Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Archive 21

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yet another Nihongo template

{{nihongo-expanded}} appears to insert links to Kanji and Romaji in the intro. I personally think it looks even worse than the (mostly) unassuming question mark in the standard template; but, ymmv. There are fewer than 100 articles using it now, so, it may be relatively simple to replace/revert its inclusion if that's what we decide here. Neier (talk) 13:34, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

I think it's a bit excessive, especially since we decided a while ago that having "Rōmaji" and "Kanji" written in the templates was too much and simply got in the way of things. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:59, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I'd go so far as to recommend nominating it for deletion. Doceirias (talk) 20:28, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
If that happens, we'd need to make sure that all uses of it were replaced with {{nihongo}}, {{nihongo2}}, or {{nihongo3}} beforehand. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:56, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree - it's rather excessive. --Eruhildo (talk) 02:08, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
My old friend the question mark in the Nihongo template is a link to Help:Japanese, which has extensive information on kanji, kana and romaji, and links to instructions for making the character sets display properly. So writing "kana" etc. in the opening sentence has no apparent benefit, while it does clutter the opening sentence. If the new template has a significant advantage over the old, I'd be happy to learn of it. Fg2 (talk) 03:10, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
The nihongo template is currently the most arrogant language template, because it makes the assumption that everyone who sees it in an article 1) recognizes that the characters represent the Japanese language, and 2) understand how the Japanese language works. It is the only language template not to explicitly identify in it the language the name is written in, which is the entire point of a template. Many other language templates are expanding, adding more fields to accomdate more diverse needs. There are some fantastic templates for Chinese and Korean names, which break down the entire name and do what an encyclopedia is meant to do, which is help the reader understand a new language and a new name system. Take a look at Template:CJKV for a fantastic example of an in-line language template that tries to cover all the bases and Template:Chinese for an infobox template that does the same. There needs to be a Japanese language template that says on it that the name is in Japanese! It needs to explain the Romaji. I've seen the nihongo template a thousand times and I still have moments where I go "wait, why are they just repeating the English name backwards? *confused*". There needs to be a Japanese language template that says it's a Japanese language template. If you delete the one I made, I expect that the main Nihongo template will be changed so that it no longer assumes that everyone on the English-language Wikipedia knows the first thing about Japan. Awartha (talk) 04:04, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's arrogant so much as not condescending. It assumes people are smart enough to click the question mark if they want to know more. Changing it seems based on the notion that most people are idiots, and I'd rather not be insulted every time I look at a page using the template. Doceirias (talk) 23:25, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

I just want to say that Awartha makes a good point, and I agree with him mostly. As discussed before, it would simply not be obvious to many readers that the question mark means "Japanese language". Furthermore, the Japanese language seems to be the only language that uses some cryptic symbol to indicate that the text is in Japanese other than the English name of the language. This violates the consistency (a property I value very highly). From my experience, the opening pattern "{English name} ({name of language}: native name) is ..." seems the most predominant currently. We need to follow this patter in a some way.

That said, I can assure you that this is not due to "arrogance" of our part, but a simple technical problem waiting for a solution. As pointed out by Fg2 before, many articles use several nihongo temples, and having multiple {{nihongo-expanded}} would be too excessive, too obtrusive. So, I've thinking about what we can do about this. How about this: can we agree to restrict the use of the nihongo template to the only opening sentence of an article? For subsequent appearance of kanji in the article, we can use nihongo2 or something like it. (By the way, since Japanese isn't as complicated as Chinese, a template like :Template:Chinese is not needed.) -- Taku (talk) 05:27, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm not certain I understand your proposal. {{nihongo}} and {{nihongo2}} serve two different purposes, so I don't really see how you could replace the use of one with the other in an article. Could you please give an example using an existing article? (preferably in a user subpage to make comparing the two easier) --Eruhildo (talk) 21:53, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Here (ここ koko?) is a nihongo template. Depending on whether viewers' browsing devices are set up for displaying Japanese, they'll see either (a) hiragana for koko (whether or not they know what these are) or (b) empty boxes, question marks or similar. They'll also see a linked, superscripted question mark. Moving the cursor over this will pop up a "tooltip" saying "Help:Japanese". The viewer thereby sees that it's Japanese and is offered an explanation. Seems pretty straightforward to me. ¶ The Nihongo and Nihongo2 templates have the same purpose (nudging the browser toward the most appropriate display of Japanese script), and the Nihongo template also has additional purposes (link to an explanation, ease of formatting). Because an article rarely needs more than one link to an explanation of Japanese, many of my articles have one Nihongo template and many Nihongo2 templates; a humdrum example is Ihei Kimura. -- Hoary (talk) 00:33, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, that's right - I forgot that nihongo2 doesn't put the ? in. If the question mark is seen as unhelpful, would Jap, Japan, or Japanese be more helpful? Though I think this has been discussed before, and I have to say that I'm against all of the options I just mentioned. We could change the nihongo template code slightly such that an editor could specify whether it's the first usage of the template and if it's not then the ? wouldn't be displayed. --Eruhildo (talk) 02:16, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
We experimented with a variety of options and ended up back with the question mark; I don't think it remains an issue. Doceirias (talk) 03:49, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
"[Changing] the nihongo template code slightly such that an editor could specify whether it's the first usage of the template and if it's not then the ? wouldn't be displayed" sounds like a terrible waste of bytes. Why not just use nihongo (or nihongo3) once in the article and thereafter use nihongo2? -- Hoary (talk) 13:55, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Hey, I never said it was a good idea - I just through out some possibilities since some editors apparently hate the question mark. --Eruhildo (talk) 16:24, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, at least the question mark leads the user to the help page for Japanese, rather than linking unfamiliar terms like Kanji or Romaji which seems to me to be a step backward, if the "arrogance" of linking to Japanese without labeling it specifically is such an issue. Neier (talk) 10:53, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
If someone wants to update the WP:JA page (down near the bottom) with the additional nihongo templates, that would be good. Just pointing to them and listing what the differences are. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:25, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
Done, but it needs clean up. --Eruhildo (talk) 20:13, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

This is very late reply to Eruhildo. What I was (or I'm still actually) proposing is to have a nihongo template that is only used for the opening sentence of an article. It might make sense to call it "nihongo-intro" or something, but since {{nihongo is currently used predominantly in the opening sentence, I thought it made sense to repurpose the role of nihongo, and use other templates for other purposes. Bots can be used to ease this transition, if it ever happens. (Coincidentally, here are some of examples that spell our the name of the language I found via random article: Souss-Massa-Draâ, Alice's Birthday, Hyderabad State, Patha Bhavana. This should supplement my early point that the use of the question mark isn't mainstream.) I personally don't think this much of an issue (killing red links is my current priority), but since an argument can be made, so I though I would make one. -- Taku (talk) 01:35, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I think I get what you're saying now - the Alice's Birthday example was the one that really made it clear. I would agree that it's a good idea, but in all the articles I've seen that use the Nihongo template like that, there has always been plenty of stuff in the infobox and the lead saying that the article is about something Japanese. Though I would say having and using such an intro template wouldn't hurt anything. I think it would be a very bad idea to repurpose the Nihongo template as, in the articles I usually work on, that template is used throughout the page - sometimes quite frequently - as well as in the lead. --Eruhildo (talk) 02:37, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, the examples you found all look pretty good. I wouldn't mind seeing an alternate to the Nihongo template in that style for the opening sentence of an article. Doceirias (talk) 03:27, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, but then the Nihongo template becomes unnecessary. I'm hard pressed to come up with any reason for inflicting a second or further link to Help:Japanese within any article. Indeed, perhaps Nihongo (and Nihongo3) could become deprecated for most purposes -- although not, please, with an irritating template to that effect -- and largely phased out, to be replaced by a recommended single instance of new NihongoAllsingingalldancing and multiple instances of Nihongo2. -- Hoary (talk) 03:54, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be easier if we simply rewrote Nihongo to remove the question mark and the link, and created a new Nihongolead to replace the first instance of the Nihongo template within an article. Then again, it might be easier to just leave Nihongo well enough alone - after all, there are articles (Taste) that use it only in the body of the article. Seems like going through and changing all the thousands of instances of the Nihongo template while also making sure that Nihongolead was present in the lead would be a whole lot of unnecessary work when the question mark is hardly hurting anyone. Doceirias (talk) 04:28, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I was going to say the same thing, but you beat me to it. ^_^ --Eruhildo (talk) 17:13, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Katakana romanization clarification

