Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Archive 18

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Does this guideline clash with Naming conventions (use English)? I am in a debate regarding anime names - one side wants the JP name and uses this to back them up, I say to use an English name if at all possible based on Naming conventions. Does this guideline state that even if there's an English name, a Japanese-related article should use the JP name? - A Link to the Past (talk) 00:09, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

The section of the MOS pertaining to modern figures says to use an official English trade name, if it exists. I think we've also discussed on this talk page that it includes manga and anime release names. (one example: Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi redirects to Spirited Away). Of course, redirects from one to the other are recommended. Neier 07:04, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Also, Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles)/Fictional characters has a long discussion on which English name to use, if more than one (official, or a more common "unofficial" English name) exists. Neier 07:10, 9 June 2007 (UTC)


As you may know, the name for Iōjima recently officially changed to Iōtō. Perhaps I should write from いおうじま to いおうとう. The official press release is here: [1]. There are several possible romanizations:

  • Iōtō
  • Iwōtō
  • Iwoto
  • Ioto
  • Iwō Tō
  • Iō Tō
  • Io To
  • Iwo To

There are several issues to contend with here:

  1. Retain or loose the historical w.
  2. How to deal with the tō: attach or separate with a space.
  3. Long vowels (ie, macrons).

There are at least two conflicting English language resources. Japan Times lists "Iwoto" while Yahoo lists "Iwo To". It should be noted that neither publications will respect vowel length.

Comments? Bendono 23:56, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Interesting. I think we can lose the "w." There's no reason to keep it now that the name has changed from one with an accepted English spelling (Iwojima). Unless we're going to call the article Iō Island (which I don't think we should), Iōtō looks like the best choice. Exploding Boy 00:15, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Is the purpose of this thread to discuss the overlong alternate titles in the lede, or to change the title of the article? I don't believe that the decision should have a bearing on the location of the article, since the island will overwhelmingly continue to be called "Iwo Jima" in English regardless of the decision by the JGS. As far as the lede is concerned, I think we can remove any of the alternate names that incorporate the historical "w" when we're talking about the Japanese form. Dekimasuよ! 01:43, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
The introduction is rather unsightly. It should be replaced with a single form from above. However, until a specific and consistent spelling can be decided upon, there will continue to be constant spelling edits. That is the purpose of this discussion. At this time there are no plans for a move request (at least from me). It is entirely so that all of the unsightly alternatives can be avoided. Redirects have been created for all of them. I propose (and originally wrote) Iōtō based on いおうとう from the press release. Bendono 01:56, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I take no issue with Iōtō. Dekimasuよ! 03:29, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
The article should be moved, however. Iwo Jima is no longer the name of the island. See Mumbai. Exploding Boy 02:01, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
That may be, but this is not the best place the discuss that at this time. In fact, there is already discussion at [[2]]. If and before a move request is decided upon, we need to decide upon a consistent spelling from above and eliminate the alternatives. At this time, I would just like to focus on choosing a single spelling from above. The rest can be and are redirects. Bendono 02:09, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Place names - provinces?

Hi, I do a lot of work within the WP:WPMA, and I'm frequently dealing with historical places. So, I'd like to request a rule for dealing with names of provinces. This recently came up in the Kano Jigoro article, where all sources say he was born in the town of Mikage (sometimes, Mikage-chō), allegedly near Kobe. I had trouble even confirming the existence of a town named Mikage, so I asked about this on the talk page for Hyōgo Prefecture, and an editor there informed me that Mikage used to be a town in Settsu Province, but now is just "a named local area inside Kobe". From what I've found, it appears more specifically to be within modern Kita-ku, Kobe. At any rate, how should I deal with this in the article? Some possibilites I've thought of are:

Thanks, Bradford44 13:28, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I would vote for something like your second option, but which incorporates the name of the town. "...was born in the town of Mikage, in the Settsu Province of Japan (now Kita-ku, Kobe, in Hyōgo Prefecture)" or something like that. I'm not sure if we should fully standardize every grammatical/stylistic element of thing (I personally find that "the Settsu Province of Japan" or "Japan's Settsu Province" sound nicer and more like proper sentences than just using commas, e.g. "Mikage-cho, Settsu Province, Japan"), but I certainly agree that some discussion could yield some good results. This is of importance, particularly for places which no longer survive and have been incorporated into larger cities. LordAmeth 14:46, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I would go for the 2nd option as well. Exploding Boy 15:48, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with LordAmeth. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:16, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I also agree, with one minor nit. Here's the Japanese from Kano's article: 摂津国御影村(現兵庫県神戸市東灘区御影町)にて生まれる。So, it is nearly the same as LordAmeth's version, but lists it as a village instead of a town. Neier 21:51, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I wonder if the "Hyogo Prefecture" part isn't a bit wordy (IMHO Japanese lends itself to full addresses better than English, which tends to devolve into a mess of commas and "X in Y"s). How about something like "...was born in the village of Mikage, in the Settsu Province of Japan (now Kita-ku, Kobe)". If people really want to know what prefecture Kobe is in, they can click on the link. CES 22:07, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I would also agree with LordAmeth's proposal. ···巌流? · talk to ganryuu 22:57, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
The first one ("was born in the town of Mikage, Japan (now within Kita-ku, Kobe)" seems like a fine pattern if we move "Japan" to the end to avoid the "Middletown, U.S." feeling. Lord Ameth's suggestion of the second one is fine too, although I'd remove "the" before "province" (analogously I wouldn't say "the Ontario Province" or "the Arizona State"). These differences are, in Neier's words, minor nits. Also, echoing Lord Ameth, Wikipedia would be boring if we adopted one formula for expressing something as long as this, so I hope there will be variations. Ideally the outcome of this discussion will be a model (or models) that authors may follow with the consensus of the community, rather than one that authors must follow.
CES gave a nice way to vary the pattern, and reminds me that I've gone overboard sometimes in naming (in various articles) the island and region along with prefecture and district when links should provide most of that information. The idea can be carried one step further by creating an article for Mikage, and putting the precise location there. Then we could leave out the ku at least, and probably the prefecture. So we might follow the pattern "was born in the town of [[Mikage, Hyōgo|Mikage]] (now part of the city of Kobe) in Japan." Fg2 00:57, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
In principle, I agree with Lord Ameth as well, although some details can be spared.
FYI however, based on what Neier cited above: 摂津国御影村(現兵庫県神戸市東灘区御影町)にて生まれる。
This translates to:
  • Settsu Province (摂津国 Settsu no kuni?)-Mikage Village (御影村 Mikage-mura?)
  • ("Currently" ( Gen?) Hyogo Prefecture (兵庫県 Hyōgo-ken?)-Kobe (神戸市 Kōbe-shi?)-Higashinada-ku (東灘区 Higashi-Nada-ku?)-Mikage Town (御影町 Mikage-machi?))
  • "was the place of birth." (にて生まれる。 nite umareru?).
So it's actually in Higashinada-ku, Kobe, not Kita-ku, Kobe. This is in line with the Japanese Wikipedia article on Mikage, ja:御影 (神戸市).--Endroit 04:01, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Endroit is right generally. However "Mikage Town" is not correct. This neighborhood is simply "Mikage-cho" as a part of Kobe city. Proper nouns cannot be translated imo. --Aphaia 05:43, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I stand corrected. The part where I wrote "Mikage Town (御影町 Mikage-machi?)" should rather be "Mikage-chō (御影町 Mikage-chō?)" instead, per Aphaia and Japan Post / YU-BIN.NET.--Endroit 22:57, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

The endless "In Popular Culture" sections

[Copied from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Japan#The endless "In Popular Culture" sections]

A user (Auximines) has embarked on a single-handed crusade to eliminate the countless "In Popular Culture" sections of Japan-related articles. He has my full-hearted support, but his actions also got me to thinking, especially since one of his deletions has already been reverted. In view of the enormous ammount of these, in most cases completely useless sections, shouldn't there be a rule or something? Is this the right place to discuss a possible setting of rules regarding these sections? If not, where should I turn to?

My proposed rule would be something to this extent: "For Japan-related articles, an "In Popular Culture" section should be limited to noteworthy instances of the article subject in anime, manga, dorama and other Japanese media. This includes main heroes or villains, important story line objects and similar. This excludes lesser heroes or vilains, less important story-line objects, references in ending songs, brief appearances and similar. Furher, the mention should be brief and to the point - story arcs belong in the articles on the respective anime, manga, dorama or other."

I realize this rule is not nearly clear-cut enough to be fully useful in all instances, but it could work to reduce clutter such as this:

  • An item on the anime-roleplaying forum website Gaia Online released in October 2006 enables a member's avatar to be surrounded by flames resembling Hitodama.
  • In the Sailor Moon R series, episode 53 "Mamoru and Usagi's Babysitter Mayhem", the monster of the day is 'Amaterasu', based on the sun tarot card as well as the shinto religion.
  • In xxxHolic, a student teacher wishes on a monkey's paw to gain possession of the Yata No Kagami.
  • In the anime Eureka Seven, the main character, Renton, sees haniwa representations of himself and his classmates during a dream.
  • In episode 9 of Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z, Yuki-Onna appears when Fuzzy Lumpkins mistakes her for Ms. Bellum (he grabs her breasts, then Yuki-Onna uses her magic to freeze him in ice).

