Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Archive 15

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Do we add pronunciation for letters/numbers?

I noticed edit where JR inside the nihongo template was changed to Jei-āru. Do we need to add pronunciations for letters and numerals like that? I know that this question belongs on the template talk page moreso than here; but, there's a wider audience here, and it is not so far out of this page's realm. Neier 08:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I think it's fine to do that in the rōmaji section since it's meant to be somewhat of a pronunciation guide for the kanji/kana section. It could be very useful in cases where the pronunciation isn't obvious to someone unfamiliar with the term. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:17, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
My gut instinct is that it is kind of silly to have a pronunciation guide for English letters ... but the reality is that they are indeed pronounced differently in Japanese than they are in English. The Japanese Wikipedia page for JR also has the (hiragana) pronunciation guide. There seems to be a stronger argument for its inclusion than its exclusion. CES 20:16, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Empi vs enpi

Please could somebody comment on this issue? Thanks, Lelkesa 10:47, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I have left a comment. This is really not a discussion about Japanese, but whether those Japanese terms are adequately established with separate spellings in English. If they aren't, the articles need to be disambiguated and should both be at forms of "enpi" per the MOS. Dekimasu 11:20, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. Lelkesa 11:45, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
A word on n/m problme in Japanese romanization system.
What is called 撥音 (hatsuon) is a syllabic nasal which is written by a same Kana letter. But when it is rendered to romanization, phonetic differences cannot remain unnoticed. It was quite natural that Hatsuon was written by "n" unless immediately followed by a bilabial like "b p m". But some contended that a phoneme should be written by one and the same letter regardless of the contexts. The contenders' system is known as Nihon Shiki(=system) and its posterior and a little simplified form is known as Kunrei Shiki and the former system, a more natural one to Latin alphabet was known as Hebon (=Hepburn) Shiki. Hebon Shiki was first employed by J.C. Hepburn in his "A Japanese and English Dictionary, with an English Japanese Index" published in 1867. and settled in the third edition of 1887. The Hebon Shiki of the third edition was called Heuzhun (=Standard) Shiki. ("Heuzhun" is transliteration of the classical Kana by EHS. It would be Hyōjun by Hebon Shiki of the third edition, also known as Revised Hepburn System). About EHS, see Talk:Romanization of Japanese#An Extended-Hepburn System
Though official priority was given to Kunrei Shiki, Hebon Shiki prevailed. But romanization was used only among professionals. After the World War II, ordinary people came to the fore as the user of Romanization system. And n/m differentiation was a difficulty. And I think this is the reason why "New Japanese-English Dictionary" third edition published by Kenkyuusha discarded the distinction of n/m though otherwise it was based on Hebon Shiki. And I think Kenkyusha system is the basis of the Wiki manual of style (Japan-related articles).
It is similar with the case of the macron. Though few people use it, the regulation of Hebon Shiki (=Revised Hepburn system) has it.
It is very confusing that the Revised Hepburn System is usually called simply Hebon Shiki in Japan. Here what is called revised Hepburn system is often Hebon Shiki plus macron (which is unnecessary) and/or minus m/n distinction. Kmns tsw 02:01, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Listing "alternative" spellings

Recent edits of Gō (unit of measurement) have inserted "go" and "gou" as "alternative spellings". "go" is understandable in that some people may have trouble entering macrons; "gou" is just really bad. Both already exist as redirects or disambiguation pages, as they should. However, is really necessary to use multiple, inconsistent forms in the article?