The section in Body Text clause 2 makes no mention of how to transcribe a name like シドウ from Death Note. Since there is no ー, are we to spell it Shidou instead of Shidō, following the Other Languages section? Doceirias (talk) 00:04, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, I thought that was covered. It should be Shidō. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:45, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
I changed rule 1 to indicate it covers katakana as well as hiragana and kanji. That should fix the problem. --Eruhildo (talk) 02:06, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
That's what I thought, thanks. Doceirias (talk) 03:50, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
But there's no reason to believe the name "シドウ" is Japanese, is it? Why should the "ウ" be considered a mark of a long sound, here?
I'm asking this because of this discussion here. "ボール" and "ボウル" don't stand for the same sound, right? Would you write them off as long "bo" sounds in both cases? "Bō" in kana? 88.161.129.43 (talk) 04:58, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Probably. Hepburn is stupid that way. Doceirias (talk) 05:10, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
So "ボウ" would be considered a "long sound," even in a word/name that's neither Japanese nor Chinese? Isn't that what "ボー" is for? I mean... There is a rationale behind the use of "ボウ" over "ボー" for the English word "bow," right? 88.161.129.43 (talk) 05:23, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
"ボウ" and "ボー" are pronounced the same way in Japanese. When katakana-izing foreign words (or any word, for that matter), it's generally just a matter of preference. In your example, "ソウル" could have just as easily been katakana-ized as "ソール". This page seems to indicate that it can be written both ways and be correct. But that's neither here nor there. The modified Hepburn romanization used on Wikipedia indicates that both "ソウル" and "ソール" are written in rōmaji as "sōru". ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 10:14, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
When katakana-izing foreign words (or any word, for that matter), it's generally just a matter of preference. In your example, "ソウル" could have just as easily been katakana-ized as "ソール". This page seems to indicate that it can be written both ways and be correct.
Well, that's the first time I've seen that word spelled as "ソール"! ^^;
But yeah, I do realize the "katakana-izing" process isn't an exact science... The matter, here, would be how to romanize the katakana spellings of words that are neither Japanese not Chinese...
It seems to me that you're using "rules" that are inherent to Japanese language ("ou" -> long "o" sound, "uu" -> long "u" sound, "ei" -> long "e" sound) in a context where they shouldn't apply. And you seem to be arguing that the actual pronunciation is all that matters (same pronunciation -> same Hepburn romanization), but even the manual of style acknowledges practical differences depending on the context:
All other long vowels are written without macrons: ああ → aa, いい → ii, and ええ → ee.
versus
For transliterations from katakana, use the English spelling if available (i.e., Thunderbird (サンダーバード Sandābādo) instead of Sandābādo).
That's two different ways of writing the same long "a" sound in romaji: with or without macrons. So things don't seem that clear-cut to me. 88.161.129.43 (talk) 15:18, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Basically, we agree the rules are flawed, but these are the current Hepburn conventions, and the whole point of adopting a clear cut system is to avoid arguments in borderline situations like Shidō. Since Shidō is not obviously some non-Japanese word, we treat it as Japanese for the sake of simplicity and consistency. Doceirias (talk) 16:18, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
I see. But what about words that are obviously non-Japanese, then? ^^; 88.161.129.43 (talk) 16:39, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Then the only katakana version is the transcription inside the nihongo template, and we use the official English spellings or the best known English spelling for the names. WP:MOS-AM may actually go into more detail on that naming convention. Doceirias (talk) 16:45, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Er... Sorry if I didn't make myself clear. I was still talking about the Hepburn romanization. 88.161.129.43 (talk) 20:14, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Hiragana do not get macrons for a, i, or e; katakana does. Doceirias (talk) 20:20, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Except when katakana are used for Japanese name/words, right? I mean... It's not really a matter of hiragana or katakana. It really depends on the origin of the words/names. 88.161.129.43 (talk) 06:56, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
This is a bit off topic, but I have no idea where people get this idea that えい is pronounced the same as ええ. They are quite obviously completely different. I would never suggest romanizing えい as ē. -Amake (talk) 20:23, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Neither would I. Doceirias (talk) 20:30, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
And neither would I. "えい" -> "ei". 88.161.129.43 (talk) 22:16, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree. I'm not sure where 88.161 got that idea from, but nothing in the MOS-JA says anything about doing that. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:24, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Er... I never said anything about romanizing "えい" as "ē". 88.161.129.43 (talk) 06:53, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
You said "'ei' -> long 'e' sound", which is what I'm disagreeing with, regardless of how you'd like to romanize it. "ei" is not a long "e" sound. -Amake (talk) 12:13, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
You might want to edit that, then... 88.161.129.43 (talk) 13:26, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I didn't think you would actually do it. ^^;
Look, I see where you're coming from, some people do pronounce the "i" in "ei"... But "ei" is generally considered a long "e" sound. I'm surprised that some people around these parts question that... 88.161.129.43 (talk) 13:20, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
"'ei' is generally considered a long 'e' sound"... Please cite. I am fluent in Japanese and have never seen any authoritative source make this claim. -Amake (talk) 10:05, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

[cough] While I am a historical linguist, I do have a general background in modern linguistics as well. /ei/ being rendered as [eː] is a very well known phenomenon. It is particularly characteristic in the Tōkyō dialect. However, since "standard Japanese" is based on the Tōkyō dialect, it is also taught throughout much of Japan. As for citations, I would imagine it can be found in just about any decent book on Japanese phonology. Here is one common enough one: "Other characteristics of Tōkyō pronunciation include (1) [...snip...] (2) the change of ei to ee, e.g. eiga → eega 'movie', sensei → sensee 'teacher', and [...snip...]." (The languages of Japan, Masayoshi Shibatani, page 161) Regardless, though, spelling and pronunciation are different issues. Unless there are special circumstances (such as discussing phonology), there is nothing wrong with romanizing Japanese /ei/ as "ei". That is just the way romanization works. Bendono (talk) 11:04, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Hyphens in standardized prefixes and suffixes

Whether there's an expressly spelled-out rule for it somewhere or not, I'm not sure, but there seem to be a number of prefixes and suffixes that we quite standardly use hyphens with. The "-ji" (寺) in temple names Nanzen-ji and Tōdai-ji, for example. I've done a number of articles on kabuki/bunraku theatres myself, and have always put a hyphen before "za" (座) as in Kabuki-za, Morita-za, Takemoto-za. But now I have a problem - there are two theatres called 新歌舞伎座 (one in Osaka, and one which no longer exists in Tokyo).

Do we have a standard form for what to do with "Shin"? To write "Shin-Kabuki-za" with all those hyphens looks bad to me, but "Shinkabuki-za" doesn't look right, as "Shin" is really a modifier, a prefix, and I think it'd be easier for the average English-speaking reader to see the Kabuki in the word if it were separated. So... Should we go with "Shin Kabuki-za"? Thanks. LordAmeth (talk) 10:56, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

We have standardized the form for temples and written it in the Manual of Style, but I don't think we have standardized others. I would have hyphenated "-za" as you did. "Chicago" advises using hyphens only sparingly for Japanese, and "Shin Kabuki-za" sounds about right on hyphen count (but if someone has a better suggestion let's hear it). In this specific case, there's ambiguity depending on what shin ("new") modifies: is it a za specifically for shin kabuki (a genre), or is it a shin za for kabuki? Especially if it's the latter, I'd put a space and write "Shin Kabuki-za." Fg2 (talk) 12:28, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Good point. I hadn't even thought about the possibility of it being a theatre for some "New Kabuki". I don't know much about the Tokyo one - just making a link to it right now, not a full article - so it may very well have been established with that thinking in mind. Still, I think the latter (a New Theatre of kabuki) is far more likely; that's certainly the case for the Osaka one, might be that for the Tokyo one too. Thanks for the support/suggestion. LordAmeth (talk) 16:23, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Subtitles, nami, tildes

First, English. Style guides agree that a book's title page is the one with the most authoritative version of the title. On the title page, whether the designer cares to write

Title — Subtitle

TITLE
Subtitle

t - i - t - l - e
Subtitle

TITLE
Subtitle

or whatever, en:WP simply writes Title: Subtitle. It's the no-nonsense standard.

Secondly, Japanese. There's no one standard; there are instead several. One is to separate title and subtitle with a space. Another is to separate title and subtitle with a space, and also to surround the subtitle with 〜 (swung dash, nami).