And on and on. What say ye? TomorrowTime 04:24, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

We should be at least as restrictive as TomorrowTime suggests. We should further eliminate "resemblances," which are original opinions (not even worthy of the term "original research," but we can of course remove them as OR without apology), whether the resemblance is in the appearance, the name, or the characteristics. We should also avoid cluttering articles on real life with analyses of differences between the item in popular culture and the real thing. Those analyses can be relevant to the pop culture and might be important in the article on the anime etc. but they are irrelevant to Tokugawa Ieyasu, kitsune, etc. Fg2 05:09, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I am always of two minds on these sections...on the one hand, they can help put something in context, and provide a way for people interested in that topic get more information. It is something that wikipedia can offer over and above a paper encyclopedia. On the other hand, They are often just a big garbage list of a few seconds of screen time that don't add to the article at all.
Take the Yuki-onna article for example:
  1. The 1990 movie Dreams, directed by Akira Kurosawa, features a yuki-onna in the story The Blizzard
  2. The 1965 movie Kwaidan, directed by Masaki Kobayashi, features a yuki-onna in the story The Woman of the Snow.
I would say these are both valid. People interested in the yuki onna can watch these movies, and gain a greater appreciation in the subject. However...
  1. In the Bandai-Namco video game Tales of the Abyss (2005), when the party reaches a snow-covered mountain, Jade Curtiss tells a story of yuki-onna to frighten the party.
Just seems to be clutter. I like the rules you established, and would support them. But I am against the wholesale demolition of these sections.MightyAtom 05:13, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I'd strongly recommend looking at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Japan/Archive/December 2006#Trivia sections (continued) as well. When it reached that point, though, I wasn't sure that the WikiProject has the ability to "make a rule", which is why I suggested going over to the guideline page. Dekimasuよ! 05:16, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Context is important here. If a single episode of an anime mentions Tokukawa Ieyasu, whose name resembles that of Tokugawa Ieyasu, we should not consider that fact important to the real person, and should not not mention it in the context of the article on him. But it might merit mention in the article on the anime, or on the episode (if the episode has an article), especially if it's crucial to understanding the events that take place. Using episode 9 of Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z (which TomorrowTime mentioned) [as an example (10:07, 23 June 2007 (UTC))], the article on Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z might benefit from mention of yuki onna, but the article on yuki onna would not benefit from mention of Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z. Nor should the articles on War (Bellum), Breast, Freezing, or Ice mention Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z.
Also, I agree with Dekimasu that we should discuss this at the Manual of Style page. Fg2 05:33, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

[End of copied material]

I seem to have struck a painful spot with this one... As users above have pointed out (and I agree), this is a huge gray area. Some points on the lists are legit, some are just pure, meaningless clutter, and more often than not, the line between the two is hard to draw. And since (as users above also pointed out) a rule is not likely to come out of this, could we at least agree on a guideline? Just something to have at hand as backup in debates such as the one on the haniwa talk page? TomorrowTime 06:02, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

How about this - instead of focusing on what is specifically allowed or not allowed, draft a rule that focuses on how the Popular Culture sections demonstrate the degree of influence that particular article subject has. And insist on it being a written, sourced paragraph, not a bullet list. Doceirias 06:13, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Doceirias. If we come up with a guideline along the lines of, "Any item included in the In popular culture section must be notable and reliably sourced. Do not include entries that are merely interesting or cool." What do you all think? The wording may be a little off, but I think that's where the suggestions above are going. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 07:11, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I like Grgcox's statement to the effect that "The rule for inclusion is: information in an article should add to the reader's understanding of the subject, not the popular work referencing it." That's the standard I usually use. Dekimasuよ! 12:20, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand how "Popular Culture" sections demonstrate the degree of influence that a particular article subject has. I can see that a new exploration can bring new insights, etc., but I'd guess that these seldom pertain to "Popular Culture". If you just want to see how such-and-such has appeared in "Popular Culture", that's what the "What links here" button is for. If I misunderstand, perhaps you can give one or two examples of regurgitations of XYZ in "Popular Culture" that aren't merely notable in themselves but are notable to XYZ. -- Hoary 07:24, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I think the key purpose of the In Popular Culture sections should be to represent instances where the subject of the article is the primary subject of a Pop Culture Item. The purpose, as I see it, isn't to show how influential the figure has been (because that's precisely the kind of thinking that leads to creating as long a list of tiny appearances or references as possible), but to reflect instances in popular culture which draw upon that subject in a significant or major way. Sometimes this illuminates more about the subject at hand, sometimes it doesn't, but if subjects are tied closely enough together (such as Minamoto no Yoshitsune and the Taiga drama Yoshitsune) then they should be listed together.
This also sometimes serves the purpose of helping to illuminate the way a subject is used in fiction - certain trends that may have arisen which essentially create a common fictional version of a subject which is different from the reality - this is particularly useful, interesting, and important for subjects which tend to be known more for their fictionalized versions than for their reality, such as Miyamoto Musashi and ninja. Though popular culture rarely proves overly notable/significant to their original historical subject, it can often be very notable in that it shapes ideas of the subject as a whole.
Well, IMHO, those are two of the chief purposes that In Popular Culture sections ought to serve. Just my two cents. What really annoys me is when things are mentioned that are neither significant to the subject at hand nor to the pop culture context in which they appear. "In one episode of Samurai Champloo, three men rap a tale of the "Ghost of Yoshitsune" haunting the mountains" - this illuminates nothing about Samurai Champloo as a whole, nor does it bear any significance to the subject of Yoshitsune himself. If we can even eliminate only these types of completely irrelevant entries, we'd be off to a great start. LordAmeth 09:57, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I thing LordAmeth is correct here. Another way of saying this (more concisely) might be that the pop culture/trivia reference must aid the reader in understanding the history, development, or impact that of the article's subject - which can only really be done in prose, with not only an example, but also the explanation of why that example is important. Bradford44 15:20, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I also agree with LordAmeth. An example of something notable or significant that I would have no trouble adding to a popular culture section of the My Neighbor Totoro article is the group "Totoro no Furusato" ("Totoro's Home National Trust Movement" in English). This is a group that uses Totoro's well known name to promote the saving of a forest in Japan. Hayao Miyazaki even illustrated a book about the movement. That's a significant and notable popular culture impact, IMHO. Another good example might be that in almost every decent sized train station and department store in Japan, there is a Totoro store (sometimes with other Studio Ghibli products, sometimes not). And the stores all do really well. For a show to be so popular almost twenty years after it was released that it still sells tens of millions of dollars worth of merchandise annually is pretty amazing, even in the States. These are both examples (IMHO) of good entries in those sections. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:03, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree that only notable series and those that are not only look alikes should be included. Of course it will be useful if it is actually helping the readers to understand the history, yet it will be hard to figure out why use A instead of B for some other editors. Using the Hitodama example, I do not remember the name, yet I know that there is a manga I read before in which perfectly discuss why they appear(scientifically) yet still go into the spiritual side of it saying how they also lead dead people to the underworld thus do not follow them. I do not remember the name for now, so if I reconstruct the article using one of the examples there to discuss about the history and such, what happens if I found something like this that is much better suited as an example? The worst case is that some other article, where somebody has written a perfect paragraph regarding this, yet the example is not that perfect and some other guy came in and wanted to change the example? I personally was involved in the SR-71 Blackbird editing awhile ago, and it was in my watch list for a very long time, and I noticed the pop culture section is just extremely hard to maintain, and I see no possible way of limiting it to just a few examples and bar others unless we can have a very strong guideline. What is notable and what is not? This is not even as clear as it seems on creating articles, and will be much more difficult in determining pop culture issues. I can give an example of one of the rules to be set out: If it did not appear in most of the said series (say, over 50% of the chapters) it should not be here. MythSearchertalk 07:48, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps GeGeGe no Kitaro might have such an explanation for the Hitodama? This manga is one of the oldest of its kind. A logical explanation from this particular manga may aid people in understanding any particular Yōkai or Yūrei, albeit only semi-authoritative because it's a manga.--Endroit 15:03, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Are fan works to be mentioned in anime articles?

Some kids at Talk:Yu-Gi-Oh!#yu-gi-oh_the_abridged_series want a fan work to be mentioned on the article page. I stated that mentioning it would not be notable. WhisperToMe 20:48, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Only the subject of an article has to be notable. Facts mentioned within an article merely have to be relevant to the subject. (See WP:NOTE#Notability guidelines do not directly limit article content). So the question is whether this fan work illustrates some important facet of Yu-Gi-Oh - audience involvement, popular perception, etc - and whether a reliable source exists. - Ben Ram 04:55, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Personal names in DAB pages

This recent edit to Kuwabara caught my attention. It struck me as a mixture of welcome and unwelcome. It was certainly surprising, and it took me to this talk page, in which a relevant discussion was going on.

In the edit, Japanese personal names are switched back to the Japanese order (which delights me, though I acknowledge that I'm in a minority here) but a borderline (hybrid) Japanese personal name is switched too. The editor seems to be conscientiously following this MoS, and particularly its section on piping.

Others here might be interested to learn of this enterprise. (I'm not a participant, backer or opponent; at this point I'm merely a bemused onlooker.) -- Hoary 04:07, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Deprecated spellings

I would like to suggest that we add a sentence or two explicitly describing the deprecated spellings that are not to be used. This is an integral part of both Revised Hepburn (which we've already established as a standard) and of the modern Japanese lanugage itself, but I think it might be good to spell it out, just so we have something to point to when it's done wrong.