Gō is merely one example, but may be the start of a precident. Do we really want to list all possible alternative spellings for all Japan-related articles? Bendono 01:13, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I have removed the alternate spellings (and sometimes remove them when they crop up elsewhere). This was decided, in effect, over two years ago. At that time we had articles reading "Junichiro Koizumi (Hepburn) (Japanese: 小泉 純一郎, Kunrei-shiki: Zyun-itiro Koizumi) (born January 8, 1942) is a Japanese politician and the current Prime Minister. The alternative Hepburn spellings include Zyunichiro Koizumi, Jun'ichiro Koizumi, and other notations with reversed order." I don't think anyone wants to go back to that. We have a manual of style to avoid things like that.
Consideration of alternate and deprecated spellings is only useful for redirecting and disambiguating. If someone has found the article already, they don't need to be informed of deprecated spelling forms. I still find macrons in page titles annoying (and I hate the fact that I can't use Wikipedia with the Wii browser, because it doesn't display them), but the point has been decided. We are never going to get anywhere if we willfully disregard the MOS.
On the other hand, I don't think it's very useful to leave the edit summary "revert misspelling" in cases like this. I know you think they are misspellings, but a lot of people don't. That's what I argued with you about the most during the most recent debate. Just say it's based on the MOS. When you talk about misspellings you are being more confrontational than is necessary. Dekimasu 04:02, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Your advice and edit has been ignored and the "alternative" spellings have been restored. I would revert it, yet again, but no not want to start an edit war. Perhaps it is time to formalize this style guidance in WP:MOS-JA. I have looked for the relevant discussion from two years ago but to no avail. If there are no objections, I will try to write something up. Or if someone else wants to write it, that is fine too. Bendono 15:06, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
It is formalized in the MOS-JA. These aren't different spellings, they're different romanizations: "Wikipedia uses the version of Revised Hepburn romanisation described below because it is generally accepted by scholars and it gives a fair indication of Japanese pronunciation to the intended audience of English speakers. People who care about other romanization systems are knowledgeable enough to look after themselves. Macrons should be used in all cases outside of those specifically mentioned below." --Kunzite 15:45, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
First of all, I am furious at the inconsiderate people who go discuss their edit-warring on some other page, without even the courtesy of a mention on the talk page of the article involved. Gene Nygaard 16:19, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
In an attempt not to create an edit war, I solicited the advice of others here to see if there was a consensus on this issue. I have chosen to refrain from editing the specific page since raising the issue here. More specifically, I am interested in the issue in general -- not merely for gō. Thus, I think that it is appropriate to discuss it here. Bendono 16:29, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
...considering my character was attacked for leaving a good-faith note at his talk page asking him to come here (after the fifth revert), I think he is talking to me. Although I only went to Gō in the first place because of this discussion. Dekimasu 16:49, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
One of the keys, of course, is unintentionally pointed out by Dekimasu above (emphasis added): "If someone has found the article already". One of the biggest problems with not including it is that it might not be found.
Second, in the case of things such as "go" and "koku", we have words that have been assimilated into English under those spellings. They should probably remain the article names, according to the naming conventions rules.
Third, keep in mind the difference between general Manual of Style issues and naming conventions issues. They are two different things; unfortunately, the naming conventions defer to this Manual of Style page, and editors do not always keep the distinctions clear.
While naming conventions deals with the choice from among alternatives for the one slot available for an article's name, they also deal quite legitimately with the expression of variants, with all variants with significant use in English are supposed to be included in the introduction. Minor variants, and variants used primarily in other languages, can also be there or can be included further down the page, if they are relevant.
Note also other general Wikipedia:Naming conventions rules which are applicable:
  • "The current title of a page is not intended to imply that either the title name is preferred or the alternative name is discouraged in the text of articles."
Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)#Include alternatives:
  • The body of each article, preferably in its first paragraph, should list all common names by which its subject is known. Gene Nygaard 16:54, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you can make it clear how someone could fail to find this article, assuming that the redirects from the alternate romanizations are in order.
Second, please acknowledge that this is different from "elevator, also known as a lift" or similar situations. The name is the same, and it is only the romanization that differs. Dekimasu 17:04, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
(For reference: The German page also includes only the macronned spelling. Dekimasu 03:20, 7 January 2007 (UTC))
Okay, I understand where this is coming from and agree completely when it comes to things like Gō, go, gou, or (good god) "Zyun-itiro". But, under this new element of policy, are we expected to not include statements like "Alternately (formerly?) known as Miyako, often spelled Meaco in Western texts..."? Sometimes historical or deprecated spellings are relevant. Just want to make sure - obviously mentioning the former names as Heian and Miyako are cool even under the new policy, but, purely by the wording of the policy if not its spirit, it sounds as if explanation or mention of Meaco is no longer suggested. What's the verdict? (And I mean this just as an example, so I would appreciate it if responses could be aimed at the general question and not the Miyako/Meaco example.) Cheers. LordAmeth 18:02, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you are referring to the Kyōto article. This is a good example of what Gene brought up: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)#Include alternatives. It is (or was) common. There is a body of literature that uses it, so citations can be given if requested. However, arbitrarily listing alternative, obscure, uncommon, personal romanizations without merit is something that should best be be avoided. Redirects should be sufficient for these cases.
The wording of the guideline is fairly general to be applicable to most articles. If you think that it should be clarified, feel free to make suggestions or edit it yourself. Bendono 00:16, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Can you site any any sources that "go / gou" are commonly used to mean ? With the macron-dropping-phenomenon (MDP), I am sure that you can find at least a few. However, is it common? Yes, English does have the word "go". However, the meanings are "to move from one place to another" or the Japanese board game (碁). These are very different from gō. The reference that you sited gives Beijing vs. Peking as fine examples. Both spellings are commonly used in English and appear in English dictionaries. It also mentions using redirects to point to the main article. I do not disagree. The common romanizations should be listed. For the myriad of alternative romanizatins, we use redirects. Click on Go. It takes you to a disambiguation page where Gō (unit of measurement) is already listed. Click on Gou. It is a redirect to Gō (unit of measurement). (You could even click on if you like.) The article has been categorized (and even has proper sort keys). The page is quite discoverable. Bendono 01:07, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'll cite Wikipedia: Until you went and changed them, both Cup (unit) and Rice cooker referred to gou, not gō. A wikipedia google search for gou japanese unit returns 38600 hits, a good number of which do in fact refer to the unit in question. In short, it is a common spelling that should be listed. Vectro 04:34, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I just went though the first 16,000 matches. Less than 1% of them have anything to do with the unit in question. And of those that do, almost all of them are mirrors of Wikipedia. Bendono 06:08, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Bendono, please don't lie. Assuming you started working on this project immediately after I made my posting, you would have had to look at nearly three pages every second to manage 16,000 pages by your posting 94 minutes later, without slowing down or taking a breaks. Nobody believes you really did that. As for relationships to the unit in question, 17% (excluding wikipedia mirrors) of the first two pages of hits were definitions of the unit. Finally, a search for gou japanese unit 180 yields 32,300 hits, nearly all of which are about the unit. (I should add that gō japanese unit 180 gives you only 180 hits) Leave your state of denial and deal with it — gou is a common alternative spelling. Vectro 17:18, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Please do not call me a liar. I stand by what I said. Please do look though your searches. Almost all of them have absolutely nothing to do with the unit in question. And those that do are mostly mirrors of Wikipedia. Bendono 21:35, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I can see listing "go" as an alternate, but I almost never see "gou" used. I've only found it in one Japanese language learning book that also uses the (IMHO) absurd "goo" for the same thing. (^_^) ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:28, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Syllabic n in article titles

