Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Archive 19

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Romanization Issue

I am looking for some advise on how the issue discussed here might be resolved. The crux of the issue is that a name from a Japanese manga, ペイン, currently lacks an official romanization, although there are two predominate fandom romanizations, "Pein" and "Pain". Given the presentation of the character in question and the fact that character names in the story in question, Naruto, tend to have a backstory and/or meaning attached to them, it is highly plausible that the name is intended to be the Japanese transliteration of the English "pain". That said, the article currently uses "Pein" with most established editors seemingly in support of this, their logic primarily revolving not around denial of "Pain" as a plausible romanization, but instead around verifiability/original research issues (i.e. it will be changed if/when an official romanization becomes available). Along with this there also seems to be resistance to explicitly identifying within the article itself that the current romanization choice is not officially established.

The Japan-related MoS here doesn't seem to satisfactorily apply to this issue. There are the transliteration guidelines at (2) of Body Text, but the issue here is almost akin to one where we only have サンダーバード, but to the extent that the author hasn't explicitly expressed his intentions, there's nothing specific to point to say whether the name was, one, chosen to be the most likely reverse-transliteration candidate (i.e. Thunderbird), two, chosen specifically for the sound (presumably calling only for a romanization of Sandābādo), or three, chosen for an unlikely reverse-transliteration candidate (i.e. Sunderbard).

Any advise? Or should I just ignore the issue, cut my losses, and move with my life? 21:43, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I know nothing about the manga, but perhaps it could be written something like "Payne"? Fg2 21:54, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that is certainly a candidate in terms of what a Japanese transliteration of ペイン could be corresponding with, but that would fall into the category of "unlikely reverse-transliteration candidate". The character is presented in the story as saying things such as "オレは無限に続く痛みの中で人からさらに成長したのだ", etc, etc. If I were to add my own commentary, there are only three plausible things that ペイン could correspond to (in terms of the English words your average manga writer stands a chance of having run into), one, "pain" (most likely seen in ペインクリニック), two, "pane" (used as a computing term; think "Windows"), and three, Paine (as in Thomas). After that, in my own perception of Japanese at least, other candidates would seem overly obscure to be considered at all plausible. 22:31, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Wow, I made the mistake of reading that entire section of the talk page. That has to rank among the more banal discussions I've read in my life. Go with common usage, and if common usage can't be established, I would recommend Hepburn per this MOS. CES 23:50, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
If there is no official romanization, then per this MOS the correct romanization would be "Pein". ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:37, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. If I were the translator of the manga I might write it "Payne" but if I were writing an encyclopedia article on the untranslated manga it's "Pein." Fg2 05:42, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
If I might inquire, which part of the MoS reads that way? Not that I'm saying such to start an argument, just curious. 07:05, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Oddly enough, the Romanization section. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 09:01, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
While I appreciate the reply, I would prefer that you refrain from using ironic remarks, if possible. From your reply I take it you mean to say that the definition of "available" from clause 2 of Body Text is to be taken as being equal to "lack of any ambiguity in identifying a corresponding word (from English or otherwise)", correct? 04:52, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I'll try to refrain from being ironic (though I think you mean sarcastic). I mean to say that unless the word meets the specific items listed there, then standard Hepburn romanization applies, which would give you "Pein". ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 07:52, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I intended "ironic" primarily because I'm assuming good faith on your part. Sarcasm would typically entail a more pointed attempt to directly ridicule an individual (and if that was your intent, then I'd ask all the more for you to refrain). A reasonably good usage explanation can be found here [1].
At any rate, perhaps it's my anally retentive nature, but use of "available" in the current MoS strikes me as being overly vague. I take it for the instance I brought up you are saying that the lack up an officially established romanization constitutes an a lack of "availability". Still, while I realize this may almost appear to be sophism, hypothetically speaking (borrowing the example from the MoS as I did above), would the same apply to サンダーバード if used as a character name? "Sunderbard", for instance, as ridiculous as it may seem, would technically be a possible candidate.
Also, let me note, I'm not trying to pose this argument now with the intention of somehow acquiring additional ammunition to bring back to the debate I originally cited (I've decided to detach myself from it permanently). It just seems to me that, if the general consensus is as you say it is, the relevant part of the MoS could use a degree of rewording to clarify things. After all, I apparently failed to grasp the intended meaning behind it, and I'd like to think I lie sufficiently far from incompetent in terms of English reading comprehension skills. 08:53, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I guess I just don't understand your definition of the word "ironic" because it doesn't match anything here. Regardless of that fun little tangent, I've put a clarifying sentence at the end of the first paragraph in that section to make it blatantly clear. Hopefully, that makes it clear enough for you. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:11, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for reworking the first paragraph, Neier. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:20, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Consistency for surname quasi-disambig pages?

さいとう is a common Japanese surname, じゅうもんじ an uncommon one. Saito has its own disambig page. So does Jūmonji (I created it yesterday).

As far as I bothered to look (not far at all), Saito follows the rules for disambig pages: each link is direct to the article title, with no piping. There are "Saito", "Saitou" and "Saitō", with names in the Japanese and in the US order.

Jūmonji flouts the rules by imposing consistency. The consistency is for the use of the system that I happen to like (names in the Japanese order, use of macrons). But to me this is a minor issue: rather than the non-piped

I'd prefer the consistent (and to me, wrong way around etc)

because to me, consistency makes such lists easier to read, and (pace the relevant MoS) the piping has trivial impact on informativeness.

Even if I were free to trample on MoS and impose my personal taste on everything, I wouldn't go overboard. If there were, say, a 100% Canadian "Natalie Saito", obviously I wouldn't impose a macron and Japanese order on her name.

After a quick rethink, a good simple way to do this for both consistency and fast reading seems to drop macrons and stick all the names in Japanese order, complete with (to me, rather absurd) commas. Thus

as this would smoothly integrate non-Japanese people.

I'm still at the point of thinking out loud, but I thought I'd bring up these tentative ideas here. IFF they're attractive, perhaps they'll be refined and can later be submitted to whichever MoS it is that deals with disambig pages. -- Hoary 03:58, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Another reason not to pipe links on dabs is that pipes inhibit the correct linking of the target page. Some tools that are often used by people at WP:DPL, including AWB and CorHomo, pull the visible text to the list of choices rather than the real links. Also, in some cases it would be useful to note (from WP:MOS-DAB#Given names or surnames): "Persons who happen to have the same surname or given name should not be mixed in with the other links unless they are very frequently referred to simply by the single name (e.g., Elvis, Shakespeare). For short lists of such persons, new sections of Persons with the surname Title and Persons with the given name Title can be added below the main disambiguation list. For longer lists, create a new Title (name), Title (surname) and/or Title (given name) page. Pages only listing persons with certain given names or surnames who are not widely known by these parts of their name otherwise are not disambiguation pages, and this Manual of Style does not apply. In such cases, do not use {{disambig}} or {{hndis}}, but {{given name}} or {{surname}} instead." Dekimasuよ! 04:22, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I understand the very first part. The very last part seems to suggest that that set of MoS rules doesn't apply to pages such as Saito. As for the rest, I can't follow it. -- Hoary 06:19, 12 November 2007 (UTC) .... PS ah, I've got it. See below. -- Hoary 07:24, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
The disambig page should use the exact title of the page to which it is linking. For example, the article title Yuki Saito would be used instead of "Yuki Saitō" (or "Saitō Yuki"). If there is a big list of people names, they should be alphabetized by family name. Other lists would be alphabetized by article title. I just cleaned up the Saito disambig page if you want to see what I mean. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:41, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, well, you do seem to have followed the rules. (Even though Dekimasu suggests that the MoS suggests that they don't actually apply there.) And maybe this has helped people at WP:DPL. However, I have to say that it doesn't help me. Saito strikes me as rather an irritating mess. But perhaps my preferences are unusual. -- Hoary 06:19, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Further investigation has reminded me that what I've been merrily referring to as disambig pages are not disambig pages at all. I mean, Sakae Tamura is a disambig page but Tamura (surname) is not. And because the latter is not, the disambig rules don't apply to it.

