Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Archive 17

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Spaces in names (recap)

Several months ago, we had a discussion on the inclusion of spaces in names, which resulted in a concensus to split the kanji in the introduction (小泉<SPACE>純一郎) etc. The MoS currently has that in the WP:MOS-JA#Names of modern figures section; but not the WP:MOS-JA#Names of historical figures section. I can't see any reason or discussion on separating the usage of the SPACE between two cases, so I think it should be added to the historical figures section. I would change it myself, except, I just reverted an edit to Tokugawa Ieyasu which had removed the space. Even though he is the example listing in the historical names section (with the space), adding the sentence to the MoS directly after reverting an edit like that might be considered bad form. Neier 20:43, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Done for consistency's sake. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:57, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

A Qestion to Rocky7-san

Are you talking about a transliteration system? If so, it must be a transliteration of Kana script which is devoid of long vowels. If not, it must be a transcription of the Japanese language and you must reinvent the whole wheel of the syllabary or phonology. But then I wonder how you can talk about anything but the language of a specific time and region or a dialect. Please read Talk:Romanization of Japanese#An Extended-Hepburn System Kmns tsw 23:49, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

jAPAn's CrAZy caPItaliZaTIONS

Wikipedia already has policies on capitalization; however, it seems that Japan-related articles are especially subject to violations, due in part to the way that the roman alphabet is (mis)treated by sources in Japan. I don't think we need to break any ground by setting any new policies, but, I think it is not a bad idea to add a section to our MoS that enforces the point that Japan-related articles are not exceptions to WP:MOS-TM and WP:MOSCAPS (especially #2 in WP:MOSCAPS#All caps. Discussion or opposition? Neier 00:22, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Anime, CVG, and J-Pop related articles are frequent violators of this. Let's enshrine the standard in the rules. --Kunzite
I agree as well. Something like, "Use capitalization per WP:MOSCAPS and WP:MOS-TM." ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:35, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
In English, these are violations under Wikipedia style guidelines and proper English usage. Such butchering of the English language, however, are considered legitimate in Japan (Japanese). Hence, this situation can cause a conflict here in the English Wikipedia.
I am in support of the proposals by Neier and Nihonjoe, clarifying that Wikipedia style guidelines overrule the Japanese norms regarding this matter. Any "Japan-related trademarks, names, and entities" should adhere to the normal standards for capitalization, set here in the English Wikipedia.--Endroit 16:44, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Changes were made. I think it is a little more forceful than what was there already. Neier 06:29, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Lets' not' forget the craz'y apostrophe's to! (FLET'S) Brettr 13:06, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Me too. During the last three minutes I've revisited the article Harajuku, marveled again at WP's editors' huge preference for the description of "references" (no matter how daft or trivial) in "popular culture" to X rather than a description of X, seen that at least one of these "references" wasn't American but was instead by the Japanese popsters "Puffy", taken a quick look at their article (in which they're called by their longwinded US-market name despite being bigger in Japan), and taken the link therefrom to "Hi Hi PUFFY Bu", whose dutiful write-up of Puffy-cruft, sorry, PUFFY-cruft, has a certain comedic value that I presume was unintended. (Has corporate Japan really succeeded in some evil plan of defeating the Occident by mass infantilization?) -- Hoary 23:44, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I thought their plans were much more sinister (see Chinpokomon) Neier 02:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Meanwhile, which conspiracy hatched 快楽亭ブラック? (I don't know if he's having any effect on the "imperial" family, but the background on his site [a PNG misrepresented as a GIF] certainly messes with my brain.) -- Hoary 05:53, 23 March 2007 (UTC)


In a vein similar to the suggestion about capitalization above, I would like to propose a clarification regarding the use of italics for foreign-language terms. Even this MOS itself isn't consistent in its use of italics, although they appear to be mandated for anything not introduced into English (per Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Foreign terms). Consistent italicization would also be a useful visual cue for clarifying which terms should use macrons and which shouldn't (tankōbon or sumo, but never tankōbon or sumo). Dekimasuよ! 07:34, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand the example at the end of your comments. Could you elaborate? ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:48, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I was trying to use macrons as an example of text understood as Japanese vs. text understood as English. Thus, we would write "shōchū" when considering the word a Japanese term, and "shochu" when considering it English. We would never write "shōchū" in plain text, because that would be considering the macronned version common English; likewise shochu without macrons would be understood as improper transliteration. It's the same as the italicization scheme of the nihongo template.
I didn't mean to stir up macron discussions again. The trigger for the original post was a discussion of whether all the instances of shinigami should be italicized at Shinigami. They were on that page, but weren't on several of the manga-related pages that use the term. It seems like there should be some consistency among them, and that seems to fall under the scope of this MOS. Dekimasuよ! 06:45, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I strongly disagree. I will use your example "shōchū / shochu". Regardless of the use of italics and regardless of whether you consider the word to be English or Japanese via a transliteration, I expect to see the word spelled as "shōchū". As you said, "I didn't mean to stir up macron discussions again", so I will take your word and leave it at that unless further comments head into that direction. I suggest discussion concentrate on the italics issue without bringing the macron debate into it. As long as words are spelled correctly, I do not really have a strong opinion either way about italics. Bendono 07:28, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand what you strongly disagree with. I'll reiterate for added clarity. If you would like to go through the article and change all instances to "shōchū", be my guest. I would be perfectly happy. They almost all say "shochu" now, and I don't think I have ever touched that article. Just italicize them, please; it's not English. Dekimasuよ! 10:49, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Ah, this is a problem. Though, I would agree with Dekimasu. Currently, WP:MOS says briefly "Wikipedia prefers italics for phrases in other languages and for isolated foreign words that do not yet have common use in the English language." and "Loan words or phrases that have common use in English, not require italicization." So, yeah, I think that roughly the same guidelines could be applied to italics as to macrons (though proper names are never italicized, right?). Shinigami is definitely a Japanese word, not one that has been taken into English, and as far as I'm concerned should always be italicized, so that's a simple one. I'm sort of on the fence personally about when words which pertain solely to a specifically Japanese context (e.g. kabuki, daimyō, ukiyo-e, kendō) should be counted as "common English words" - daimyō and ukiyo-e are far less likely to be included in the average person's vocabulary than karate, samurai, ninja, geisha, and sushi as used by people who only know the words from movies or video games and don't really know the culture and history behind them... but that can be an argument for another time. For the sake of simplicity, I think Dekimasu's idea is fine - For non-proper nouns, the same guidelines for determining foreign word identity can be applied to both macrons and italics. LordAmeth 10:36, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for putting my point more clearly. We set "common use" as the criterion for not using macrons, so it should roughly coincide with italicization under the current policy, regardless of the validity of that policy, which we shouldn't discuss here, per Bendono. Dekimasuよ! 10:49, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