Why exactly do we have the "Article titles should omit apostrophes after syllabic n" rule? The Renai game's article title has been bugging me.--SeizureDog 02:05, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Not sure why that should be an exception.-Jefu 02:41, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I also agree. There are many articles which have apostrophes in them (any title with "'s" in it, for example). I think this line should be changed to be something like, "Article titles should include an apostrophe after syllabic n which occurs before a vowel, and should create a redirect using the title without the syllabic n." Thoughts on this suggestion? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:23, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good, but it should be before a vowel or the letter y.-Jefu 04:29, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Ah, yes, I should have remembered that one, as well as the other error I accidentally included. Here you go: "Article titles should include an apostrophe after syllabic n which occurs before a vowel or the letter y, and should create a redirect using the title without the apostrophe." How's that? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:07, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Kanpeki.-Jefu 06:33, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
As long as it's still subordinate to the rule about words that have been assimilated into English. Dekimasu 08:31, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be simpler just to remove the present rule? It seems unnecessary to repeat it. The only reason the rule is presently stated separately is because it contradicts the rule for body text. The section opens with "Article titles should follow all of the points above, with the following exceptions" so once the title rule becomes the same as the text rule, we needn't repeat it.
Also, of course, it's still subordinate to the rule about company names, e.g. the article on the electronics company remains at Sanyo, not San'yō. And we're talking about a syllabic n followed immediately by a vowel or a y (I don't think any of us would write "Nissan' Auster" since the vowel's in the next word). We might not need to write those two points into the MoS; what do you think? Fg2 11:59, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
The more detail the better.-Jefu 12:26, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmm...I think I may agree with Fg2 here. Removing the rule altogether would be just as good as making a redundant rule. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:11, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Names of characters in an originally Japanese work

I don't see the answer reading here, so perhaps someone can help. For fictional characters (especially those in Anime and Manga imported to the US), should we follow the Last-First convention ("Son Goku"), the First-Last convention ("Goku Son"), or should there be no hard and fast rule. In this case, the character's name is a Japanization of Sun Wukong. How should this be considered? JRP 02:01, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

