Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Archive 14

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Cities in categories

Recently, many "People from XYZ" have sprung up, where XYZ is a city name. Since city names can be common, I think we need to standardize that these should be "People from XYZ, ABC" just like the city articles are named. Commmon usage (where Tokyo, Osaka, and other registered cities are excepted) can also be excepted here. For a (possibly incomplete) list of current offenders, see Category:People by city in Japan. I also want to execute an educational campaign of sorts, to enforce the idea that people shouldn't be listed by both the prefecture and the city, if the city cat exists; but, that is not a Japan MoS issue. Comments (on the naming proposal)? Neier 12:33, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Obviously, those category names need to be fixed. We already have a rule for cities, in WP:MOS-JA#Place names, and we should enforce it.--Endroit 19:19, 5 December 2006 (UTC)


Please note that the Place names rule itself needs to be updated, as follows:

  1. Hokkaidō needs to be fixed. Either the article gets revised and/or renamed to Hokkaidō Prefecture, or we need to change the prefectures section of the Place names rule, to make exceptions for Tokyo & Hokkaidō.
  2. We need a separate section for designated cities (Osaka, Yokohama, Nagoya, etc.). We've discussed it before. Please see my separate proposal for "Designated cities" right below.

--Endroit 19:19, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

It should be at Hokkaidō Prefecture because it is not about the main island. We should also create a stub page for the island. The argument that we would be calling it "Hokkai Prefecture Prefecture" is weak, because we already ignore the difference between -ken and -fu, and Hokkaidō is a special case. In a worst-case scenario it should still be at Hokkaidō (prefecture). Dekimasu 04:33, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Hokkaidō Prefecture, Hokkaidō region, and Hokkaido Island all redirect to Hokkaidō now. We also know that the current article name is in conflict with the Place names rule of WP:MOS-JA. If nobody objects to what Dekimasu just said, I think we should go ahead and implement his suggestions.--Endroit 18:26, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Designated cities

In the Place names rule of WP:MOS-JA, I propose to add an item for designated cites. Basically, the "designated cities" rule should specify that "all designated cities drop the prefecture name except for the ones where disambiguation is necessary". Or we can list all the cities, because the list is short.--Endroit 19:37, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I think we discussed this a couple months ago. I don't think a consensus was ever reached. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:59, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
The most recent discussion where most of the large cities lost their ", Pref". Neier 23:29, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I believe the most recent discussion indicated that designated cities with unique names do not need the prefecture name. No consensus has been reached for those with ambiguous names (Fukuoka, Chiba, Saitama, Shizuoka, Kawasaki) or those not so well-known internationally (Sakai). I think one unresolved issue is how to disambiguate -- keep the current comma style with the prefecture name, or add "(city)" after the name, or some other method. --Polaron | Talk 23:40, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I do quite a lot of work on disambiguation, so I can actually contribute to this discussion. Here's what I think is a well-informed reply:
  • While clearing up links to "Fukuoka" to point to "Fukuoka Prefecture" or "Fukuoka, Fukuoka" is a pain, it is necessary. This is particularly true because so many people link to "Fukuoka, Japan" without regard to which Fukuoka they are talking about. The same is certainly true for Saitama. I haven't personally disambiguated Chiba or Shizuoka, but I'm sure the same applies to them. When the prefecture and city names are the same, the disambiguation can't be dropped or tons of incoming links will be misdirected.
  • In the case of "Sakai", on the other hand, the vast majority (95%+) of the links are meant to point at "Sakai, Osaka". I actively maintain the page to send the links to the right place, which resulted in the comments from the previous discussion. The others are errant links for "Sakai Project". Personal names are never a problem. It could probably move to Sakai and probably would move to Sakai under the proposed rule, regardless of the fact that it isn't a very well-known city.
  • Kawasaki should clearly stay where it is because of the prominence of the company with the same name.
Dekimasu 00:39, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree completely with Dekimasu. The question is, should we leave the current dismabiguation method of attaching the prefecture name after a comma or should we use another method. My preference is to simply attach "(city)" to the name since we are disambiguating between something that is a city and something that is not. --Polaron | Talk 01:03, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I mostly agree. The only troubling aspect is that for Kawasaki and Fukuoka, towns by the same name in other prefectures exist. So while there is technically only one city with that name, people may be confused when looking for one of the other places. I don't know how big any of those other towns are; but, if they ever become a city, then the problem is compounded. Neier 01:31, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I believe that we unanimously agree on the following point already: "The designated cities Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kitakyushu, Sapporo, Sendai, and Hiroshima should be in the form <cityname> only, without the prefecture." That's a good starting point. So the question is, what do we do with the rest: Kawasaki, Sakai, Fukuoka, Chiba, Saitama, and Shizuoka?--Endroit 01:49, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Should we just leave out the 6 cities we disagree on, and mention only the 9 cities we agree on? That way, the cities we don't mention will default to <cityname, prefecturename> based on the existing rule for Place names. And we shouldn't have to discuss the existing rules for which we have no censensus on.--Endroit 02:05, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
To be honest, I don't agree with all of the current 9. My previous post was based on what I think can and can't be done in terms of disambiguation. There is no reason not to apply what I said about Fukuoka to Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. I am sure there are tons of misdirected links to Kyoto city that should be aimed at Kyoto Prefecture. Many people like to make links that read Uji, Kyoto instead of Uji, Kyoto (especially when they are writing it in three parts as Uji, Kyoto, Japan)... and where should Kyoto, Japan point? Now it points to the city, but the reasoning is flawed. As a purely stylistic choice I agree with removing the prefecture names, but it is creating problems that aren't easily fixed. Dekimasu 04:05, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
For example, New York, United States redirects to the article New York, about the state rather than the city. Dekimasu 04:13, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
The 9 cities (Groups 1 & 2A) were unanimously supported back in the September discussion. (Apparently, we've decided that the cities of Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima are significantly more famous than their respective prefectures.)
After what Dekimasu just said, we are still left with 6 cities unanimously supported: Kobe, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kitakyushu, Sapporo, and Sendai. And we can further discuss Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima for censensus, if any.--Endroit 07:12, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Dekimasu, on the 9 cities which need disambiguating (Kawasaki, Sakai, Fukuoka, Chiba, Saitama, Shizuoka, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima), can we first determine if the disambiguation occurs completely within the jurisdiction of Japan? 7 of these (Fukuoka, Chiba, Saitama, Shizuoka, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima) only need disambiguation within Japan, and 2 of these (Kawasaki and Sakai) need disambiguation internationally. If the disambiguation occurs only within the jurisdiction of Japan, can't we emphasize what the Japanese government is trying to say, that the designated cities are significant enough to be "designated"? This means addresses in Japan can read Ōsaka-shi, Kita-ku (大阪市北区?) rather than Ōsaka-fu, Ōsaka-shi, Kita-ku (大阪府大阪市北区?). It's Ōsaka-shi rather than Ōsaka, but the prefecture is completely dropped, showing the significance of the city of Osaka within Japan. Wikipedia-wise, WP:MOS-JA can take precedence over WP:DAB, if the majority of the disambiguation occurs entirely within Japan. So can't we go ahead and make a rule saying that the designated cities "Osaka", "Kyoto", and "Hiroshima" should be written that way, and not "Osaka, Osaka", "Kyoto, Kyoto", and "Hiroshima, Hiroshima"?--Endroit 17:17, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I think we also decided that Nagasaki was to be used for the city, right? Neier 22:54, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, indeed. Nagasaki can be added to the above list, as the 10th city. And the newly proposed rule can be worded something like:
  • For the following designated cities and world-famous cities, use the form [[{city-name}]] (without the prefecture name): Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kitakyushu, Sapporo, Sendai, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.
--Endroit 01:51, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I would tweak it very slightly to this:
  • For the following designated and world-famous cities, use the form [[{city-name}]] (without the prefecture name): Hiroshima, Kitakyushu, Kobe, Kyoto, Nagasaki, Nagoya, Osaka, Sapporo, Sendai, and Yokohama.
I removed "cities" after "designated" to improve the flow of the sentence, and I alphabetized the list to make it easier to find a particular city in it. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:05, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Splendid, looks great!--Endroit 15:24, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I am still quite opposed to this. Although I usually agree with Endroit, and the reasoning (emphasis of separation from the prefecture) is logical, this proposal can only take precedence over WP:DAB at the expense of objectively hurting a large number of links in the service of a stylistic choice. Someone will have to go through and correct the links all the time. There won't be an easy method for figuring out which links shouldn't be there, as there is for dab pages - it will require visiting every page linked to Kyoto and checking to see whether the links should point to Kyoto Prefecture. I don't see anyone being willing to do that.

