includes other cities in Japan. Category: Category:Populated coastal places in Japan
  4. Click on that category
  5. randomly pick a city with a unique name in that category. City: Kisosaki, Mie
  6. Do some searches on the web, in Google books, and Google scholar (if the city name is not unique; go back to previous step).
  7. report back on your findings regarding the usage of that. Report: not much out there, but could not find any references to "Kisosaki, Mie" when searching for "Kisosaki".

--В²C 18:08, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

  • As Born2Cycle ahs pointed out, [place], [prefecture] is not the way places are referred to in Japan. The closest you'll see is, for the "Kisosaki" example, "Kisosaki-chō, Mie" (the "-chō" means "town"; for Yaizu, you'd append "-shi" for "city", and for Tokyo you'd append "-to" for "metropolis"). Just as I said, there is no support for this naming scheme either in style guides or common usage. It's a Wiki-invention. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 20:55, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

While I can agree that Japanese people typically don't refer to cities with prefecture name included, I don't think that's really a strong reason for an article naming policy on English wikipedia. Rather, it would be better if our policy is consistent with how articles are titled for other cities in non-English speaking countries. As an English-speaking visitor to Wikipedia, I would be surprised if all Japanese city articles were titled "[City], [Prefecture]" while for cities in other countries I am equally unfamiliar with like China, they were not. Can we not expect that the average English-speaking visitor is not going to be familiar with the names of administrative divisions of these sorts of countries? Mikethegreen (talk) 21:31, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Of course most readers will not be familiar with the administrative divisions, and there is virtually no chance they will perform a search for Yaizu, Shizuoka if "Yaizu, Shizuoka" is not the form they will run across in the majority of sources (and it's not). Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 22:57, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, there are two questions.
  1. What format shall be followed when the name of the city is unique?
  2. What format shall be followed when the name of the city is ambiguous with other uses, is not the primary topic, and so requires disambiguation?
In theory the answer could be the same to both of these questions. City, Prefecture-name would work for both. However, we could also answer just the city name for #1, and City, Prefecture-name when disambiguation is required. The latter approach is most consistent with how we name cities for most other countries.

Is there any other format we should use, at least for #2? --В²C 00:52, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Is there a dispute over the formatting? I disagree with it, but that was not the topic of this RfC—the topic is whether disambiguation should continue to be mandated for unique titles. If someone wants to have the disambiguation format changed, that should be brought up in a separate RfC. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 01:46, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
So as far as this RfC is concerned, if disambiguation is required (ambiguous city name), the Cityname, Prefecture-name format will be used... correct? Given no other proposed alternative, I'm fine with that, as that's what we use for other countries. So the only question on the table here is whether to use this format (include the prefecture name in the title), even when disambiguation is not necessary. Given the lack of argument for unnecessary disambiguation, I support disambiguation only when necessary. --В²C 07:22, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with B2C; conciseness generally favors having only the city name, where that name is unambiguous. There appears to be a stronger case for this limitation with respect to Japanese city names than with American city names, which tend towards ambiguity. bd2412 T 14:56, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't think it's a matter of a disambiguation, but of consistency/style of describing municipalities of Japan. The current MoS, i.e. the city/town/village, prefecture name format, is simple and systematic and very understandable. I don't understand why should it be more complicated. Curly Turkey, people in Shizuoka are familiar with communities in Shizuoka and it is a matter of common knowledge that they do not say pref. name. Just saying "Yaizu" is not necessary understandable in Hokkaido or Okinawa. When someone says "I was born in Yuza", I'd ask back "In what prefecture?". I didn't know the town till I saw this talk. Additionally, please revert this edit of yours as there's no consensus so far. Thank you. Oda Mari (talk) 08:34, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

  • @Oda Mari: In what way is this different from, say, Canada or any of the other countries that follow the general standards and do not preemptively disambiguate? Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 09:58, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