As the name is either Chinese or Korean, it likely goes Last-First according to the generally accepted formats for those languages. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 07:56, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Catsorting for macronned article titles

Gene Nygaard indirectly showed me a useful template that I think would be good to use on all articles using macrons in the titles: {{DEFAULTSORT}}. This will make sure the article is sorted correctly in all cases, including on stub lists and disambiguation pages. You use it like this: for the page Ōtsuka, placing {{DEFAULTSORT:Otsuka}} on the page will automatically make the page sort correctly on every category it's in. Thoughts? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 23:17, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I think it's a very helpful template. Just a reminder that when using this template for Japanese personal names of people born before 1868, the name order should remain the Japanese name order (family name given name) - without commas. So, {{DEFAULTSORT:Sakamoto Ryōma}}. Otherwise, confusion will result. Pinkville 23:24, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I put a blurb in the sorting paragraph of the MoS about this keyword. Neier 22:11, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Naming conflict at Ethnic Japanese

The ongoing naming conflict at Talk:Ethnic Japanese is putting me under a bit of Wikistress. Please take a look at it. The issues are:

I find, as usual, disambiguation to be the most important consideration, and the current title is ambiguous. But one way or another, this discussion needs more eyes to establish consensus, and I'm unable to successfully negotiate between the perspectives of the other two users who are most involved in the debate. I neither feel that "Nikkei" is mandated nor that "Ethnic Japanese" is possible. I will cross-post this at the talk of WP:MOS-JP because WP:NC shows deference to it. (originally posted at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Japan) Dekimasu 04:47, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Ryūkyū and Ryukyu

I see the Japanese Manual of Style says to use "Ryukyu Islands" in stead of "Ryūkyū Islands." What about the other words that include Ryūkyū/Ryukyu? For example, should we use "Ryūkyū Kingdom" or "Ryukyu Kingdom?" Should we use "Ryūkyvan people" or "Ryukyuan people?" When are we supposed to use macrons and when are we supposed to not use macrons? Thank you. Jecowa 22:26, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Oh no! Now you've done it. There have been at least two long and contentious debates over which form to use (and where). The best place to start, if you can stomach reading the whole thing, is here and here. But to summarise (if I remember properly, and someone will correct me if I'm in error), Ryukyu is only to be used in the name Ryukyu Islands and some directly related names, e.g. Ryukyuans, etc. But the debates did not resolve the issue (i.e. there was no consensus), and so we have Ryūkyū Kingdom. For other Japanese names and words, here is the resolution on macrons that was agreed to in this discussion:
  • Macrons should be used in article body text.
  • If the word in question is in general or local use in any major English dialect in a non-macronned form, the non-macronned form should be used in the title and body text.
  • In all cases, redirects should be put in place for the form(s) not used in the title to make sure people can easily find (or link to) the article no matter which form of the word they use.
  • We should use generally-accepted print and online dictionaries to determine if a word is "generally accepted" in any of the major English dialects. List of English words of Japanese origin can be used as a secondary source, but should always be verified as above.
Also, try this discussion on the use of macrons in Wikipedia. Pinkville 23:25, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you. I just wanted to make sure, so I wouldn't make a bunch of edits then have to go back and revert them all.

Where the manual of style says stuff about the word being in general/local use, it is not so easily determined which words have come into general/local use. It seems like something to be decided on a case by case basis. Maybe we can maintain a list on another page - every time a word is decided to be used either with macrons or without macrons, it can be added to the list and include a link to the discussion in which it was decided.