This could still be solved and preserve the reasoning if "City" was added to all of the titles. The only other input that I have is that there is no reason to ignore the disambiguation problem for some of the designated cities and still leave Chiba, Fukuoka, etc. the way they are. If you are set on doing it this way, the only page that should be a disambiguation page is Kawasaki. And I don't mean to be combative, but wouldn't it be helpful to have a second opinion on the feasibility of this from WP:DAB? I am inclined to leave a note. Dekimasu 05:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I think that because Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima are quite well-known outside Japan as cities, a vast majority of the links do probably refer to the city. We could simply clarify the disambiguation note at the top of the article so people will still get to the prefecture article of that's where they intended to go. I think an analogous situation is the case of cities in Spain and Italy. Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Naples all go to the city. In any case, we should definitely get a wider range of opinion on how best to deal with this. --Polaron | Talk 05:16, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, the prefectures also cover quite a large area outside of the cities they are named after. Other cities within those prefectures are sometimes very large, like Sakai, Osaka, Higashiosaka, Osaka, and Fukuyama, Hiroshima. That seems to be a very different situation from Madrid (which is basically contiguous with its province), although I understand that both are primary use claims.
As I continue to process the mail-address line of thought, it is getting a little less convincing to me. Osaka City is still the capital of Osaka Prefecture. And the lead of the Sakai article reads "Sakai (堺市, Sakai-shi) is a city located in Osaka Prefecture, Japan." Dekimasu 07:01, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
We need to look at 4 cities: Kyoto, Osaka, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima. Each of these 4 cities is the capital of its respective prefecture with an identical name. I understand that some kind of a disambiguation is required, so a more detailed dab info for the prefecture should go at the top, as Polaron says.
The majority of the links in Wikipedia (over 50%) appear to link to the city rather than the prefecture, in each of these 4 cases. I guess we can consult with WP:DAB if 50% is sufficient, and if not, clarify what percentage is required to claim primary usage.
Also, the page naming, etc. depends on the "risk of confusion" factor described in WP:DAB. Take a look at some dictionary and encyclopedia definitions:
  1. Kyoto: Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, Columbia, MSN Encarta, Britannica (city), Britannica (prefecture)
  2. Osaka: Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, Columbia, MSN Encarta, Britannica (city), Britannica (prefecture)
  3. Nagasaki: Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, Columbia, MSN Encarta, Britannica (city), Britannica (prefecture)
  4. Hiroshima: Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, Columbia, MSN Encarta, Britannica (city), Britannica (prefecture)
Most of these sources have just one entry for each, defining it as the "city and capital of X prefecture" or just simply the "city". Britannica has 2 entries, one for the city and one for the prefecture, however the prefecture article is extremely small in each case. In all the above sources, the city is the primary usage, and the prefecture is the secondary usage with much less significance.
So I believe the "risk of confusion" factor may be only significant within Japan, but not internationally.
Finally, as Dekimasu suggested, we need to start actively patrolling Osaka, Kyoto, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima, check the "what links here" all the time, and fix the links. Also, we should consult WP:DAB if this proposal is acceptable. Dekimasu, can you please drop a note with WP:DAB? Please let us know if we need to discuss in their talk page, or if they will discuss in ours.--Endroit 17:57, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I have left notes at Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation. Dekimasu 02:16, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguation for Kyoto

I just went through the first 100 in Kyoto's "What links here" list. And I think I see what Dekimasu is saying. It's really a BIG problem, because there are quite a few potentially wrong links. We need to agree on a convention on how to disambiguate these. How about this....