How about resolving this by the addition of a numbered point in the section on body text romanization, simply to the effect that "transliterated terms should be italicized in accordance with Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Foreign terms"? Dekimasuよ! 10:00, 30 March 2007 (UTC)


I'm interested in everyone's opinions on Utada Hikaru versus Hikaru Utada. The current page goes against the MoS: 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 . There is an old discussion at Talk:Utada Hikaru#Requested move, but, it looks like none of the WP:MOS-JA regulars were aware of it (or, at least, did not vote). Is the stage name "Utada Hikaru" popular enough to earn an exception to our rules? Or, does it even matter how popular the name is? Neier 12:50, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I note that ja:WP thinks its readers can put up with [scratches his head, trying to think of the name of some occidental popster] ブリトニー・スピアーズ and doesn't convert the shaven-headed one to スピアーズ・ブリトニー. I'm delighted to hear that Utada Hikaru has broken this asinine rule of en:WP, and look forward to using it as a precedent myself. (Indeed, I wish I had a bot with which I could change thousands of reversed Japanese names to their original order. Not that I intend to break any rules, of course. Perish the thought!) -- Hoary 12:59, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this isn't a great example for your cause, since she was born in America and has American citizenship. I would never refer to her as "Hikaru Utada", but I don't see the necessity of an exception here. Under what name is

her music released in the USA? I seem to remember that Exodus was published domestically... the others might only be available as imports. If Exodus was released under "Hikaru Utada", that should seal the deal. Dekimasuよ! 13:04, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

My understanding is that for entertainers and artists/authors, the self-chosen nom de guerre supersedes WP:MOS-JA, so Utada shouldn't have any effect on MOS-JA. Say what you will of the inequities of the reversed name order, at least Japanese names are consistent. If you're Chinese, your family names comes first if you play basketball, but not if you play baseball. Ytny (talk) 13:15, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
My understanding is that for entertainers and artists/authors, the self-chosen nom de guerre supersedes WP:MOS-JA: This is wonderful news; except that it can't be as simple as all that otherwise the fanbase will cry that the nom de guerre of Ellegarden is (and you'd better put your hands over your ears) "ELLEGARDEN" etc etc. -- Hoary 13:27, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Ah, but that's why we have WP:NAME to deal with the naughty capitalizers. Ytny (talk) 13:29, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
This can go around in circles all day, but I'm pretty sure it's not true that we defer to other MOS pages; WP:NAME#Japanese defers to this page, and anyway, WP:NAME#People tells us that "Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people) starts from the idea that names in the format <First name> <Last name> are usually the least problematic as page name for an article on a single person." I can't find anything on any of the pages that says we should defer to a self-chosen name (except in the case of a company), although we have had discussions on this page about kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, et cetera. The most basic rule in most situations is Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names), and since she releases music in the Western world and sometimes lives there, it is useful to ask what name she releases it under there. The answer, unfortunately, appears to be just "Utada". Dekimasuよ! 13:37, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I should've been clearer about which WP supersedes which. MOS-JA naming convention is generally for Japanese people who go buy their legal name and haven't changed or modified it for artistic reasons. It's a bit muddled since "Utada Hikaru" is both her legal (at least before marriage) and stage name, but it seems we've generally gone by the romanized name in published works, even if it's meant for Japanese audiences (Tomomi Kahala comes to mind).
I'm not sure if her US career is notable enough for her US stage name to have much relevance. I'm just guessing here, but her US followers know her as a J-Pop singer, not as a failed (not even close to) Top 40 artist.
Apropos of little, the Japanese Wikipedia lists a naturalized former footballer as ディド・ハーフナー, but his son, also a naturalized citizen, as ハーフナー・マイク. And Iron Chef Chinese shows up as Chen Kenichi, while a certain Taiwanese passport-holding baseball player is known as Sadaharu Oh. 15:21, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
But we are, in fact, having this discussion because she has a larger following of Western followers than the average J-pop singer, leading to a more widespread recognition of the Japanese naming order. We don't seem to have this problem with Kumi Koda, Ayumi Hamasaki, or other such articles that would never appear with the Western naming order under any circumstances. Dekimasuよ! 15:31, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
"Kumi Koda"; ah, so she's lost a mora as well. I first encountered Kōda Kumi on a TV within some suburban supermarket; I thought it was a soft porn loop and was waiting for her to unhook her bra. Not much music, lots of cleavage and eyelash-fluttering, change of clothes every ten seconds. The interminable and adulatory article about her is riddled with goofy capitalization, starting in the very first sentence. -- Hoary 00:04, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, if we just go by the cover of the Exodus CD, that doesn't decide anything. In fact, it actually goes more toward using Hikaru Utada rather than Utada Hikaru since it uses simply "Utada" as her artist name on the cover. So, it may be time to revisit the location of her article here. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:48, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

All of the things I found indicate she goes by just "Utada" in the USA... despite which, her birth certificate says "Hikaru Utada". I don't see the need for an exception. Dekimasuよ! 03:56, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid I must disagree with you there. If her music is published in the States under the name "Utada" (a one-word name, like Sting, Madonna, or Moby), how does that tilt it towards Hikaru Utada being the more appropriate version? Personally, I see no problem with making an exception in this case as it is an official stage-name.LordAmeth 01:44, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
As an aside, I think there is suitable confusion as to her name, based on the edit I just had to make to repair a category sorting. Neier 05:28, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
No chance of revisiting the stupid MoS rule whereby Japanese people who happen to have been born after 1867 have their names inverted by default? -- Hoary 00:04, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
People who don't know the naming order used in Japan will either walk around saying "Hikaru Utada" and "Noboru Takeshita" or they will walk around saying "Ms. Hikaru" and "Mr. Noboru". It's six of one, a half dozen of the other. Dekimasuよ! 04:12, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what they'll do. When I started ranting above, I was under the influence of a malaise that only turned out later to be a cold (still with me); certainly I hadn't realized that Utada was (to some extent) American. I've just now had a quick look at her article. (I couldn't be bothered to read it; for the most part I contemplated the numerous depictions [Fair Use!] of her everchanging hairstyles.) I did notice that there was a section on her name. Its very start is bizarre: "Her legal name at birth was Hikaru Utada (宇多田光 Utada Hikaru?)." Now, I very hazily (mis)remember that there's nothing about yomikata in name registration; if this is correct, then it would be a lot more accurate (if less helpful) to say that her legal name at birth was 宇多田光, period. But I could well be wrong; for now, I'll assume that I am wrong there and that her name was registered as both 宇多田光 and うただひかる. What I'm absolutely sure of is that her legal name in Japan was never ひかるうただ, a fact that is of course obvious to all of us geezers nattering away on this page but that won't be obvious to those people populating Dekimasuyo's nightmare as they walk around mumbling "Mister Noboru". Assuming that she should be "Hikaru Utada" (which incidentally I dispute), this should be something like: "Her legal name at birth was 宇多田光: Utada Hikaru, or in the western order Hikaru Utada" -- one can later argue over the exact wording of this, and whether it's worth pointing out here that 光 isn't the same as ヒカル, etc etc.
Putting Japanese names back to front seems pretty daft, but going behond this to say (or strongly imply, for those who don't take the link to a separate explanation of Japanese names) that this inverted order is the legally registered form in Japan: this is utterly bonkers. -- Hoary 08:41, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
It's not the MOS that's stupid. It's the stupid academics and the media who use last-first for pre-Meiji figures and vice versa for post-Meiji. As an encyclopedia that is at the mercy of secondary sources, Wikipedia (and the MOS) will always be the symptom, not the disease. Ytny (talk) 00:37, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with any academic work that does this bizarre switch for 1868 and I can think of few academic works that invert the Japanese order. Meanwhile, well-edited non-academic books increasingly keep the Japanese order. The stupidity is in the collective wisdom of the Bouvards and Pécuchets of this compendium of fancruft, trivia, and (sometimes) notable information, and their worries about "the media" and the prejudices of its consumers. (Elsewhere, yes, WP is the symptom: e.g. of the mess caused by two approaches to romanization, each inadequate.) -- Hoary 01:09, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