  • In response to your Yaizu comments, I have yet to hear anyone in real life refer to Toyohashi as Toyohashi, Aichi; Fujiyoshida as Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi; or Hachinohe as Hachinohe, Aomori. Neither have I seen any evidence that these are likely search terms, nor evidence that style guides recommend this usage. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 11:11, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
    • People from Shizuoka may know where Yaizu is, but when a native of Yaizu is describing his hometown to someone from far away, he would most likely say that he is from "Shizuoka-ken no Yaizu", and not that he is from "Yaizu", even if there is only one Yaizu in all of Japan. Official news broadcasts (such as NHK) and newspapers invariably give the prefecture name as well as the municipality name, even for relatively large cities. The "city name, prefecture name" format is quite often the practice for English-language newspapers, such as this one small example [3]. MChew (talk) 14:51, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
      • @MChew: I feel like a broken record: (a) why would what you say apply to Japan but not Canada or any of the other countries that follow the general guidelines? (b) what evidence is there that readers ever use "Hachinohe, Aomori" as a search term? (c) your example uses the form "Matsumoto, Nagano Pref.", not "Matsumoto, Nagano". In fact, the latter is almost entirely absent from a news search, found only in an article from the Russian Legal Information Agency. Actually, I'm striking the latter two, as everyone who wants to mandate disambiguation seems to want to dodge answering (a), and I don't want to give you that opportunity. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 19:59, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes, continue existing MOS:JAPAN practice e.g. Add prefecture except for top 50 20 cities, per User:MChew harms no one, helps everyone. In ictu oculi (talk) 15:27, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
    • @In ictu oculi: "harms no one,[citation needed] helps everyone[citation needed]": Who does it help? No one, as there is no evidence at all that anyone ever uses the form as a search term. It hurts editors like myself, as when I simply wanted to list a number of Yamagata municipalities in Departures. "Top 50 cities" is entirely arbitrary, and unsupported by the guidelines. "Hurts some, helps no one, contravenes sitewide guidelines and generally accepted practice" is more like it. Do you have any evidence---any at all---that a person wanting to find Yuza" will not find it without ", Yamagata" being appended to it? Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 20:06, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
      Redirects are cheap though. And the list of Cities designated by government ordinance of Japan isn't arbitrary. Obviously, the major metropolitan centers shouldn't be disambiguated unless there's a need, but it doesn't really matter if these minor cities are disambiguated or not so why bother changing everything?—Ryūlóng (琉竜) 20:19, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
      @Ryulong: That's right, redirects are cheap, so follow the sitewide guidelines and redirect Yuza, Yamagata to Yuza and everyone should be happy. Right? You still haven't answered the question of why this exception should apply to Japan but not other countries such as Canada. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 20:23, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Hello User:Curly Turkey, 1. it helps everyone for the reasons newspapers and books use prefectures with minor cities. 2. you can still list/link without writing the prefecture in Departures (film), what's the problem? 3. Okay use the 20 cities if that's the preferred list. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:28, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
@In ictu oculi: The community has rejected that reasoning for most non-US countries (and WP:USPLACE is itself is hotly disputed). The reasons it's retained for US places are stated above—none of these points apply to Japanese places. Again, I'm feeling like a broken record: what makes Japanese places an exception to the standard that Canada and other countries follow—the sitewide standard? You, MChew, and Ryulong have yet to volunteer an answer to this simple question. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 00:24, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
That the names are less familiar than Canada, not being "anglo", and that the prefectures are more included in book and newspaper sources than Canada - which is the same argument why USPLACE is accepted and not hotly disputed. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:39, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  1. "USPLACE is accepted and not hotly disputed":USPLACE is so hotly disputed that a long list of archives of the dispute is displayed prominently at the top of the Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (geographic names)
  2. "names are less familiar than Canada, not being 'anglo'"[citation needed]—and how on earth does appending another unfamiliar name to the title help in any way?
  3. Did you just skip the "and other countries" bit? What about Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, the Phillipines, Vietnam, Germany ... and, in fact, virtually every other country?