Even if the disambig rules don't apply to Tamura (surname), Saito and so forth, those rules (and more particularly the reasoning for them) may be worth consideration. I note Dekimasu's comment: Some tools that are often used by people at WP:DPL, including AWB and CorHomo, pull the visible text to the list of choices rather than the real links. If true, that's certainly worth a thought. (I'm puzzled by this gaping flaw in their design, though. I'd have thought, even betted, that they'd be written the other way around: to look at the link and ignore the visible text.)

My whole "issue" is of course a non-issue if the general opinion is that consistent lists (using pipes) are no easier for humans to scan than are non-piped, inconsistent lists. -- Hoary 07:24, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


I think it's absolutely bizarre when I read an article concerning, as in manga or television, something which is named in english, yet still has Japanese characters and a romanization of said characters. For instance, if the corporation on a Kamen Rider show is named SmartBrain, which is english, why is there katakana with a romanization of those characters appended afterwards? I'm not arguing against it when you've got Kamen Rider itself, which is a Japanese and english pair of words. But for entirely english phrases? It's just bizarre. Howa0082 (talk) 17:28, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

The Japanese is provided for completeness sake since that's how it was originally identified in the original show. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:24, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Romanization, again

I moved the article Choudenshi Bioman to Chodenshi Bioman as I understand this to be the correct romanization according to mos:ja, but I was reverted. Can someone with a better understanding of the rules please weigh in?— Sandtiger 21:08, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Just in glancing at it, it seems pretty obvious that your move is controversial. You should be making a case for it at Wikipedia:Requested moves, the proper place for such a decision, not here.
I think a big part of the problem is that this MoS isn't clear enough on the basic principle: There is no "romanizing" to be done by us as Wikipedians in many cases, likely including this one. If the author/nameholder/whatever has already done the romanizing, or if the romanizing has in any way become prevalent in English, then it isn't our prerogative to substitute somebody else's romanizing. Gene Nygaard (talk) 21:29, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I think the bigger part of the problem is that the so-called Hepburn system is supposed to be one of the two standards of Japan and the more widely used one but that in reality there is no starndard in Japan. The government officially prroclaimed two systems Hepburn and Kunrei to be official. And people in foreign countries took the proclamation at face value and tries hard to incorporate letters with macron or accent circonlex. But no goverment agency of Japan uses them. Most Japanese who put down names in Latin alphabet might believe their method be Hepburn. But they write in ASCII-only romanization. Besides Hepburn and Kunrei methods define Japanese phonology ab ovo. Neither is adequate for transliteration of the Kana syllabary. If we stick to transliteration method there is no doubt about the validity of "choudenshi". No. the validity depends on which Kana script we choose. "Choudenshi" for Gendai Kana (present-day or apres-guerre KANA usage imposed by the Government), or "chaudenshi" for Classical Kana.Kmns tsw (talk) 05:45, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
No, I was wrong. The classical Kana script corresponding to "chou" in this case is "te`u", if I am permitted to use EHS method or Talk:Romanization of Japanese/Archive_2##An Extended-Hepburn System Here an iverted apostrophe or acute accent stands for a medial 'h' which is realised as a glide of bilabial semivowel only when immediately followed by an 'a' sound, in the same way as the consonant of the 'wa' column. The vowel sequence of "eu" is pronounced like the first syllable of "Europe" and palatalizes the preceding alveolar regardless of the medial 'h' in between.Kmns tsw (talk) 07:39, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I think any discussion of classical Japanese should probably be saved for classical Japanese, rather than the name of a modern action TV show. Generally what we'd do with an article like this is change the title to Chōdenshi Bioman unless there is an official English language release spelling it Choudenshi. Whether that romanization system makes sense is a different argument. Doceirias (talk) 10:39, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your comment Doceirias-san. I agree that this kind of discussion has nothing to do with the name of a moder action TV show. Just a word. EHS is neutral. It can handle both scripts. Only the result would be more satisfactory when applied to classical script which covers from Nara period to the end of the World War II. And we must take notice that Gendai script is by definition heedless of orthography. You can spell a word as you like as long as the pronunciation is the same. Perhaps the post-War Ministy of Education thought any wavering spelling could be fixed once transcribed in authentic Roman letters. And IROHA, Japanese counterpart of ABC (IRO'A in EHS) was exorcised from school education, because it contained some redundant Kana letters from the then considered romanization system, or synchronic point of view. Please imagine how chaotic your country would become if reading of pre-War texts including Holy Bible were prohibited because of redundant letters.Kmns tsw (talk) 13:12, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Please do not start trying to get your pet Kunrei romanization into the MOS-JA again. That may not be what you are trying to do here, but every few months you come here and bring this up. As has been shown in the past, we are overwhelmingly against using Kunrei romanization here. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:42, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
It it not my intention to meddle with MOS-JA. But I think it would be better to take a wider perspective to weigh the problem of "choudenshi" and "chodenshi" posed by Sandtiger-san. In my opinion, neither MOS-JA system nor Kunrei system is transliterational. But EHS is. To show the differences, let me use Kana, but in the reversed order so that when the relation between Roman letters and Kana is not one to one, we can enumerate Kana letters in a pair of parentheses. When the Roman letter sequence is not used in the system, instead of Kana, null is indicated.
MOS-JA chi:チ. di:0, du:0, dzu:0, fu:フ, hu:0, ji:(ヂジ), shi:シ, si:0, ti;0, tsu:ツ, tu:0, wi:ヰ, we:ヱ, wo:ヲ, zhi:0, zi:0, zu:(ズヅ),
Kunrei chi:0, di:ヂ, du:ヅ, dzu:0, fu;0, hu:フ, ji:0, shi:0, si:シ, ti;チ, tsu:0, tu:ツ, wi:0, we:0, wo:0, zhi:0, zi:(ジヂ), zu:(ズヅ);
EHS chi:チ, di:ディ, du:ドゥ, dzu:ヅ, fu:フ, hu:0, ji:ヂ, shi:シ, si:スィ, ti:ティ, tsu:ツ, tu:トゥ, wi:ヰ, we:ヱ, wo:ヲ, zhi:ジ, zi:ズィ, zu:ズ
In EHS, SOKUON or syllabic stop is indicated by a homoorganic stop or fricative with the immediately following consonant. Hence it is 't' in the case of 'ch' sound, and 'd' in the case of 'j' sound.
Now I think I said enough. Please forgive me for my intrusion if any. Kmns tsw (talk) 04:58, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I have no idea what you are talking about. Can anyone translate that into something more understandable? What are all the kana examples for, and what do they have to do with this discussion? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 09:47, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
It looks like this "EHS" he's pushing is simply Hepburn but with some additions for phonetic combinations that only occur in katakana (ディ, ドゥ, etc.) and ヅ "disambiguated" to dzu. Frankly it sounds like what we already do (except for ヅ), and doesn't represent any improvement at all (and I don't see how it would improve reading ancient texts at all). I think we can safely continue to ignore it. -Amake (talk) 12:33, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Romanization of municipalities other than cities

Qoth the guideline:

"City names should include macrons in all cases, except for Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. These cities are well-known around the world already."