I honestly did not intend for this to turn into a debate over our arbitrary 1868 dividing point; but, only whether there was any reason to hold an exception to our arbitrary 1868 dividing point. I was leaning towards "no exception" in this case, and it seems that most of the comments agree with that.

As for the 1868 cut-off date; it makes it easy for editors, but, confusing for everyone else. While generally we should avoid making rules specifically for the ease of editors (Wikipedia being primarily for the readers), I think we need to have a naming order rule in order to prevent chaos and constant page moves. Having the order spelled out in the MoS at least keeps things stable. The only alternative to the 1868 rule that I can see garnering any support is forcing all Japanese articles to be ordered "FamilyName GivenName". Then, we have a gray area about "what is a Japanese article"? Is Kazuo Ishiguro Japanese? How about Ayako Fujitani? Even in clear cases of Japanese-ness, we would see outrage from Wikipedia editors in general when we renamed Suzuki Ichiro and Matsui Hideki.

By obliging ourselves to the idea that names in the format <First name> <Last name> are usually the least problematic we can avoid those troubles, and simply move the controversy to historical figures. Nobody wants to see a page titled Ieyasu Tokugawa, so to avoid that, we have to find a way to discriminately determine how we order a person's name. The Meji divide is a pretty good compromise in that resort. Neier 01:13, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

The only alternative to the 1868 rule that I can see garnering any support is forcing all Japanese articles to be ordered "FamilyName GivenName". If you mean personal names (regardless of whether they're article titles), that sounds good to me. ("Forcing" is a bit odd, though. Why "force" a name to remain in its correct order? Now they're forced into the wrong order.)
Then, we have a gray area about "what is a Japanese article"? Is Kazuo Ishiguro Japanese? How about Ayako Fujitani? The former is a novelist who's spent most of his life in Europe and who writes in English; he seems pretty obviously European to me. I'd never heard of the latter, but the article about her (which suggests that I've missed little) makes it pretty clear that she's Japanese.
Even in clear cases of Japanese-ness, we would see outrage from Wikipedia editors in general when we renamed Suzuki Ichiro and Matsui Hideki. The former would be Suzuki Ichirō, no? They're Japanese baseball players who work in the US, where, I suppose, their names are systematically inverted. I know little about baseball but wouldn't be surprised to hear that they are both "bigger" in Japan than in the US, even while they're working in the US. Certainly their names are prominent in sports tabloids and their faces are prominent in advertising in Japan. But I don't care about them either way. Surely a couple of baseball players needn't be an impediment to putting thousands of Japanese names in the right order, as opposed to what westerners who know little about Japan fondly presume is the right order. -- Hoary 03:12, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
"Surely a couple of baseball players needn't be an impediment to putting thousands of Japanese names in the right order, as opposed to what westerners who know little about Japan fondly presume is the right order. " - Hoary, tell that to the Japanese government: - = Shinzo Abe! Also, remember this is an Anglophone wiki, so we only care about people who speak English. WhisperToMe 03:59, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
1. tell that to the Japanese government: I have no interest in attempting to tell anything to the people who constitute the Japanese government.
2. Also, remember this is an Anglophone wiki, so we only care about people who speak English. Actually only those who read English. I care about delivering to these people information that is correct, not mangled to conform to their prejudices, the style guides of English-language newspapers, etc. -- Hoary 04:37, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Why is it an issue if the names are "mangled" if the Japanese clearly embrace "Western order in English?" I can find more examples for you. Read Mainichi Shimbun's English language edition: . Read Sanrio Japan's history: . Look at Kodanclub (Kodansha) descriptions of manga series here: - "Western order in English" is clearly commonplace in Japan, so the Western order usage for modern figures cannot be considered to be mangled. Also, this illustrates the concept that FNGN is to be used for the Japanese language while GNFN is used for the English language. WhisperToMe 05:42, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Why is it an issue if the names are "mangled" if the Japanese clearly embrace "Western order in English?" If they did, it wouldn't be. But they don't do so en masse. (Some do, some don't.) I don't have to look at the online English-language Mainichi: I already know that the Japan Times and the Asahi part of the Japanese-market IHT reverse the name order. I'm particularly uninterested in what's done by the publishers of juvenile literature. I am interested in what's done by, say, Yale University Press. -- Hoary 07:38, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