  • All ancient usages of Kyoto prior to the Meiji restoration (1868), including Heian, Miaco (Miyako), etc., should all redirect to Kyoto (the city) rather than Kyoto Prefecture.
  • All modern usages of the word Kyoto after 1868 needs to be re-evaluated as follows:
  1. If any source says somebody/something is from Keihanna or Kansai Science City in Kyoto, it's in Kyoto Prefecture, and not Kyoto.
  2. Otherwise, if an English source says somebody/something is from "Kyoto" only, we're not sure, so look for a Japanese source. If any "City of Kyoto" variation is used though, link to Kyoto.
  3. If a Japanese source says somebody/something is from Kyoto-shi (京都市?) it's Kyoto. If a Japanese source says somebody/something is from Kyoto-fu (京都府?) it's Kyoto Prefecture. If a Japanese source says somebody/something is from Kyoto (京都?) only, it's usually Kyoto (the city), but we're not certain; what should we do then?
  4. Finally, if we end up not being sure, should we redirect it to Kyoto Prefecture by default, like the Japanese Wikipedia does?

--Endroit 13:53, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

My opinion about the issue:
  1. If topic is about the city, I think it's better to link to Kyoto via unambiguous page names such as [[Kyoto, Kyoto]] or [[Kyoto City]], which redirect to Kyoto, so that no one has to evaluate such links again.
  2. In Japanese usage, if city/prefecture is ommited, I think it is likely talking about the prefecture. However, if we are not certain, I think we should leave the link as is.
  3. In English usage, if city/prefecture is ommited, I think it is likely talking about the city. However, if we are not certain, I think we should leave the link as is.
  4. The Japanese wikipedia does not redirect 京都 to 京都府. It has ja:京都, which deals with pre-Meiji Kyoto, ja:京都府 for Kyoto Prefecture, and ja:京都市 for Kyoto City. It might be a good idea to have an article about historical Kyoto in English Wikipedia (and historical Nara as well).
--Kusunose 15:34, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I see there hasn't been a flood of assistance here. I'll try to get a few more comments again. Heian, though, needs to remain a dab because of Heian Period. Dekimasu 13:39, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Hi, I'm responding to the message left on Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation. I don't know much about Japan, so it's hard for me to chip in on this properly, but I've done my best to understand what's going on and I apologise in advance if I've misinterpreted something or got it all completely wrong!
From what I gather, you're trying to find a way to distinguish a city from a prefecture of the same name, where applicable (correct me if I'm wrong). In this case, I figure you could:
  • stick "(city)" after the city name, or
  • stick "City" after the city name,
and likewise with the prefecture. Generally, if (for example, pick one out of air, don't intend to refer to Kyoto itself) "Kyoto" generally refers to "Kyoto City" rather than "Kyoto Prefecture", and "Kyoto" is a "proper" name for it, the city article should go at "Kyoto", though the consensus of this page could of course decide otherwise. For incoming links, if you wanted, you could make "Kyoto City" a redirect to "Kyoto", and then pass all the links to Kyoto City to "Kyoto City" which is a redirect to "Kyoto", that way all links to "Kyoto" are ambiguous. I must say though that I'm not very experienced at all with fixing ambiguous links.
You should not use "City, Prefecture" to disambiguate the city from the prefecture. That form should only be used when you have two cities of the same name, but in different prefectures.
That's what I think, anyway. Hope that helps. Neonumbers 10:21, 16 December 2006 (UTC)


I'm sure this has been touched on before, but I was sometime ago reverted for changing an article of Empress Genmei to conform to the suggestion layed down here as regards romanization of ん as m - such people do not have "official romanizations", and Google searches are inherently flawed. Could this not be fixed to at least be more clear? elvenscout742 13:58, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Google Books gives 64 hits for "Genmei" and 66 for "Gemmei", so it's a toss-up either way, IMHO. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:01, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that you were incorrect to follow the suggestion. Dekimasu 05:13, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Notice of polls: Ryūkyū/Ryukyu & Ogasawara Islands/Bonin Islands

Please vote above in the Ryukyu vs. Ryūkyū section, to resolve inconsistencies within WP:MOS-JA. The following 2 polls are now ongoing:

  1. Poll: "Ogasawara Islands" instead of "Bonin Islands"
  2. Poll: "Ryūkyū" instead of "Ryukyu"

Polls end Dec. 13. There's only a few days left, so please hurry.--Endroit 18:17, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I would vote for "Riukiu" if possible. It is the form produced by transliterating the Classical Kana script with the EHS (Extended Hepburn System).Kmns tsw 09:20, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

About limited express services...

There is a lot of limited express services which have unique names such as Kodama (こだま?). Can you decide the name of articles on these services? --Izumi5 12:08, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Nobody answered and I decided to attach (Limited Service) to the name of service. --Izumi5 10:33, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Hi Izumi5, You might be interested in List of named passenger trains#Trains in Japan to see examples of existing articles. Fg2 01:59, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. --Izumi5 10:23, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Posthumous name of Emperors

I don't want to start again the question of whether to use Emperor Komei, or Emperor Kōmei, or Kōmei Emperor, or Kōmei Tennō, and so on... That is not my question, and I don't want it to interfere with what I want to ask.

My question is just what about this curious sentence : For Emperor Hirohito, although he too has been posthumously named Emperor Shōwa, it is also acceptable to refer to him as Emperor Hirohito, or just Hirohito, as that is the name by which he continues to be most widely known in the West. What does it mean? "It is acceptable to..." Does it mean there is a rule on Wikipedia that, despite the fact all the other deceased Japanese emperors are called by their Regnal name, this one and only this one MUST be called by his first name?... Or only MAY?

I think a may-answer has no place in a manual of style.

And a must-answer is out of the question. I can see absolutely no need to call his page Hirohito instead of Emperor Shōwa like the other. Either there is a rule (for example: Japanese emperors must be named by their Regnal name as soon as they get one (like the popes)) or there is no rule. Exceptions to the rules must be justified by good reasons. I see no good justification for this emperor. Every official Japanese site will use Shōwa instead of Hirohto, even in sites written in English (for example this one: [1]). Every time there is a discussion on Wikipedia about the correct form or spelling of a name, there is allways someone to tell me: "Look at his homepage to find the correct form!" In this case, the correct form is Shōwa, and not Hirohito.

Some peopole will think it's too complicated to change the article's title when the emperor dies. It's not technically difficult. When Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected pope, his article was renamed into Pope Benedict XVI immediately! Not become he became pope, but because he changed names by becoming pope. I think when Empereor Akihito dies, his article will have be renamed at once to Emperor Heisei, not because he dies, but because he'll change names by dying.