Among the inappropriate spellings are the "kwa" and "gwa" in Kwannon and Hongwanji and the "ye" in Yedo and Iyemon (Iemon, a character in Yotsuya Kaidan).

There are exceptions, of course, such as those books and movies most well known as Kwaidan rather than Kaidan, and the beer Yebisu which continues to be spelled that way on the labels and other official contexts. But these are few and far between.

This should hopefully *crosses fingers* not be controversial. Thanks. LordAmeth 18:11, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I hate to mention this, but... "Common usage" in English should be given some weight as well, not just modern Japanese pronunciation. For example, "Hongwanji" is the official spelling used by most modern Hongwanji organizations throughout the world. See this Nishi Hongwanji website by the Jodo Shinshu.
However old temples such as Hongan-ji are perhaps appropriately named as you say, although I would redirect Hongwanji to either Jodo Shinshu or Hongan-ji.--Endroit 18:30, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Having said all that, I believe LordAmeth is generally on the right track. I believe that this rule should have a condition: "...unless the un-deprecated spelling is the official one or is significantly more common".--Endroit 19:08, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely. I just thought it would be a good thing to have spelled out explicitly so that I can either make moves and consider them uncontested, or point to the rule quoted when I request for potentially contested moves. LordAmeth 19:59, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
There are also a couple of universities, e.g. Kwansei Gakuin and Kwassai. Japanese people who emigrated and spell their family names as the emigrant did, such as Inouye. Didn't something recently come up about some island? And living in Japan it's hard to overlook the yen!
Again, these are the "few and far between" that LordAmeth mentioned. I hope we don't get into individual battles over what's official, but that concern is irrelevant to the proposal. I support it.
There's no harm in mentioning archaic spellings that were formerly standard in English so that readers of old texts will be able to make the connection between present and past spellings. But if the intent of the proposal is to avoid listing every spelling that has ever been used, I'm all for it. I think the proposal should be made more specific, though, to distinguish between the spelling we use (in titles and body text) and alternative spellings that were once standard (like Iyeyasu or Uyeno). Fg2 20:54, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
I concur. LordAmeth 08:32, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
If "kwa" of "gwa" is the formerly standard form and w-less spelling is the modern one, the latter would be a deprecated form. The dropping of the bilabial semivowel could be explained as deprecation, but it would be restoration if we start from the modern form. Kmns tsw 22:07, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

BCE/CE vs. BC/AD use in articles

I think we need to add something to the MOS-JA which indicates which of these should be used. I personally don't care one way or the other because, IMHO, they both mean the same thing and one is just trying to be more politically correct. So, let's discuss this. Which should we use in Japan-related articles? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:15, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

If a single term is to be used, I would say that BC/AD should be used mostly for the reason that it's the most prevalent term already used amongst Japanese articles at the moment (e.g. Japan, History of Japan, etc). Changing them all to BCE/CE would be political-correctness gone mad IMHO - WP:MOS indicates that BC/AD is fine to use. John Smith's 21:19, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we should override WP:MoS. Editors make the choice when they create articles. Fg2 21:26, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
One is not overriding WP:MOS by deciding on a general use policy to make articles in the same area consistent. If you simply don't want to have a general use policy say so - but don't try to claim this goes against MOS when MOS doesn't go into consistency across articles. I actually raised this (consistency across articles) on the MOS talk page a while ago - there was a discussion about it, but no "oh, you can't do that" reaction. John Smith's 21:34, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there's any need to give specific Japan-related guidance on something that is fully covered by the MOS. I also understand it has been discussed at some length there, causing lots of bitterness, before ending with the conclusion that editors are free to choose which style they want on any one page. Fg2 is right, you should not override the MOS. Foula 17:49, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

See this Yahoo Japan dictionary entry for "BCE" (in Japanese). It says BCE is mainly used in the United States. Therefore, I suggest NOT using "BCE/CE" AT ALL unless the topic is restricted to the United States. At least, always use "BC/AD" for any Japan-related topics, and never "BCE/CE". I would support an entry to WP:MOS-JA to that effect.--Endroit 19:31, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't know why it should cause any bitterness. That seems a bit extreme when talking about something like this. And many language-specific MOS here have more specific guidelines about some points of usage. The whole point of WP:JA and WP:MOS-JA is make all Japan-related articles consistent. Specifying which one of these dating formats should generally be used is part of that, IMHO. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:09, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Related matter

"Kanji" vs "Chinese characters"

Which term, "kanji" or "Chinese characters", is preferred for Japan-related articles? Should there be a mention of preference in MOS/Japan? My feeling is "kanji" is preferable, as it's more accurate and less cumbersome, and it should be wiki-linked so a reader unfamiliar with the term can look it up. It's essentially a technical term which is appropriate to use in the context of articles talking about a particular field (ie Japan). Also, it can be more technically correct, as "Chinese characters" can refer to simplified or traditional, or to characters whose meaning has changed between Chinese and Japanese (compare "好" in Japanese meaning "like", in Chinese meaning "good").

The opposite argument is that "Chinese character" is more accessible and easily understood by the average reader, who shouldn't have to check meanings of terms used to understand an article. So, is "kanji" accepted as a word which has entered the English language yet?

I'm asking here because I'm having an attack of guilt after changing an editor's choice of "Chinese characters" to "kanji" in an article, but realised that the same issue may come up in any Japan related article and that it might be desirable to have a common usage across the board. --DrHacky 15:54, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

You should generally use "kanji" in Japan-related articles as that is the Japanese word for "Chinese characters". If you link to the article kanji in the first instance of use in an article, then people will be able to figure things out. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:06, 14 August 2007 (UTC)


Hello. I would like to start several stubs about Japanese volcanoes, to kill redlinks in List of volcanoes in Japan. All Indonesian and almost all Russian volcanoes have already their articles.

Point is, I don't know if there is any naming convention for Japanese mountains. How should I, e.g., name this: [3] volcano? Suwanosejima, Suwanose-jima or maybe just Suwanose? Same with -yama suffix [4], and -dake suffix [5]. I guess I should name X-yama article as Mount X. Please, help. Thanks. - Darwinek 12:18, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Hi Darwinek, the list of volcanoes includes several with jima in the article title, including, as it turns out, one that I started. Nearly all are written as one word with no hyphen, like Sakurajima. The exception is Iwo Jima. So I'd suggest Suwanosejima.
The island has the same name. Its article in the Japanese Wikipedia is at ja:諏訪之瀬島. Articles on volcanoes whose names are the same as islands seem to not have "Mount" in the title. The article could as well be about the island as about the mountain. There's a red link, though, for Mount Kirishima. I think this is the only shima with "Mount" in the article in its title. (Mount Kirishima ja:霧島山 is a mountain but as far as I know not also an island; its name is Kirishima-yama.)
Those are some existing articles, but the titles could be changed if the community wants a different style. Fg2 12:45, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Apostrophes to distinguish ei and e'i and ii and i'i

SJones seems to disagree with my use of apostrophes in the following Death Note character:

  • Eiichi Takahashi (鷹橋 鋭一 Takahashi Ei'ichi)

I had the apostrophe placed to distinguish Ei-i-chi from E-ii-chi (As in LOC Hepburn, Ei is "double e" and ii is "double i")

What should the MOS say about apostrophes to distinguish ii and ei? WhisperToMe 23:12, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I am not disagreeing to be honest. I am on neither side. Greg Jones II 23:42, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
In my opinion, we should specify not using apostrophes for that distinction. The kana are the same. Even without apostrophes, Hepburn gives the correct kana. Hepburn doesn't (and can't) get to the kanji level.
Note the difference between this and the apostrophe after syllabic n. The latter is necessary to distinguish (for example) the kana n'i (んい) from ni (に), as in zen'i (善意, ぜんい) and zeni (銭, ぜに). Hepburn easily distinguishes the kana. Fg2 23:43, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I am totally not sure if Eiichi should be Ei'ichi or not. Any comments or objections? Greg Jones II 23:47, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I am totally confused with the use of apostrophes. If an agreement is made here, we will put the apostrophe back in Eiichi. Greg Jones II 23:56, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, according to Nique1287, on WhisperToMe's talk page, the Japanese Dictionary Server says that the kanji in question, 鋭, becomes エイ, not エエ. Greg Jones II 23:59, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
No apostrophe necessary. Kana reading remains the same regardless. Doceirias 00:13, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
The Hepburn system we use is not really based on the kana reading - We use macrons (and do not distinguish between o-o and o-u as long as both make the long o sound. WhisperToMe 00:54, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Good point. The name spelled Eiichi already conveys the separation; if it was one sound, it would be Eīchi. Doceirias 01:00, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
The usage of macron i is only permitted with foreign names with Hepburn. According to the Hepburn romanization Wikipedia page...

"In words of Japanese or Chinese origin, the long vowel i is written ii."