Were other municipalities (villages, towns) left out on purpose or or by accident? —Tokek (talk) 10:58, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we have consensus on whether to put macrons in place names. -- Taku (talk) 11:02, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the consensus is to have macrons anywhere there isn't a already an established macron-less spelling. -Amake (talk) 12:25, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree, but the tricky part is to determine if there is an established macron-less spelling. For example, if the official website of a place uses the macron-less spelling, do we need to follow it?
I can't recall making any distinction between cities and others in the macron debates. But my memory's often wrong... Fg2 (talk) 11:06, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Just for reference:

Bendono (talk) 12:36, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Interesting. It looks like Encarta is trying to be progressive in terms of macron usage, but they're not quite there--on the Kōbe page "Rokkō Mountains" has a macron, but "Akashi Kaikyo Bridge" is missing the macron on kaikyō. I imagine this is unintentional, probably springing from ignorance of where macrons are needed. I wouldn't use Encarta as a guide then to determine where macrons should be used. (Personally I'd love for all Japanese words to have macrons on Wikipedia, including Tōkyō, Kyōto, etc., but I can understand the reasons for the current policy.) -Amake (talk) 12:53, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Placement of {{Contains Japanese text}}

Are there any guidelines for the placement of {{Contains Japanese text}} in articles? I see it sometimes at the top (where it sometimes collides with infoboxes) and sometimes near the bottom, in the External Links area. —Quasirandom (talk) 20:04, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm of the opinion that this template isn't particularly useful. Isn't the whole point of having tiny question marks appear at the end of the {{nihongo}} template so you don't have to have big ugly warnings like this one? Bradford44 (talk) 20:07, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm of the same opinion. There are some, though, who want that to appear on all articles containing Japanese text. I think it's pretty much useless for the same reasons as you. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:19, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
So no consensus guidelines. Gotcha. I'm not so sure about the usefulness of that question mark: on most machines I use, I can't make out the character without zooming -- looks like a demented apostrophe. —Quasirandom (talk) 16:15, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
You must be viewing the pages at very high resolutions, then. Let's hear it for demented apostrophes! ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:10, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree - our kawaii but demented apostrophe does pretty much the same thing, except it's not a big notice glaring at you. Of course, if you're going to put in {{Contains Japanese text}} anyway, I think it makes more sense to put it at the top of the page. If a reader comes across text that doesn't display properly, he/she probably won't scroll to the bottom to find out what's wrong. --Eruhildo (talk) 23:29, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Spacing of kanji

A user IP removed spaces from kanji and wrote this quote "Japanese do not use spaces, don't put them in." from the Kumi Koda article. I have re-added the spaces in between kanji. Any comments or objections? Greg Jones II 02:45, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Your reversion was in accordance with this style guide and previous discussions here, so you are probably all set. Dekimasuよ! 03:50, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
The Japanese wikipedia also inserts a space in the lead (ja:中村俊輔, ja:福田康夫), even when there is a clear kanji/hiragana boundary (ja:浜崎あゆみ, etc). Neier (talk) 11:55, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Question about i)(i, n)(n?

The article says "Apostrophes and hyphens are not needed to distinguish i)(i from ii. Apostrophes are not needed to distinguish n)(n from (sokuon)n." I'm guessing that

  • the first part is meant to distinguish the case where an い following a syllable ending in -i lengthens that -i from the case where it's a separate syllable, and
  • the second part is meant to distinguish the case of a syllabic n, ん or ン, followed by a syllable beginning with n- from the case of a sokuon followed by a syllable beginning with n-.

In both parts, is )( the best way to represent the syllable boundary?

With regard to the second part—according to the article on sokuon, "The sokuon cannot appear at the beginning of a sentence, before a vowel kana (a, i, u, e, or o), or before kana containing the consonants n, m, r, w, or y." If this is correct, then the distinction being made is non-existent and the reference to it should be removed. Can anyone give any clarification on this? —Largo Plazo (talk) 13:40, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Hrm. It's true that the small tsu (which is apparently called sokuon - you learn something new every day) cannot be used before kana containing the consonants n, m, r, w, or y. Thus, there is no need for an apostrophe or other special notation in, say, Kannon (観音、かんのん). .. As for the parentheses, I'm not a big fan of them, but I'm no linguist... if anyone knows of a more standard or official way of indicating such things, I think we should use whatever system that is. LordAmeth (talk) 01:06, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Parentheses should not be used as there's no reason to indicate the syllable boundary in the situations indicated. The only reason that was added was because someone was insisting that a clarification be made even though there really isn't a need. You can read about it here. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:19, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
And that I thought that Hepburn required that indication. I later found that Hepburn has no such requirement, so... I had that added. —Preceding unsigned comment added by WhisperToMe (talkcontribs)

Question about Pokemon names

When I objected to the format used in many Pokemon articles to indicate English and Japanese names, I started this talk page: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Pokémon#Formatting_of_English_and_Japanese_names

Right now many articles use this format:

  • English name (Katakana Transliteration of katakana, Japanese name in Japan) ...

While I prefer:

  • English name, known as Japanese name (Katakana Transliteration of katakana) in Japan, ...

But this also exposes another question. Should the "katakana" (i.e. ゴース) be considered the original Japanese name, or should official romanizations (I.E. Ghos) be considered the Japanese name? It seems to be that the Pokemon names are meant to be "foreign" (after all the katakana script is used for "foreign" words), so it seems that the original names are the roman character names. WhisperToMe (talk) 19:51, 30 December 2007 (UTC)


An RFC on content related to this guidline has been opened, comments are welcome. MBisanz talk 01:35, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Small caps for family names

Isn't it nice to use small caps for Japanese family names?

The current examples on Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles)#Names:

Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川 家康, January 30, 1543June 1, 1616) was the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate
Junichiro Koizumi (小泉 純一郎 Koizumi Jun'ichirō, born January 8, 1942) is a Japanese politician

and my proposal is as follows:

Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川 家康, January 30, 1543June 1, 1616) was the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate
Junichiro Koizumi (小泉 純一郎 Koizumi Jun'ichirō, born January 8, 1942) is a Japanese politician

You only need Template:smallcaps. If your web browser doesn't support small caps, they just look the same. - TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 06:41, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Frankly I hate caps for family names, and small caps are no better. I have no evidence to back this up, but it seems like only Japanese people use this, and my theory is that they don't appreciate how jarring all-caps words are to native English speakers. My personal preferences aside, I still don't think this is much of an improvement because:
  1. "last name in caps" is not a universally-understood convention in English, and
  2. I think that just by using the {{nihongo}} template it's already clear which name is the family name.
-Amake (talk) 08:13, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
We also have the Template:Japanese name, which should also make things clear for biography articles. --MChew (talk) 08:56, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Small caps can look good when they're used in printed material prepared by expert typographers. One reason for this is that expert typographers have paid for genuine small caps fonts. These, you'll recall, have (in principle) a height equivalent to the x-height of the regular font, and are as heavy as the regular font. Now let's consider the web. I have easy access to a variety of computers. I'll discount MSIE, which (as far as I know) doesn't try to "support" this bit of CSS. Instead, Firefox, Konqueror, Opera, Safari, Shiira. In each, "small caps" (such as this) look bad. The reason's very simple, and has nothing to do with the browser. It's that I have two options, both poor: (i) use some font that's pretty good for most web purposes but lacks small caps, and have some rendering engine fake them by simply using regular caps of a smaller size; or (ii) use some font that does actually have small caps (tip!) but though good on paper looks pretty lousy on screen. Am I overlooking something? Forget browsers: can you name one single font that (i) costs little or nothing, (ii) looks good for large quantities of body text on screen, and (iii) has a genuine small caps variant? -- Hoary (talk) 10:28, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
All right, I don't try to use it in articles. - TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 11:13, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Seems to have been resolved, but I also oppose using caps of any sort for names. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:37, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
And I agree with Nihonjoe. --Eruhildo (talk) 01:18, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
As a caveat, I should note that using ALLCAPS for the family name was formerly a very commonly used way to indicate the family name. However, this was when many fewer people understood that Japanese names are often written in "Family Given" order. Doing this (using ALLCAPS) is far less common now than it was even 5 years ago. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:48, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I've reworded Template:Japanese name to read "In this Japanese name, the family name is X." Previously, it read "This is a Japanese name; the family name is X." That's true, of course, but it could lead some readers to think that the name they're reading is representative of all Japanese names, while on Wikipedia we have the two orderings. The new wording should make it more obvious that the sentence applies only to the name it describes. Fg2 (talk) 02:04, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Street names