So what's wrong with Emperor Shōwa? Bad habits are hard to rid of. "He was called Hirohito when he was alive so that's enough. He may be refered as Shōwa in every official text, he may even want to be called Shōwa after his death... but my Grand'Ma allways called him Hirohito and it's all I want to know." It's the worse reason I've ever read in an encyclopedia. An encyclopedia is here to expose good knowledge, not to keep turning over received ideas. Emperor Shōwa died to early. If he had died today, I'm sure there would heve been a debate about the title of his page, but I'm sure too that the Emperor Shōwa title would have won. Now there are 18 years of bad habit in paper encyclopedias and newspapers to call him by the wrong name. I think it's still time to correct it. That's why I claim his article must be renamed Emperor Shōwa. With the use of automatic redirects (which paper encyclopedias don't have), every person looking for Hirohito will find the Emperor Shōwa article and will learn something new about his name without loosing one second. That's the role of an encyclopedia.

The wording of the project page is particullary ambiguous. On the one hand it states that Emperor Hirohito is a special case needing an exception to the rule (but it's not explained why) and on the other hand it makes a distinction between the emperors before Hirohito and ... the rest. The rule stops with him, and when the current emperor dies there will be no rule for him too. Not only there is a secret reason to make an exception for Hirohito, but this reason is enough to abolish totally the rule for his successors.

To conclude, I would like to put the text that way :

=== Names of emperors ===
For Japanese emperors, including emperors from both the northern and southern courts during the Nanboku-chō Era, use the form [[Emperor {name}]], which is a partial translation of their posthumous name. Note that the word Emperor is an integral part of the name and not merely a title, so it should be capitalized and the article the should not appear before it. It is also acceptable to refer to a Japanese emperor using only the {name} portion of their name, so long as the first appearance of the name uses the above format. Be sure to create appropriate redirects so that the version of the name without the title will bring the reader to the correct location.

Similarly the current emperor is referred by his personnal name as Emperor Akihito, as long as he lives. His article will be renamed with his posthumous Regnal name when he dies. Note that it is incorrect to refer to Emperor Akihito as Emperor Heisei, as he will not be renamed Emperor Heisei until after his death.

What do you think of it? Švitrigaila 01:26, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'd tend to agree with it. —Nightstallion (?) 01:33, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
As it stands, all of the emperors known as gods are referred to their posthumous names, while emperors not known as gods are referred to by their "real" names. You have made it clear that you are presenting this issue with good will and an intention to improve the encyclopedia, but if you try to change the name of the Hirohito article, I expect you will be called a Japanese nationalist or worse. To refer to him by his posthumous name will raise uproar from people who are bitter about World War II or wary of modern Japanese nationalism. In and of itself, that may be a poor reason not to change the title. However, the widespread use of the Hirohito name in the West during the time he was the emperor, and the vast tracts of historical writing about "Hirohito's" role in World War II, virtually preclude the use of the Emperor Shōwa name. The same could not be said to be true of Emperor Komei, virually unknown in the West; you may have some grounds for argument beginning with Emperor Meiji. Dekimasu 03:22, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
First of all, this has nothing whatsoever to do with whether they were known as "gods" or not.
Nevertheless, as one of the primary participants in the previous debate and the one who campaigned hard to try and clean up how Wiki refers to the emperors, clear up various misconceptions, etc. I must say that I fully agree with you. Leaving Hirohito was a compromise that was previously necessary because too many people feel too strongly about the fact that Hirohito is widely known as Hirohito in the West and that Wikipedia should reflect that. If you can convince others to change their mind, I certainly support the notion of making no exceptions and naming this article Emperor Shōwa.-Jefu 08:40, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I was just positing a workaround rule that would fit the facts, since the original comment was about the inconsistency of the page name. Dekimasu 10:48, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Dekimasu says : "As it stands, all of the emperors known as gods are referred to their posthumous names, while emperors not known as gods are referred to by their "real" names." That's not true. Firstly, both Emperor Fushimi and Hirohito are called by their posthumous name in Japanese sources : Fushimi Tennō and Shōwa Tennō. And outside Japan, I don't think Fushimi has ever been a god! He has never been a god for me, and I call him naturally Emperor Fushimi, and never by his first name. Secondly, Dekimasu writes Hirohito is his "real name". This name is not more "real" than another. George W. Bush's "real name" is not "George". Pope Benedict XVI's "real name" is not Joseph. George and Joseph are only their "christian name", or their "first name". Hirohito is only a "first name", which is not more "real" than the regnal names of Emperor Fushimi and Emperor Shōwa. Švitrigaila 11:29, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

It had nothing to do with whether they are actually gods or what their actual names are. If the Pope renounced his Popeliness we would probably not continue to call him Pope. Hirohito was the emperor who renounced his godliness, so why should we refer to him as "heaven-king"? At any rate, I reiterate that it was only a workaround.
If no name is more real than any other, then it basically doesn't matter where we put his article. Rather than argue along this line of thought, I hope you will read Jefu's comment above. I don't see what's wrong with having a "may" answer in a style manual anyway. Giving interchangeability to "Hirohito" and "Emperor Shōwa" is no different in that regard from allowing "who" and "that" to be used interchangeably. Dekimasu 13:39, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Excuse me if I have offended you, that wasn't my aim. I don't seek fight, I just want to be understood and sometimes I can lose temper. I suppose what you say about "heaven-king" is about the word "tennō", which in fact means roughly "heaven king". But as I put it in my first line, that's not the subject of my demend. Let's call him Shōwa Tennō, or Emperor Shōwa, or Shōwa (ruler of Japan), or let's just call him Shōwa, I don't mind. I know that Emperor Shōwa renounced to prentend he was of divine descent, but the term tennō is still the official title of the emperor, as it is written in the Japanese constitution [2]. And the custom to take a regnal name upon death is still living. It proves it has nothing to do with what Shōwa renounced at the end of the war. So I think using his first name instead of his regnal name, contrary to each of his predecessors, has nothing to do with his renunciation.