Since I believe this is what we are using on here, this is why the distinction is made... WhisperToMe 01:07, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Because the distinction is irrelevant with Japanese words. Doceirias 02:15, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

To be honest, I do not ever disagree with WhisperToMe's use of apostrophes in the following Death Note character:

  • Eiichi Takahashi (鷹橋 鋭一 Takahashi Ei'ichi)

Greg Jones II 00:37, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Just my two cents--the distinction seems unnecessary. CES 01:36, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree with all those who've said that the apostrophes are totally unnecessary. LordAmeth 02:25, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
I am really not sure about this issue, but apostrophies may be unneeded. Greg Jones II 02:36, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
No version of modified Hepburn of which I am aware uses an apostrophe in the manner being discussed here. Therefore, I disagree with the use as discussed here, and WP:MOS-JA doesn't support this. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:25, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
It happens sometimes - I.E. refers to a guy as "Kei-ichi Enoki" (Except with a "-" instead of a "'") - I will see if I can find more examples. WhisperToMe 07:01, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
EDIT: NTT Docomo also refers to the guy as "Kei-ichi" WhisperToMe 07:03, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Anyway, to prove this practice is common, Google "Kei'ichi" - It brings hits showing "kei'ichi" OR "Kei-ichi" WhisperToMe 07:04, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, it does happen. But Google searches the whole Internet, and shows us everyone's style. Our job is to select a coherent style for romanization. I see the apostrophe as akin to the dash, which the Chicago Manual of Style advises to use "sparingly." I interpret that to mean "don't make a rule of it." Fg2 07:19, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Also, here's one for "Ei'ichiro" WhisperToMe 07:05, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I think all of these examples are simply examples of clueless news organizations who just go along with the first thing that looks "foreign" to them. I still don't think it's part of any version of modified Hepburn I've ever seen, despite the cluelessness of some news organizations. And relying on the Japanese to come up with a standard romanization scheme will leave you waiting until pigs fly under their own power. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 07:12, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
So, where should I look to find an example of this? Yes, the "e'i" and "i'i" forms are used in perhaps a "modified" form (the examples above are not the only ones, and I will see if I can find more) - Is there a source that details every single rule of the U. S. Library of Congress (or another standard variant) Hepburn romanization system? I would like to see it and check to see if it addresses the issue. WhisperToMe 07:19, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Other examples of "modified Hepburn":

WhisperToMe 07:21, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Again, I think it's important to recognize that the use of the apostrophe that has been proposed has as its purpose to indicate the break between kanji. There is no need to do this. Hepburn does not write Ta'naka or Toyo'hashi so there is no need to write Kei'ichi. The kana are the same whether we include the apostrophe or omit it. Kanji don't take macrons over an e or an i (except for extremely rare Western readings like 頁 (pēji) so the break between kanji is irrelevant to the discussion. Fg2 07:33, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
So, my question is: How are the ei and ii cases different from the cases of distinguishing hiragana o-u (forming ō) from separate characters that have o-u (As in Takenouchi, Jonouchi) ? The hiragana for ō and o-u are the same, yet Hepburn distinguishes those two forms (while not distinguishing between ōs formed from o-o and ōs formed from o-u) WhisperToMe 07:35, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
If there is a kanji break between the "o" and "u", then you should romanize it as "ou". WP:MOS-JA already covers this. An example of this is Narumi Kakinouchi (垣野内 成美), where the family name kanji are "kaki" (垣) "no" (野) "uchi" (内), so the family name is romanized "Kakinouchi". ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:01, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

What I meant was, since kanji breaks between o and u are recognized in the romanization system, why should the kanji breaks between an "i" and an "i" be un-recognized? Is it because there are few characters that have "ii" ? IMO, the way to solve this is to find out if the Hepburn system used by the Library of Congress details how it treats kanji breaks for i's. I'll contact the LOC and ask about the issue. WhisperToMe 01:37, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

EDIT: I used this to ask the question to the LOC Librarian.

If the LOC Hepburn does NOT specify what to do in this case, the Wikipedians here should decide whether to include the apostrophe.

If it DOES specify, I would add content to the "Hepburn romanization" article. WhisperToMe 01:45, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Exactly how are they not being recognized? I don't understand what you mean by "recognized" anyway. We wouldn't (and don't) write "Kakino-uchi" for 垣野内, so why would we write "Ei-ichirō" (or "Ei-ichiro-u", for that matter). The WP:MOS-JA specifically says to avoid unnecessary hyphenation, and this is certainly unnecessary. Just because some Japanese choose to romanize their names in an unorthodox fashion doesn't mean we have to go along with it. There are tons of romanizations used in Japan, and we can't be using a crazy hodge-podge of them here or there will be all kinds of confusion. We've settled on a modified version of Hepburn to use here, and adding things which aren't in any version of Hepburn doesn't make any sense. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:43, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, looks like I remembered incorrectly on the "avoid unnecessary hyphenation" being in the MOS-JA, but I know it's been discussed before and that's what was determined. I'll have to see if I can find it in the archives. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:48, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Oi, I can tell I'm tired. In my comments above, I meant to talk about unnecessary apostrophes, but somehow got switched around to hyphens. Regardless, we should be avoiding unnecessary apostrophes as well. The only time an apostrophe is really necessary is identifying a syllabic "n" in the middle of a word when it is followed by a vowel. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:57, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
What I mean is that there is a difference between (ou) and o)(u - And it is reflected as ō and ou, respectively. "We wouldn't (and don't) write "Kakino-uchi" for 垣野内" - Correct because o+u in one character is written as ō, NOT ou. However, remember that double i HAS to be romanized as "ii" (unless the word is NOT of Japanese or Chinese origin). So, what I mean is, why does the romanization system not have to distinguish (ii) from i)(i when it has to distinguish (ou) from o)(u ? WhisperToMe 03:37, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Because o+u and ō are pronounced differently? ii is pronounced as one sound in adjectives only. It would be pronounced separately everywhere else. (That I can think of now. If there are exceptions, they are so scarce as to be negligible.) Doceirias 05:09, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I've watched the first Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series in Japanese. Yugi pronounces Katsuya Jonouchi's name almost as if it is "Jō - nō - chi" (I don't hear a "u") - I know the name is properly romanized as Jōnouchi, but I am just repeating how I hear "o)(u" combinations pronounced. WhisperToMe 05:17, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I would say that's a problem with your hearing (long vs short vowels and double consonants take years to hear reliably) or the actor's diction, and not really bearing on the point here, which is that sticking an apostrophe between two iis is completely unnecessary. Doceirias 05:22, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

It seems likely, then, that the LOC would romanize without "'"s - I will let you know what the person at the LOC help desk tells me. I also asked for a source which explains the romanization. If the LOC does not address this issue at all, then it seems that we should drop the apostrophes with the i's and e's. WhisperToMe 05:54, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

As a dense non-linguist, I'm probably way out of line here; but wouldn't the analog between ou (which we romanize as ō) and o)(u (which we romanize as ou) be ī and ii (not, ii and i'i)? I don't see any reason to include apostrophes, when it is a macron that you need to be looking for. If it were only adjectives, then, we have very little reason to be adding adjectival endings to words in the English wikipedia as it were. But, I think 新潟 and other similar names also use a longer ii sound. Neier 07:03, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Niigata (and 新 generally when read nii) is a good example of a double-duration 'i' sound in a single kanji. Again, there's no need to distinguish it from two 'i' sounds in adjacent kanji or kana, such as Kii Peninsula (紀伊半島, adjacent kanji) or atarashii (新しい, adjacent kana). Hepburn simply doesn't distinguish them. All are written with the letter "i" repeated, not a single "i" with a macron. Fg2 07:38, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Argh, I knew I was forgetting one. Doceirias 08:33, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
And, Shiitake. Neier 08:54, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, it all comes down to this: I'm opposed to using unnecessary apostrophes and hyphens (since I brought that up) when romanizing Japanese here on Wikipedia. I can see no valid reason to adopt a rarely-used (really, it is rare) romanization option like this. I'd also support adding a line to the MOS-JA to that effect (don't use unnecessary and excessive apostrophes and hyphens). ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 08:17, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I should clarify, I'm against the apostrophes and hyphens in principle. I was only mentioning that for consistency, we should be debating ī vs ii; not ii vs i'i. I feel the same way against ī/ii as I do against ii/i'i; but, at least it would match the rest of our vowels. Neier 08:54, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Wow, there's one I'd oppose too. O-macron and u-macron mean something different in English than in Hepburn, but the difference is duration. In contrast, a-macron has a radically different sound in English than a double-duration 'a' in Hepburn. The letter "a" has various pronunciations, of which the vowel sound in "ate" is one and that in "ah" is another. But a-macron has only the sound that's in "ate." Putting a macron in the Japanese word aato meaning "art" (that is, writing āto) tells the reader to use the vowel sound in "ate." That's the wrong sound (and still the wrong duration). The e-macron and i-macron have similar problems. So while writing o-macron or u-macron at least gives the uninitiated reader a chance to get the sound right, even if the duration comes out wrong, writing a-macron, e-macron or i-macron gets nothing right. It has no advantages, and one major disadvantage, over ordinary two-macron Hepburn. Consistency in writing vowels (that is, macrons for all double-duration vowels) is less important than conveying some idea of pronunciation to uninitiated readers (which I take to be a basic principle of Hepburn systems). Fg2 10:50, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I had considerable difficulty in understanding that last comment. Fg2, I think you're saying that the dwindling number of English-English dictionaries that use traditional lexicographic or proprietary systems to show pronunciation (as opposed to using IPA) often use macrons as part of this, and that the pronunciation of the English word "late" may be represented as "lāt". All right. But your comment Putting a macron in the Japanese word aato meaning "art" (that is, writing āto) tells the reader to use the vowel sound in "ate." That's the wrong sound (and still the wrong duration). seems bizarre. Writing āto may suggest to the slow-witted reader that this is pronounced like the vowel sound in the English word "late." That would indeed be the wrong sound -- duration is by the way, as English isn't syllable-timed -- but we trust that an adult or adolescent reader will have had at least some exposure to some other language and will realize that, globally, "a" is not so often used to represent /ei/. Also, we have conspicuous links to an article that simply explains how to pronounce Hepburn. So if we're going to use Hepburn, I see nothing wrong with using ā, ē, or ī. (Incidentally, I think Hepburn sucks, but I don't want to say much about that: doing so might wake our mattya-drinking chum.) -- Hoary 11:40, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Ha! You're probably right. I'm getting old... . Fg2 12:16, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Let's try out 衆議院議院運営委員会 in a couple of systems. Wikipedia Hepburn: shūgiingiin'un'eiiinkai; apostrophe modification: shūgi'ingi'in'un'ei'i'inkai; macron modification: shūgīngīn'uneiīnkai (I'm just having fun here.) Fg2 06:20, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