  4. "prefectures are more included in book and newspaper sources than Canada"[citation needed]
In ictu oculi, you can't just make these claims without backing them up. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 01:01, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes I can. I'm expressing my view based on my experience. USPLACE is not hotly disputed it is in place and working fine. Yes there are a couple of editors who hotly dispute it, that isn't the same thing. USPLACE works. The answers to the other questions others can mull on. Cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:03, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely astounding response. Note to closer: please take into account that the user has openly declared they will not make the effort to substantiate their claims. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 01:15, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Note to closer, yes by all means please take into account that I have openly declared I "will not make the effort to substantiate their claims" - or alternatively, closer, please take my view as being what I said, and also note that second tier Japanese city names, like US place names, generally are mentioned with their prefecture as US place names with state. I do not know if this is because the prefectures have more identity than say French or UK or Australia country subdivisions or what the reason is, but the use of prefectures improves WP:CRITERIA recognizability while, as US:PLACE, harming no one. Therefore again: Yes, please continue existing MOS:JAPAN practice. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:33, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
"generally are mentioned with their prefecture": Easily refuted: "yaizu" (909,000 hits) vs. 'yaizu -"yaizu shizuoka"' (600,000 hits). Yaizu alone appears 100% more often in articles in which the string "yaizu shizuoka" appears nowhere at all at any point in the article. Note that the hits that include "yaizu shizuoka" returns hits for "yaizu.shizuoka" (in URLs), "... Yaizu. Shizuoka ...", and all other permutations, not just "Yaizu, Shizuoka" in the <City>, <Prefecture> form. Why don't you back up your claims? Because your claims cannot be backed up. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 04:39, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names)#Region-specific guidance, a site-wide guideline, defers the format of the article title to country-specific Wikiprojects. I do not see in the guideline where it is mandatory that all countries follow the same format. Wikipedia:Article titles#Precision and disambiguation, a site-wide policy, states <quote> Bothell is precise enough to be unambiguous, but we instead use Bothell, Washington (see Geographic names), seeking a more natural and recognizable title. (It is also consistent with most other articles on American cities.” Yes, WP:USPLACE may be highly contentious, but it is still the current MOS which is in place per consensus.
Articles currently exist for all current and many former municipalities in Japan. With the exception of the “designated cities”, all these articles are currently titled as per the existing WP:MOS-JA of “city, prefecture”, with a redirect from “city”. The main argument for change appears to be Wikipedia:Unnecessary disambiguation, but (as the hat note states), this only an essay and is not actually a site-wide policy, and defers to Wikipedia:Disambiguation and Wikipedia:Article Titles, and I am yet to be convinced that this is a compelling and overriding argument, and that changing the existing will bring some concrete benefit.MChew (talk) 07:08, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
The USPLACE consensus is based on arguments that do not apply to Japanese places (style guide recommendations, widespread use). <Place>, <Prefecture> is neither recommended by style guides, nor in widespread use—per Born2cycle above: could not find any references to "Kisosaki, Mie" when searching for "Kisosaki". The format is a fantasy, and does not exist in widespread actual usage. What "concrete benefit" is there to mandating a format that does not exist outside of Wikipedia (and therefore is an unlikely search term)? What "concrete benefit" is there in being vigilant in enforcing it by moving articles back to that format, when the redirects continue to exist?
"I do not see in the guideline where it is mandatory that all countries follow the same format.": Nobody claimed it did. My argument is that there is no benefit to mandated disambiguation when the format follows no off-Wiki standard and there is no evidence that such a format would ever be used as search terms—why would it, when it is not encountered in Real Life? Again, the empirical example of "Kisosaki, Mie" is very relevant. There is a benefit in (a) easier linking—the backbone of a Wiki; (b) reducing instruction creep; (c) the predictability of following a format that is standard elsewhere—and the community standard virtually for everywhere but US places is for no unnecessary disambiguation. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 07:52, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)@MChew: When I moved Yuza, it was because I was aware of the general sitewide standard to prefer disambiguated unique titles. When I discovered Yuza was unique, I assumed it was a mistake, and moved it. I'm sure I'm not the first to have made this "mistake", and I'm sure I won't be the last. Do you volunteer to watchlist every Japanese municipality and stand vigilant to revert every other such "mistake" until the end of time? If not, then there's another "concrete benefit" to abolishing unnecesary disambiguation. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 08:15, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm. [4] in an English language page; [5] on a Japanese dictionary page. [6] on another English language page. So, I cannot agree that the format "Yuza, Yamagata" (for example) is completely "unnatural" and is never encountered in "real life". MChew (talk) 08:09, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Nobody said it was never encountered, and edge cases remain edge cases. Zero hits for Kisosaki is pretty remarkable, no? The fact remains that it is by no stretch of the imagination any kind of "standard". Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 08:15, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
The Weblio hit is entirely spurious: it is simply echoing back the search term. Try replacing Yuza by Nara, and Yamagata by Nara: "No entry for Nara, Nara" Imaginatorium (talk) 14:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Ha! I didn't even notice that: "ウィキペディア英語版 出典: Wikipedia Yuza, Yamagata 出典:『Wikipedia』". Though it was already clear that search results have been contaminated with pages that reuse Wikipedia content. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 20:20, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Because I think our MoS-Ja is more systematic and more encyclopedic than theirs. Why should we follow other countries MoS? We can have our own MoS, can't we? Remember Ignore all rules. Two different formats, "city, prefecture" for ambiguous name and "city" for unique name, could make general readers puzzled. If a non-ja speaking general reader wants to know about Yamagata prefecture and its municipalities and see the city articles, s/he would find some have the prefecture name and some don't. The reader could be puzzled. I think the double standard should be avoided. Prefecture name helped me too. If there was no prefecture name, I wouldn't have noticed the wrong link because 八幡 is read as both Yahata and Yawata and I didn't remember the correct reading of the former city in Fukuoka. Even a native ja-speaker does not remember city names correctly. It seems to me that you do not see the forest for the trees. Oda Mari (talk) 09:54, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

We have our own MoS to deal with those Japan-specific cases that cannot practically be dealt with in the more general guidelines, not so that we can take ownership of these articles (which belong properly to the whole community) and load them up with capricious, invented-from-whole-cloth rules (while puzzlingly justifying the proliferation of instruction creep with the "Ignore All Rules" mantra, à la "War is Peace", "Freedom is "Slavery"...) The more rules we have in different corners of Wikipedia, the less likely editors will be able or willing to comply---and conflicting rules, as in MoS vs Mos-JA onlt make it worse, as editors who believe they know the rules find out the rule has been overridden by some WikiProject in-group. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 10:38, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
The Japanese articles are all inherently disambiguated, as they incorporate the kanji for city/town/village in their names. Following this line of reasoning, 遊佐町 should be “Yuza-machi”, or “Yuza Town” (which is what appears on the town’s official home page) or perhaps even “Yuza (town)”. This is not the same as simply titling the article “Yuza” (遊佐). The current MOS-JA does not violate Wikipedia sitewide guidelines or policy. Yes, it is not the same format followed for the municipality articles for many other countries, but simply because most other countries use a different format does not make that format the "sitewide guidelines". MChew (talk) 15:37, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Ambiguity still can occur, even with kanji. See ja:府中市_(広島県) and ja:府中市_(東京都). Mikethegreen (talk) 16:31, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
A stretch and a half, given that (a) the municipality markers (-shi, -chō, -mura, etc) are considered so tied with the municipality that the are transliterated with hyphens---and it might be pointed out that this convention is disallowed on the English Wikipedia (we are not allowed to call Shizuoka, Shizuoka "Shizuoka City", despite that and "Shizuoka-shi" being common conventions).
But far more important than that: the argument is that we need the prefecture name, otherwise we won't know where in Japan the municipality is. Neither the Japanese Wikipedia, nor the vast majority of countries on the English Wikipedia buy that argument---and the one major exception backs up its exception with empirical facts (style guide recommendations, and demonstrating that it's a widespread, natural convention).