Now consider this title in en:WP: Best ~first things~. The ja:WP version is BEST〜first things〜; so the English-language editor has solemnly rendered swung dashes as ASCII tildes (perhaps thinking that these are of some deep Oriental significance?).

en:WP uses "up" style for titles; I mean, an article is titled The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language and not The Cambridge grammar of the English language. (Incidentally, the title page of that mighty book reads "The Cambridge / Grammar / of the English / Language" and the front cover reads "THE CAMBRIDGE / GRAMMAR / OF THE / ENGLISH / LANGUAGE", where the slash represents a line break. Sane linguists and librarians rightly ignore such trivia.) That being so, I'd have thought that an artefact packaged and marketed as "BEST〜first things〜" would, in en:WP, be written up as "Best: First Things".

Of course, the title of a single album by this renowned "nail queen" and "jeanist" is of no importance, but goofy tildes seem endemic in en:WP articles about Japanese popsters; this serves to amuse me, but might actually mislead readers unacquainted with Japanese typographic customs. Comments? -- Hoary (talk) 07:16, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

We discussed this, among other topics, a couple of years ago. The discussion is at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles)/misc9#Capitalization of roman-letter names, etc., generated in Japan. Near the end of that discussion, a user made the following suggestion: "consider using the "~title~" convention on the second language to separate them." Does this sound familiar or relevant? Fg2 (talk) 07:42, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Well done! Your memory is better than mine. (Funny, as I was assiduously copying what was written on a humdrum title page, I did have a feeling of déja écrit.)
Everyone who spoke up seemed to agree (or anyway nobody disagreed) with a rule by which what's printed as "BEST [punctuation1] first things [punctuation2]" would become "Best [punctuation1] First Things [punctuation2]".
Okay so far. Now for the punctuation. Mike Selinker wrote here (and more weakly here): Definitely respect the distinction between multiple languages in an article title by using the "~title~" convention when necessary. To me, this makes little sense, but neither I nor anybody else asked him at the time.
For the sake of simplicity, let's not get into all the permutations of possible titles, but instead consider those originally presented as
  1. タイトル〜サブタイトル〜
  2. タイトル〜subtitle〜
  3. Title〜サブタイトル〜
  4. Title〜subtitle〜
I'd render any one of these in roman letters, with a colon and space separating its title and subtitle. If the title included any kana, kanji, or other more or less Sino-Japanese exoticism, I'd do the same but also add the original title and subtitle within whichever was more appropriate of the NihongoX set of templates. Whether we should or shouldn't use nami inside NihongoX template is, I think, a minor matter. So no nami (other perhaps than within a NihongoZ template), and no standalone tilde anywhere (unless of course somebody cares to name her album/song after something in a Unix directory tree). ~hoary 08:19, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Huh. Looking back on my comments, I guess I'd say that I was trying to preserve the separation of the Japanese and English text in a title (the English text always getting standard capitalization). But why I thought the tilde convention was a good idea is beyond me. Parentheses would work just fine. Or in the case of Kumi Koda's similarly named albums Best ~First Things~, Best ~Second Session~ and Best ~Bounce & Lovers~, they'd probably be better off as Best: First Things, Best: Second Session, and Best: Bounce & Lovers.--Mike Selinker (talk) 09:58, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the comment, Mike.

I'm quite happy to use "down style" for non-English titles for my own, WP-unrelated purposes, but here in en:WP the ramifications would be too complex, with arguments over whether an apparently half-English title was half English or was a Japanese title that just happened to be in roman script, etc etc. I'm no great fan of "up style", but I think that sticking to it would be simpler.

Capitalization aside, can we agree to zap the rather bogus exoticism of a pair of tildes in favor of a colon or a pair of parentheses? -- Hoary (talk) 10:23, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

I can see keeping the tildes in the Japanese version of the title (assuming the title was not original in romanji, in which case, no sense using a nihongo template for no other reason than to show off an exotic bit of typography) inside the template, but not in the article title or in the English version. Colon and parentheses both seem to work. Doceirias (talk) 18:30, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

So how about the following as very tentative first draft:

Japanese books, CDs, etc. may be packaged or commonly referred to in Japanese with spaces and/or dashes (straight or wavy) setting off their subtitles — possibilities include but are not limited to

  • 写真 昭和五十年史
  • 写真 –昭和五十年史–
  • 写真 〜昭和五十年史〜
  • 写真〜昭和五十年史〜
  • 写真 ● 昭和五十年史

— and it is permissible (although not necessary) to reflect the typographic choice within the Japanese-script part of the appropriate Nihongo/Nihongo2/Nihongo3. However, a book should generally be referred to with a colon separating title and subtitle; a CD, movie, etc., either with a colon or with parentheses.

Therefore any one of the following

  • In his book ''Shashin: Shōwa gojūnenshi'' ({{Nihongo2|写真 ● 昭和五十年史}}), Ina writes...
  • In his book ''Shashin: Shōwa gojūnenshi'' ({{Nihongo2|写真 昭和五十年史}}), Ina writes...
  • In his book ''Shashin: Shōwa gojūnenshi'' ({{Nihongo2|写真:昭和五十年史}}), Ina writes...

(in the first of which the Japanese is more or less as printed) is permissible, but Shashin ● Shōwa gojūnenshi is not.

Or again either of the following

  • In her album ''Best: First things'' ({{Nihongo2|BEST〜first things〜}}), Koda presents...
  • In her album ''Best (First things)'' ({{Nihongo2|BEST〜first things〜}}), Koda presents...

is permissible, but (within the main text, or as the article title) Best〜First things〜 or Best ~First things~ or similar are not.

I have to say that I don't like this. It's grotesquely long and it still seems inadequate. Improvements welcome.

Incidentally, I've misused the en-dash in the second item of my first list above. What I want to illustrate is not the en-dash (or em-dash) and neither is it the 長音 "dash"; it's something else and I always forget both what it's called and how to produce it. (And no, Japanese typographic symbols does not help here.) -- Hoary (talk) 05:34, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with the last section; there is no excuse for using a nihongo template when the title is not in Japanese. In that instance, discard the unusual punctuation entirely. Doceirias (talk) 18:50, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
What do you make of a product made by Japanese-speaking Japanese people in Japan for Japanese-speaking Japanese people in Japan that, we are fairly reliably informed, is labeled 「BEST 〜BOUNCE & LOVERS〜」? I'm not sure myself, and I don't worry that much about it, but it looks Japanese to me. And you get other examples where something indisputably in Sino-Japanese script is tossed in with the rōmaji: 「KAMEN feat.石井竜也」. -- Hoary (talk) 22:00, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

So how about the second attempt below. -- Hoary (talk) 06:44, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Japanese books, CDs, etc. may have their titles inscribed, or be packaged or advertised, with conventions that are not used in English or with special typographic effects; and, if part or all of the title is in roman letters, capitalization may be not be in accordance with English standards.

Within independent writing in Japanese about these products, it is not unusual for many of these idiosyncrasies to be preserved; and thus Japanese-language Wikipedia has articles titled:

Within English-language Wikipedia, however, capitalization should be conventional ("BEST" only so written if pronounced "bee ee ess tee"), and dashes, nakaguro and the like should be cut. Thus the following would be suitable renderings:

  • Kamen featuring Ishii Tatsuya [or] Kamen (featuring Ishii Tatsuya) [or] Kamen (song)
  • Best: First Things [or] Best (First Things)
  • Maze (song)
Whether with dashes or with tildes, do not ape the Japanese practice of putting dashes around subtitles.
Works for me, although I don't know what nakaguro are. I'm assuming the m・a・z・e thing? Probably better to use English. Doceirias (talk) 06:50, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
You guess right. The term nakaguro can be glossed. And the bit about capitalization could and perhaps should instead refer the reader to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters). -- Hoary (talk) 07:50, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
There are also things like L×I×V×E (a television series). I guess "and the like" is broad enough to cover even that. Fg2 (talk) 08:11, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not convinced we should remove "nakaguro and the like". We don't appear to do so for English-language uses.  –Aponar Kestrel (talk) 03:39, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Let's kiosk! Sorry, I mean, let's sandboxing. Feel free to edit to taste what's in the green box that follows (it's no longer "mine"). -- Hoary (talk) 09:09, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Readers who encounter WP:ALBUMCAPS might wonder what that style guide means when it says "In titles of songs or albums in a language other than English, the project standard is to use the capitalization utilized by that language, not the English capitalization." We might include a statement saying something like "WP:ALBUMCAPS delegates decisions on capitalization of album titles to the projects on individual languages. This section presents the Wikipedia convention for writing names of Japanese albums and other works." It could go at the beginning, leading into the paragraph "Japanese books, CDs, etc. may have their titles inscribed ... ." Other readers who have not seen ALBUMCAPS might click the link and discover that Wikipedia also adjusts capitalization of titles in English, so it's not just Japanese that's being standardized. We can also build support for this by referring to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters)#All caps #2, "Reduce track titles on albums where all or most tracks are in all capitals to title case." Fg2 (talk) 01:57, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

===Titles of books, CDs, movies, etc.===

WP:ALBUMCAPS delegates decisions on capitalization of album titles to the projects on individual languages. This section presents the Wikipedia convention for writing the titles of Japanese albums and other works.