Any advice on how we should handle street names such as Meiji-dōri? Six variations are already in English Wikipedia articles. We could write Meiji-dōri, Meiji-dōri Street, or Meiji Street, for example. We could also capitalize Dōri. Having different ways to write it in article titles makes it hard to link to articles, and authors might write new articles not knowing that we already have one under a different name. We can save effort by making these uniform.

Separately, are there, or should there be, translation conventions for components of street names, e.g. dōri, kaidō, ji (路) and ōji (大路), jō (条 as in Shijō in Kyoto), sen (線) (any more?). Maybe some translate to "street," others to "road," "avenue," "boulevard," or another word.

The questions pertain to both article titles and body text. We have some articles already: Takeshita Street, Shijō Street

Some examples of street names that are written variously in body text: Sotobori-dōri and Sotobori Dōri; Meiji Avenue, Meiji Dōri, Meiji-dori, Meiji-dōri, Meiji Dori, Meiji Street; Karasuma Street, Karasuma Avenue, Karasuma-dōri.

There's also an article on a neighborhood named after a street (Omotesandō, Tokyo).

Here are some suggestions for discussion:

  1. Do not write dōri; translate it as "Street" and follow the form "Meiji Street"
  2. Except for articles on historic kaidō, do not write kaidō; translate kaidō as "Highway"
  3. When giving the names of streets in Kyoto and other cities that use (条), write and follow the translation pattern Shijō-dōri (四条通) → "Shijō Street."

Fg2 (talk) 04:08, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I would be against translating dōri as street; it's been a while since I lived in Kyoto, but if I recall correctly, the street signs in Kyoto leave it as dōri. Doceirias (talk) 04:15, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. My experience is that most English signs leave the -dōri part in. Also, I would not immediately recognize Meiji Street to mean Meiji-dōri. If you need confirmation for either 明治通り or 竹下通り, let me know as I live nearby. Bendono (talk) 04:40, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I think you're right about Kyoto's signs, but those signs aren't in English; they're provided for all readers of alphabetic languages so they're not "street," "rue," "straße" or another foreign word. They're Japanese in romaji. Fg2 (talk) 04:31, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Not necessarily. For example, consider all of the X線 and X駅. They become X Line and X Station rather than X sen and X eki. Bendono (talk) 04:40, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I would prefer "Meiji-dōri" or "Meiji Dōri" (with leanings toward the first). Since it's not incredibly common to name streets in Japan (usually only very major streets get named), we likely won't run into this too often. Because of that, I don't thhink it's important to translate the terms. It may be good to create an article along the lines of Roads and streets in Japan if enough sources can be found for it. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:36, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
We could say that "dōri" is part of the proper name, and keep it untranslated. Then the next question becomes, should we add "Street" after it, or should we rephrase to avoid "Meiji-dōri Street"? Fg2 (talk) 04:57, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm absolutely against the redundancy for "Meiji-dōri Street". ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:25, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Nihonjoe--leave "dōri" and do not append "street". -Amake (talk) 09:09, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Amake and Nihonjoe; where necessary, a translation in parentheses can be given. Alternatively, I often tend to structure my sentences so as to indicate what is being discussed - e.g. "A major shopping street in Yokohama, Motomachi Naka-dōri includes such shops as..." LordAmeth (talk) 00:18, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Me too -- as with temples. So if we decide to keep "-dōri" (opinion so far favors it) we'll want to say something about "Street" and all opinions expressed so far have been not to write "Street."
How about other issues? Fg2 (talk) 00:41, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

"X Street" can be problematic when working with names like Ō-dori. "Ō Street" sounds very awkward to me. Actually, "X-dori" may not be a good choice, either. According to google search, almost no one seems to use Ō-dori instead of Odori. I don't know if there can be any uniform, workable, consistent solution for this kind of naming. Is case-by-case handling of this issue that much a problem? Each city or town article should contain a list of notable streets anyway. -- Taku (talk) 01:08, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

I clearly agree that "Ō Street" would be pretty strange. Still, even if no universal rule emerges, we might have a "best practice" and allow exceptions. Fg2 (talk) 02:11, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Why the difference in naming conventions for pre-Meiji restoration figures and modern Japanese?

Is this convention something practiced or introduced by the Japanese themselves? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Snowybeagle (talkcontribs) 01:06, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

It's a practice very common in academia, and therefore adopted here. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:15, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Pace Nihonjoe, but I don't think it's so common in academia, though I have seen it. Much more commonly, academic books put all the names one way around or all the other way around. A large percentage of academic books almost exclusively deal with Japanese people before the 1850s where the Japanese order would seem the obvious choice, and another large percentage deals with people whose inverted (and macron-less) names -- "Junichiro Koizumi", etc. -- are familiar from newspapers; they generally find it easier to invert.
Wikipedia has a large and vociferous contingent of editors who seem opposed to the upsetting of anglophone readers' expectations. Thus "Junichiro Koizumi", etc. But plenty of other editors and readers would gag on "Hokusai Katsushika" and the like. So the present arrangement is a compromise. Personally, I dislike it, but this is by the way. -- Hoary (talk) 06:44, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm truly with Hoary on this, for the most part. It may be uncommon in academia for any single book to switch name order formats as its narrative transcends the Meiji period. But on the other hand, for texts exclusively discussing the modern period, particularly the post-war, and particularly those written from an economics, business, or politics point of view rather than a historical one, I think it is fairly common to use the Western name order. In any case, since I think the most widely known and most prominent Japanese (e.g. Akira Kurosawa, Junichiro Koizumi, Hayao Miyazaki, Ken Watanabe) are so widely known (amongst people without a deep or professional knowledge or experience in Japanese subjects) in Western name order, it simply would never fly to try to apply a blanket policy of traditional name order. And so, we have this compromise. LordAmeth (talk) 13:31, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Ameth's right on. There was a huge discussion over this back when, and after a lot of discussion and thought, and consideration of point such as have been made here, the current scheme was adopted. I don't think it would productive to re-open the issue. Noel (talk) 14:05, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Contains Japanese text template

I'm getting rather confused about the use of the {{Contains Japanese text}}template. I'd seen it on some anime/manga articles, so I've been adding it to ones I've worked on. Now, my view was that since it applied to the whole article, it should go at the top. For the most part, no one seemed bothered by that, though I have had one or two move it to the bottom. In other articles, I've seen it both ways. On the template talk page, there was a little discussion about it, but only two editors participated so can't really call it a consensus (though they both said top).

So originally, I was going to suggest we discuss the placement and incorporate it into the MOS, for consistency, but while checking the archives to see if there had already been any discussion, I found a discussion from December 06-January 07 that seemed to indicate that the template generally isn't needed in our articles at all? So I guess we should discuss both...does it belong in the article, and if so, when should it be used and where should it be placed?