I started writing redirects regarding this (i.e. Ki'i Peninsula and Ki-i Peninsula now redirect to Kii Peninsula) - I still have not received an answer from the LOC librarian regarding this. Once we get the answer (the librarian will probably say to write the name "Eiichi") - The document explaining this will be used as a source to explain Wikipedia's convention WhisperToMe 21:01, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

While we are at it, I also noticed that some people use apostrophe's to differentiate between n's in adjacent kanji (i.e. Sen'nin) and sokuon-n (I do not know any examples of sokuon-n) - Should I ask the librarian about this as well? WhisperToMe 21:04, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

This all seems unnecessary, especially those redirects. Google has only 30 hits for both "Ki-i peninsula" and "Ki-i peninsula" ... those redirects make no sense from either a practical or linguistic standpoint. The apostrophe in words like sen'nin is completely redundant as well. Why make more work for ourselves by adding unnecessary diacritics? CES 23:32, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
It's not so much the number of the hits as the authors that prompts redirects.

For instance, Nara Prefectural Government is hosting this document [6] - Yes, it can be argued that Nara's choice to use the marks is screwy, but nethertheless it is a sometimes-used variant, and so a redirect should be made. Also, Camrbidge University has some document mentioning "Ki'i" hosted, but I only see the abstract of it, as the university wants payment for access to the full document. I am willing to make as many redirects as I can, by the way, so I do not see this as a waste of time for myself. WhisperToMe 00:20, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

And why make more work for LOC librarians? -- Hoary 23:39, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Because Wikipedia asks people to cite sources. See, I want to explain these modified forms of Hepburn on the Hepburn romanization article as well as craft policy for MOS-JA. Besides, it would be good to have sources for details of Hepburn. WhisperToMe 00:21, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that a few very rare cases of unconventional usage by a handful of non-linguists (like local government officials and anime fans) merit description as "modified forms of Hepburn". Unlike zen'i and zeni, which are two different words pronounced two different ways, there is no difference in meaning, pronunciation, or otherwise between "Eiichi" and "Ei'ichi" or "Kii" and "Ki'i". The point of using apostrophes in the n'i/ni case is more than just noting "kanji breaks", otherwise we'd have romanizations like Jun'ichi'rō and Hok'kai'dō. As others have noted, if anything, this debate should be about Kii versus Kī, not Kii versus Ki'i. But that's not a debate I'd really enjoy starting, personally ... CES 03:12, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
What about university professors and writers of university publications, as had been displayed above? (Here is one: [7] and another [8]) I have NEVER seen "Jun'ichi'rō" "Hok'kai'dō" - The only reason why anyone would use the apostrophe's is to disambiguate i)(i and (ii) - And if that is deemed not necessary, simply redirect from the apostrophed forms. WhisperToMe 03:55, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
    • In a way, it is about "Kii versus Kī" - Because "Kī" CANNOT be used in Hepburn, the forms debated are "Kii versus Ki'i" - Either all words should look like "Kii" OR the apostophes should disambiguate, because "Kī" is not an option for Hepburn. WhisperToMe 04:03, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I've long since lost track of what you're trying to accomplish. The issue simply doesn't exist. All words should and do look like Kii. Doceirias 04:10, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
What I am trying to accomplish changed (After I saw consensus) - If it should (and does) look like Kii, then the other (less common) forms should redirect. WhisperToMe 04:25, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Doceirias, I've lost the point of this discussion. If you are simply making redirects, then I see no problem per se ... we all need hobbies ... but to me it seems about as pointless as redirecting all pages to, say, their JSL or Kunreishiki equivalent. At least in that case they are established romanization schemes unlike this e'i business. If you are not proposing a MoS policy change, can we consider this discussion closed? CES 11:35, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I want a line in the MOS that at least addresses this (and states to not insert dashes or apostrophes to distinguish i)(i and (ii). Is this fine, CES? (And, if you wish, add a similar line about n)(n and (sokuon)n, stating not to insert apostrophes and dashes in that case) WhisperToMe 13:50, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

EDIT: SJones added the line for it :) - Thank you! - WhisperToMe 14:01, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

If it makes things more explicit for users who might be confused on this issue, then sure, why not. I was just trying to figure out what exactly the point of contention was ... I personally have not run across romanizations like Ki-i and Ei'ichi (and Google counts indicate that these variants range from rare to extremely rare) but if they're out there on Wikipedia we should attempt to remove them. Be careful when creating redirects, as some of these words (Ki'i comes to mind) mean something in other languages. CES 14:40, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

This is from the librarian: "According to the ALA-LC Romanization Tables: Transliteration Schemes for Non-Roman Scripts, approved by the Library of Congress and the American Library Association, it should be Eiichi." - The case is closed, folks! :) - The consensus here is clear and the message is clear: Do not distinguish between i)(i and (ii)

And this is our Hepburn source. This will be used for the Hepburn romanization article:

"Library of Congress, and American Library Association. 1997. ALA-LC Romanization Tables: Transliteration Schemes for Non-Roman Scripts. Washington: Cataloging Distribution Service, Library of Congress."

WhisperToMe 15:18, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I think "ii" is not the point. I, as a native Japanese, agree that ii, i'i and ī are the same in pronunciation. But ei and e'i are different. In Japanese, the kana "えい" has two defferent pronunciation.
  • In words of chinese origin: //
  • In any other words: //
So making them distinguishable is at least not unnecessary. If you do so, possible option will be "ei and e'i" or "ē and ei". -いかづち(ikadzuchi)-Squeak 11:17, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
It would be difficult to think of an adequate pair of words contrastively containg the one, a dual i and the other, a long i. But how do you think the case of ビー玉 (marbles of play). I feel as a native Japanese it has a long i, which is different from the dual i in 榮一.Kmns tsw 02:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Anime- and manga-related articles) has been created to help organize all anime- and manga-related style issues in one spot and to keep the WP:ANIME page from becoming more crowded. Please come participate in discussions if you wish. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

The French MOS-JA

So, the discussion doesn't follow in the "right way direction "(closer meaning), so it is closed. Heh. Well, was very informative, ayway... Darkoneko 02:31, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Rather, the discussion was moved to the right place. Fg2 02:48, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Nihonjoe and Fg2 ... thank you to WTM for bringing this issue to our attention so interested users could participate, but this conversation needs to be continued at the French Wikipedia as it appears there is little else to be contributed here. CES 03:04, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, it is currently.
Darkoneko 04:52, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

That fluctuating template at the top

Readers, editors and miscellaneous other enthusiasts of this MoS page may have noticed some strange fluctuations over the last day or so, in the template that tells people that it's part of MoS and what this means. There's been this version (and minor variants thereof) and this version (and ditto) -- and [yawn] something of an edit war between them.