A lot of you are editing Japanese pages and don't the history of Japanese name order? The decision was taken by Monbusho to use given-name family-name order in English to avoid confusion for foreigners in the Meiji Era. Recently the policy has been relaxed to allow people to choose the order used but bucking the established order is unusual. Utada is on record as saying the name order Utada Hikaru was not intended for English use but was simply using romaji on her Japanese CD (I've heard her say this and this is mentioned in the wiki article). Also if you look at sites like Amazon you'll see her name written Hikaru Utada. Brettr 05:57, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Really, Monbushō and its successor can prescribe whatever they like: nothing they say can alter the fact that (for example) Domon Ken was called Domon Ken and not "Ken Domon". -- Hoary 07:38, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
You mean this guy, right? The reality is that common modern usage of Japanese names is tending towards GNFN. We can deny that here, but, it won't stop anything; and, that's why I don't think that a mandatory FNGN ordering for Japanese articles would fly. As for determining whether someone is Japanese or not, by the transitive property of the judgement you applied to Ishiguro above, are Daniel Kahl and Kaiya Japanese? Here's a bonus round: Crystal Kay, who lived her whole life here. In ja:wiki, she even gets to keep her Roman name; but, under the Ishiguro rule you would probably want her as Williams Crystal Kay ? It's those types of decisions (including Ishiguro) which we don't need to be making here.Neier 09:42, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
There certainly is a Domon Ken Kinenkan for the Domon Ken I have in mind, so I suppose it's the same fellow, yes. (But since looking at the site requires plugging in some plug in, I can't see it.) He's the kind of person who richly deserves an article in en:WP but clearly is of nowhere near as much interest to the mass of en:WP editors as are these gaijin tarento, etc (all of whom are unknown to me) that you dig up.
Look, I neither know nor care if any gaijin tarento is Japanese or Korean or New Guinean or whatever. To the extent that they are Japanese, all together they constitute a minuscule percentage of born-after-1867, noteworthy Japanese people. Maybe you can tweak the rules so that anybody who consistently uses a certain arrangement of name-elements has an article under that arrangement -- as of course is already done for Elton John* and so forth.
* Oh, I've just read that his real name isn't John Elton, as I'd presumed. Well, there are probably other cases of order-switching.
Meanwhile, I very slowly slowly continue to add material to the bibliography of Kimu-- sorry, of "Ihei Kimura", dutifully translating the book title Kimura Ihei no Shōwa as "The Shōwa period of Ihei Kimura", dutifully ignoring the fact that at least a couple of the books -- most notably the recent, splendid, but horribly expensive Kimura Ihei no Pari -- already have English subtitles that give the man's name in its natural order. All because I must keep to a goofy rule designed not to upset the undereducated or to avoid disputes about gaijin tarento or whatever.
The reality is that common modern usage of Japanese names is tending towards GNFN. News to me. Where's the evidence for this? -- Hoary 11:33, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
And, by yielding to the main wikipedia naming convention of GNFN, we never have to judge the borderline cases if anyone is Japanese, Korean, or whatever. Before 1868, the distinction is not nearly as blurry as it is now, and, certain liberties (with WP conventions) can be taken. Neier 13:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I should have put "in English" somewhere in that sentence. I should also tell you that I agree with the principle that Japanese names (and Chinese, Korean, and everywhere else) should be in their native order. I just don't think it's practical here. We can't even agree to give Abe Shinzō his macron. The macron section says that people who care about different romanization schemes already know enough to look after themselves here; I would put forth that the same thing is true for "accurate" naming orders. Applying WP:NC(CN) to more recent people will give GNFN based on google hits (Kiichi Miyazawa -wiki: 54k/18k in favor of GNFN). For persons in the past, the pendulum will swing in the other direction. (Tokugawa Ieyasu: 170k/52k in favor of FNGN). Finding the inflection point is tricky, and 1868 is as good of a compromise as we are going to find, I fear. Neier 13:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Google hits! Just what kind of "encyclopedia" is this? (But I suppose I should be grateful: If it wasn't Google hits, it could be "How the name is mentioned in the Simpsons and Popular [US] Culture.") Putting aside such matters as the macron for Japan's top-ranking grandson of a war criminal, I still don't understand why the names of thousands of notable and unambiguously Japanese people should be reversed in order to avoid problems with a relative handful of ambiguously Japanese people (a disproportionate number of whom seem to be mere tarento). And I don't even see the problem with these people's names. The fully Japanese (I presume) トニー谷 was so called on his records, and トニー is obviously modeled on "Tony", so "Tony Tani" he is. (Or conceivably "Tonī Tani", but anyway not "Tani Tonī"). -- Hoary 13:53, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
You really should get the plugin, so you can see the "Ken Domon Museum of Photography" on the homepage of 土門拳記念館. Neier 13:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks but no thanks. It's probably Flash or something similar; the first and last time I gave my consent to its installation, every single page on (a site I use a lot) was degraded by an irritating animation. -- Hoary 04:23, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Hoary, you are the personification of everything that is wrong with wiki and the internet in general, one person who has a bee in his bonnet about something and won't listen to consenus and people with more experience and knowledge. You've been shown to be wrong about Hikaru Utada and Ken Domon and every other point. Monbusho has no successor, it is a current government department and prescribes the Japanese language. Anyone with any knowledge of Japan and Japanese should know this. Brettr 14:39, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Just FYI, if you look at the article for MEXT, you will find that "In January 2001, the former Monbusho and the former Science and Technology Agency (科学技術庁, Kagaku-Gijutsuchō?) merged into the present MEXT." So there is a successor to the Monbusho: the Monbu-kagakushō or MEXT. So maybe Hoary's more knowledgeable and in touch with Japanese subjects than you give him credit for. LordAmeth 15:05, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
The idea that Monkashō (as it's usually called) effectively "prescribes the Japanese language" is pretty daft. Anyone with any knowledge of language should know this. (Of course, it may try to do this, and may even have some minor effect, what with the strong prescriptivist strain in Japanese lexicography, etc.) How have I been shown to be wrong about "Ken Domon"? That aside, thank you for the perceptive comment on what it is that I personify; I got a good laugh out of it. -- Hoary 23:47, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Ameth, Monbusho did not disappear.
Hoary, Neier has already told you that the official home page 土門拳記念館 refers to it as "Ken Domon Museum of Photography" in English (and it's the Ken Domon Award). It's hilarious that you think you are the great protector of Japanese names, never mind the official policy formulated by Monbusho that has been used ever since and your atttempts to find some exceptions to it. Keep trying you may find one eventually. FYI many foreigners do reverse their names in Japanese, my name for one is registered as familyname givenname in the official register. Brettr 04:18, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
"Monbusho" (Monbushō) is now Monkashō. But if you prefer to believe otherwise, fine. ¶ I missed Neier's comment on "Ken Domon Museum of Photography" previously as he stuck it in an unexpected place (from which I have since moved it). I don't see how I was wrong about Domon. Clearly there are two ways to represent the man's name in English: "Domon Ken" and "Ken Domon". The former requires no inversion and is my preference. The latter requires an inversion and is that museum's preference and, it seems, yours too. ¶ your atttempts to find some exceptions to it. Keep trying you may find one eventually I'm not sure I follow this. Exceptions within Monkashō's prescriptions? These prescriptions are of no interest to me. Or Japanese people who put their names in the order surname-first within English-language contexts? Here's one (India is a rare exception). Oh, right, and there's Utada Hikaru. ¶ You are of course perfectly free to reverse the original order of your name in Japan; however, that your name is written in reversed form in a kosekisho is no evidence that you do this, if I'm right in remembering that the way in which foreigners' names are written in kosekisho has much less to do with the foreigner's preference than with government rules. (Indeed, I vaguely remember that my own name is reversed there.) ¶ I hadn't realized that I'd thought I was "the great protector of Japanese names", but I'm delighted to have caused you hilarity. (Are you "LOL"? I certainly hope so!) -- Hoary 04:49, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
In my experience, most people still call it the Monbushō even though it's the Monbukagakushō now; many people don't know about or understand the change. Dekimasuよ! 05:50, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Each to their experience: my own was that a week after the reorganization almost all L1 Japanese participants in Japanese discussions were calling it neither Monbushō nor (other than when speaking very carefully) Monbukagakushō but instead Monkashō. -- Hoary 06:59, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Now that we've come this far, it seems like there is no disagreement that the article should be at Hikaru Utada under the current guidance of this MOS. Further, some people don't like the rules that are in place. Can we all agree on that interpretation of the answer to the original question? Dekimasuよ! 05:50, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, you're right: the way the MoS is worded now, there's no loophole unless "Utada Hikaru" were a pseudonym, which it obviously isn't. (From which I infer that the MoS sucks, but this is by the way.) -- Hoary 06:59, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Way too much flamage here on a problem easily dealt with by appropriate redirects. For what it's worth, as someone who has resided in both the U.S. and Japan, "When in Rome, write your name in the order the Romans do", and therefore the current MoS, works for me. --Meyer 01:18, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Hoary, I have already directed you to evidence that Utada's name is written Hikaru Utada in English (although she usually just goes under the name Utada). The former requires no inversion and is my preference. My point is that your preference is completely irrelevant. There are official government policies, wikipedia policies and what you think is irrelevant, unless of course your name happens to be 宇多田光 or 土門拳. As for my name notice I used the active voice "... many foreigners do reverse their names..." not that we "have our name reversed". Surely you don't expect me to prove the usage of my name? Your usage of macrons is cute, exactly which style of ローマ字 is Monbushō written in? Brettr 03:27, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think this is a productive or necessary discussion at this point. There is disagreement on a very basic level, and it's not likely to be resolved in this thread. Dekimasuよ! 03:34, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
There is a lot of misinformation in this thread. Much of it has been covered several times in the archives. Dekimasu is right: it is not productive so lets just let it be. Bendono 04:06, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with that sentiment, assuming you're just talking about the MoS, and not the applicability to Utada's article. I think it's safe to say that nobody is ever going to be 100% happy with however we decide to order names here; and, as I've opined already, the current guidance seems to be the closest we're going to come. Neier 05:06, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