Japanese books, CDs, etc. may have their titles inscribed, or be packaged or advertised, with conventions that are not used in English or with special typographic effects. And, if part or all of the title is in roman letters, capitalization may be not be in accordance with English standards.

Within independent writing in Japanese about these products, it is not unusual for many of these idiosyncrasies to be preserved; and thus Japanese-language Wikipedia has articles titled:

Within English-language Wikipedia, however, capitalization should be conventional (see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters), e.g. "BEST" only so written if pronounced "bee ee ess tee"), and dashes, nakaguro (dots) and the like should be cut. Thus the following would be suitable:

  • Kamen featuring Ishii Tatsuya [or] Kamen (featuring Ishii Tatsuya) [or] Kamen (song)
  • Best: First Things [or] Best (First Things)
  • Maze (song)
  • Live (television series)
Whether with dashes or with tildes, do not ape the Japanese practice of putting straight or wavy dashes around subtitles.

Detailed description of revised Hepburn?

Just a few questions...

a) Are we supposed to be using ANSI Z39.11-1972, here? If so, does anybody know where I could find the entire text? I only found this.

b) While I'm at it, if we're using ANSI Z39.11-1972, why does the manual state that long "a" are to be written as "aa" instead of "ā"?

c) And how does one make sense of this:

1) For transliterations from kanji and kana [...]

versus

2) For transliterations from katakana [...]

Katakana are kana, right? Shouldn't we separate Japanese words (be they in kanji, hiragana or katakana) from non-Japanese words (in katakana? then again, I guess they're sometimes written in hiragana just for fun) instead? 88.161.129.43 (talk) 18:39, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Er... Anyone? I mean... There is a reason the manual of style states that long "a" are to be written as "aa," right? 88.161.129.43 (talk) 16:30, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm no linguist, so I cannot say precisely why we only use macrons for おう、おお、and うう, but it does seem pretty standard to me to spell out "ei", "ii", "aa" and the like, not using macrons. As for the separation between Japanese words in kanji and kana (be it hiragana or katakana) and non-Japanese words in katakana (or sometimes hiragana), I think you've got it exactly right. It's phrased a little differently in the WP:MOS-JA, but the idea is precisely the same.
As for ANSI Z39.11-1972, what is that? I have never heard of such a thing. Looks like a legal citation. LordAmeth (talk) 17:43, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I've been looking for an exact definition of the revised Hepburn, seeing as that's apparently what we're supposed to be using here, and ANSI Z39.11-1972 (American National Standard System for the Romanization of Japanese) appears (?) to be it.
But ANSI Z39.11-1972 apparently favors macrons for long "a" sounds, so I was wondering why the manual of style doesn't. Didn't ANSI Z39.11-1972 define the revised Hepburn? If not, what did? I'm a bit surprised that there doesn't appear to be any good reference to be found in the relevant Wikipedia articles... Or maybe I didn't look in the right places?
As for the separation between Japanese words in kanji and kana (be it hiragana or katakana) and non-Japanese words in katakana (or sometimes hiragana), I think you've got it exactly right. It's phrased a little differently in the WP:MOS-JA, but the idea is precisely the same.
But isn't the wording somewhat awkward, in the manual of style? 88.161.129.43 (talk) 22:23, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
This has also come up before, a long time ago. (I don't remember why that text-block never made it in.) If there is a reason, it's probably because that the vast majority of words with aa shouldn't actually have ā -- typically you see it in words like 空揚げ karaage or 雨足 amaashi, where it really is two separate as. The only word I know that has a true long a is okāsan, which probably should have a macron. I think in texts that use macrons, it usually has one, but that's distant memory talking, not actual book-checking. (Also by the same logic, oneesan should be onēsan, but I don't think I've seen that one as often.)
Your other point about distinguishing by Japanese words/non-Japanese words rather than kana type stands alone, though, and I agree unconditionally.  –Aponar Kestrel (talk) 03:27, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

"ドウモイ becomes 'doumoi'..."

I think this policy should be changed. My reasoning is that ou is very often used to represent ō in circumstances where the latter is impossible or troublesome, but it really doesn't look attractive, especially in formal sources like an encyclopedia. When the o and u are separate, I think it should be Wikipedia policy to write them with a hyphen to distinguish it from the informal spelling of ō. I initially thought (before checking the Japanese article) that Toyouke-Ōmikami was just a messy article with inconsistent romanization. Any thoughts? elvenscout742 (talk) 20:46, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Not sure about this. Doesn't the doumoi example refer only to Ainu, not to Japanese? Fg2 (talk) 22:11, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes. This is one of several exceptions made specifically for Ainu romanization. As they use katakana (or variants of it), we had to cover it in MOS-JA. This is the accepted romanization. Also, hyphens should not ever be used as you describe, ElvenScout742. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:24, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Duplicate discussion

A discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Excess non Latin script usage duplicates discussions we've had here. The discussion mentions Chinese, Japanese and Russian (Cyrillic) script. I've included a reference to the relevant section of MoS-JA together with a summary of it. Anyone with an interest in the topic is welcome there. Fg2 (talk) 05:33, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