Also, don't think I've missed that you ignored this direct question---there is a clear, concrete benefit to not having guidelines that contradict or override each other. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 21:42, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • No. The primary reason these articles have titles is to tell the reader the name of the city. So the title should be as close as possible to a name that people actually use. Clodhopper Deluxe (talk) 04:22, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Comment. Er, what? Whether the proposal is accepted or rejected, every article is likely to wind up with a name that at least some people actually use. -- Hoary (talk) 03:20, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
That is true, but as has already been pointed out "Morioka" is "actually used" a whole lot more than "Morioka, Iwate", and judging by the use of the word "no" it seems Clodhopper Deluxe agrees with me (and you). Hijiri 88 (やや) 09:38, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I submit it is not actually true. To the limits of empirical investigation, I imagine Nara is called "Nara, Nara" almost exactly as many times as it is given an honorific and called "O-nara". Imaginatorium (talk) 11:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Har har, very punny (while remarkably making a valid point). Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 12:30, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I was taking Curly Turkey's claim that the comma-prefecture format is a "Wiki-invention" at face value. Even if some people do use it in the real world, it is certainly the less common format. Clodhopper Deluxe (talk) 02:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    • It's a "Wiki-invention" to the extent that it's based neither on the recommendations of style authorities, nor on common usage, but on the personal preferences of a handful of Wikipedians. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 00:28, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support removing arbitrary preemptive disambiguation for Japanese municipalities. I made this proposal about a year and half ago, and was shouted down with "your proposal would create too much work, when we should be actually working to improve the articles". This was a moot point then and it's a moot point now. Changing the MOS to reflect actual usage (no one outside of English Wikipedia and sources derivative of English Wikipedia follows this style) is not work, and RMing a bunch of pages isn't that much work either. Hell, Japanese-style "Toponym Levelofmunicipality" ("Tanohata Village", etc.) is more common in English-language reliable sources than the nonsense the current MOS forces on us. I'd almost even go for the incredibly ugly and over-translated "the town of Taiji" found in a lot of western news outlets that repackaged material they found in literally translated Japanese documents without knowing any better. And this isn't even mentioning the indisputable fact that fixing the article titles so they actually make sense is improving the articles. Period. Hijiri 88 (やや) 16:21, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support removal of unnecessary disambiguation. The current system (and I'll grant that it is a system) seems odd. Itami is a redirect to Itami, Hyōgo. No other place called Itami has an article. The corresponding article in ja:WP is plain ja:伊丹市, which lacks any disambiguating hatnote. (Interestingly, ja:WP does have ja:伊丹町, but this is about the same place at a different time.) And of course other homophones are imaginable (板見, etc) but I'm not aware of significant places that are currently so named. Asked for "itami" (roman letters), Google Maps serves up just one place outside this pleasant dormitory town for Osaka: an area within Tsukuba-mirai-shi that (without wishing to denigrate its inhabitants) I'd say is insignificant. Gentilly, Val-de-Marne is so titled because there are other Gentillies; Rungis, Santeny, Villejuif and others are also in Val-de-Marne but the title of each skips mention of this because there's no pressing need for it. ¶ Some distance above, somebody writes: First, let's be clear that this isn't a disambiguation issue... the issue is the desire for recognizability and naturalness. Ah. As it happens, I do know of Villejuif, and Santeny sounds vaguely familiar. But until minutes ago I'd never heard of Rungis. Should its article therefore be retitled "Rungis, Val-de-Marne"? But if so, what percentage of en:WP's readership can say roughly where (or even what) "Val-de-Marne" or "Hyōgo" is? For recognizability, perhaps "Gentilly, Paris suburb" and "Itami, Osaka suburb". However, such titles would be very contentious. And they'd clash with naturalness: with this in mind, plain "Rungis" and "Itami". -- Hoary (talk) 03:22, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. I think Curly Turkey and Imaginatorium are onto something in suggesting that the urge to append the prefecture may follow a practice that's commoner in the US than elsewhere. Does any Brit in Britain (outside Kent) normally talk of "Leeds, Yorkshire" or "Leeds, York"? But about one and a half minutes into "Dancing in the streets", Martha Reeves sings/lipsyncs "Philadelphia PA", without any hint that this satirizes pedantry or is otherwise strange. -- Hoary (talk) 00:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
    • The thing with claiming it's commoner in one place and less common elsewhere is that anyone can simply say "Everyone I know says it such-and-such a way." USPLACE (correctly) goes the empirical route—it cites style guides that require <city>, <state>. We can still argue it's not an appropriate style for Wikipedia for other reasons, but at least they have some empirical evidence for the usage. <city>, <prefecture> is neither a commonly-accepted standard nor one thta is recommended (let alone required) by style guides. The arguments for <city>, <prefecture> boil down to ILIKEIT and "I managed to dig up an example from some backwater corner of the internet [that happens to quote Wikipedia]". Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 05:11, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