"Utada Hikaru VS Hikaru Utada" seem to be in conflict once again. — ~∀SÐFムサ~ =] Babashi? antenna? 17:39, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

City names

On April 1, both Hamamatsu, Shizuoka and Niigata, Niigata became designated cities. In Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles)/City naming#Group 1: Designated cities with unique names, we somewhat reached concensus to move some city articles to their name without , Prefecture. So, I was WP:BOLD and already moved Hamamatsu because it met the same criteria (Hamamatsu was already a redirect to Hamamatsu, Shizuoka).

Niigata is similar to Shizuoka, in that the DAB page links only to the prefecture and the city. In those two cases, I think that we could redirect the DAB to the city, and put a {{for}} tag on the top that points to the prefecture. DABs for other cities, such as Kawasaki, are more complicated, and should not be changed. Opinions? Neier 09:19, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Agreed for both. Fukuoka, Fukuoka is similar, though there are more uses. Kawasaki, Kanagawa and Sakai, Osaka should probably stay where they are due to the obvious fact that "Kawasaki" could quite easily refer to the company and "Sakai" could easily refer to the Iron Chef or some other Japanese person. I've updated Template:Regions and administrative divisions of Japan and included it in both articles. -- Exitmoose 01:37, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
The change to Hamamatsu seems a good one. (I'd thought that Hamamatsu was also a fairly common surname, but ja:WP can only come up with one, and a mere 「アイドル・タレント・女優」 at that.) I hadn't thought that Niigata-shi was overwhelmingly more salient than Niigata-ken, so I wonder about changing Niigata from a dab into a redirect. -- Hoary 01:53, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Hamamatsu is fine, but Niigata, Chiba, Fukuoka, etc. should really be at the doubled titles. For that matter, so should Kyoto and Osaka. We've had this discussion before too... I'll try to find a link. The problem is that when people link to cities, they often link in the format [[Sakai]], [[Osaka]] rather than the format [[Sakai, Osaka]]. Then we would need to go in and fix the links all the time, even when the pages aren't dabs. I have fixed the Fukuoka links in the past, and I've just signed up at WP:DPL to fix the links for Chiba, and I know that killing those dab pages will do more harm than good, so please wait a second while I find the old discussion. (Sakai actually seems as though it would be okay to move. I maintain the links there as well and 90% go to Sakai, Osaka; the other 10% go to Sakai Project. Almost no one links to family names without personal names because they would have been linked with the full name higher in the article, or the article is about that person.) Dekimasuよ! 03:10, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Got it. There is further applicable discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles)/misc14#Designated cities. Please read through it if you can. Dekimasuよ! 03:15, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Tetsuya Shiroo and Itcho Ito

Another editor moved Itchō Itō to Itcho Ito last night. Tetsuya Shiroo uses a doubled o instead of an ō, but the name "breaks" between the os: 城 (Shiro) 尾 (o). I believe the first article should be returned to the Itchō Itō title, but I am unsure if the romanization of Shiroo should be changed to Shirō. Advice? -- JHunterJ 11:02, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I've moved it back, but am unsure about Shiroo. Isn't that different from a long o? —Nightstallion (?) 12:42, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Phonetically, no, I believe it is a long o. The Wiktionary rules seem to indicate it should be written with the macron; I think the only potential snag is that it's in a proper name that happens to be "split" on the os. -- JHunterJ 12:54, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I try to stay out of person naming discussions (related to macrons), but, on Nagasaki's web site, there is a letter in English, signed Iccho Itoh (which probably explains where CNN came up with their romanization). So, for Wikipedia's title, I would rule out Itcho Ito without macrons, because it doesn't match his preferred usage OR our MoS. As for the Iccho vs Itchō debate . . . I'll see you all later. Neier 12:57, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and since the second o obviously comes from its own 尾 kanji, the Wiktionary page says to don't macronize in that case, but to use a diaresis (ugh). We don't do the diaresis here, so, it seems that leaving the two oo is ok. Neier 13:21, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that last note -- I missed it in the Wiktionary rules. I may copy this part of the discussion over to the Shiroo talk page. -- JHunterJ 13:46, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

In that case, you may choose between any of the three romanizations I encountered, but you may not use macrons:

  • Itcho Ito
  • Iccho Ito
  • Iccho Itoh

Read MOS-JA for details

Shiroo is to stay "Shiroo" WhisperToMe 15:53, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Why may you not use macrons? The guideline against macrons appears to me to apply to article titles that are in common English usage (Tokyo), not to names not in common English use (Itchō Itō). -- JHunterJ 15:57, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

"Macron usage in the name of a modern figure should adhere to the following, in order of preference: 1. Use the official trade name if available in English/Latin alphabet; 2. Use the form found in a dictionary entry from a generally-accepted English dictionary; 3. Use the form publicly used on behalf of the person in the English-speaking world; 4. Use the form publicly used on behalf of the person in any other popular Latin-alphabet-using language (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, and Dutch, or variations); or 5. If none of the above is available, use the macronned form."