My demand was about the other part of this article's title. And I think it has definitively nothing to do with whether he was a god or not. It has only to do with the fact that he has an official name according to a certain official nomenclature. This nomenclature applies to every Japanese emperor. And it applies for everybody. There is no point saying: "Yes this nomenclature exists, a lot of people do use it, we too use it since a lot of Japanese emperors do have a name only thanks to it (for examples emperors Jimmu, Junnin and Reigen had their regnal name created centuries after their death), but it's not a reason to abide by this nomenclature for Hirohito because we're not Japanese and it doesn't apply to us."

As for the "nationalism" argument. You say people would want to see Hirohito instead of Shōwa because of his role in WWII, and would consider Shōwa as a proof of Japanese nationalism. I can't see why Shōwa would be more nationalist than Hirohito. It's as if someone said: "There are a lot of books written about or by Joseph Ratzinger, he is very famous under this name, and now you suddenly want us to call him Benedict XVI?! But we're not catholic! We don't have to abide by this catholic custom. Those who do must be catholic bigots."

Once again, the only reason for using Hirohito instead of Shōwa is the weight of habit. I say Hirohito because I heard someone saying Hirohito. And this one told me Hirohito because he heard someone else telling him Hirohito. There is no reflexion on whether it's the good term or not. When it was decided Pluto is no more a planet but a dwarf planet, its Wikipedian article was rewritten. There was no discussion on Wikipedia about it because it exists an official nomenclature for planets. The IAU is the only competent body to decide if Pluto is a planet or not. And the fact Pluto was considered a planet since 1930 doesn't matter! It won't change the habits of the general public at once, but it will on a longer course. For the Japanese emperors nomenclature the only competent bodies are the Imperial Household Agency and the Japanese government, not newspapers, nor historians, nor encyclopedias. And they use Shōwa. Never Hirohito.

Švitrigaila 23:32, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Internal nomenclature is not a foolproof argument. Japan is not at Nihon or Nippon, nor is Saparmurat Niyazov at Türkmenbaşy. Dekimasu 02:44, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
It's not the same thing. Nihon is name of Japan in Japanese language only. Names of countries, regions and main cities may hay have a translation in foreign languages and they are then treated like common names: their spelling, for example, must follow the rules of the "arrival language". It happens too for ancient historical figures (Christopher Colombus and not Cristoforo Colombo) or reigning monarchs who bear a easily translatable christian name (I regret this habit is becoming extinct in English; I'd prefer to speak about Baldwin I or John Charles I instead of Baudouin I or Juan Carlos I...) But Hirohito is on no account a "translation" of Shōwa. It's only another name from another naming system. In fact, Japanese authorities use the word Japan in their English texts, but I don't think they would use Hirohito in an officiel English text. Švitrigaila 15:50, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

To finish, you say "Giving interchangeability to "Hirohito" and "Emperor Shōwa" is no different in that regard from allowing "who" and "that" to be used interchangeably." So you wouldn't matter if I decided to rename the article myself? Well. But what about then about Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles)#Names of emperors itself then? Must we erase this whole section?

Švitrigaila 23:32, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I would not fault you for moving the page. I am also not personally accusing you of Japanese nationalism. What I suggested was only to fit the current usage, not because I thought it was a true assessment of where the article should be. Emperor Shōwa may very well be a better page location. However, I think it would be much better to do a poll at Talk:Hirohito to attempt a name change than to try to change the rule.
Most importantly, while the Hirohito article itself can be changed to Emperor Shōwa, all references to "Hirohito" in other articles cannot be removed because native English speakers generally do not know that he even can be referred to as Emperor Shōwa. Dekimasu 02:44, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. This is a discussion about the proper title for the article only. Nobody is going to succeed in changing what people actually call him, but that's what redirects and links to articles whose title differs from the linked word are for. Also agreed that if this is going to happen, it should happen after a discussion on the talk page of the actual article. However, be prepared to meet tremendous resistance after you take the discussion there...-Jefu 05:35, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
In fact, changing all the links from the other articles to Emperor Shōwa is not easy, but it's not an unsurmountable problem. It's always possible to change [[Hirohito]] into [[Emperor Shōwa|Hirohito]], but with the use of redirects it's definitly not a priority. We can refine some articles too, for example changing such sentences as "...he met future Emperor Hirohito..." by "...he met prince Hirohito (the future Emperor Shōwa)..." and so on. But the most complicated will be to change the wording of the article Hirohito itself, as it was done in the French article.
I'd like to place this discussion on Talk:Hirohito but I want to do so only if I have chances to win. I have a very bad experience on this subject on the French Wikipedia. All the articles about Japanese emperors were a mess. There weren't two articles with the same naming system. I proposed to put order in it... no answer. So I did it and I renamed all the articles using the regnal name only. No objection from anyone. One user once even told me he was searching for Hirohito and he found Shōwa instead, and he was glad to have learnt something new. But then after one and a half year, someone else suddenly declared it was untolerable to have the article with such a name because Hirohito was more common than Shōwa. There was a very very very very long argument about it, aimed to prepare a vote. How many stupid arguments I have read! ("It's not good to call him Shōwa because it sounds too much like Shoah." or "Someone looking for Hirohito will never find the article under that new name." (have you ever heard about Redirects, dear?) or "English Wikipedia uses Hirohito, so there's no point to use Shōwa on French Wikipedia." (and what about Japanese Wikipedia?)) When I explained it's good for an encyclopedia to teach the reader something he doesn't know yet, I was called "Lisa Simpson"! (Phisically, I look more like Homer SImpson.)
The vote never took place and an administrator said the time for the discussion was too long so he closed it. And soon after another one renamed simply the page back to Hirohito without a vote, arguing there were more pro-Hirohitos on the discussion page than pro-Shōwas and than we still can begin a vote if we want to! Of course it was too late.
I don't want it to happend here again. But I deeply want to rename this page because for me this page's name is simply incorrect and based on only one (bad) reason: the weight of habit. A reason that has no place on an encyclopedia.
Švitrigaila 16:31, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Okay. If you do not object to redirects from Hirohito to Emperor Shōwa, then we are only talking about the article title. In that case, the rule in the style manual is still correct and necessary for body text, because it is important to explain to editors that they need not be compelled to confuse readers. Thus, if you want to change the page name, you really need to go to Talk:Hirohito. You might wish to advertise the proposed move on the front page of WP:Japan. Beyond that I don't know what further advice I can give to you. I will support the page move, but I will not support changing the style guide. Dekimasu 17:56, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Kanji/Kana in Titles of Works of Literature

We spend a lot of time talking about romanization, but I'm not sure an issue like this has come up before ... an anonymous user changed the kanji and kana of the titles of works of literature on several authors' articles to their "original" style (eg 雪国->雪國, 仮面の告白->假面の告白). I understand the reasoning behind this (these forms were their printed title when originally published), but I reverted them for now and thought I'd bring the issue up here. Japanese Wikipedia is fairly straight-forward about their rule for kana:

仮名遣いは現代仮名遣いを原則とする。 "As a rule, modern kana usage is preferred."