      • I think the decision is made easier by concentrating on Nara, Nara, Tochigi, Tochigi, Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi, and so on, and so on. (Hope I puncuated that right!) Surely to a non-American ear at least they sound like absurd nonsense... whereas it really is a normal thing to say "New York, New York." (Didn't it even make a song somewhere? But ironically, the WP article is "New York City".) I also think that while someone quoted "Odstock, Wiltshire", in fact it is much more usual to say "Painswick in Gloucestershire" (in my case), and I guess that an American ear might often simply miss the unstressed "in". If disambiguation is required, personally I would prefer the parenthesised form "Painswick (Gloucestershire)", but it is not a big deal. If disambiguation is not required, then frankly all the discussions about whether Japanese people routinely say "Sano, Tochigi" seem to have missed the elephant in the room, which is that Japanese people routinely speak to each other in Japanese, and are likely to say 栃木県の佐野 (Tochigi-ken no Sano) for example if explaining where they are from while in some remote corner of Kyushu. But they are never (I think) going to say 栃木県栃木市 (Tochigiken Tochigishi), even though this is a fragment of the standard address format. Imaginatorium (talk) 11:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
        • Yes indeed (though "Nara, Nara" has a certain comedy value). Incidentally, the Japanese article on the bigger part of Kansas City is "ja:カンザスシティ (ミズーリ州)". Well, readers might otherwise think that it was the Kansas (a kind of fish, boat, rush or something) to be found in the Missouri river. -- Hoary (talk) 11:57, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support removing unnecessary disambiguation. While it's true that a country's MOS or place naming guidelines do not have to follow other countries, the fact that almost all other countries do not have pre-emptive disambiguation in titling articles about their places should be highly considered. Remember, the reasons put forward by several people here for adding unnecessary disambiguation can also be provided for all other countries. Yet, most other countries do not put up with unnecessary disambiguation. —seav (talk) 16:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Ryūlóng's argument above. Holdek (talk) 18:18, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
"Naming conventions in Japan for the most part match what we're doing here in English. For anything other than the major cities that everyone knows, they will append the prefecture name. There may only be one article known by the name 'Yuza' on the English Wikpedia, but I'm pretty sure that in reliable sources it is mentioned as being in Yamagata rather than just being acknowledged as a Japanese city." And, "Every time I see the news on nhk they always add the prefecture name." Holdek (talk) 21:25, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, plenty of reliable sources will mention that Yuza is in Yamagata; they won't identify it as a city because even according to the bizarre notion that "city" is a good translation of -shi, it's not a city. They may mention that it's at the far north of Yamagata, or that it's between X and Y. Contrary to US custom, there's no compulsion to say Yamagata-ken no Yuza-machi (which is entirely idiomatic), let alone Yuza, Yamagata (which isn't). -- Hoary (talk) 23:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for explicating. I thought it was strange that you would single out Ryulong, given that MChew and Oda Mari made far more forceful arguments, and given how thoroughly Ryulong's arguments have been refuted. Have you read through the discussion? Remember, polling is not a substitute for discussion, and if you have shown no evidence of having participated in, or at least read through, the discussion, and have simply shown up to plunk down your support, the closer can simply ignore your !vote. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 00:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Remember: assume good faith. Also remember that you asked me to elaborate, and even though I didn't have to, I did so anyway out of courtesy. --Holdek (talk) 02:45, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you should AGF yourself. I was reminding you that your voice will be discarded if you have nothing to contribute to the discussion, as per the policy WP:CONSENSUS: "Consensus is ascertained by the quality of the arguments given on the various sides of an issue, as viewed through the lens of Wikipedia policy." There is a long history of RfCs that were closed in favour of the minority of !votes. If the issue matters to you, present an argument. If you don't care enough to present an argument, and consider the counter-arguments, then your !vote is nothing but noise, and deserves to be ignored. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 02:53, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
You need to be civil. Your arguments will be ignored if they are viewed as angry threats and attacks. Holdek (talk) 15:03, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Wow. Just, wow. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 22:31, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support because I've yet to see a compelling reason this was done in the first place. Mikethegreen (talk) 21:11, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support doing away with pointless instruction creep; I honestly thought stronger, more thoughtful arguments in its favour would show up during the discussion, but it has become clear the rationale for mandatory disambiguation amounts to no more than WP:ILIKEIT. To sum up:
    • Pre-emptive disambiguation solves no concrete problem, while increasing instruction creep, which makes following the rules a less easy task.