Ito is now known in English because his death was reported via various press sources all over the world.

I had to tell Nightstallion that he was mistaken about the MOS-JA. WhisperToMe 15:58, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with this. Of the five rules, Iccho Itoh probably (probably) matches rule #1. But, having one's name spelled incorrectly by various press outlets does not mean that the name was used "on behalf of the person". Until Monday, an article on the mayor of Nagasaki would not have met the requirements for common-usage to get around the macrons. And, I don't think it has met them yet anyway. There is no reason to have Itcho Ito. We should choose between Iccho Itoh and Itchō Itō. - Neier 22:58, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Neier, then use Iccho Itoh, because nobody used Itchō Itō WhisperToMe 23:06, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I do not think the recent reports of Itoh's death are enough to count as common usage in English, but the previously mentioned letter on the Nagasaki web site is a clear example of rule #3 (personal names are not trade names, so not rule #1), so Iccho Itoh should be the preferred spelling here. --Meyer 04:18, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Iccho Itoh it is, Meyer! :) WhisperToMe 04:30, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Transliterating yojijukugo

What is the format we should use for formatting these terms? I notice an article at Shun-Ka-Shū-Tō, another at Ichi-go ichi-e, Yojijukugo itself is all run together (if we can consider it an example of itself), and there are several other possible formats as well. The form with three hyphens and four capital letters seems a little extreme to me, but other than that I'm not sure what's best. Dekimasuよ! 10:57, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree that Four-Capitals-Three-Hyphens is not very attractive. I suggest that since yojijukugo are a kind of proverb, and English proverbs are usually formatted as sentence fragments, that we adopt similar formating for romanized youjijyukugo: four space-separated words, initial capital, no terminal punctuation, e.g. Shun ka shū tō, Ichi go ichi e, Yo ji juku go. --Meyer 15:04, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. I think that in the cases of yojijukugo that use on readings, I'd prefer we treat them as kango compounds in some sense. How do you feel about Shunka shūtō in that case? Dekimasuよ! 15:43, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Proverbs can usually be sourced, and perhaps a common transliteration will present itself.
  • The Seattle Times (January 30, 2005) and The Straits Times (July 11, 2006) used "Ichi-go ichi-e", while The Sunday Oregonian (March 6, 2005) used "Ichi go ichi e". I'd go with The Seattle Times in that case.
  • The Californian (October 4, 2003) used "SHUN-KA-SHUH-TOH", which I'd ignore :-), Yomimuri Shimbun (January 19, 2002) used "Shunkashuto", and The Oregonian (May 14, 1991) used "Shunkashutoh"; I'd opt for either of the unhyphenated versions.
  • Yomimuri Shimbun (January 24, 1994) used "Yojijukugo" but has since used "Yoji Jukugo" (November 24, 2004) and "Yoji-Jukugo" (October 19, 2001). Any of those would do, but I wouldn't make it four words. -- JHunterJ 15:47, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Dekimasu. I should have thought a bit more before typing, especially my examples. The phrases shouldn't all be broken into words, but break on Japanese word units, so you could have one, two, three, or four words depending on the proverb.
Looking for common transliterations sounds good in theory, but I'll bet in most cases you would have a hard time finding enough examples to establish a common pattern, and as JHunterJ's examples show general print media are even less consistent than WP is on romanization.
Perhaps we can agree that All-Capitalized-And-Hyphenated, EVERY-WORD-ALL-CAPS, Onebiglongword (except where the proverb is a single Japanese word), and others should be discouraged, but as this boils down to aesthetics we should be tolerant of variations. While I prefer my original "Four letter proverb" style, I don't mind most of the variations of capitalization and hyphenation cited above (other than my to-be-discouraged examples).
--Meyer 16:13, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we can agree to discourage Onebiglongword in general. Based on usage in print, I'd still say Shunkashuto or Shunkashutoh is preferable to Shun ka shu to or Shunka shuto (with or without the macrons). Shunka shuto would be preferable to Shun ka shu to, based on Google search results. But yes, the Initial Caps are unneeded unless it's a proper noun. (BTW, I was ignoring SHUN-KA-SHUH-TOH for its use of "UH" for a long u sound.) -- JHunterJ 16:31, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that one long word is preferable. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:05, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
When they split naturally one way or another, it gives us a place to break by putting a space between the words. Yoji (four characters) is at least almost a word; jukugo certainly is. That leads to yoji jukugo. To me, ichigo ichie likewise splits naturally. Nearly all the entries in the list at yojijukugo#Examples of idiomatic yojijukugo follow this pattern.
Shunkashuto doesn't have that natural break, as far as I know; the four are just independent seasons. I might write it without spaces or as four separate words but writing it as two words seems odd.
So my recommendation would be to see if the four break down into smaller pieces. When they do, write the pieces as words, with a space between them. When they don't, there are some options to consider, such as one word or four words. Fg2 10:39, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Names of historic capitals

Wikipedia has no system for its names for historic capitals of Japan. We have

They're also written variously in piped links in articles.

As you can see, the questions include

  • Space, hyphen, or neither?
  • Capitalize the "k" in "kyō"?

Out of the various possibilities, these are in use:

  1. space, uppercase
  2. hyphen, lowercase
  3. no space, lowercase

In addition, of course, there's the English word "Tokyo" for the modern (not historic) capital.


Fg2 22:29, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, obviously we need a standard. I'd suggest the hyphen, with a lowercase "k", as this helps to better distinguish elements of the placename. We currently use a hyphen for "-ji" and "-dera", and I imagine that we would use a hyphen for "-jō" if we weren't just calling everything X Castle instead of X-jō. But as a second choice, I definitely prefer the no-space and lowercase, as "kyō" is really part of the name, someting of a suffix, and not a word unto itself. LordAmeth 01:26, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree with LordAmeth. I think "hyphen, with lowercase 'k'" would be best and in keeping with the formatting used for similarly-formatted names (as mentioned). ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:59, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
That style (#2) works for me. Out of the bunch, the only article I started was Nagaokakyō, and I probably named it by following a red link (although the memory grows dim). Which is to say I'm not wedded to style #3. Fg2 06:55, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Nothing to add, but, #2 is the one I prefer too. Neier 10:13, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Shall we declare this decided? It's been two weeks with unanimous agreement. The names are to follow the pattern Fujiwara-kyō. Fg2 07:45, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

I would agree. Consistency with -ji, -tera, -in and others makes hyphen in these names sensible. Moreover, that is the approach adopted by the one scholarly journal style sheet I found (, see section 5 of Stylistic conventions). I second approving hyphens here as the standard. However, to complicate matters, section 5 of Capitalization and italicization in the same document proposes no hyphen in names of temples, i.e., "Kiyomizudera" and so on... Stca74 16:17, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Template:Japanese name

This template seems to have caught on recently. It's now transcluded in ~300 articles, up from 5 or so when I first started using it late last year. However, it's now appearing in articles that might not need it - Motojiro Kajii (this revision), for example, already uses the Western order predominantly, and makes the Japanese order clear using Template:Nihongo.