The style about writing modern Japanese name

This page says that we have to write modern Japanese names as "given name - family name," but I would like to change this rule so that we can write Japanese names in the original style of "family name - given name," just like Wikipedia's style of writing historical Japanese names. The origin of this style is that around the Meiji period, Japanese people in those days wrote japanese name in the Western style so that it was easy for western people to recognize which part of a name of Japanese is family or given name. It may be because Japanese culture has a custom to match ourselves to the other. However, recently in Japan more and more people have come to say that Japanese names should be written as the same as Japanese style. The reason is that there is no need to change our own culture's style according to other cultures' style. For example, the styles of writing names of Chinese or Korean, which names are also written as "family name- given name," are as the same as thier own style in Wikipedia (Hu Jintao, Lee Myung-bak, and so on). I think Japanese names also should be written in the original style of Japanese.--Lachsha (talk) 09:51, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Hello Lachsha, and thank you for your opinion. Like you, I prefer the Japanese name order, and when we debated this topic a few years ago, I argued strongly in favor of using the same name order as in Japan. However, many people were against it, and they had good reasons for what they supported. You can read what they said in the archives of this talk page. Maybe the Wikipedia community feels differently now, and I will be interested to read what others write. But I have found that the compromise works well. The compromise is to use Japanese name order for historical people and Western for modern people. This compromise has had many good results. For example, we changed Nobunaga Oda to Oda Nobunaga, and Shingen Takeda to Takeda Shingen. So I'd be happy if we keep the rule we have. Best regards, Fg2 (talk) 10:32, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
The western name order was more than "Japanese people", it is official policy of Monbusho, (or whatever it was called then and now (MEXT?)). It's only recently that the policy has been relaxed but it is still recommended. Wikipedia's role is not social change but to document things that exist(ed). I write my name in katakana as familyname givenname, and it's officially registered that way. Brettr (talk) 12:31, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I thought it interesting to note, as I was watching the Olympics on NBC this year, that Japanese and Korean athletes were referred to by Western name order (e.g. Kosuke Kitajima) while Chinese athletes were still referred to by traditional (surname-givenname) order (e.g. Jiang Yuyuan). I was particularly surprised about the Korean case, as I thought Koreans tended to still be referred to in traditional name order.
PS I do believe the Monbushô is now called the Monkashô. LordAmeth (talk) 12:36, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Just to throw my own penny's worth of thoughts in the ring: I totally agree with Lachsha. The present compromise system is unwieldy and confusing to non-Japanese. The Japanese always refer to themselves in the Japanese language by surname-givename. To do otherwise is inconceivable. The Japanese sometimes refer to themselves in the Western name order, thinking that this is more convenient/understandable for westerners, but not always. The Monbusho is hardly the final arbiter in terms of usage (after all, it gave us the idiotic Kunrei-shiki romanization system). In WP:MOS for other Asian languages, name order for Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, etc is always given in surname-givenname ordering. Why did we end up with an exception only for Japanese people born after the arbitrary date of 1867? All Japanese names should be written in the proper Japanese order. With Wikipedia's capability of cross-linking, there is no reason why “Koizumi Junichirō” cannot be listed in its correct format as “Koizumi Junichirō”, with “Junichirō Koizumi” linking to it instead of the other way around.--MChew (talk) 14:13, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I would agree with you, MChew, as you make all valid points. However, it remains quite common in English language sources (everything from newspapers and magazines to names listed on book covers, DVD covers, film credits) to refer to people by Western name order. The average person with no particular expertise or background in Japanese culture/language would both use, and recognize, names such as Akira Kurosawa, Junichiro Koizumi, Hideki Matsui and Hayao Miyazaki, assuming they know the names at all, over the Japanese order. And that's why this bizarre name-order rule was born. Since we go by standard usage in English, and not by what the Japanese themselves call it, we are stuck making these sorts of compromises. LordAmeth (talk) 02:50, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
MChew, I don't really like the way you've approached this especially your assertion "The Japanese sometimes refer to themselves in the Western name order...". Your points are more than opinion; they are prescriptive and based on inaccuracies.
Firstly whether you like it or not, Monbusho (MEXT etc) is in fact the "the final arbiter" of the Japanese language, you should review the various reforms such as the Meiji era (Can you read 万葉仮名 and 変体仮名? I can't) and if you don't understand the rationale for kunreishiki then Japanese isn't your mother language as you claim. Japanese is only an Asian language in terms of geography, it bears no relationship to "other Asian languages" except Korean. It bears superficial similarities to Chinese because of borrowed words and character, but the same is true with European languages having borrowed Roman characters and European words.
Before you tell Mr Koizumi how to write his own name check his own words
Sorry if the above sounds rude but you need to learn to moderate your own language. Brettr (talk) 15:47, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Speaking of moderating language, your comments come across to my ears as more of a personal attack rather than stating anything constructive pro- or against- what I have written. Everyone is not only entitled to their opinion, but is also entitled to be opinionated. Nevertheless, I stand behind what I have stated. Mr Koizumi may choose to write his name in western ordering for western audiences for whatever reasons he so chooses, but this does not change the fact that he will never use western name ordering when speaking and writing in the Japanese language, and no Japanese person would ever refer to Mr Koizumi by givenname-family name ordering when speaking or writing in Japanese. It is not relevant whether or not Japanese is related to "other Asian languages". My point is that in Wikipedia, for most other languages where the family name-givenname ordering is used (which includes certain Asian langauges for example), Wikipedia preserves this format. However, for Japanese persons, MOS-JA chooses to ignore the Japanese format and to impose the western ordering system after an arbirary cutoff date of 1867. This is not consistent. Yes, this is English language Wikipedia, and as LordAmeth states, more westerners commonly know Akira Kurosawa rather than Kurosawa Akira. But my other point is that with redirects, it would be simple enough to redirect Akira Kurosawa to Kurosawa Akira rather than the other way around (as it is at present), and thus keep the Japanese format consistent without an arbitrary 1867 cutoff. I really hesitate to state anything more about the Mombusho, since this apparantly has struck a sensitive nerve. However, MOS-JA is based on modified Hepburn rather than kunreishiki for a good reason. Although promoted for years by the Mombusho as a more scientific and accurate approach (yes, I know about the Meiji period language reforms, and can read both pre- and post-Meiji writings as well, thank you), the kunreishiki transliteration system had not achieved much popular acceptance, and Mombusho insistence on the "technical superiority" of the kunreishiki system is still a matter of debate. Which is one reason why we have Mount Fuji and not Mount Huzi. But is not relevant to the main topic, other than to re-state my own personal objection to any argument that states "because the Mombusho says so, it must be so." --MChew (talk) 17:22, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

That was not a personal attack and it's ridiculous to say so. I specifically refuted your points. Take it to arbitration if you think so.

Wikipedia is not a forum for opinions. It is an encyclopaedia. Discussion of policy has to be backed up with facts, not opinions. Decorate your user page with your favourite flavour of ice cream but stick to facts here please. Furthermore Wikipedia is not tool of social change (there is in fact a policy on that somewhere too), we reflect current practice.

Of course Mr Koizumi does write familyname givenname when using Japanese. He also uses givename familyname when using English, and by the way when he signs his name. You can't just present one side of a situation. You have given no reason why this should change other than you don't like it, ie your own opinion. The last three prime ministers seem to disagree with you, although you may score with the next.

You then go on about inconsistencies and claiming ignorance about how such a policy could arise when you have completely ignoring the explicit policy of the Japanese Education Ministry. The only raw nerve is you dismissing it as irrelevant and using the term idiotic.

Apart from the incredible impracticality of changing wikipedia to suit your personal opinion, it is clearly pointed out at the very beginning of every article the Japanese order of the person's name.

At least you moderated "idiotic" to " technical superiority... is still a matter of debate." Hopefully you do really do understand the pros and cons of kunreishiki better than you suggest.

"because the Mombusho says so, it must be so." Straw man, no one said that.Brettr (talk) 18:38, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

ps My friend's name is Mizumi, what is that in kana? Brettr (talk) 18:41, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Either みずみ or みづみ, depending on the kanji. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:21, 5 September 2008 (UTC)


Woah! Calm down! At the risk of being repetitive-

    • Fact: In the modern Japanese language, names are always given family name-given name. I can think of no exception.
    • Fact: When stating their name to westerners, many Japanese often use the western order of given name-family name. But not always. As anyone who has lived or worked in Japan soon realizes, there is little consistancy. Yes, English language newspapers, magazines do tend to favor the western ordering, but this is not always the case with all publications, nor with common daily usage. Some people, such as user Lachsha who started this whole debate, have their own person preference. Namecards, business contracts, private publications, sometimes movie credits, etc can go one way or the other. The Japanese government has neither the authority or the capacity to enforce a fixed common policy, as witnessed by recent debates regarding the proliferation of gairaigo pseudo-foreign words into everyday Japanese.
    • Fact: In other languages when family name-given name is the native norm, Wikipedia attempts to preserve this native format, as it does for Japanese born before 1868.
    • Fact: The 1868 division was decided through debate by Wikipedia editors based largely on opinion (i.e. consensus) at the time on most common English usage, and not explicitly in reference to Japanese government regulations/recommendations.

As Japanese people born after 1868 continue to use familyname-given name in Japanese to this day, my objection to the western ordering is by no means a desire to use Wikipedia as a "tool for a social change"; if anything, it is just the opposite. Nor is this simply a matter of my own personal opinion. Yes, of course there are many strong arguments towards maintaining the existing compromise system on WP:MOS-JA as stated by LordAmeth and many others, including yourself. But there are always two sides to the argument.--MChew (talk) 01:36, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Regarding your last "fact": the 1868 dividing line was not decided upon due to opinion, but because that is the dividing line most commonly used by the majority of English language academia (and especially non-academia such as news) when deciding which order to use for names (except for those who don't change the order when transliterating, which is still a minority). Among all the many people who discussed this issue, this particular point was almost unanimously agreed upon (even if some of us didn't agree with changing the name order). Perhaps this will change at some point in the future, but until the majority of academia is not changing the name order, then Wikipedia won't be doing it, either. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 08:59, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