It seems Wikipedia articles should use "Ryūkyū" in every instance except for "Ryukyu Islands" and as the adjective "Ryukyuan." Does anyone disagree with the prior statement? Jecowa 00:34, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Oh boy. The short answer is yes, and that it would be better to do further specification instead. Because the macronned form redirects to Ryukyu Islands, this implies that many of the instances of simply "Ryukyu" should be denoted as such instead of in the macronned form. And it would seem harmlesss to explicitly change others to "Ryūkyū Kingdom" when warranted. (I separately suggest that if Ryūkyū Kingdom had been more involved in the previous debate, it would have lost its macron, too.) But is that satisfactory? My personal suggestion is to leave this one alone, Pandora. Dekimasu 07:25, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't want to start a big discussion; I just want to confirm the results of the discussion from November 2006. In other closed debates I've seen notices at the top that say something like, "This is a closed debate. Please do not comment here. The results of this discussion are "Ryukyu Islands" and "Ryukyuan" will now be considered as an exception to the rule of using macrons in the transliteration of the Japanese long 'o' and the Japanese long 'e' vowel sounds." Maybe we could do that on our closed discussions to. It is hard to determine just by reading it the results of the debate. Reading the entire debate takes a little bit too. Jecowa 19:26, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the result was that the line you originally asked about was put into the MOS. I'm not sure that the notice you're distilling is accurate, however. The decision was that the rule didn't apply because the terms have been incorporated into (Ryukyu) or originated in (Ryukyuan) English - that is, they're not really exceptions, but fall under a different rule. It's too bad that we never went over the Ryūkyū Kingdom issue at that time. Dekimasuが何もしません 17:21, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

"tv asahi" in all small letters

Back in December, sombody moved TV AsahiTv asahi. The first letter is capital due to technical restrictions only, but it is essentially tv asahi.

Now, according to WP:MOS-TM, you're NOT supposed to have all small letters.

If tv asahi is not allowed, and Tv asahi is not one of the alternate tradenames, I believe we need to move it back to TV Asahi (a more acceptable alternate) after all. If nobody objects (or is bold enough to move it back), I will initiate a page move back to TV Asahi.--Endroit 17:40, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I think we can follow the E.E. Cummings and Adidas precedents here. talk to Ytny 17:43, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Fine by me. Be bold. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:25, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I tried to move Tv asahiTV Asahi. But it wouldn't let me. Admin intervention would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.--Endroit 11:14, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Done. LordAmeth 13:16, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Authors' names on copyright pages

While the Wikipedia naming conventions specify Western order and heburn spelling, there are several major authors who have their name in Japanese order or unconventional spelling on the copyright page at the back of the Japanese edition. When these authors' work is translated, this order and spelling are preserved, so should the Wikipedia page match? For example, Ishin Nishio is written Nisio Isin on the copyright page, to preserve the palindrom. Keiichi Sigsawa spells his name without the h or u, which the English edition of Kino no Tabi reflects. Doceirias 11:13, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm inclined to format the lead similar to what's used in the classic example of this type of thing: e e cummings. I.e. Use the common form and note the author's variations. --Kunzite 08:10, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
鬼海弘雄 usually has his name as "Kikai Hiroh" on his books, sometimes as "Kikai Hiroo", seldom if ever as "Hiroh Kikai". May I therefore move Hiroh Kikai to Kikai Hiroh, or is there some Catch-22 that would prevent this article from escaping this goofy rule (written, perhaps tellingly, with antique Capitalization) and force an indignant move back? -- Hoary 08:58, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm specifically referring to times when the official spelling, the spelling used in the copyright, differs from the standard spelling. The E. E. Cummings example really has nothing to do with this, since it isn't a different spelling, and would probably have been written consistantly on the copyright page even if the covers to the book were different. I'm suggesting that the copyright spelling should supersede the wikipedia style guides. With Kikai Hiroh, is that on the covers, or on the copyright page? On the covers, Ishin Nishio's name is written NisiOisin, but I'm obviously not suggesting we change it to that. Another good example here is [Otsu-ichi] which could be written in a variety of ways: Otsu Ichi, Ichi Otsu, Otsuichi -- not a real name at all. But the wikipedia entry matches the copyright page and the spelling used in the English edition of his work. Doceirias 04:16, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to propose a change in policy related to this topic. Certain pen names are specifically designed to be spelled a certain way in English -- Ishin Nishio is designed to be spelled Nisio Isin, forming a palindrome, Keiichi Sigsawa is designed to sound like Sig Sauer, and Oh! great was obviously never intended to be transcribed as Ogure Ito. Judging from the results of my proposed move of Ishin Nishio to Nisio Isin, current policy maintains that these names should follow standard romanization until their works become popular enough in English to establish a common usage. I think the policy should be altered in cases like Nisio Isin, where we can safely predict what the common usage will become. Any arguements against this that I'm overlooking? Doceirias 01:38, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