So which do you like, and why? I have my own distinct preference. Not unusually, I seem to be in the minority. Join the "debate" and enjoy clobbering me into submission, uh I mean reaching a consensus on the optimum solution in an adult fashion. -- Hoary 01:06, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Hoary, I haven't been visiting the page enough to notice the templates. Which one do you prefer? Fg2 03:47, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
So you'll know which one to vote against without even bothering to look at the two? [inscrutable facial expression] Just keep reading below! -- Hoary 09:18, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
I think I like the latter a little better - it seems more professional to me. This may sound dumb, but what exactly is it used for? --Eruhildo 05:49, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Whatever it is, it's plonked at the top of every MoS page. If you're asking for the actual purpose of doing that, I'm tempted to say that there seems to be a certain kind of WP editor who just loves sticking templates on things -- but that would be most uncharitable of me, so I shan't say it. But of course you prefer the latter one: the former one is my choice. I prepared the way for it in this criticism, and then I commented on it in this invitation. It doesn't seem to be very popular. -- Hoary 09:18, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Unless there's some rule that the template must be there, why not remove it, or replace it with better wording? Fg2 20:31, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Various people are trying not only to improve the wording but also to make the meaning a bit closer to what they think it should be; of course their preferences are mutually incompatible. Some of these people were getting pretty upset about it when I last looked. Remove the template, and your edit would be reverted and you'd likely be dubbed a vandal. Ah, the joys of MoS. -- Hoary 00:59, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I think that, for Wiki-wide policy and guideline pages, it's a good idea to have a template at the top explaining that that is what the page is: a policy or guideline which applies Wiki-wide in regard to its particular area of concern. I should note that I prefer the slightly longer one (whichever that one is). ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:02, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Fantasy characters in "Names of companies, products, and organizations"

Some people apparantly claim that the section "Names of companies, products, and organizations" justifies keeping characters like ∞, ♥ and the like even though MOS:TM expressly forbids it. I've been around long enough to know why this section was inserted (I've followed the discussion back then) and it had to do with issues of spelling and romanization (things like "ō" versus "ou", "o" and "oh"). It was at the time definately not intended for things like this. In my opinion odd characters like I mentioned earlier are a style / logofication issue and should be subject to the same rules as ALL CAPS, which that section also never intended to cover. I would also like to note that I'm in good company: see Trademark, Schmademark. Shinobu 14:37, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, the section obviously refers to romanization variants. I have tweaked the wording to clarify this. - Cyrus XIII 18:46, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps we should somehow edit the wording of the styleguide somewhere to emphasise that MOS:TM's funny symbol guideline applies to Japan-related articles as well? On the one side, I'm against it, because after all it is a Wikipedia-wide guideline, not specific to Japan-related articles at all, but on the other hand this issue does seem to crop up more with Japan-related articles. Another question is whether MOS:TM is the ideal location for the "funny symbol style guide". Next thing you know, people start arguing that such-and-so is not a trademark and thus the little bunny in the title is perfectly okay. Shinobu 19:45, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, this page's section "Capitalization of words in Roman script", while only explicitly mentioning capitalization, does link to WP:MOS-TM and one would also assume that general guidelines (on trademarks, no matter were from) trump more specific ones (on articles related to a single country). What I do take issue with these days, is not WP:MOS-TM being routinely applied to all things formatting but the confusion this occasionally creates. Since one may argue that as soon as something has its own, inherent/trademark text formatting, the guideline applies and many other formatting related guidelines (like this one) derive their rationale from and link to it, so technically, its application is all good and well. But cases such as the one we're discussing here, show that there is genuine scope for confusion and that WP:MOS-TM might be in need of a more generally themed successor, that explicitly says "yep, applies to pretty much anything" right away. - Cyrus XIII 07:01, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

You make a good point. Because I was thinking about the funny symbols, I completely forgot to see that this of course applies to all caps, lowercase initials, etc. too.

Regarding the MOS:TM link, perhaps it's simply in the wrong place. Perhaps if we moved it to the intro, or renamed the section, or added another section? Perhaps a new section name could be "Formatting issues in Roman script" or something, and explicitly state that all MOS:TM's guidelines do apply to all trademarks. Or, if the MOS:TM guide gets more general, universally.

You and I may take these things more or less for granted, but apparently some don't and need extra guidance. I also think that in the end, regardless of which styleguide trumps which one, all styleguides should also try to be consistent.

Also, if we are serious about this MOS:TM thing, it's perhaps better to take it there. This talk page discusses Japan-related article guidelines specifically, after all. Shinobu 14:42, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Evaluating images for relevance

Emperor Juntoku, from the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.

Jefu removed the following image from Emperor Juntoku. His explanation for this decision was tersely worded.

Current revision (12:35, 19 September 2007) (edit) (undo)
Jefu (Talk | contribs)(Remove essentially meaningless picture)

I can guess about Jefu's plausible arguments, but I leave it to him to make them here so that others may offer suggestions or comment.

This is a "portrait" representation of a 12th century emperor. I believe that this image was appropriately posted by 1549bcp in 2005. Moreover, I would expect other Hyakunin Isshu "portraits" to metastasize in this and other Wikipedias.

For information beyond what you can find in the internally-linked article (and in the two external links which are posted at the bottom of that page), here are three useful web sites:

In my view, this specific image adds depth to Wikipedia by exemplifying an interesting strategy for bringing Japanese history and literature to life across the centuries between then and now.

If a better likeness of Juntoku becomes available, this one can be replaced -- of course; but in the absence of anything else, it's hard for me to see how anyone can assess this visual aid as meaningless. --Ooperhoofd 21:38, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Problem solved thanks to Insomniacpuppy who posted a 15th century image of Juntoku. --Ooperhoofd 23:58, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

It is meaningless because it isn't a likeness of anyone. Unless a portrait is contemporary, and therefore a likeness of the person in question, it's value in a biographical article is highly suspect to say the least. The only time I can imagine any such image having any value would be if it has become a well-known work of art in and of itself and has therefore become strongly associated with its subject (even if such association is false). To include a picture drawn who-knows-when by who-knows-who taken from what is essentially a glorified deck of playing cards and suggest that it is a likeness of an actual person is tantamount to fraud. I'm also highly skeptical of the current 15th century picture, but since it is probably a fairly well-known work of art in and of itself and is clearly dated to a time period several hundred years after the subject lived, I'm inclined to leave it.-Jefu 12:46, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Your perspective was not unexpected, nor is your supporting explanation without merit. At root, I think your view of Wikipedia is too cramped. I suspect we can anticipate having to deal with the differences in our points-of-view on an image-by-image basis until you come to recognize that your criteria need to be re-modulated. --Ooperhoofd 13:53, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Okay, let me try a different approach then. Please explain why you think this image has any particular relevance to an encylopedia (i.e. factual) article about Emperor Juntoku, and please explain how you would distinguish it from any of the many other purely imaginative depictions of him (I have seen at least two completely imaginative sets of depictions of all of the Japanese emperors since coming to Japan, and I'm sure many others probably exist). In addition, please look again closely at these depictions of Emperor Juntoku and Emperor Go-Toba. If you look a them objectively, I think you will agree that 1) they are more akin to cartoon drawings than renditions of actual people, and 2) because of their cartoon-like nature, they are very nearly indistinguishable from one another, other than the fact that one has been made to look a bit heavier than the other (due to the missing chin line). In my opinion, inclusion of them would cheapen the value of Wikipedia, not add to it.-Jefu 13:02, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Questioning use of -tenno suffix

In recent months, I've been working on the pre-Meiji List of Emperors of Japan, mainly adding citations and references. From my perspective, the usefulness of two sub-headings is enhanced by the term -tenno as a suffix. Bendono questioned me about this, but agreed to give me time to formulate an argument to explain my point-of-view.

My preference:

--Events of Go-Fukakusa-tennō's life--
Go-Fukakusa formally became Emperor at the age of 2; and Go-Saga began to reign as cloistered Emperor.
  • Kangen 4, in the 1st month (1247): In the 4th year of Go-Saga-tennō's reign (後嵯峨天皇4年), he abdicated; and the succession (‘‘senso’’) was received by his 4-year-old son. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Go-Fukakusa is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).
In 1259, at the insistence of Retired Emperor Go-Saga, he abdicated at the age of 15 to his younger brother, who would become Emperor Kameyama.
--Eras of Go-Fukakusa-tennō's reign--

Other editors would prefer:

--Events of Emperor Go-Fukakusa's life--
--Eras of Emperor Go-Fukakusa's reign--

A general context for this trivial "controversy" is presented concisely in a 2005 edit to Emperor of Japan which was written by Jefu.

Revision as of 10:29, 5 September 2005 (edit) (undo)
Jefu (Talk | contribs) m[inor edit]
Due to linguistic and cultural differences between Japan and the Western world, naming the emperors of Japan is often troublesome. While scholastic texts in Japan use "{name} tennō" consistently, in texts by English-speaking academics several variants have been used, such as "Emperor {name}", "the {name} Emperor", and "{name} Tenno", although "Emperor {name}" appears to be the most common among these, particularly for the emperors prior to Emperor Meiji. What is often not understood, however, is that emperors are posthumously named "{name} tennō", and thus the word "tennō, or "emperor", actually forms a part of their proper name. This is particularly misunderstood with respect to the emperors from Emperor Meiji onward, since the convention now is to posthumously name the emperors the same name as the era over which they preside. This leads to references such as "the Meiji emperor", meaning the emperor of the Meiji era. Such constructs are never used in Japanese, however.

For today, my brief argument devolves into just two unrelated chains of reasoning:

  • 1a. The suffix -tennō is a non-Eurocentric term which becomes a subtle reminder about otherwise unexpressed and unacknowledged assumptions/presumptions about "emperor" -- about what that title "emperor" does mean in the unique context of pre-Meiji Japanese history.
  • 1b. Wikipedia and its growing number of mirror-sites serve a variety of needs and a range of users whose appreciation of Japanese history will vary a great deal. This "hint" becomes a mild, subliminal warning that any number of assumptions/presumptions in the context of Japanese history may prove to be inapposite or like "false friends."
  • 1c. An example of this kind of understated warning "hint" is to be found in the second paragraph of the much-edited article on the Emperor of Japan -- just one unchallenged phrase which was created by an anonymous editor years ago:
Revision as of 19:23, 23 August 2005 (edit) (undo) (Talk) Newer edit →
"..., contrary to the usual role of a Western monarch, ...."
  • 2a. The suffix -tennō is as useful to someone writing about Emperors of Japan is the same way that a great number of nearly identical synonyms are needed by television sports analysts ... or hundreds of words for describing snow are needed by the Inuit of the Arctic Circle.
  • 2b.As you will have noticed, the suffix -tennō does already appear in the first line of every article about an Emperor of Japan. I'm suggesting here that the repetition of -tennō in one or two sub-headings will likely help all levels of readers to grasp meaning.
The pattern of my reasoning here is similar to what we all learned as students parsing the grammar of sentences: We learn that a pronoun is more easily understood in terms of a near antecedent noun.