However, kanji usage is more complicated ... but there is a general rule of: 漢字の字体が複数ある場合には常用漢字表にある字体のものを使うのを原則とする(固有名詞、歴史的文書の引用などでは、原文にあわせて用いる)。"As a rule, when there are multiple ways a word can be written using kanji, use the Jōyō kanji form (use the original form for proper nouns, quotations from historical texts, etc.)"

This seems to suggest that works of fiction should be given in their modern forms (ie 雪国 instead of 雪國) but allows for writing Akutagawa's given name as 龍之介 instead of 竜之介. I vaguely remember a discussion about shinjitai vs. kyūjitai a while back, but I forget the context. If there is support for the rules used on Japanese Wikipedia, we should consider adopting them in this MoS as well. CES 14:48, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't know exactly what 固有名詞 encompasses in Japanese (maybe it includes books, etc), but, I would go ahead and lump literary titles in with personal names and quotes, and keep the old form. To do otherwise, it is similar to changing "Edo" to "Tokyo" in titles of older books. Just my opinion, and not a strong one at that... — Preceding unsigned comment added by neier (talkcontribs)
I'm not sure either if book titles are 固有名詞 or not, but I'd argue that the difference in 雪国 and 雪國 is more similar to the difference between "Paradise Lost" and "Paradiſe Loſt" (see image of first edition at the Paradise Lost article) than Tokyo and Edo ... Japanese Wikipedia appears to use modern forms of characters for book titles (occasionally noting the old form--the article for the Man'yōshū is at 万葉集 but notes the kyūjitai form of 萬葉集). Using the modern way of writing would be consistent with the status quo for both English and Japanese Wikipedia, and would be my recommendation. CES 01:38, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
固有名詞 are just proper nouns. Book titles are not proper nouns. The titles of these books as they are currently published are all written in modern forms, and I think that is all the authority you need to revert these somewhat silly changes by some anonymous user. This is different from, for example, the literary magazine that goes by the name 文藝春秋, which is a proper noun and should not be written 文芸春秋.-Jefu 02:35, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree completely that book titles should be written in their modern forms and that Akutagawa's name should be written in its original form. I suppose you could find examples of kanji in names that would be more extreme, though. The 龍 kanji is still widely used, even if it isn't in the jōyō set. Dekimasu 05:24, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, I learned something today (Long s) and will beat a hasty retreat. :-) That is a better analogy than Edo/Tokyo. It may still be a good idea to list the kyūjitai at the top of each article, though. And, by putting a statement in our MoS, then the reversion wars over the titles would come to an end. Neier 08:23, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree with what I think pretty much everyone is saying - things should be written in shinjitai, with the kyūjitai acknowledged somewhere in the text; exceptions in the cases of those modern authors or texts which intentionally choose to use an alternative form like Akutagawa. LordAmeth 11:40, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't even agree with the need to even acknowledge the old forms (nor do any of the publishers of these books). It's just confusing. Is someone going to look up exactly when a particular book was published and what kanji was in common use at the time for every title (or verify the information everytime some anonymous user comes along and tries to change it)? This is not a matter of the old version being more legitimate than the modern form. It is just a convention that has changed.-Jefu 13:51, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

It sounds like everyone is pretty much on the same page. I agree with Jefu that tracking down the original form of a title could be tedious or potentially impossible ... but at the same time I could see potential value in knowing that while the Man'yōshū is usually written 万葉集, older texts would refer to it as 萬葉集. Or that Sōseki's Kokoro is usually こころ but occasionally こゝろ and originally 心. Perhaps emphasis on notable "alternative" (rather than "original") forms can be made. How about adding something like the following rules under the "Using Japanese in the article body" section:


In general, use modern forms of kanji (shinjitai) and modern usage patterns of kana. Exceptions may be made for proper nouns and quotations from historical texts. For example:

Works of fiction such as Kawabata's Snow Country should be referred to as 雪国, not 雪國
Proper nouns such as the magazine Bungei Shunshū should be referred to as 文藝春秋, not 文芸春秋

When multiple or alternative forms are possible, they may be acknowledged in the text (e.g. Sōseki's Kokoro is usually written こころ but occasionally こゝろ and originally 心)

CES 15:07, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

That wording is a little confusing. Coming just after the sentence on exceptions, it makes it seem as though 雪国 is one of the exceptions, whereas it is actually in the modern form. I'd suggest a few examples after the first sentence, and then a few examples of the exceptions. (But was it ever written 雪國? Maybe an older example would be in order?)
Also, "multiple or alternative" sounds a bit awkward. How about this: "When alternate forms are equally valid, or their inclusion would be informative, they may be acknowledged in the article text." Dekimasu 15:30, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Good ideas. I'm not sure about 雪國, but it was written (or at least started) before WWII, so I imagine kyūjitai were used. But I'm sure there are better examples ... they were just the ones in the discussion above so I used them. CES 15:48, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree that these are all interesting points, but they are interesting Japanese language points that belong in an article about kyūjitai, for example. I think they would just unnecessarily clutter up an article about Kawabata Yasunari.-Jefu 16:27, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I think that in cases where the work was originally published using kyūjitai, that the title could be listed as {{nihongo|''Snow Country''|雪国 or 雪國|Yukiguni}} (producing Snow Country (雪国 or 雪國 Yukiguni?)). This would make the article more accurate as it would list both instances. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:16, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Lists of prefectures