For one, it's easy to say we can safely predict the common usage, but without a confirmed source, it's more speculation than anything else. -- Exitmoose 03:14, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with that. What would qualify as a confirmed source? The copyright page at the back of the book? An online article/interview explaining the reasoning behind the selection of the pen name? Or is the only recourse to wait for an English language release? Doceirias 04:37, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Another consideration is to not confuse an artistic representation of a name (nisiOisin, and (if I'm reading the Japanese wikipedia correctly) nisi•isin) with the romanization of the name. In this case, it almost sounds as if he has made a logo mark out of the pseudo-romanization. In that case, we should stick with the same principles that guide us wrt CamelCase on musical albums, and similar instances. Neier 05:04, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm definitely not suggesting that. There's no reason to imitate the logo, merely the spelling. As per the examples I gave above.
My point was that if the only instances of a spelling appear as stylized text in books (be it on the copyright page, the cover, or wherever), we can't let that guide us as to the way to romanize words, per E. E. Cummings. Neier 06:47, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Read you loud and clear. Does not appear as stylized text on the copyright page, simple as Nisio Isin in the normal fashion. Again, the E. E. Cummings example has nothing to do with this, since that was never a difference in spelling, only in using punctuation and capital letters, which we both agree should not change anything. On the other hand, we shouldn't spell Phish as Fish, should we? Or Oh! Great as Ogure Itoh, though you could certainly take out the exclamation point. Doceirias 08:05, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

In summary so far: We need a confirmed source to predict the common usage, but have not yet agreed what one would be. We have agreed that these decisions should not affect punctuation or capitalization, but I believe there is precedence for matching the spelling used on the copyright page of the Japanese edition, and this should be followed in the case of unusual pseudonyms created solely for a specific effect in the English spelling. I gather than only a few people care one way or the other, and I'm the only one who cares enough to keep responding, but we need opinions to reach consensus! Please join in! Doceirias 21:16, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Transliteration of long B () 万葉仮名

Modified Hepburn romanization distinguishes between kana for short o (, o) & long o (おー, ō) and short u (, u) & and long u (うー, ū) with macrons as ō and ū, respectively, but how does it destinguish between short B (, otsu, おつ) & long B () 万葉仮名 (Man'yōgana まんよがな lit. "Anthology of Myriad Leaves kana")? For example, 故 (ko lit. "deceased") has a different pronounciation from 己 (kö lit. "oneself"). Obviously for short A (, , こー) & long A () 万葉仮名, we can write o and ō and ö for for short B () 万葉仮名, but how do we write long B () 万葉仮名? We cannot use both a macron (¯) and diaeresis (¨) on the same character. Should we use Pinyin rules from Chinese? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Taric25 (talkcontribs).

There is no consensus that the 甲乙 distinction is on the vowel. In fact, the general thought for the last three decades has been that it was some kind of glide (/w/ and /y/). There are no short or long 甲乙; Old Japanese did not have long vowels. But that is beside the point. It is far outside the scope of Hepburn romanization. See my articles Old Japanese and Jōdai Tokushu Kanazukai for some assistance. Bendono 01:39, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
MOS-JA says: "People who care about other romanization systems are knowledgeable enough to look after themselves." --Kunzite 01:46, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

naming ōke, shinnōke, Fujiwara clan, kazoku and kizoku

I would like to get a discussion on the naming of nobles of the blood and others. I propose format to be "Title, last name, first name", such as Prince Higashikuni Naruhiko. For members of the imperial family it goes by the Household Agency, in that case "Title, first name, of House", such as Prince Tomohito of Mikasa. In case there is no confusion, it can remain "Title, House", such as Prince Hitachi. Can we agree on this? Gryffindor 16:14, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

When it comes to the Princes who are most frequently known by that name, I have no problem. But there's already a great many Barons and Marquis (pl sp?) etc who are already at simply GN-SN, or SN-GN for those born before 1868. I'm fine with your proposal, but if it goes through, I think we should cover all the kazoku, oke, shinnoke, etc under the umbrella of it. I'm not sure where Fujiwara fit, though, as they're not Princes or Barons or Counts. LordAmeth 19:54, 19 February 2007 (UTC)


It has been proposed that Suzakumon Gate, which literally means "Suzaku gate gate", be renamed. But are we to move it to Suzaku Gate, according to "use English", or to Suzakumon, according to "use the most common name/term"? Please comment on the talk page of that article (or we can start the discussion here, if people deem it more appropriate). Thank you. LordAmeth 19:57, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

This has to be changed

  • For a historical figure (a person born before the first year of Meiji (1868)), always use the traditional Japanese order of family name + given name.
  • For a modern figure (a person born from the first year of Meiji (1868) onward), always use the Western order of given name + family name.