What a delightful can of worms! Lachsa, I almost completely agree with you. ¶ Brettr (and my Lord Ameth), Monbushō/Monkashō can go to hell, it has no jurisdiction over such matters within Japan, let alone outside it. Perhaps of slightly greater significance is the insistence of Gaimushō (Hōmushō?) on putting people's names back to front (and rendering them in watered-down Hepburn) on their passports. ¶ Wikipedia's role is not social change but to document things that exist(ed): and one of the things that exist is the surname-then-personal-name order of Japanese names (within Japanese, at least). ¶ The Japanese always refer to themselves in the Japanese language by surname-givename. With kind-of-exceptions such as Sanpuraza Nakano and Danpu, um, whatever her surname is. ¶ [I]t remains quite common in English language sources [...] to refer to people by Western name order. It certainly does. More to the point, many Japanese people are well aware of the possibility in western-language contexts of referring to themselves in the normal way (surname first), yet choose to put their names back to front. And the names are after all their names. For me, this does raise a hurdle, especially when I consider how hard it would be to draw a line between, say, the internationally known "Araki Nobuyoshi" for whom English, etc., would be foreign languages, and the long-term US resident and presumably bilingual (and for all I know US citizen) "Hiroshi Watanabe", let alone another line between non-Japanese with Japanese names outside Japan such as "Yamasaki Minoru" and non-Japanese without Japanese names outside Japan such as David Suzuki. ¶ [Monbushō] gave us the idiotic Kunrei-shiki romanization system. What's idiotic about it? That it doesn't adopt the idiosyncrasies of English spelling? It's a lovely system. Unfortunately it fails to provide for the sounds of a lexical stratum that I believe postdated its introduction. That's very unfortunate, but hardly idiotic. ¶ Take it to arbitration if you think so. Way to go! If you're into that kind of thing. (Me, I'll sit it out elsewhere.) ¶ If I were satrap of Wikipedia, I'd take my cue from such experienced people as the editorial staff of Yale University Press, which I've noticed even in books for the general reader (e.g. catalogues accompanying a major US exhibitions of Japanese photography) is coming around to putting all names in Hepburn (ugh) complete with macrons (excellent, if you must have Hepburn) and in the proper (Japanese) order. ¶ Maybe the usually-sensible Chicago Manual of Style says something intelligent on the matter. -- Hoary (talk) 07:20, 6 September 2008 (UTC) ... reworded a very little for more clarity (I hope) Hoary (talk) 05:49, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

You must mean Danpu Matsumoto, or is that Matsumoto Danpu? Fg2 (talk) 07:27, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I thought Nagamoto, but that didn't sound right; yes, I indeed meant Danpu Matsumoto. Ah, what a lady! Yes, en:WP should have more articles on people like her, and fewer on utterly forgettable non-entities such as [flamebait redacted]. Gratuitous, irrelevant antipodean link -- Hoary (talk) 13:10, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
As an aside, I salute you for still thinking this is a delightful can of worms, despite having discussed it so many times before. Dekimasuよ! 06:51, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
AFAIK the Chicago Manual of Style recommends family name-given name. Dekimasuよ! 06:51, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

My drive-by opinion here: Common English practice takes precedent over whatever is done in other languages. So Japanese uses [family name] [given name]? Great, they can do whatever they want. But this is the English Wikipedia, and it's fairly clear that English-language media, academia, etc. all use [given name] [family name] for Japanese names (after 1868). So we should follow suit. What we do with names from other languages (Korean, Chinese, etc.) is irrelevant. -Amake (talk) 13:22, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Hoary for being able to step back and put some perspective and humor on the discussion! Just as a side comment, "Danpu Matsumoto" is a pseudonymn for Matsumoto Kaoru, and pseudonyms per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people) take precedence when considered better known/recognized than the person's actual name. And as for 日本穣' clarification - thank you also, I stand corrected. --MChew (talk) 15:02, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
But Amake, while some "English-language media, academia, etc. [...] use [given name] [family name] for Japanese names (after 1868)", not all do. The first (moderately) academic English-language book on Japan that comes to hand is Laurie Ann Freeman's Closing the Shop: Information Cartels and Japan's Mass Media (Princeton UP, 2000); this puts all Japanese names in the original order; although it leaves names in reversed order where so written as authors of articles, etc, in English. Unfortunately she or her editor has done something odd with macrons; sometimes they appear, sometimes they're zapped. Anyway, on p.115 for example: As Mori Kyozo [sic] pointed out after magazine journalists broke the scandal involving former prime minister Tanaka Kakuei... (Incidentally, issues of "style" aside, this is an excellent book.) -- Hoary (talk) 05:49, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
You say "some" English-language media... but I suspect that the word "most" is more accurate, and that's really all that matters. -Amake (talk) 10:06, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

I understand the work-in-progress aspect of Wikipedia and the opinions of the editors on both sides of the matter here, but as a practical matter, even if we can decide on a new rule for the kind of borderline cases Hoary points out above, changing the guideline would create a vast, vast amount of work. Things are more or less standardized now, but I wonder how many months (or longer?) it would take to "fix" all of our article titles, let alone instances of names in article text. I don't know if the benefits are worth the cost. Dekimasuよ! 06:51, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Capitalization of Japanese genres of performing arts

Looking at the article "Noh," we find "Dengaku, Shirabyoshi, and Gagaku" in the opening paragraph. The second paragraph adds "Kabuki and Butoh"; later we find "Kyōgen."

Should genres be capitalized? Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters)#Musical genres (which is the closest part to being relevant) says "Names of musical genres do not require capitalization at all, unless the genre name contains a proper noun such as the name of a place." These genre names are not personal or place names; is there another reason to consider them proper names? Or should we write them in lowercase? For reference, chanson, opera, oratorio and zarzuela have lowercase letters (except in the usual places like the article titles). Forms from Germany (e.g. Lied, Minnesang, Singspiel, Tagelied) begin with capitals, as do all nouns in German.

I took a look at Wikipedia:WikiProject Theatre, but didn't see a style manual. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (music) discusses capitalization of titles, but I couldn't find anything about genres.

What should we do about Japanese genre of the performing arts? Fg2 (talk) 02:11, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I think about this every time I write the word "kabuki." My general impression without looking at sources is that Noh is almost always capitalized, kabuki sometimes is, and I don't think I'm used to seeing anything else (jôruri, bunraku, etc) regularly capitalized. Maybe that's simply what the rule should be? Capitalize "Noh", and leave everything else lowercase.
Looking at actual sources, I find a surprising variety of forms, not only "Noh" (capitalized, not italicized), but also "noh" (not capitalized nor italicized) and "" (italicized, not capitalized). Some books use "Kabuki", some "kabuki". If people would like, I'd be happy to take the time of listing out precisely which sources of mine use which terms, but I think the key point isn't which sources (or which scholars) use which format, but rather simply the fact that there is a surprising variation. ...
Even so, I stand by my suggestion that (a) all of these terms should be uncapitalized (normal case), (b) Noh is an exception, and should be capitalized by convention (I think if we look at enough sources, we will find that the majority use this format), (c) while relatively well-known and common terms like Noh, kabuki, and bunraku might be non-italicized, other words like jôruri, shirabyôshi and gagaku should be italicized.
For me, I think the only term that's really unclear is kabuki. Should it be capitalized?
Thanks for bringing up this topic. Hopefully we will soon finally have a guideline for this. LordAmeth (talk) 14:00, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Furigana and romanization

Are furigana readings in parentheses considered part of a title, or should they be considered redundant to the romanizations we inevitably give? Take this diff as an example: is it enough that the romanization "Misairuman" is given, or should the "(ミサイルマン)" be left with the kanji as well? —tan³ tx 23:34, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

That's kind of a weird case where the kanji (卵男) is clearly being given an odd reading, so some people might see Missileman (卵男 misairuman?) and think that it's a mistake. Still, I think that furigana is redundant when we have rōmaji, so I'd leave it out. -Amake (talk) 01:10, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Review of exceptions

The following discussion is an archived debate that has ended.


I think that it is time to once more review our guidelines. While much of it is fairly standard, there are several special exceptions. In particular, I would like to discuss three of those: Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe.

What has changed that warrants a review? Apparently common usage. Both Encarta and now the Encyclopædia Britannica spell these places with macrons as expected:

Britannica:

Encarta:

[As a side note, I would like to point out that there are separate places named Osaka as well as Ōsaka.]