For my view, I'm not sure on belongs or not but if it does, then I think it should be at the top. It seems pointless to tell someone after the fact "oh, by the way, that page had Japanese in it" because either they saw it already and would figure "well, duh." Those who didn't would probably like to know up front so they do not have to read an article twice if they are interested in seeing the Japanese text. AnmaFinotera (talk) 04:56, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

The template is actually pretty useless as Wikipedia uses UTF-8. It also add to the clutter at the top of the article. Most of the time Kanji is used, it is through the {{nihongo}} template, which has it's own help link for few computers that have not been updated to support UTF-8. --Farix (Talk) 05:08, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Basically means {{Contains Japanese text}} is outdated then - instead of using it, change the Japanese text to the {{nihongo}} template and avoid the ugly thing. Doceirias (talk) 06:09, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
There are a little less than 375 articles using this template, so it will take a little work to remove all use of it. It may be good to bring this up over at WT:MOS-JA before doing so, though, as this is more than just an anime/manga issue. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:14, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
How many of those are already using the {{nihongo}} template, though? I suspect the majority of them would simply be a matter of taking the redundant template off, without any other work necessary. Doceirias (talk) 06:20, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Farix in that I see the template as basically useless for anyone with a modern OS on their computer. Mac OS X, Win XP and Vista, most newer Linux releases, and so on all support UTF-8 characters. Most of these also already have several basic Asian fonts (1-4 Japanese fonts and 1-3 Chinese fonts) installed to handle these characters. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:04, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Farix. There really is no use for it for reasons stated. Showers (talk) 06:12, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I also agree that the template should not be used anymore, and have never liked the inclusion of it. User:Sephiroth BCR has been adding it to the top of each of the FLCs for Japanese episodes he's worked on, but when I tried to move the template to the bottom in List of Myself ; Yourself episodes, he reverted me.-- 06:25, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I originally used it because at the time (way back whenever), some featured list (can't remember it off the top of my head) had it at the top, and I began using it in the lists I was making. Also, I recall at some point that India had a "Contains Hindi" or something of the sort at the top as well. Given that the article in question doesn't have it anymore, I think it is safely superfluous. It can be removed. Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 06:42, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
As long as there are no qualms about the removal, should we try another WP:TFD for the template?-- 00:46, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd think this would be something for the WP:MOS-JA folks to decide. —Quasirandom (talk) 00:53, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree. If we decide it isn't necessary or useful anymore, and remove all uses of it, one of the admins here can just speedily delete it as an unused and unwanted template. If anyone ever asks about it, we can point them to this discussion (which is just as valid as any other deletion discussion, at least in this case) since it's actually people who know about and use it who are discussing it. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:19, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't use the "Contains" template, but I often use the "Nihongo" template. The language help in Nihongo is a nice feature; personally, though, I wonder if readers who need the help know enough to click the question mark. But that's a matter of fine-tuning Nihongo. I have no plans to use "Contains." Fg2 (talk) 02:41, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

So -- leaving aside the possible reengineering of {{Nihongo}}'s help, what about {{Contains Japanese text}}? Still needed? Delete? Keep keep baka keep? —Quasirandom (talk) 02:27, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't see a great (or even medium) need for it, especially since all (or most) articles with the template already have the {{nihongo}} template one or more times. It seems extremely redundant, and generally points out the obvious. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:37, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Nihongo template

Perhaps changing the small ? to "Help" instead? This will make it more obvious I think, and still not take up much space, while completely doing away with the need for {{Contains Japanese text}} and {{JapaneseText}} (which redirects to the first one). ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:57, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I was bold and changed it. You can see it here: Motojirō Kajii (梶井 基次郎 Kajii Motojirō?, 1901–1932). I think it still looks fine, and similar to other ones like it such as {{audio}}. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I actually prefer the older version, which is less intrusive, less cluttering in my opinion. I wonder what other people's preferences are. -- Taku (talk) 21:44, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Honestly, I doubt anyone would have trouble figuring out what a question mark means; it is the universal help symbol. And it was a little more unobtrusive. Doceirias (talk) 22:37, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
The word "Help" is more widely understood to mean "Help" than is the question mark. I prefer it. Fg2 (talk) 23:24, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I think the question mark also implies "what is this?" as well as "help". I thought it made sense and was less obtrusive. --Eruhildo (talk) 23:36, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
No need to repeat, but there is relevant discussion here as well. Bendono (talk) 23:39, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I've put a note there asking people to discuss here to keep it all in one place. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:22, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Just to see what it looked like, I added space before the "Help" to see if it aided in readability (some letters crowded the "Help"). Thoughts on the space? Motojirō Kajii (梶井 基次郎 Kajii Motojirō?, 1901–1932), for example. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:24, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