I thought we discussed this earlier, but, the current MoS doesn't mention it. Is there any rationale for lists of prefectures in the English Wikipedia to maintain the Hokkaidō->Okinawa ordering? Or, even when split up into regions, why don't we list them in abc order? In the Regions of Japan or Prefectures of Japan articles, it seems acceptable to list them in geographic order because of the added context, but, in other places like List of city nicknames in Japan it may cause some confusion to anyone not already familiar with Japanese geography. Any thoughts?Neier 01:04, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Good point. Fine for anyone who knows what's going on, but still the worst organization format I've seen here since List of Pokémon by National Pokédex number. I think it should always be alphabetical - or at the very least, alphabetical any time another organizational format isn't described explicitly. Dekimasu 14:35, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I think, unless there is a reason for listing them by geography (usually north to south), that listing them alphabetically according to romanization meets the requirements of WP:MOS-JA, which states, "Lists of romanized words in the English Wikipedia should be ordered in alphabetical order, A-Z, instead of the common Japanese ordering system which is based on the kana characters." While it doesn't specifically mention geographic order, I believe the spirit of the guideline indicates that, unless there is a good reason for it, any list should be in alphabetical order. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:13, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Ok. Here's my first pass. If there are no improvements/suggestions, I'll transfer it to the MoS in a few days. Neier 02:01, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Original
    • Lists of romanized words in the English Wikipedia should be ordered in alphabetical order, A-Z, instead of the common Japanese ordering system which is based on the kana characters. In the case of names, alphabetize by family name, not by given name. Words with macrons should be alphabetized as if the macron was one of the normal 26 letters. In cases where two words are exactly the same except for a macron vowel in one word, the non-macron version should be listed first.
  • Appended paragraph
    • This rule also applies to lists of prefectures or other place names, and is in contrast to the Japanese standard of ordering from north to south. Exceptions to this rule can be made when the geographic location or arrangement is important to the overall context of the article, such as Prefectures of Japan. Articles which fall under this exception should still explain the non-alphabetic sort order used within the article.


moved from project page to talk page
Are 'oo' and 'ou' words both supposed to be transcribed as 'ō'? This has been confusing me.

  • 大き: 'ooki' or 'ōki'?
  • 王: 'ou' or 'ō'?

I think this needs clarification. On that note, are they actually pronouced any differently? --SeizureDog 00:34, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

According to the current MoS standards, both are written as "ō"; this is in fact one of the primary arguments against macrons among those who do argue against their use. As far as I am aware, they are pronounced the same, but then I'm not a native speaker, so I can't really say whether or not Japanese would notice a difference. LordAmeth 01:21, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. I have no problems (and even support) using macrons for the katakana long vowel mark, but I dislike the idea that おお and おう are both romanised to the same thing. Hmm...on a similar note: would anyone be opposed to an exception that allows for spelling out ou or uu when a morphological boundary is crossed? For example, with this exception, 救う would be romanised sukuu, not sukū. It'll at least make some of the conjugations seem clearer (e.g. 救った sukutta, 救って sukutte, etc.). jgp TC 14:50, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I would support that exception. I tend to slightly seperate double 'u' verb endings when I speak them instead of holding it. Don't know if that's proper, but I do. Also sorry about posting the question in the wrong place. Must have been tired at the time.--SeizureDog 01:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
They are different. The "oo" speliing comes from "oho" in the classical Kana script (Medial "h" is a boundary marker), and the "ou" in this case comes from "au", which has no boundary in it. Please read Talk:Romanization of Japanese#An Extended-Hepburn System Kmns tsw 13:41, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
This is the only real drawback to the current romanization used by WP:MOS-JA. However, I don't think it's a huge problem as the number of "oo" words out there is quite small (in comparison to the number of "ou" words), and anyone interested in learning Japanese learns these fairly quickly. The most common one is 大, and there are only a very small number of other "oo" kanji. I don't think the number is significant enough to make a special case for them. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:08, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and the pronunciation is the same for both as the "u" after the "o" only indicates that the "o" sound is held for twice as long. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:09, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes "u" after the "o" only indicates that the "o" sound is held for twice as long. But in the case of "oo", "o" sound is not held twice as long but is repeated. The difference may be an introspective one. Meikai Kokugo Zhiten gives the accent pattern 3 to 大きい and 1 to 王, which means "oo" is rising and that "ou" is falling. Kmns tsw 02:40, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Um, no. No one ever says "O-o-ki". The "o" sound is just held longer. Perhaps once it was done the way you indicate, but in practice in modern spoken Japanese, there is no difference in the sound of "oo" and "ou". ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:22, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly, sometimes in song you can clearly hear "o-o", even, and this is what's interesting, when the kana spelling is おう (ou). Shinobu 22:01, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
That's true, though unusual pronunciation in songs is common due to the way words are matched to notes. This happens in English, too, giving some pronunciations that would never be found outside of a song. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, try 氷(koori/ko`ori) and 行李(kouri/kauri). The second rendering is a transliteration of the classical Kana (The reversed apostrophe is a medial "h"). Perhaps the introspection may be affected with the visual image of the Kana script. Kmns tsw 09:48, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
As I wrote above, in modern usage in Japan, there is no discernible difference in the pronunciation of こうり and こおり. We are not talking about historical usage or pronunciation, here, and this is not the correct forum for academic debates on the subject. All we are concerned with is giving the closest possible understandable-to-non-Japanese pronunciation through using the version of modified Hepburn described on the WP:MOS-JA page. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:26, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for everything, 日本穣san. The Postwar Kana Script Reform seems to me not settled yet, but it is not the matter to be discussed here.
I took a look at the WP:MOS-JA page for the first time this morning. These are my naive questions. Is it a transliteration system? How can you handle Prewar texts or classical scripts of Waka or Haiku? Do't you think it worth while to try to expand the system so that it can discern ヂ ジ or ヅ ズ? Kmns tsw 04:54, 30 December 2006 (UTC)


I've actually been giving this a lot of thought, and I don't have any discussion stopping suggestions yet, but I think it would be helpful to classify where potential long vowels occur in Japanese when thinking about this question.

First, Japanese words can be classified into three basic groups. There are kango, which derive from Chinese, are virtually always written in kanji and take the on’yomi (Chinese derived) reading. Then there are wago or yamatokotoba, which are native Japanese words and, if written with kanji at all, take the kun’yomi reading. Finally, there are garaigo, which are foreign loan words written in katakana.

To the extent people accept the use of macrons, I don’t think that there is any controversy that the long o and long u in kango (which are written in hiragana by adding a u, I believe without exception) should be written with a macron. Therefore, the question raised in this thread really arises with respect to wago.