I am grateful that Bendono gave me time to think this through. If necessary, of course, I will re-edit each sub-heading if this specific use of the -tennō suffix is not perceived as a helpful step towards making Wikipedia better.

What do you make of this? Does this belong here? --Ooperhoofd 22:28, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I think as long as it's linked, it shouldn't be a problem. Anyone unfamiliar with the term can click the link. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:54, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I'd suggest using English. The English word "emperor" works just fine. For people who need information about the difference between a Japanese and, say, a Roman emperor, Wikipedia provides an article on Emperor of Japan. If you use the word tenno, you have to tell readers you are using it in the kinds of circumstances where they are accustomed to the English "emperor" so what is the advantage of sprinkling Japanese here and there? Also, the political, military, and religious functions and social status of the emperor of Japan changed so greatly over the centuries that consistent use makes the word tenno as much a "false friend" as the word "emperor." Perhaps more, since readers would not equate, for example, Augustus, Charlemagne, and the Kangxi Emperor, whereas they do not know about vast differences in tenno (consider Shōmu, the Sengoku period Go-Nara, and Taishō).
Wikipedia is not a dictionary; it should be written in English. Definitions of terms such as sokui would be valuable additions to Wiktionary; if they deserve Wikipedia articles, making them links is preferable to defining them in the individual article on every emperor.
Regarding headings, the style page Wikipedia:Manual of Style (headings)#Wording asks editors to avoid repeating the article title, and to avoid links. In an article on Emperor Fukakusa, the header "Events in the life of Emperor Fukakusa" and "Events in the life of Fukakusa Tenno" would both be the kinds of things to avoid.
What would you think about these suggestions? (1) In the article on an emperor, write "Emperor X" in the opening sentence, and "X" later. For example, in the article on Emperor Uda, write "Emperor Uda" in the opening sentence, and "Uda" later. The format "Uda was an emperor of Japan" is an acceptable alternative for the opening sentence. (2) In an article on another topic (including articles on other emperors), write "Emperor Y" the first time, and just "Y" thereafter. (3) Use the English word "emperor" in preference to the Japanese tenno. Fg2 04:56, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree about avoiding -tennō in most cases. An analog would be if we decided to append -shi at the end of every city name (to match the official Japanese name). Neier 09:50, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually I think that -shi would be a considerable improvement on City. Most -shi are mere towns or areas of suburbia; they're only "cities" according to minor and peripheral uses of the word. Similarly, Emperor I think primarily means the head of some "empire", a system that involves subsidiary or vassal states. While it's true that the Japanese government has done an impressive job of subjugating and marginalizing the Ainu and has in its time tried similar enterprises elsewhere, Emperor seems a stretch. King/queen seems better, but -tennō less controversial. On the other hand, I'm not sure that WP editors are permitted to use their brains for such matters: unquestioning conformity seems to be the rule. -- Hoary 15:00, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Fg2 makes a compelling point when he explains that consistent use makes the word tenno as much a "false friend" as the word "emperor". He has actively engaged the thrust of my argument, reconstructed it, and focused on a crucial flaw in a line of reasoning which goes back to my original intent. He also identified ancillary issues which arise from my implied views about how sub-headings can be or should be construed. A good, clear-headed analysis. --Ooperhoofd 15:51, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I basically agree with Fg2. This is just a repeat of many past discussions on this topic, but the bottom line is tennõ is not an English word and has not been sufficiently adopted into English to be used in an English encyclopedia. There is already plenty of information in Wikipedia regarding the word tennõ, emperor names, titles, etc. It also appears once in the opening paragraph of each article already. I am sympathetic with some of Ooperhoofd's arguments, as you can probably glean from my quote above, but I see little benefit in trying to repeatedly use a non-English word in the text of these articles.-Jefu 12:29, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Fg2's comments caused me to re-visit all the sub-headings in the List of Emperors of Japan from the 6th century Emperor Kimmei through the 19th century Emperor Komei. All are now made consistent with Fg2's suggestions. My conforming actions create a context in which to complain and disagree. While I am persuaded that the sub-headings are the wrong fulcrum points, and I continue to appreciate ways in which the tennō suffix can't be more than a thin lever at best, I'm not content. Mine is not the kind of "unquestioning conformity" which Hoary derogates with good reason.

Jefu perhaps tries to devalue my efforts here by classifying this as "just a repeat of many past discussions on this topic," but he brings up an important point for me. In Yogi Berra's American idiomatic language: "It ain't over till it's over." I recognize that Fg2 is only presenting the current best thinking of a consensus of well-meaning, well-informed en:Wiki-editors who concern themselves with things having to do with Japan -- not a bad thing, really ... but I have to wonder if that's just not good enough in the long term, not flexible enough, not open-ended enough.

Without dwelling on either, I want to underscore two things this was never about:

  • Fg2 perceives scant "advantage [in] sprinkling Japanese here and there?" But No -- this is not about sprinkling variety ....
  • Jefu perceives scant "benefit in trying to repeatedly use a non-English word in the text of these articles." But No -- this is not about sprinkling persistence ....

Fg2 filleted my imperfect reasoning with élan -- and the nearly 100 edits conforming to his suggestions do demonstrate my assent. I can't emphasize this enough. And yet, I'm still not feeling finished with this. Ah, yes -- there's the rub. Do you see my point? Of course, if it turns out that my persistence were mere personal intransigence, this will matter not at all. For now, we can only wait to see what develops as the future unfolds. I predict that we will be returning to some sort of variation on similar themes in the near future.

Switching gears a bit: Wouldn't it be seemly for me to say "thanks" here? After all, I started this thread with questions, and I have garnered valuable and thoughtful feedback. --Ooperhoofd 13:20, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

FYI, my comment that you note above came directly from your own stated reason for including it in the first place. To quote you: "I'm suggesting here that the repetition of -tennō in one or two sub-headings will likely help all levels of readers to grasp meaning." My response to this, however, is that I perceive little benefit in repeatedly (note your word, repetition) using a non-English word in an English article. I and others who have discussed this issue previously believe this essentially comes down to the simple question of whether tennō has sufficiently been adopted into the English language or not. If it has not, it should be used once at most. If you want to add a Wictionary entry defining tennō and explaining how it is distinguished from what I agree is a poor translation, emperor, with a link to such definition in the article, I would completely support that.-Jefu 13:35, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

In the lengthy exchange above, it becomes clear that my views were more wrong than right. As I continue to mull it over, I do understand that I was heading down the wrong path; and yet, the niggling allure of the term "tenno" still persists in the back of my mind.

I am actively considering how best to act on Jefu's suggestion that I append an etymological paragraph in Wictionary. For now, my primary focus (and the greatest impetus towards continued restraint) devolves from one complex and crucial point made by Fg2:

"...readers would not equate, for example, Augustus, Charlemagne, and the Kangxi Emperor, whereas they do not know about vast differences in tenno (consider Shōmu, the Sengoku period Go-Nara, and Taishō)."

With Fg2's potent caveat in mind, I guess I need to revisit my POV about the reigns of Empress Suiko through Emperor Reizei -- Suiko's reign being about the time when the term tennō was initially adopted,[1] and Reizei's reign being the time when the use of tennō was formally discontinued.[2] Also, I guess I need to re-examine my POV about the 19th-century reigns of Emperor Ninko and Emperor Komei when the use of tennō was revived. Whether these turn out to be profitable veins of investigation remains unclear, of course; but from my perspective, this MOS exercise was clearly worthwhile. --Ooperhoofd 19:19, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ Varley, H. Paul. (1980). "Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 128 n19.
  2. ^ Varley, p. 191.

Discussion on consolidation of regional Manual of Style guidelines

An editor has started a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Too many (allegedly) regional subpages about consolidating all regional style guidelines into one. Fg2 10:54, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Request rule for historical figures with "middle" names

I was reviewing the article Kamiizumi Nobutsuna, which raised the following questions in my mind, for which perhaps a style rule ought to exist.

  1. His full name is 上泉 伊勢守 信綱. Should it be written as "Kamiizumi Ise-no-Kami Nobutsuna", or Kamiizumi Isenokami Nobutsuna?
  2. Should the title of the article reflect the "middle" name, or should it remain as is?
  3. I'm not that knowledgable about the meaning and purpose of historical Japanese middle names. If hyphens are preferred in Kamiizumi's name, should hyphens be applied to the middle names of persons such as Yagyū Sekishūsai Muneyoshi (柳生 石舟斎 宗厳), Iizasa Chōisai Ienao (飯篠 長威斉 家直), or Iizasa Shūrinosuke Yasusada (飯篠 修理亮 快貞)?