It just takes up too much space for something so few people would actually need. I think we should stick with the question mark. Doceirias (talk) 01:29, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, this kind of discussion is exactly what I was looking for when I did that. It's been suggested in the past that we use something other than the ?, and the Help has been one of the suggestions. This allows everyone to see what it looks like (especially in articles which use it a lot) so they can have a better informed opinion. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:36, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] (I essentially wrote the same elsewhere, but repeating and expanding here so as not to fragment the discussion.) I am not particularly opposed to a single instance of "Help". However, some pages, for various reasons, use the {{Nihongo}} template many (even many) times. It is on these pages that seeing "Help" repeated so many times is rather unsightly and even obtrusive, so much so that I may consider not using {{Nihongo}} for certain pages. Is there a way to modify the template to show "Help" just once and then hiding it for the rest? Bendono (talk) 01:37, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate the clarity of spelling out "Help," but I agree heartily with Bendono that it will prove an eyesore when used more than once per [article|section|paragraph]. I would prefer the question mark unless there is some way to automatically suppress the item altogether after the first use. -Amake (talk) 03:32, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with User:Bendono and others that the HELP is obtrusive; and, yes, I don't really like it. Nevertheless, I wonder if we're not missing an the point a little? The crucial threshold standard probably needs to focus on the extent to which the proffered help does actually reach out to those who may need it most. From that perspective, User:Nihonjoe's modification can be seen as a good step in the right direction because it succeeds in making Wikipedia more accessible. The HELP is impossible to miss; and now that I think about it, I have to admit that I didn't even notice that superscript question mark for months. More importantly, I didn't imagine that it implied anything at all.
Even if this "improvement" is deemed as necessary, I'd still hope for some sort of alternative -- something in addition or similar to Nihongo2. If necessary, I am prepared to replace Nihongo templates with Nihongo2 templates manually, where appropriate; but I'm hoping for some other way to press forward in a way which pleases everyone. --Ooperhoofd (talk) 04:10, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
In regards to how it looks in excess, a good example is List of Kodomo no Jikan chapters, which uses the template seven times per box in the template for the chapter titles. Other examples include character lists like at List of Little Busters! characters. You can easily see how it gets quickly repetitive and ridiculous to have so many "help" messages in one place, especially when the section on Rin in the character list I provided is taken into account, which uses the nihongo template many times in the middle of the prose for the names of several cats she named. So if the question marks may not be used anymore, how about just a capital H instead?-- 04:03, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
In the context of Japan, a single "H" may be misconstrued or even be a source of humor for some. (If you don't get it, then ignore that comment.) That said, one advantage with "Help" over "?" is clarity: a question mark may be misinterpreted as meaning we editors are not really sure about the issue and hence the question mark. However, if possible, I'd still like to suppress all but the first Help / ? per article. Bendono (talk) 04:15, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Bendono that it's not necessary to spell out every time. If there's a neat technical solution, I'd favor it. Fg2 (talk) 04:20, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm a little torn between the two (current) choices. I can see the benefit of the ? as it's unobtrusive and looks better when used multiple times on a page or in close succession. On the other hand, the Help is more clear and noticeable. I don't think the H is a viable option for the reason mentioned by Bendono. Does anyone have any other ideas, or ideas on how to tweak the template to only show the Help the first time, with ? for subsequent uses on the page? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:40, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Does it have to be "help"? What about the "letter i in a circle" used for information booths? I think it's a unicode character. I'll also admit I didn't know what the "?" was for, and it often doesn't look like a question mark because the dot isn't clearly visible. I've also found it's too small to easily click on as a hyperlink. --DrHacky (talk) 05:23, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
FYI: U+24D8 ⓘ Bendono (talk) 05:38, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
This is an interesting idea... if it doesn't cause the same display problems that people have with Japanese text in the first place. I generally agree that the question mark is better because we should limit metareferences whenever possible, but "help" is certainly clearer than the question mark. Dekimasuよ! 05:58, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, it would look something like this. Thoughts? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:16, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I like the ⓘ idea, but it shows up fairly large on my screen. Size-wise I prefer this: (enclosed in <small> tags), but the "i" is no longer recognizable. -Amake (talk) 06:27, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
It's still noticeable, though. What about bolding it like this: ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:31, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm bouncing back and forth between Ubuntu, OS X, and XP here, and I'm realizing that legibility and recognizability as "an 'i' in a circle" is going to depend entirely on font, antialiasing settings, display resolution, and whatnot. Bolded it seems blurry to me, so my favorite so far is still (<small><sup>ⓘ</sup></small>) -Amake (talk) 11:12, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Although it looks fine on my computer, if anyone thinks that it could have problems, why don't we use (i) (<small><sup>(i)</sup></small>) instead? MythSearchertalk 11:44, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid with my laptop, all of the superscript and small text versions look like a tiny bullseye at best. A simple or even bolded comes out clearest and most satisfactorily, but as that doesn't seem to be the case for others perhaps it just won't work out.--DrHacky (talk) 12:54, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
What about a switch in the template: when the person types "help" for the switch the template displays the word "help" and when the person types anything else (or nothing) the template displays nothing? So typing {{Nihongo|'''Japan'''|日本|Nippon||help}} makes "help" appear. Fg2 (talk) 06:40, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Is it possible to use an image? It will have no display issue and could be in any form and colour. Spelling out help only takes up 15 X 3 pixels space, and can look quite professionally done if designed well. Or can the help be just linked to the words itself? That saves a lot of space and as long as people who have problems reading the words move their cursor over the words, it will be notiacable immediately. For those who do not understand what H means, wikipedia got the article ecchi to refer to. :) MythSearchertalk 09:29, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I would just like to point out that when I suggested to use capital H, I was serious; i.e. I didn't make the reference to ecchi until it was pointed out here; you guys are so lewd. :P As for the ⓘ, I think it looks best as , and bolding it makes it just look like a blue circle, and makes it look bad. But I also love Fg2's idea about a switch in the template. I would totally agree with that one if it can be done. -- 10:30, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Oh, there's a conversation here too. I didn't realize this when I (i) decided that I hated the "Help" squawk; (ii) went to the template's talk page and found that (among an admittedly small number of comments) mine was (unusually!) the majority opinion; (iii) decided that the change, whether good or bad, clearly hadn't come from any "consensus"; and (iv) changed it back. (Ah, how good it feels to smash a red padlock. So desysop me!) I'm sure Nihonjoe meant well. Ah, but I meant well too. Yes, we all mean well, but the "Help" was (to me) a great irritation. -- Hoary (talk) 10:41, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

The change was made so people could see what it looked like in articles which used it a lot and to get more people participating in the discussion. So, no problems there. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:39, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Just to add some data to the pile, for a long time I didn't realize that little blue thing in the nihongo'd stuff was supposed to be a ? -- it always looked more like an apostrophe on any screen I was using. None of the ⓘs show above with any sort of smaller size resolve for me either, though the full-size superscript looks just fine. I like the Help but agree it's way too obtrusive if the template is used frequently, and it often is; if it could be templated to display only in the first instance of {{Nihongo}} on the page, that would be excellent, but I've no idea if that's possible with the scripting available. —Quasirandom (talk) 16:04, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

That would be very hard for people who got linked to the middle of the page with an anchor, say, a section. The least obstructive method is to simply link the Japanese characters to the help section, forget about all the ?, help, s. The big ⓘ looks obstructive enough on my screen, it if bigger than the ? sign and is very eye catching due to its different thickness. The small one is better, but it seems to be not showing well on some other people's screen, I see no way of getting a middle sized one for now, and even if one is presented, there will always be people who's screen is not displaying right. MythSearchertalk 18:08, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Can't keep up with the pace of the discussion :) How about simply replacing the question mark with ja, like so:

Motojirō Kajii (梶井 基次郎 ja, 1901–1932)


Motojirō Kajii (梶井 基次郎 (ja), 1901–1932)

I thought the point is to inform the readers that these are Japanese characters, which is not necessarily obvious to many. The word "Help" or "H" seems not informative enough. -- Taku (talk) 23:25, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I still prefer the original question mark, but this is better than the ⓘ thing. I would never have guessed what ⓘ was supposed to mean; I can't remember ever seeing that thing before. I'd even like Help better than ⓘ. Doceirias (talk) 23:33, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
The circle-i is in use in some airports. I found it immediately recognizable. However, it's unattractive at low resolution, especially in a small size. Fg2 (talk) 08:47, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I've attempted to use an image in place of the ?/Help link, but I can't seem to get the image to appear on the same line as the rest of the text. I've tried using the <imagemap> formatting and {{Click}}, and neither works for this. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:39, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
How about {{Click-inline}}? It works like this: Motojirō Kajii (梶井 基次郎 Tst.png, 1901–1932). The image is just a sample. Sushiya (talk) 11:35, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I think sub-parentheses should be avoided. ja isn't terrible, but I don't think it's all that clear. Re: linking the Japanese text, I think that would also be confusing; if the Japanese text is a link, I'd expect it to lead to info about the word in question, not "help". Sometimes I've found it useful to link to the Japanese Wikipedia like so: apple (林檎 ringo?). So I'd prefer leaving the Japanese text as-is. -Amake (talk) 07:17, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
The click inline looks good, and this is the first time I see some one uses 林檎 as the kanji for apple. Yes, they have the same pronounciation, but they are not the same thing... :) MythSearchertalk 14:36, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
FYI: U+24D8 ⓘ. For me, not good. It seems not to be in any font the browser of my regular computer chooses among, and in whatever font's accessed by a 'Doze machine I experimented with, it doesn't look like any kind of icon but instead merely an unfamiliar (and poorly drawn) letter. ¶ Meanwhile, I agree with Amake about not linking from the Japanese text. ¶ I've been unthinkingly splattering the "nihongo" template and very rarely bothering to click it to see where it goes. Now that I come to do so, I fail to see why any article needs to link to Help:Japanese more than once per section. Indeed, do most articles need it at all other than in the very first clause? (Junichiro Koizumi (小泉 純一郎 Koizumi Jun'ichirō?, born January 8, 1942) is a Japanese politician who blah blah blah.) -- Hoary (talk) 15:35, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with that linking the words is not a good idea, but the link to the help should appear once at least per section, since linking to the middle of the page is possible. If only the first one is linked, an alternative idea could be placing sometype of header telling others that This page contains Japanese text, if you need help, please go to Help:Japanese blah blah blah. MythSearchertalk 15:58, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

I was going to suggest using J for Japanese, but I like the much better. It's unreadable when bold on the system I'm using at the moment, though. Also ja looks like "la" on here. I do like the idea of using HELP on the first usage of the template on a page. Well those are my opinions after reading a couple days worth of discussion. --Eruhildo (talk) 21:02, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