This system is impractical and often misleading. Most “modern figures” who were active in the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century were born before 1868. It leaves a huge period of time in which one group of people are addressed in one way while others in another way.

Here's an example, a list of the modern Japanese prime ministers:

name born name convention
 1 ITO Hirobumi 1841 FAMILY NAME – given name
 2 KURODA Kiyotaka 1840 FAMILY NAME – given name
 3 YAMAGATA Aritomo 1838 FAMILY NAME – given name
 4 MATSUKATA Masayoshi 1835 FAMILY NAME – given name
 5 OKUMA Shigenobu 1838 FAMILY NAME – given name
 6 KATSURA Taro 1848 FAMILY NAME – given name
 7 SAIONJI Kinmochi 1849 FAMILY NAME – given name
 8 YAMAMOTO Gonbei 1852 FAMILY NAME – given name
 9 TERAUCHI Masatake 1852 FAMILY NAME – given name
10 HARA Takashi 1856 FAMILY NAME – given name
11 TAKAHASHI Korekiyo 1854 FAMILY NAME – given name
12 KATO Tomosaburo 1861 FAMILY NAME – given name
13 KIYOURA Keigo 1850 FAMILY NAME – given name
14 KATO Takaaki 1860 FAMILY NAME – given name
15 WAKATSUKI Reijiro 1866 FAMILY NAME – given name
16 TANAKA Giichi 1864 FAMILY NAME – given name
17 Osachi HAMAGUCHI 1870 given name – FAMILY NAME
18 INUKAI Tsuyoshi 1855 FAMILY NAME – given name
19 SAITO Makoto 1858 FAMILY NAME – given name
20 Keisuke OKADA 1868 given name – FAMILY NAME
21 Koki HIROTA 1878 given name – FAMILY NAME
22 Senjuro HAYASHI 1876 given name – FAMILY NAME
23 Fumimaro KONOE 1891 given name – FAMILY NAME
24 HIRANUMA Kiichiro 1867 FAMILY NAME – given name
25 Nobuyuki ABE 1875 given name – FAMILY NAME
26 Mitsumasa YONAI 1880 given name – FAMILY NAME
27 Hideki TOJO 1884 given name – FAMILY NAME
28 Kuniaki KOISO 1880 given name – FAMILY NAME
29 Prince Naruhiko HIGASHIKUNI 1887 given name – FAMILY NAME
30 SUZUKI Kantaro 1868 * FAMILY NAME – given name
31 Kijuro SHIDEHARA 1872 given name – FAMILY NAME
32 Shigeru YOSHIDA 1878 given name – FAMILY NAME
33 Tetsu KATAYAMA 1887 given name – FAMILY NAME
34 Hitoshi ASHIDA 1887 given name – FAMILY NAME
35 Ichiro HATOYAMA 1883 given name – FAMILY NAME
36 Tanzan ISHIBASHI 1884 given name – FAMILY NAME
37 Nobusuke KISI 1896 given name – FAMILY NAME
38 Hayato IKEDA 1899 given name – FAMILY NAME
39 Eisaku SATO 1901 given name – FAMILY NAME
40 Kakuei TANAKA 1918 given name – FAMILY NAME
41 Takeo MIKI 1909 given name – FAMILY NAME
42 Takeo FUKUDA 1905 given name – FAMILY NAME
43 Masayoshi OHIRA 1910 given name – FAMILY NAME
44 Zenko SUZUKI 1911 given name – FAMILY NAME
45 Yasuhiro NAKASONE 1918 given name – FAMILY NAME
46 Noboru TAKESHITA 1924 given name – FAMILY NAME
47 Sosuke UNO 1922 given name – FAMILY NAME
48 Toshiki KAIFU 1931 given name – FAMILY NAME
49 Kiichi MIYAZAWA 1919 given name – FAMILY NAME
50 Morihiro HOSOKAWA 1938 given name – FAMILY NAME
51 Tsutomu HATA 1935 given name – FAMILY NAME
52 Tomiichi MURAYAMA 1924 given name – FAMILY NAME
53 Ryutaro HASHIMOTO 1937 given name – FAMILY NAME
54 Keizo OBUCHI 1937 given name – FAMILY NAME
55 Yoshiro MORI 1937 given name – FAMILY NAME
56 Junichiro KOIZUMI 1942 given name – FAMILY NAME
57 Shinzo ABE 1954 given name – FAMILY NAME

* Suzuki was born on January 18, 1868, or “December 24, Keio 3” according to the Japanese calendar.
  The Meiji era started on January 25, 1868. This makes Suzuki a pre-Meiji “historical figure” (well, according to the style mannual).