Taking the long o found in wago first, I can think of two kinds.

  1. There is the long o that is written with an o mora (o, ko, so, to, no, ho, mo, yo, ro) plus o. As someone pointed out above, these are less common than the long o found in kango, but the double o construction is by no means rare. Examples of fairly common words of this type (written without macrons) are ookii, tooru, ooi, many compounds that begin with oo and are written with 大 (like ooame, ooatari, oosuji, and even the city Oosaka, etc.), ookami, oose, koori, tooi, honoo, etc.
  2. There is the long o that is written by adding a u to an o mora where the u is not subject to declension. The best examples I can think of for this are the volitional verb endings such as shimashou, deshou, ikou, arukou, etc. There is also the adjective (keiyoushi) ending that can be found in a construction like ohayou gozaimasu.

Note that there are also examples of an o mora plus u where the u is subject to declension, like the verb ou (to chase). However, I’m not sure I would even classify this as a long o, because the mora should remain independent and because there is a conscious attempt to pronounce the u independently of the o in such a word. Incidentally, rising and falling accents aside, the two true kinds of long o identified above are generally pronounced identically. I think the distinction mentioned above between lengthening the o and pronouncing it twice is an introspective distinction only, to the extent it exists at all.

Next there is the long u that can also be found in wago. Here I believe there is truly only one kind, which I think corresponds to type 2 of the long o above. The best example I can think of for this is the formal construction where an i adjective (keiyoushi) that has an i mora in front of the final i ending (like utsukushii) is changed so that an o prefix is added, the second to last mora becomes a u mora, a u is added at the end, and the resulting word is paired with gozaimasu (i.e. outsukushuu gozaimasu). Note that this is similar to the ohayou gozaimasu construction mentioned above, which is similarly derived from the word hayai. In addition, similar to the ou verbs noted above, there are also uu verbs, like kuu, furuu and sukuu. Here, although the pronunciation is the same as the true long u, I would still not classify it as a long u, since the final u should maintain its independence.

Note that there are also other double vowels in Japanese, which I don’t believe are ever written with macrons, for example, Niigata, Kii, torii, ee (affirmative response), aa, okaasan, etc.

Give all this, I think it is clear that kango should always be written with macrons. I also think it is clear that the u verbs that look like long vowels, but really aren’t, should be written without macrons (both the ou variet and the uu variety). As for the two true long os and the true long u that are found in wago, I think I would lean toward the use of macrons. I can’t think of any useful reason for making a distinction, other than knowing what you should type when entering these words into an IME, and anyone using an IME is probably already aware how these words are written in hiragana anyway. But I don't feel terribly strongly about it.-Jefu 09:21, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Jefu-san, I would like to write many things to you on this issue, not particularly objections, if I had better command of English. Allow me to write a few lines desultorily.
The current top two sections of this page, namely "Not again" and "Sorry but" came from the bottom of the "Macron" section stored in the archive. If there is a way to subsume this section together with them under a same title, "macron" or "so-called long vowel" would be preferable. It would be more understandable. Besides as I do not use UTF-8, I cannot input accented letters, let alone a macron-capped one .
In Japan, macron is not used. Neither passport system of Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor road-sign system of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport uses it.
A propos of the modifier "so-called", it seems to me to beg the question to call what is represented by "oo" or "ou" simply a long vowel. Are you so confident of long and short vowels in the Japanese Language as to admit that it is a ten-vowel language?
I agree to your stance to go back to Kana to classify this entity, whether it be a unit or not. But I think the classical Kana would be more appropriate.
I emplore you to read Talk:Romanization of Japanese#An Extended-Hepburn System, especially recent posting. Kmns tsw 02:36, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments, Kmns tsw. However, I respectfully disagree with much of what you say. This is not an academic question. I think you need to separate yourself from the academic/linguistic question of how best to represent the Japanese language in rōmaji and how it should be represented for practical use that will allow non-native speakers to most closely approximate the proper pronunciation. And on that count, I think your Extended-Hepburn system fails miserably, however superior it may be in other contexts. And no help can be gained from going back to classical kana either. Hepburn has long been recognized by many as the best way to represent Japanese in English for such purposes (which is why it is so widely used in and out of Japan), but it has always lacked one critical element, and that is how to distinguish between long and short vowels in a way that will allow people to distinguish between komon and kōmon (which I think you will agree is an important distinction...) without confusing the issue, the way a spelling like koumon would. The computer has finally given us a tool to overcome that limitation, and that is through the use of the macron.
As for the Japanese government, they officially only recognize kunreishiki, which I think is ridiculous. Do you think non-Japanese speakers are ever going to get the proper pronunciation out of sinzyuku, for example? And I don't know when the last time is you have been in Japan, but macrons are used widely in the train and subway system for writing station names in rōmaji. And this makes perfect sense, because it is important to use a system in that context that will allow non-Japanese speakers to accurately convey the name of where they want to go. The hapless tourist could care less that Sinzyuku is academically the superior way to represent しんじゅく as they are frantically trying to get the station master to understand that they want to go to "sin zai yoo koo", to no avail. And the use of the macron is also becoming more common in academic papers, with the widespread use of computers and software that can render macrons easily. I'm fairly confident that this debate will eventually become a historical curiosity.
In any event, it is not my intention here to debate whether macrons should be used, but rather to figure out, assuming they are used, whether they should be used for oo as well as ou.-Jefu 05:07, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Jefu-san, I was wrong. Yes macrons are widely used in the railway systems. And I agree with you in most of what you say. Only I am afraid the discrepancy between the officially admitted system used by the Japanese and the one widely used by foreigners should remain. Thank you anyway for your reservation that EHS might be useful in some restricted contexts. Please look at the first lines of Kiritsubo of the Tale of Genzhi at ja:ノート:ローマ字論#擴張ヘボン式. Kmns tsw 09:40, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
But you have to realize that the "officially admitted system" is different from the one "used by the Japanese". Most people in Japan use Hepburn, not Kunrei-shiki. And the only difference between what we are advocating here is the use of the macron. It is a change from what has been the normal until now, admittedly, but change is not always bad. And in this case, I think it is a change for the better. I think macronized Hepburn will become widely accepted in Japan long before kunrei-shiki ever will.-Jefu 11:14, 29 December 2006 (UTC)