This seems a good time to establish some usage guidelines for the template, ideally including a mention on this MOS page. The choices would be:

  1. Use in all Japanese biographical articles, to eliminate any trace of ambiguity. (Which would mean even including it in articles like Junichiro Koizumi and Shigeru Miyamoto)
  2. Use only in articles where the name is mainly given in Japanese order, or where there's some exceptional source of ambiguity.
  3. Scrap the template entirely and come up with a new way of resolving name-order ambiguity.

I'm currently following 2, but I wouldn't be violently opposed to 1. In any case, I'd like to find out what the consensus is so I know I'm not flying in its face. - Ben Ram 00:51, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

This seems to be instruction creep to me. I don't see any reason to include it in any article as long as we always follow the convention of referring to the subject of the article by the family name anytime other than the initial reference at the beginning. I think the intentions behind the template are good, but I don't think it should be used. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:13, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
The number of times I've had to correct (both Japanese and non-Japanese) biographical articles to refer to the subject by the family name suggests that even many editors are unaware of that convention, so I don't think it's safe at all to assume that readers will be familiar with it. We don't want to make the Manual of Style required reading to understand Wikipedia. - Ben Ram 11:33, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with that point. An alarming number are also wrongly ordered in the category sort (including comma!), like (made up examples) [[Category:Prime ministers of Japan|Junichiro, Koizumi]] or {{DEFAULTSORT:Daisuke, Matsuzaka}}. But, I don't see how the template helps that problem. I think that #2 is the best option, but, I also think that the wording of the template needs to be changed to reflect that fact. Something like This name is listed in traditional/historical Japanese order. The family name is ...' - Neier 11:50, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
If the template is changed as per User:Neier's suggestion, then I agree. However, with so much confusion about Japanese names, and wikipedia's current practice of using western style for people born post-Meiji and Japanese style for pre-Meiji names, I think that it should be routinely applied to ALL Japanese bios. --MChew 08:26, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm a Wikipedia editor that rarely touches (or reads) Japan-related articles, but I just came across this template for the first time and found it extremely useful. Please add these to as many articles as possible! Calliopejen1 02:27, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

A few comments

Greetings. First, I would like thank User:LordAmeth for pointing me to these guidelines. I have read through them as well as through nearly a dozen (and counting) of relevant archives. I realize that I do not really have anything "new" to write that has not been discussed previously. However, I would still like to make a few comments.

I am a university undergraduate. While I have not yet declared a major, I have been taking many Japanese history courses. At the beginning of each quarter, the professors (and sometimes TAs, as well) always give a similar lecture about spelling Japanese terms properly. The gist of the lecture is that some terms (places, people, technical vocabulary) need bars (called macrons I think) to be spelled properly. We are warned that some publications seem to relax this requirement and omit them, but that this is incorrect and unacceptable at a university level. During the freshmen courses, some leniency is given at first, but by the sophomore level, papers with misspelled words are returned with no credit. This seems fair since all of our textbooks explicitly use the bars as well. Some professors distribute supplemental lists of relevant terms with proper spellings for reference.

I have always loved Wikipedia. It is a great treasure trove of information. Many of the historical topics that I have been learning about are well covered here on Wikipedia. For a large part, Wikipedia uses the bars as my textbooks and university teaches. However, there are major (and minor) exceptions.

Occasionally there is class discussion about how sites such as Wikipedia sometimes omit the bars in contrast to our textbooks and university requirements. This often causes large conflicts and generally ends in people condemning Wikipedia as being of poor and unacceptable quality. It would be so much simpler if spelling could be consistent throughout. Granted, it is a little more work to type, but it seems to be more correct and expected at a professional level. I suspect it is just laziness that people omit them.

As an encyclopedia, I would expect the information to be correct both in details and in spelling. While I think that Wikpedia is on the right track, there are too many exceptions. For instance, the section titled "English words of Japanese origin" seems to be a major source of problems. Several examples suggest "Tokyo, jujutsu, and shogi, instead of [...] Tōkyō, jūjutsu, and shōgi". Why? I am a native speaker of English (and do not know any Japanese). However, it is easy to find reference books using the macron form. Note that I have read and comprehend WP:UE. However, just omitting the bars does not make it any more (or less) English. The only example in that section which in my opinion has anything to do with English is Mount Fuji vs. Fuji-san. (I agree that Mount Fuji should be preferred in this case.)

Is it too late to add my vote to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles)/Prefectures and macrons? Both Kyōto and Ōsaka are extremely important in history. I think that Tōkyō could be a potential problem, but it is historically known as Edo so I can often ignore the issue (not to say that it should not be fixed, though). Needless to say, Wikipedia uses the spellings Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo which is disappointing to say the least.

Going through the archives, it seems apparent that many play the numbers game. This seems flawed in several respects. 1) In a casual environment, people will usually abbreviate and type what is easier for them (i.e., no special marks). 2) Some resources, in particular professional and academic texts, should be more reliable than the average source even though they are fewer in number.

I think that the current exceptions and inconsistency hurt Wikipedia as an encyclopedia of knowledge. These exceptions are often contrary to professional and academic texts and ultimately hurt Wikipedia as an encyclopedia of knowledge. As much as I like Wikipedia, it is difficult to continue to defend and recommend it with the present guidelines.