I like the much better. It's unreadable when bold on the system I'm using at the moment, though. Even when not bold, it's a mere rectangle (implying "graph unavailable") on the one I'm using at the moment (which isn't the one I used for my earlier comment). -- Hoary (talk) 08:29, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Icon discussion

Then I say we should try to use a similar looking image, since that's pretty much sure to show up on anyone's system. I could create one and upload it if anyone wants me to. --Eruhildo (talk) 15:40, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
A good place to look for similar icons is the Information page on Commons. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:46, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
And here are examples of several different images being used:
  1. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Info Sign.svg, 1901–1932)
  2. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Information icon.svg, 1901–1932)
  3. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Info Simple.svg, 1901–1932)
  4. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Messagebox info.svg, 1901–1932)
  5. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Info.svg, 1901–1932)
  6. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Hong Kong film rating cat1.svg, 1901–1932)
  7. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Info icon.svg, 1901–1932)
  8. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Info icon 002.svg, 1901–1932)
  9. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Gtk-dialog-info.svg, 1901–1932)
  10. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Circle-information.svg, 1901–1932)
  11. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Emblem-question.svg, 1901–1932)
  12. Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Help-browser.svg, 1901–1932)
Just a few for thought and discussion. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:56, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Here's another one: Motojirō Kajii (梶井 基次郎 Nuvola Japan flag.svg, 1901–1932). Just for something different. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:00, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, that doesn't look as good as I'd hoped. That one was 10px wide, here's one at 15px Motojirō Kajii (梶井 基次郎 Nuvola Japan flag.svg, 1901–1932), just to see what it looks like. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:02, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Nope, too big I think. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:02, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I numbered the list (with apologies to Nihonjoe for changing bullets to numbers in his comment) Fg2 (talk) 03:16, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I am sorry to say that there is some problem on the display on my computer with this. Not only the picture only got half of it linked(the upper half only links to the image page) but also the link was extended to the second line and I got a two blue underline for the links, the second one is in the middle of the next line. Imagewise, I like the square(first) one and don't think the Japan flag is a good idea. MythSearchertalk 08:40, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the linking to the image page as I can't duplicate that issue no matter where on any of the images I click. The additional link line is likely just a CSS appearance glitch, and doesn't affect the way the link works. Of the images above, I like #1, #3, and #11 the best. They seem to be the most clear. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:21, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Nihonjoe - 1, 3, & 11 are the clearest on the system I'm currently using, though I can't decide which is the best. I think the Japanese flag was a really good idea, but it just doesn't work at such small resolutions T_T. I noticed this one wasn't up there, what do y'all think of it?
  • Motojirō Kajii' (梶井 基次郎 Info Simple bw.svg, 1901–1932)
Maybe not colorful enough to stand out. --Eruhildo (talk) 19:54, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I actually like that better - because it isn't so colorful. We don't need this stuff to be distractingly obvious - after all, if you know what the text is, you shouldn't need a link to click on. If you're puzzled about what the Japanese text is, and are looking for information, then you should be able to find the link easily. Someone earlier mentioned that they'd never noticed the question mark; but that's because you never had a doubt what the text meant. If you were actually looking for help, you'd probably have noticed the question mark just fine. I still see no reason why we can't just keep the simple ? but, this plain icon would work well if we want to change it. Doceirias (talk) 20:37, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Going pictorial might be a good idea, I believe. Then how about using some kind of icon with a kanji character? e.g., 漢, 日 or 字? As I said early, I don't think the question mark or the "i" is informative enough, in that it doesn't tell those are Japanese or kanji characters. -- Taku (talk) 23:41, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

But listing a kanji character isn't any more clear to someone who doesn't know Japanese. Perhaps there's a common symbol used in Japan for help? Maybe something like that would work. If not, I say lets stick with the "i" symbol. --Eruhildo (talk) 08:39, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I believe the common symbol for help would be 助. I don't think there's anything else, not like it really matters unless you can read kanji.-- 08:46, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Agreed: The most important thing is to find a mark readers will understand. This is the English Wikipedia, so we can expect readers to understand English, but not written Japanese. Readers of Japanese can understand the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia, so the English should serve primarily readers of English, secondarily readers of languages other than Japanese, and last of all Japanese people. Fg2 (talk) 09:31, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I think of the three images I liked, #3Info Simple.svg is the most clear and the most noticeable. I think it needs to be noticeable so people will register that it's there, and I think that rules out the black and white one discussed later (Info Simple bw.svg). Anyone else have any thoughts on this thought? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:32, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I think the blue one is too noticeable - to the point of ugly. I don't think it needs to be that noticeable; the black and white was is just noticeable that you would see it if you were looking for help, but not garish enough that it would jump off the page at you otherwise. Doceirias (talk) 19:54, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree, although only 3 of them are not blue, the colour of #3 is the sharpest on my computer and is very annoying if it is all over the screen. I like #1 because its colour satuation is lower but can still maintain the colour tone. MythSearchertalk 19:59, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Doceirias and Mythsearcher - while I liked #3 and #11, they're kind of too bright. If we're going to go with a colored one, I say we go with #1Info Sign.svg - it stands out, but not too much, and it's not glaringly bright when there's a dozen of them in one screen. --Eruhildo (talk) 00:06, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmm...I think I agree. #3 is likely too bright for multiple use all over in an article, whereas #1 is much more reserved. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:51, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
What about a simple greyscale version of either #1 or #3? -Amake (talk) 07:45, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
If we make a file with gray, will it still show up blue, being a link? Fg2 (talk) 10:39, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
No, as making an image a link doesn't change the color of the image. As for Amake's suggestion of making it greyscale, I think it's better to have it stand out a little bit so it's noticeable. With the coloring of #1, it's muted enough to not be annoying, but still bright enough to be noticeable. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:43, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, is there anyone who just really doesn't want to use #1? If not, lets go ahead and change it, nee. --Eruhildo (talk) 21:51, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

All right, I like #1. It's crisp and clear and blue, close to the default color of links. Some others look good too. Fg2 (talk) 22:27, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

To be honest, I don't find it to be particularly good one. As said early, from the web design point of view, it is not good (if not terrible) if readers have to click the link to see what it links to. Having said this, I can't think of any good alternative, either. Maybe footnotes, but that would be confusing too, just like linking Japanese characters is. -- Taku (talk) 23:08, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

· · · I know I'm a rather impatiant person, but this is the fith day since any has posted anything. So what's our conclusion: use picture #1 or stick with the kawaii demented apostrophe? --Eruhildo (talk) 03:54, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

As no one has made any comments for several days, I've made the change to using #1. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:07, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I really like it, but I'll try to give it a few days before making a decision. However, your edit does not render correctly as it makes ]] appear at the end of all templates. Bendono (talk) 01:14, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for catching that. I've fixed it. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:28, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

I see the new icon is in use now in use, I think on the page with heavily {{Nihongo}} usage, it is extremely distraction. Even more annoying than the "help" that was previously used. For example, there are 17 icons on 1280x1024 screen in the Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei#Characters article, and I don't think that's a good thing. —29th ((☎)) 02:17, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, it really looks horrific. I've yet to be persuaded that there was an actual problem with the original question mark, and every proposed solution to it has been progressively worse. Did we ever have a real reason for changing it? Other than someone vaguely mentioning that they'd never noticed it was there? Unless we seriously think someone looking for help would be unable to work out that they should quick the question mark, I think we need to change back asap. Doceirias (talk) 02:27, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