This is too confusing. Most readers with little or no Japanese background probably can't tell if it's Osachi or Hamaguchi the family name of the 17th prime minister is. The 16th prime minister is Tanaka Giichi and the 40th is Kakuei Tanaka. Likewise, the 30th is Suzuki Kantaro and the 44th is Zenko Suzuki.

Here's more: Terauchi Masatake and Hisaichi Terauchi are father and son. Kido Takayoshi and Koichi Kido are grandfather and grandson. I don't think I'm the only one who thinks this is rather ridiculous.

I would like to propose the following:

  • For a historical figure (a person who was mostly active before 1868), always use the traditional Japanese order of family name + given name.
  • For a modern figure (a person who was mostly active 1868 onward), always use the Western order of given name + family name.

--Insomniacpuppy 04:55, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Hooboy. Yes, I recognized that difficulty when I was compiling lists of government ministers at one point. I like your proposal, and I don't think it should be too much of a shake-up in terms of actual implementation. Still, I expect a full-blown, crazy all-out debate over this, as the name order issue is one that we've argued soooo many times before. I hope I won't be disappointed. ^_^ LordAmeth 10:35, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
A line has to be drawn somewhere, and this is where the line is drawn for almost all of academia. It's a very logical point ot make the change as well, as Japan moved from a medieval society into being a modern power. As with all guidelines, exception can be made if there's a good enough reason, but there's no logical reason to make a currently very clear guideline into something that is far too ambiguous. Again, I'm fine with exceptions being made to this guideline if there's a compelling case for it, but otherwise I believe the guideline should be left as is. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:02, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Nihonjoe ... both with the fact that unfortunately the dividing line will be messy, and with the agreement that exceptions should be allowed (which I believe is the spirit of the "mostly active" proposal). "Mostly active" wouldn't work because it is vague ... I think this is an issue that deserves to rest in peace, but if forced to come up with what might be an alternative solution, perhaps looking at death date (instead of birth date) might work better ... although it seems a bit morbid to categorize people by when they die. But I'm fine with the status quo. CES 23:44, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I understand what you are trying to say, but I agree with Nihonjoe and CES. The only way to change to the without being ambiguous would be to throw it out entirely and use one naming system. I don't think many people want to see Suzuki Ichiro or Nobunaga Oda, though. Dekimasuが... 04:01, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
I wrote the compromise, and selected the first year of Meiji as the dividing line. But among the various proposals it was not the one I favored, so I'm hardly wedded to it. Still, I think an objectively verifiable dividing line is far preferable to a debatable one. "Mostly active" is debatable, and if we adopt it we should be prepared to debate very many cases individually.
A different alternative is technological. Can anyone cook up a template with date of birth, given name, and surname as parameters? The template would display the name of the person. When a reader clicks the name, the template would say "Given name: ... ; surname: ... ." For example, {{jpn-name|1827|Takamori|Saigō}} would display Saigō Takamori; when a reader clicked on it, it would say "Given name: Takamori; surname: Saigō." With such a template, we could keep the present system. Fg2 05:16, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Article titles and apostrophes (Continued)

MOS-JP states: "Article titles should omit apostrophes after syllabic n."

Last month this topic was discussed. From the discussion, it seems like a consensus has been reached about at least allowing apostrophes in titles. The remaining question is do we elaborate on the guidelines or simply remove it? I think it should just be removed. I bring this up because of a comment at Talk:Man'yōshū. Bendono 14:54, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Removing it should be fine, based on the previous discussion. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:11, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Removed. Bendono 05:31, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Small question about fictional works

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned in any of the style manuals (and I'm sorry for wasting your time if it has), but I have a question about non-Japanese characters appearing in original Japanese works/literature. The question is: should such characters have the original Japanese transliteration of their names mentioned on the first line of the article (after the English transliteration, of course), or should the transliteration be in the language of whatever nationality the character is supposed to be? The reason I ask is because someone seems to be systematically deleting the Katakana spellings of Korean characters' names and citing their presence as irrelevant despite the fact that, in most cases, said characters appear in works that were originally created in Japan and written in Japanese.Shabby 00:38, 24 February 2007 (UTC)