Academic texts have long been doing this, and apparently common resources are increasingly as well. In an attempt to build an encyclopedia of accurate and verifiable knowledge, I do not think that these exceptions are needed or even warranted any longer. Redirects may be used to ensure that people still find the right articles. Thoughts? Bendono (talk) 04:17, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

I support full macrons everywhere. Having exceptions just makes things confusing and inconsistent. -Amake (talk) 10:26, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
I do too. This will help clear up all sorts of problems, like the difference between Osaka and Ōsaka, and the combination of macronned and non-macronned forms in complex sentences or words, like "Kobe (unmacronned), the capital of Hyōgo Prefecture (macronned)", any placenames that involve macrons and are in Kyoto, Osaka, or Tokyo prefectures, like Nagaokakyō, Kyoto, despite the fact that the "kyō" in Nagaokakyō and Kyōto is the same 京. There's the "Hankyū Kyoto Main Line", "Osaka-jō Hall" and countless other examples of mixed (and therefore linguistically incorrect if not confusing) macron application.
Though, I really cannot help but think that ultimately as much as I would *love* to see everything on Wikipedia, from Kōbe and Kyōto to sumō and kendō properly macronned, and (with the exception of proper nouns) italicized as foreign words, as long as people continue to think of Tokyo, Kyoto, kendo, sumo, and even (for some reason unknown to me) daimyo as English words, any attempt to push to eliminate these exceptions goes against WP:Use English, which is I feel a more core principle and more central rule that we need to keep to. ... Otherwise, every national project will want to use their diacritics, and that's where the problem begins. LordAmeth (talk) 17:30, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
While I do agree, I intentionally tried to limit this topic to the above three words alone in an attempt to stay focused. Other exceptions can be discussed later. While we may not be able to remove all exceptions, I would think that minimizing them would be an improvement. As for WP:UE, what do other English language encyclopedias do? I believe that is clear above. If need be, we could always provide appropriate links when necessary. If changes are to be implemented, they need to begin here. Bendono (talk) 23:40, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good. As Encarta and Brittanica are actual, respected, citable sources, and "conventional wisdom" is not, and as I really don't want to play devil's advocate any longer, I stand by your side, and will support your push for these exceptions to be eliminated. LordAmeth (talk) 00:35, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Two years later, I'm willing to support this proposal. Non-specialist encyclopedias are good enough for me. Congrats. Dekimasuよ! 02:31, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
As long as redirects remain in place, I have no problem with it. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:04, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Although Bendono has cited two important sites that use the macron form, leading me to think the trend may be toward the macron form, I oppose the change because I believe the forms without macrons are still the majority forms in English.
Google searches are, of course, not comprehensive or complete, and they're biased toward recent usage and electronic communication, where the macrons are more readily available than they are in print. Despite these biases, the Google searches I did favor the forms without macrons. Both used Google's "advanced search"; I specified English in the Language box. The first search looked for pages having the word Ōsaka but not Osaka; I didn't do anything to change the other boxes and buttons. It returned 72,600 hits. The second search looked for Osaka but not Ōsaka; it returned 26,800,000 hits.
For Kobe, a similar search for the writing with the macron (but not the writing without the macron) returns 10,100 hits; the reverse gives 21,500,000. For Kyoto the numbers are 88,800 and 29,200,000.
Bendono points out that academic texts write these names with macrons. Quite true. It's also true that academic texts write them without macrons. I don't know how to use Google Books or Google Scholar to sort out how common the two forms are or whether there are trends; if someone is motivated to look into these questions, it would be interesting. And I'm open to evaluating other lines of investigation, of course.
The naming convention that provides guidance about this topic is Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English). It advises us to "Use the most commonly used English version of the name of the subject as the title of the article, as you would find it in verifiable reliable sources (for example other encyclopedias and reference works)." My Google searches didn't focus on reliable sources. To address this weakness I looked up the three names at http://www.merriam-webster.com/ (the online site of the U.S. dictionary publisher) which has entries for the forms without macrons but cannot search for them with macrons. (The site gives a "bad request" error message.) Unfortunately, I don't have easy access to the OED, online or paper. The last time I checked, I believe the entries were for the forms without macrons, although of course the citations included both forms. Information on other encyclopedias, dictionaries, and reliable sources generally will be welcome.
Another piece of advice in the naming conventions page says, "Do not use a systematically transliterated name if there is a common English form of the name; thus, use Tchaikovsky or Chiang Kai-shek even though those are unsystematic." I interpret this as favoring the forms without macrons.
Bendono also points out the places whose names should not contain macrons. The disambiguation page lists these, and distinguishes them clearly. I don't think we have to worry about readers who are searching for them; we serve them adequately.
Wikipedia also serves people who need to know the Japanese writings and pronunciations of these locations. The English Wikipedia provides kanji and romaji with the macrons in the opening sentence, and the articles link to the Japanese Wikipedia, where readers can also see the hiragana. The role of the article titles and running text is to reflect English usage. The forms without macrons do that; the forms with macrons do not reflect current practice.
In summary, I advocate continuing to write "Osaka," "Kobe" and "Kyoto" (including Osaka and Kyoto Prefectures) without macrons as English practice. Fg2 (talk) 01:52, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm leaning towards support for the amendments. My opinion is that until recently, the established rarity of macrons in romanized words in the "real world" (ie, not-wikipedia) is due more to authors/publishers/etc technical limitations or just laziness; and, not necessarily a statement about the way they think the word should be spelled. Most likely is that they don't know that there is a difference. Because of that, we shouldn't directly compare macron/macronless google hits. When deciding upon the city names for the exceptions, I think we used ghits in part to find a ratio where macronned names were used in a "relatively" common manner; but, there were no cases where macrons outnumbered macronless searches.
Regarding WP's NC page, the difference between Chaykovsky/Tchaikovsky and Jiang Jieshi/Chiang Kai-shek is much more jarring than a line over an O. We aren't changing the spelling, so much as changing the markup. In romanization of Japanese, imperfect though it may be, at least we can increase the accuracy of WP without confusing the readers. Osaka/Ōsaka is much less confusing than Strasse/Straße in my opinion. Neier (talk) 23:21, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Neier, thanks for responding to my arguments. After several days, I'd wondered if anyone were still thinking about this. I've spoken my piece. Does anyone have any further opinions? Fg2 (talk) 00:58, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I fully support Bendono's position. Names shold be written correctly, and let redirect take care of the rest. I'm late, but better late than never.

urashimataro (talk) 04:44, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Of course I also fully support the principle that names should be written correctly, but we differ on the matter of what's correct. Regardless of my thoughts, it's pretty clear which way this is heading. Going once ... going twice ... Fg2 (talk) 07:04, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Fg2, I appreciate the comments and must apologize for the tardy response. Let me make a few comments.
First, you mentioned and generally based your arguments on WP:UE. The very first line of which says (my emphasis):

Use the most commonly used English version of the name of the subject as the title of the article, as you would find it in verifiable reliable sources (for example other encyclopedias and reference works).

This is precisely why I asked for this review. Listed above is precisely what other encyclopedias do. And I think that it is important to remember that these encyclopedia are 1) written in English and 2) for the general, non-technical public. Perhaps it's just me, but I've always thought of Britannica as a fairly conservative encyclopedia.
Google hits are not a reliable source. In absence of other reliable resources they may give a hint at a way to proceed. However, I'm fairly certain that diacritics will always loose in a Google test, regardless of the subject matter. Perhaps this is a rhetorical question, but when you did counts on Ōsaka vs. Osaka, did make sure to check which geographic Osaka or Ōsaka they were referring to? How do you distinguish between multiple "Osaka"s when they are spelled the same? Regardless, in light of several highly respected and reliable encyclopedias, I do not think that there is a need for Google hits. Let redirects take care of the rest. Bendono (talk) 08:29, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Bendono, thank you for the additional details on your position. I remain unconvinced, but my arguments haven't convinced anyone. I have no further arguments to make. It looks like there's a consensus. Should we close this? Fg2 (talk) 12:31, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
This topic has been open for three weeks now with few new responses, so in the spirit of being bold I am closing this. With the exception of one editor, there is general consensus to remove the above exceptions due to their usage in other English encyclopedias. Redirects must remain in effect. MOS:JP has been changed to reflect this. Thank you all for participating. Bendono (talk) 23:33, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Having in-article Kanji link to Wiktionary

What is everyone's opinion on linking kanji to relating articles in Wiktionary? (ex: Yasukuni Shrine) Personally, I think it is very unnecessary as most of the ((nihongo)) templates we use include the direct English translations. I only ask this question, however, because User:Badagnani has added these links in a significant number of articles containing kanji and insists upon having these links there. Furthermore, these links often direct users to pages that have not even been created yet. Has there been any previous discussion on this issue or is there a precedent that has been established for other languages? --TorsodogTalk 06:25, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

You ask me, the more the better, I think. English translations are fine for the majority of readers, who don't know any Japanese, but for those who'd be looking at the kanji at all, i.e. those at some stage in the process of learning the language, I think that being able to click on a kanji to find out what it means individually, how it's pronounced, etc, is quite helpful. As a longtime student of Japanese, I would find this particularly helpful if it were used on Chinese words and on Korean words that point to a particular Chinese character. I could just click on it and immediately find out what it means, how it's pronounced...
I'm not saying we need to make it a policy to go and wikilink all of the kanji everywhere throughout Wikipedia, but if there were a proposal to get rid of these links, I'd vote against getting rid of them. PS I don't think 靖国 (yasukuni) is a commonly used word at all, except when referring to the shrine. Perhaps we should link to 靖 and 国 separately on that particular page. LordAmeth (talk) 10:46, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
As LordAmeth pointed out, 靖国/yasukuni reading is only used with the shrine. A noun 靖国 reads as seikoku, meaning 'rule the country peacefully'. And there's no 靖国 entry in Wiktionary. Oda Mari (talk) 13:39, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think breaking up compound kanji and linking them individually should be an option. I think that might be a bit advanced for readers, and it would end up being too confusing if we simply pick and choose some compound words to individually link while others were left together. --TorsodogTalk 13:48, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I also think individually linking kanji would be very confusing. I think that linking some words would be good, but not every word that appears in kanji on Wikipedia. Perhaps this is something we could work into a switch in the nihongo templates? --Eruhildo (talk) 17:16, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Help!