Thank you, Bradford44 17:51, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I will preface this by saying that I am not an expert on this topic, but after looking around these people's Japanese Wikipedia articles, it appears that often these "middle names" are titles, nicknames, noms de guerre, etc. self-chosen or given to them later in life and not "middle names" in the Western sense of the word. Thus, to me, it seems a bit misleading to talk of middle names and "full names" in the Japanese case. Indeed, it can get quite complicated (from the Japanese article on 名字):
And that doesn't include posthumous names, childhood names, etc. So, here are my personal thoughts on the subject:
  • For the title: write these people's names as it is best known in English (standard Wikipedia policy). My guess is that this will be the form 'without' extraneous names (this seems to be the pattern for the Japanese Wikipedia articles at least)
  • As for the hyphens ... I don't believe we have policy on this, but for names like Inoue and for members of the Fujiwara clan (e.g. Fujiwara no Michinaga) hyphens do not appear to be typically used, so it seems "Isenokami" would preferred to "Ise-no-kami".
  • If people were known by other titles, names, etc. and this information is notable, it seems like it should be included in the article body rather than in the title.
I hope this helps. CES 12:26, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
As CES has said, very often these "middle names" are titles or nicknames. Names ending in -rō (郎), such as in the case of Minamoto no Kurō Yoshitsune indicate the order in which sons were born; Yoshitsune was the ninth son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo. -sai (斎) means studio, as in Hokusai, "Northern Studio", or the Kamigata ukiyo-e artist Ryūkōsai, meaning "Studio of Flowing Light". I don't know how this fits in with figures such as Yagyu Muneyoshi, who was not an artist, but in any case, it is something of an art-name and not a true given name. Finally, "-no-kami" (の守) is a title, something roughly congruous to governor of a territory or lord of a manor. In this case, I think that if the title is to be mentioned, my vote would be either for hyphens or for spaces, but not for the non-spaced "Isenokami" style. I would also wikilink Ise. ...
I agree with CES that this type of information should be included in the article content, and not in the title, though I'm not sure how I might describe any set guideline or rule for when such extra names should or should not be included in the bolded opening sentence, e.g. "Tokugawa Ieyasu was the first Tokugawa shogun... sometimes known by the full name Tokugawa Jirōsaburō Minamoto Yoritomi Ieyasu" versus "Tokugawa Jirōsaburō Minamoto Yoritomi Ieyasu was the first Tokugawa shogun...." LordAmeth 23:02, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Is there a better way to handle a middle name like Shūrinosuke (修理亮), where the "no" is (apparently) part of the intended reading, but is not contained in the kanji alone? Bradford44 23:38, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any guidance on Wikipedia. I'd write the "no" whether the person wrote it or not. I would not put parentheses around it or otherwise indicate that it's not part of the written Japanese. As for hyphens, I haven't made up my mind. "Chicago" cautions against writing too many hyphens in Japanese words but often I do write them. Again, this appears not to be a name, but a title. Titles changed often during a person's lifetime and I recommend against collecting them all in the article header, which I prefer to be a short version of the article, not a section on naming. For a person (e.g. Toyotomi Hideyoshi) who went through names and titles like I go though M&Ms, a section on names seems appropriate. He and others may have held various titles for only a very short time, and the person about whom you're writing may have held the title only briefly (I don't know). Incidentally, although in present-day Japanese 修理 has the long vowel you indicated, as a title or shiki it appears to have had a short vowel (see 修理職), and the person's title might likewise have had a short vowel: Shurinosuke. End of aside. The short answer to your question: I don't know! Fg2 01:48, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Well I appreciate the thought going into the question. As you folks might know, I do a lot of editing within the scope of the WP:WPMA, and I've recently turned my attention towards the various articles related to koryū. There definitely seems to be a need for more standardization of historical names, and the MOS-JP doesn't really cover the subject satisfactorily. Again, thank you for the consideration, I hope the discussion continues. Bradford44 02:46, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
You raised an interesting topic ... in general, information on historical Japanese names seems limited in Wikipedia, even at Japanese names. I'll poke around related Japanese Wikipedia pages and see if there's anything worth translating into the English Wikipedia. CES 03:31, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
CES is right to point out the limited coverage of historical Japanese names in Japanese names. The question risen here really should be answered by articles such as that. Historical Japanese name is currently redirected to Japanese names (I did that and it made sense when Japanese names was short), so the first step is to stop the redirect and develop the article. I'm probably doing that if I have time because, though I'm not knowledgeable, we can actually get some starter materials from ja wiki and talkpages like this one. -- Taku 05:46, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

I came to this discussion a bit late, but here are some thoughts on the above.

In many cases, the "no" that you see in historical Japanese names (I don't think it is used at all today) is very similar to the "of" equivalents ("von", "van", "di", "de" etc.) that you see in many European names, like Warner von Braun, Edward Van Halen, Al Di Meola, Charles de Gaulle, etc. And, although capitalization of these prepositional name components varies (even from individual to individual), I have never seen them written with hyphens. Therefore, regarding the question about hyphens, I would suggest that the same should be true when Romanizing a Japanese name.

However, it is also important to point out that there are two different "no" phenomena identified in the discussion above. The first is where "no" is used to link a surname (or a clan name, etc.) and a given name together. Examples of this include "Soga no Umako", "Fujiwara no Michinaga", "Minamoto no Yoritomo", etc. The second is where the "no" is used as part of a phrase that is actually a title. An example of this is the "Ise no Kami" example given at the outset of the discussion. As CES points out, these are not middle names in the Western sense. For those, I am personally more open to hyphenating the title to keep it "one word" while noting how it is broken up into its grammatical consituents because, unlike true "names", the actual meaning of the phrase is of crucial importance.

Another phenomenon at work here that makes historical Japanese names potentially confusing is the fact that people sometimes take several different names throughout their life, such as birth names, coming-of-age names or names that were given to them upon being granted some rank or position of authority. For example, Yoshitsune was actually named Ushiwakamaru at birth. He took the name Yoshitsune at his coming-of-age (genpuku) ceremony, and that is the name he is commonly known by today. And Hideyoshi is a good example of someone who went through quite a few renamings as he moved up from peasant farmer to the most powerful man in the country.

In addition, although the "-ro" words (like Taro, Jiro, Saburo, etc.) can and are used as actual names, in the case of Yoshitsune, although you do hear it in very formal sounding references to him, I think I would consider the term "Kuro" to be a descriptive term rather than an actual component of his name.

Finally, I think the article titles should just be the name that is most commonly associated with the person in Japan. Other components of the name should be set out in the article as appropriate (e.g. a fuller name in the opening paragraph, older names that were later replaced at appropriate points in the biographical narrative, etc.) At the end of the day, the best guide on how to title the articles and treat the various names, of course, is the Japanese language article for the same individual. If anyone has any questions about a specific person, drop me a note on my talk page. I would be happy to help out by confirming the Japanese version of the article, etc. I think at the end of the day, while we can probably put a few general rules in place, most will have to be determined on a case-by-case basis.-Jefu 06:49, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Kanji in lists

In the Using Japanese in the article body section, it starts with In a narrative article. I seem to remember that the narrative language was put in, in order to preserve lists of terms/places/people which could benefit from having all the kanji appear in one page. In other words, if someone was looking for a specific sumo term, or train station on a particular line, the article would facilitate that. Recently, some lists like these have been edited to remove the kanji. What is the current feeling about lists (not narrative paragraphs) with the kanji? Neier 04:55, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I feel that we should minimize the use of Japanese script in ordinary text, providing the Japanese for the term that is the subject of the article, and (if it is helpful) for other terms that don't have articles. Articles can include a glossary or glossary-like section, separate from running text, and Japanese can be appropriate in such a section. If, as an example, an article on a rail line has a table that includes the station names in Japanese script, it seems all right to me, as long as it doesn't make the table excessively wide or complicated. Fg2 05:36, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
It seems, the matter is handled on a case-by-case basis. For example, List of Kuge families contains kanji, while the List of Han doesn't. Having kanji in the former article makes sense because there are many red links in the list and it would be simply a loss of information if we removed those kanji. In the above, Fg2 gives his personal opinion but it seems that it is actually the consensus among the Japan-related-articles-contributors (including me). Like the minimizing the use of kanji, etc. I guess, to add to what he said, the manual of style would ought to say that you should not remove kanji accompanying red links because that would be a loss of information. -- Taku 09:50, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
For lists and other "non-narrative" forms, I would not oppose the inclusion of kanji, even for terms/places/people/etc. that have a linked article. So for the List of Kuge families, for reasons of both practicality and aesthetics, I see no problem with having kanji next to each family's name, regardless of whether the family has a separate article. Likewise, for train stations in articles like the Tōkaidō Main Line#Tokyo area ... although others (e.g. Yamanote Line) don't have the kanji. I say "not oppose" rather than "support" because honestly I'm a bit indifferent myself ... for the average English-language reader the kanji adds no value, and for those who can read Japanese, the Japanese Wikipedia page is usually just a click away. That being said, seeing how this really does seem to be dealt with on a case by case basis as Taku says, I wonder if we should have a guideline in the MOS for non-narrative forms, given that the MOS implies that they should be treated differently from narrative forms but gives no advice on how to deal with them? CES 12:03, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I've modified the section. Neier 09:08, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Nice. This modified version merely states exactly what is done currently, but it's always a good idea to note that in the MOS. -- Taku 10:36, 22 October 2007 (UTC)