I stumbled across a page that has the Nihongo template on it, and it really looks good with the new icon. However, I still wonder if we can find a way to turn it off for the second and subsequent times it appears on a page. It might be as simple as adding a "help" parameter that turns it on. Fg2 (talk) 02:51, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

The new icon is good, if not used in excess. As 29dupe put it with Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei#Characters, it looks terrible when used so much in close proximity. The only other way to rectify this would be to create a {{Nihongo4}} template which is only used once per article section, and which has the parameter of the added information box icon, and then every other time we have to use the Nihongo template, we can use the regular {{Nihongo}} template which could then be tweaked to lose the icon and former question mark entirely. This way we could keep at least one help icon per section for anyone that takes a link to the middle of a page, and also there won't be any information box clutter.-- 03:17, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't really agree with this icon change or having icon on the first and not on the others. It would be quite annoying to have the icon only on the first use. If you happen to read the content in the middle of page (via anchor, or something) and need to access Help:Japanese, you would have to scroll back to the top of page and find a link to it. That would interrupt the reading flow, even more than clicking the link itself (since you lost where you were reading). Having one per section still not work, look at some anime characters list. If the icon only appear once, it would look funny and adding more confusion like "is this name something special?".
The problem of this icon is it stands out. Something like this, that had to be repeat all over the article should not be "cool", "nice" or stands out. You'll think it's nice at first, as you see more of it, you'll start to think it's annoying. I agrees with Doceirias that someone didn't notice it's there because they weren't looking for help. If someone is curious about what this little ? is, then they can put their mouse over the link and a nice "Help:Japanese" tooltip will appear.
I don't have anything to back my words but I think the original ? works fine, require less CSS and HTML, requires no double-link, no need for link aligning hack (which isn't aligned to icon properly), works perfectly fine with text browsers and renders to everyone in their favorite default font and antialias method. —29th ((☎)) 18:50, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

As others have commented, the new icon looks good in isolation, but anywhere with a number of nihongo'd things close together, such as a list of characters, it's a bit overwhelming. Given I haven't been involved in the discussion, I don't have nearly as much ground for making suggestions, but something that's not a solid field of dark color -- something with about the same weight as regular text letters -- would be much preferable. —Quasirandom (talk) 03:57, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

A separate template would work. We could call it nihongohelp to make it easier to remember but nihongo4 would work too as long as it's not taken. I wonder if a bot could replace the first nihongo with nihongohelp in articles where it appears? Fg2 (talk) 03:58, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I'd much prefer a single template ({{Nihongo}}) that would render the help once per page and skip it afterwards. That said, I haven't worked too much with Wikipedia templates so I do no not know how realistic that desire is. I may try a few experiments this weekend if time permits. Bendono (talk) 04:09, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Try this:
<span class="t_nihongo_help">{{if#:{{{help|}}}|&nbsp;<sup>{{Click-inline|image = Info Sign.svg|width = 9px|link = Help:Japanese}}</sup>|<sup>[[Help:Japanese|<span class="t_nihongo_icon" style="color:#00e;font:bold 80% sans-serif;text-decoration:none;padding:0 .1em;">?</span>]]</sup>}}</span>
I think that will work. Then if someone sets help= to anything the icon will show up, otherwise the "?" will come up by default. --Eruhildo (talk) 16:59, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I just tested it and it works fine. I put the code in the template {{Ja help icon}} so it could be used easily in more than one template. You just need the code:
{{ja help icon|{{{help}}}}}
Where you need the icon/"?". Hope that helps. --Eruhildo (talk) 19:04, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

It may work fine, but the HTML involved is gruesome, and the repetition on the page is grotesque.

If you people here are so keen to adorn "nihongo" with little icons and so forth, clearly I can't stop you. After all, there's an inexorable trend in en:WP: if a "feature" is possible, it's used. (Cf infoboxes, flag icons, you name it.) But can I at least interest anyone in taking a look at the page source of the result? (I don't mean what you see in the edit window; I mean the alternative view that you get from "View|Page source" or similar within your browser menu.

Further, since it's clear that "nihongo" is doomed to be pretty, can I encourage people to use the no-nonsense (or anyway much less nonsense) "nihongo2" where possible? After all, repetitions of "nihongo" are merely repetitions of links to the same old Help:Japanese page.

For a slightly longer rant, with macabre illustration on a green background, please head on over to Closedmouth's talk page.

Thank you; this has been a public service announcement by Hoary 16:07, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Back to Question Mark

I just read through the discussion above, and I don't really see a clear consensus that this ever needed to be changed. It looks like a lot of people were willing to try something else out, once the idea was introduced, but I also see quite a few people who really hate all the new versions (myself included.)

Figure we might as well take a straw poll, like the one below. Keep for the original question mark Change for one of the new versions. Let's make sure we actually needed to make this change before we settle on something permanantly. And, obviously, give you reasoning. Doceirias (talk) 01:14, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Comment: I would support Fg2's suggestion of a switch being added to the template to produce the question mark, icon, or whatever is finally decided on. This would allow people to turn it on if needed, and leave it off otherwise. If we did this change, we could have a bot go through and add the switch to the first template on a page (and perhaps every 10th or 20th thereafter, so the help would be scattered throughout articles that use the template a lot). ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:11, 9 February 2008 (UTC)


  • Keep see my comment above29th ((☎)) 03:39, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Back to Contains Japanese text

Okay, so let's settle the {{Contains Japanese text}} situation. Do we want to keep it, or get rid of it? It is currently used in a little less than 375 articles, and doesn't do anything other than direct people to the Help:Multilingual support (East Asian) page (and Japanese language, kanji, and kana), which is linked to from the Help:Japanese page. The {{Nihongo}} template is already used in all or most of the articles using the {{Contains Japanese text}} template.

So, please indicate your opinion below as either Keep or Remove, and please explain the reasons behind your opinion. Remember, this is a discussion, so we need to know why you lean one way or the other. Thanks! ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:28, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

I forgot to note that this discussion will last until midnight UTC on 2008-02-21. At that point, a decision will be made based on the results of the discussion. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:30, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


  • Remove as the template is redundant and not really useful anymore. It has also been "de facto" replaced by the {{Nihongo}} template, which performs a much more useful function in addition to pointing the reader to the Help:Japanese page if needed. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:28, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Remove redundant, and even when present it was either ugly or hidden. With the Nihongo template in wide use, we no longer need it. Doceirias (talk) 01:40, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
  • No comment/weak Remove It served its purpose somehow, but without it being on the top of the page, it is rather useless. MythSearchertalk 01:55, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Remove Like MythSearcher said, the template was usually placed at the end of an article as a sort of "oh by the way, this is why you can't see the characters), but {{Nihongo}} does this much easier and in much higher quantity than {{Contains Japanese text}}, plus less intrusive.-- 03:10, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Remove: the need for it has been supplanted by {{Nihongo}}. —Quasirandom (talk) 03:59, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Remove, as it is intrusive and redundant. --MChew (talk) 16:30, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Remove - {{Nihongo}} takes care of it fine in my opinion. --Eruhildo (talk) 16:50, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment: If putting it in an article would prevent other well-meaning editors from splattering the page with the ever-changing "nihongo" template (grotesque when I last looked, but that was some hours ago), I'd be all for this thing. But, like much helpfully-intended en:WP stuff, it's a mess. It includes a pointless graphic and a pointless line break, and it's not even clear whether it refers to possibly problematic Japanese text (which might include roman letters with macrons) or to Japanese script (which would not). I suggest waiting till "nihongo" stabilizes before deciding on this alternative. Meanwhile, I'm using "nihongo2" wherever possible. -- Hoary (talk) 01:22, 9 February 2008 (UTC)