    • <Place>, <Prefecture> has little currency in real life, and none in style guides or other authorities.
    • There is no evidence that <Place>, <Prefecture> is a likely search term, and thus is unlikely to be helpful to readers.
  • Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 00:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Most Asian places are unique enough not to have to adopt this practice of unnecessary disambiguation. The names are hard enough to remember, what more by adding an extra "confusion" in the form of an equally hard-to-remember prefecture name.--RioHondo (talk) 09:01, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment. Above, I mentioned the avoidance of disambiguating subtitles (or whatever the ", Yamagata" part is best called) in French names. I then wondered about nations closer to Japan. One of the closest is South Korea. I looked up Masan (as a town whose location people might not immediately know) and was surprised (and momentarily shocked) to discover that it no longer existed. (It's been swallowed up -- as is common in Japan.) Its successor is within Category:Cities in South Gyeongsang Province. Admittedly this category is sparsely populated by articles, but not one of its articles is titled comma anything, or parentheses around anything. The largest subcategory is Category:Miryang; this in turn does include such articles as Cheontaesan (South Gyeongsang), but this is because there's also Cheontaesan (Chungcheong). ¶ I'm no expert in toponyms and wouldn't be surprised if other nations too shared the US fondness for "toponym, holonym"; but it does seem to be more than averagely associated with the US and it doesn't seem a general trend in en:Wikipedia. -- Hoary (talk) 01:29, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Canadian places used to be preemptively disambiguated the way US places are, but that was done away with in 2008. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 01:50, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
      • Comment IMO, this should have been done even earlier as this is the English wikipedia and not too many Japanese can speak or even read the language. (They even only recently installed English signs in Tokyo in line with Japan's hosting of the 2020 olympics). What that sole objector is saying probably holds true in the Japanese language media and web but as less than 1% or 3% tops actually go online surfing the english web there, i doubt theyd even care or notice the english wikipedia. As far as we in the English speaking side of Asia is concerned, Japanese places are just as unique as most other places here (they have complete monopoly of the language for one), and it would be more convenient for all of us if we don't have to second guess an article on a place there with prefecture names that not everyone is familiar with.--RioHondo (talk) 02:28, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
        • Are you sure about those signs? I've lived in Shizuoka since 1998, and we've had bilingual signs at least since then (trilingual in some areas: Japanese, English, and Portuguese).
        • 1, 2, 3. --RioHondo (talk) 04:07, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
          • You've misread—they're increasing the amount of English on signs (and changing some of the styling of them to make them more foreigner-friendly), which is very, very different from "only recently installed English signs in Tokyo". I can assure you there's no lack of English on signs in Tokyo, and such signs have been there for a long, long time. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 04:34, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
            • Im saying English words not words that are in Roman/English letters. But anyways you get my main point. :)--RioHondo (talk) 04:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
              • No, I'm saying there's plenty of actual English, and the articles above refer to increasing that, not introducing it for the first time. Have you never been in a train station in Tokyo? Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 05:29, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
                • OT: I have been to Tokyo once, 2007. There are signs but asking around for directions was tough, as it was rare to encounter a local who knows english. Of course, you really have to study the place to get to where you want to go, unlike Singapore, Manila or KL where you can go practically anywhere just from the advice of locals without having to bring a guidebook. Even HK has plently of English signs, but the number of locals who speak the language is not that much compared to those SE Asian cities. But anyway, as far WP is concerned, japanese article titles on places need not be disambiguated as the great majority of them have no namesakes. --RioHondo (talk) 05:49, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
                  • Conversational English levels certainly are exceptionally low for East Asia—English is taught for test-passing rather than for communication. You won't see that change in any meaningful way by 2020. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 07:16, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Suppport removal of unnecessary style rule of pre-emptive disambiguation. Many years ago, the Japanese place articles were not titles in this strange way and the original practice of disambiguating only when necessary should be restored. Follow the style of Japanese Wikipedia. The article title for place names does not have to be an address. We just need to use the most succinct name for the place and only add a qualifier as appropriate for disambiguation. --Polaron | Talk 04:24, 24 July 2014 (UTC)