Ryūlóng and I are clashing over whether Fuuma no Kojirou should be Fūma no Kojirō, or Fuuma no Kojirou. I believe it should be "Fūma no Kojirō" rather than "Fuuma no Kojirou". Ryūlóng believes it should be "Fuuma no Kojirou" because that's the title on the Official Japanese drama page. I think it should be "Fūma no Kojirō" because of these two sentences. "Japanese terms should be romanized according to most common usage in English, including unconventional romanization of titles and names by licensees (e.g., Devil Hunter Yohko and Tenjho Tenge—see below), and words used frequently in English (such as sumo or judo)." and "Article titles should use macrons as specified for body text except in cases where the macronless spelling is in common usage in English-speaking countries (e.g., Tokyo, Sumo and Shinto, instead of Tōkyō, Sumō and Shintō).", but Ryūlóng believes that any official title will work. Who agrees with me? Moocowsrule (talk) 22:57, 27 October 2008 (UTC)moocowsrule

The most popular title in English would be "Fuma no Kojiro" because of this [[1]], while "Fuuma no Kojirou should not be the official title because of this [[2]]. Moocowsrule (talk) 23:31, 27 October 2008 (UTC)moocowsrule
And even without the quotation marks, "Fuma no Kojiro" is more popular than "Fuuma no Kojirou". Moocowsrule (talk) 23:33, 27 October 2008 (UTC)moocowsrule
Google trends are not a good piece of evidence to back up your story. If the official spelling of the title is Fuuma no Kojirou, then that's the one that should be used. Not to mention that if you took this to WT:ANIME you'd get the same response due to Use the official English titles for article names and place the transliteration of the Japanese on the first line of the article..-- 23:59, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
As far as anyone can tell, that's not the "official" spelling. The only place it's used is as the URL for the site. The romanization does not appear anywhere on the site or anywhere on any official anything (other than as a URL). Therefore, there is no "official" English title. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:51, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
So we use the most popular title right? How would you find that? Moocowsrule (talk) 04:11, 28 October 2008 (UTC)moocowsrule

Defaultsort for names (and pseudonyms) of historical figures

For Matsuo Bashō I edited to {{DEFAULTSORT:Basho, Matsuo}} so that the poet's name should appear in categories under B for Basho, his pseudonym, rather than his family name, but my edit has replaced with {{DEFAULTSORT:Matsuo, Basho}}. Bashō (or Basho) is the name primarily used in academic journals and texts, and indeed the name by which the poet is generally known in literature at all levels, alongside the less-used alternative of familyname+pseudonym as in the article title. The same of course applies to Kobayashi Issa, Yosa Buson etc. etc.

I can't find anything in MOS:JP to address this issue directly, but it seems counter-intuitive to make Basho appear under M in any category. Opinions, clarification welcome. Thanks --Yumegusa (talk) 13:12, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Hi Yumegusa, and thanks for bringing this up. I made the edit to list the poet under Matsuo in categories, since we normally list under surname. However, there's no reason we have to do that, and I think we do different things for sumo wrestlers, kabuki actors and perhaps some others. This may be one of the cases we want to decide separately from the general principle of surname, given name. What do other editors think? Fg2 (talk) 22:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
There are a great many historical figures - Edo period artists in particular come to mind - who are far more well-known by their given name or art-name than their surname... I would want to see Hokusai and Harunobu under "H", not under K for Katsushika and S for Suzuki respectively. But then there comes the issue of lineages (schools of art) in which artists are more well-known by their given names, but where listing them by their surname, and thus, together, might be better. For example, even though Kuniyoshi, Kunisada, and Toyokuni are best known by those names, they are all of the Utagawa school, and it might be good to have them all listed together with one another, under "U". So, it's a bit vague.. I'm not quite sure what to do with these artists.
When it comes to Kabuki actors, however, I think that in just about every case the surname should be the sorting method. Lineages are very important in Kabuki - Ichikawa, Nakamura, Onoe, Bando, etc - and I don't think any kabuki actor is really known better by their given name; most anyone who knows who Danjuro and Tamasaburo are knows their family names. LordAmeth (talk) 02:22, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I think there could be a case made for listing by pseudonym in some cases. It would need to be limited to a name appearing in the title of the article, though, so people wouldn't be too confused. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:46, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

How much are Chōonpu's used in Hiragana?

"All other long vowels are written without macrons: ああ → aa, いい → ii, and ええ → ee. Apostrophes and hyphens are not needed to distinguish i)(i from ii." doesn't make sense to me, as usually Chōonpu's aren't used in Hiragana, so why is this statement here? Usually "Ō" is written as "おう", but not usually "おー". わwaらraうu Smile! 03:03, 19 November 2008 (UTC)moocowsrule

Sorry, meant Chōonpu, not Sokuon! わwaらraうu Smile! 03:14, 19 November 2008 (UTC)moocowsrule
I'm sorry, but your question doesn't make any sense. Please rephrase it. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:39, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with chōonpu; rather, it has to do with the way that words are constructed. おう and うう are extremely common sounds in the on-yomi of kanji - しょう、しゅう、ちゅう、こう、ちょう may be among the most common of all on readings; ああ、ええ、いい are not. So, while there is a need to distinguish, for example, Shimo|usa (下総;しも・うさ) from Shimō|sa (しもう・さ), there is no such need with something like 黄色い; き・いろ・い or 紀伊国屋; き・い・(の)・くに・や, where it is understood that there is no character that is ever read as kii| and so it must be ki|i; since it's understood, we leave it out.
This has nothing to do with macrons, either, which is why Nihonjoe rightfully says your question makes no sense. But it does attempt to address the reasons we use apostrophes or dashes where we do, and why we don't put macrons on aa, ii, or ee. I hope it helps answer your question. LordAmeth (talk) 14:33, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
What I meant was, if it was written completely in Hiragana, how would you know how to romanize something like "いい". Would it be "i-i" or "ī"? わwaらraうu Smile! 07:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Which is correct?

I had moved Kumi Koda's BUT/Aishō to But/Aishō, and as the reason for the move I listed WP:CAPS as the reason. But someone reverted it tell me to look at WP:ALBUMCAPS. Now after read the MoS, I was just wondering which one is the correct policy for deal with titles with capitalization, MOS:JAPAN or WP:ALBUMCAPS? (Moon) and (Sunrise) 00:36, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

I was having a similar dispute over at Kara no Kyōkai on some of the song titles, but eventually got tired of the other editor and left the article. There really needs to be clarification on this.-- 01:22, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Someone should act as an ambassador to WP:ALBUMS and try to come up with a solution. I personally could care less which way we use plus I'm busy, so I'm out. But I'm sure one of us cares enough about resolving this issue to actually deal with it. --Eruhildo (talk) 05:35, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Albumcaps says "the capitalization utilized by that language" -- does that mean the style guide for the language? Fg2 (talk) 07:03, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Well this is annoying. They both contradict each other. I've seen it mostly un-capitalized, and I believe Mos-JP has more power over Album-caps. It was probably some fan who wanted it to remain the way it was. Album-caps should be re-written to state that it should follow the capitalization standards of MoS-X, X being the country name, or something like that. わwaらraうu Smile! 07:29, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
WP:MOS-JA trumps the recommendations of WikiProject Albums. The "But/Aishō" formatting is correct. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:52, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Glossary sections

The topic of adding glossary sections to articles using foreign terms has been raised at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Glossary needed with articles with non-English word usage?. Although the particular article being discussed is not Japan-related, the topic of glossaries for foreign terms is. Fg2 (talk) 01:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

The latest and greatest: template for example text

A new template, {{Xt}}, has been developed for formatting example text. Its documentation suggests, "Use this template to format style examples (for example, on the Manual of Style and its subpages), especially when using quotation marks or italics could be confusing." Fg2 (talk) 07:59, 16 December 2008 (UTC)