I have been warned to expect opposition. And I can see that there are strong opinions from the archives. Nevertheless, I felt a need to express my opinion on the subject. TwilightEclipse 11:08, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Hi TwilightEclipse,
Let me explain in a bit more detail the English-Japanese point. Wikipedia spells Japanese words using macrons (when appropriate) but Wikipedia spells English words without macrons. The Japanese has a macron, the English does not. It's normal for spelling, pronunciation, diacritics and other features to be different in different languages. Imagine the pandemonium that would arise if someone required us to write every accent that the French wrote on words that English borrowed from French. (In fact, even the French have changed the way they write some of those words since we borrowed them.)
Wikipedia did not decide to write Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka without macrons on the basis of their being unimportant. Quite the opposite: they're so important that their names became part of the English language and in English do not have macrons. In contrast, Ōita (to cite one example) has not become clearly established as an English word, and retains its macron.
Here's an illustrative example. The book Warrior rule in Japan is a scholarly volume, edited by Marius B. Jansen of Princeton University and published by Cambridge University Press. The preface (p. xiv) spells Osaka and Kyoto without macrons. On page 168 we again find Kyoto without macrons, while Meishō, Nijō, Tōshō daigongen, and Tōshōgū have all their macrons. Page 187 further illustrates the tendency to exclude macrons from well-established English spellings: "Osaka City Magistrates" has no macron, but the original Japanese term written below it (in italics, indicating the use of a foreign language) is "Ōsaka machibugyō." The same page has another, similar example for Osaka, and one for Kyoto (without macron in English, with in Japanese).
In another volume, The Making of Modern Japan (Harvard-Belknap), Janson writes all three cities, and Kobe too, according to the same convention Wikipedia uses. He writes Hyōgo and Kōchi with their macrons. These are names that never made it into the English language.
Surely you can find examples that use macrons consistently, even for Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. There's no need to; I concede that there are authors and editors that do. But I hope you'll agree that there are also scholarly works that make a clear distinction between English spellings and Japanese. Wikipedia did not invent this idea, and it did not arise from laziness. It's a feature of (some) truly academic writing. And it genuinely extends beyond "Mount Fuji versus Fuji-san."
Wikipedia likewise did not make the names of these cities English; several generations of writers, speakers, and editors did. And they likewise made "judo" an English word, while the Japanese remains jūdō.
We're discussing the English-language Wikipedia. Naturally, when we have a word that we could write either according to English or Japanese norms, we select English first. That's why the great cities and the popularly known words like "sumo" have no macrons. When there's no English word, we can only write the Japanese. I don't see this as a major inconsistency.
As you read articles, you'll see that we include both the English and the Japanese forms where appropriate. See, for example, the article Shogi, which begins "Shogi (将棋、しょうぎ shōgi?)." We put the article title first (Shogi), the native Japanese script second (将棋、しょうぎ) and the Japanese word with its macron third (shōgi), if it differs from the article title. The information is there in the article. We've presented it right on the first line, as an encyclopedia should.
If you look through the archives, you'll find that various people have won and lost arguments at different times. A small few have given up in dismay and left the project, while most of us continue to contribute despite our losses. Whether the community accepts your arguments or keeps the status quo, I hope you'll stay with us. As we approach two million articles, there's a lot of room for you to make valuable contributions without compromising your principles.

Fg2 12:21, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate the response. However, I must disagree with much of what you wrote. "Wikipedia spells Japanese words using macrons (when appropriate) but Wikipedia spells English words without macrons. The Japanese has a macron, the English does not." I only know English, but to my knowledge, Japanese is written in a non-latin script which does not need macrons. Thus, the topic of macrons is entirely an English one. Also, English texts write Japanese terms (such as Kyōto) with macrons. Again, this is an English convention.
"[Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are] so important that their names became part of the English language and in English do not have macrons." Place names do not become English by being loosing their macrons. Nor are they English with the macrons, either. They are something outside of language. According to my references, Kyōto means "capital" and Ōsaka means "great hill". If anything, that is more "English".
"Surely you can find examples that use macrons consistently, even for Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. There's no need to; I concede that there are authors and editors that do. But I hope you'll agree that there are also scholarly works that make a clear distinction between English spellings and Japanese." This is the issue, though. As a native speaker of English with absolutely no Japanese ability, I do not consider Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka to be any more or less English than Tōkyō, Kyōto, or Ōsaka. The corresponding Japanese is written in kanji, I assume, not with macrons.
While I do not know too much about "shogi" or "judo", I do not consider the terms to be English. They are foreign words basically meaning Japanese chess and (a) Japanese martial arts. A quick look at a glossary from a professor shows that they should be spelled "shōgi" and "jūdō". I would expect that appropriate resources can be found with that spelling as well.
It is clear that some English texts will drop macrons, while others will retain them. So the problem is which to prefer. I do not think that it is simply a matter of English vs. Japanese. These issues are present in entirely English texts, and Japanese is written in other scripts. One form seems to be more precise, while the other is more relaxed. For an encylopedia of knowledge, I think a more precise form should be preferred. Furthermore, being consistent throughout should also increase readabilty and comprehension. TwilightEclipse 13:42, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
The main point is this: this is the English Wikipedia, and the naming conventions used by the English Wikipedia are that we should use the most commonly-used English spelling. Tokyo, sumo, Kyoto, Osaka, shogi, and judo all fall under this rule as they are very well-known and commonly-used words in English. As Fg2 explained, we also give the Japanese romanization using macrons in all of these articles. Romanized Japanese (which is what Fg2 was referring to) is written in Latin script, and the romanization usage here is clearly spelled out in the Manual of Style (Japan-related articles) page. Please keep in mind that the vast majority of people using the English Wikipedia have little to no knowledge of correct romanization for Japanese words, and we need to use the romanization most commonly used. We provide the correct romanization for those interested, but the aim of the articles is to provide information on the topic rather than confuse people by tweaking words which are very clearly English now. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:07, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Dear TwilightEclipse-san,
I think you are quite naive about the problem. But it is your forte. If we stick to any currently-practiced norms, we cannot work out the problem. Please read talk:Romanization_of_Japanese/Archive_2#An_Extended_Hepburn_System Kmns tsw 12:16, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

I do not think it falls under Wikipedia's jurisdiction to decide what has been made into English, or not. All Japanese words that require a bar should be spelt that way because that will reenforce correct spelling. If Wikipedia recognizes that spelling is something that should be consistent, then the Japanese Encyclopedia of Language would be the best book to consult on spelling, rather than a Google search. Google does not necessarily reflect the correct spelling of a word. Another good place to consult is the Language Divison of the Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency. Newshinjitsu 09:43, 31 May 2007 (UTC)NewShinjitsu

Wikipedia doesn't have to decide. All Japanese words and names that are commonly used in English have accepted English spellings. Conversely, Japanese words and names not commonly used in English are written using Hepburn. Thus, we have Tokyo (not tōkyō), but 先斗町 Pontochō; Kyoto (not kyōto), but 小伝馬町 Kodenmachō; sumo (not sumō).
Japanese words and names that are commonly used in English also do not need to be italicised, unlike other foreign words. Thus, it's kimono (not kimono); sushi (not sushi) and karate (not karate). This is all standard academic practice. Exploding Boy 01:16, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Modern figure name preference rules

I have reworded the preference rules which previously specified only macron usage to apply to spelling in general. Generalizing the rule explicitly makes it a standard by which we can make decisions like "Hirohito-or-Emperor-Showa". --Meyer 02:53, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Koda Kumi?

There's sort of a debate going on in the Koda Talk Page about how Koda's name should be written. Personally, I prefer her name being written Koda Kumi as opposed to Kumi Koda, and here's why:

Her original name is "Koda Kumiko" (神田來未子), but when she debuted as an Avex artist, she decided to respell her name as "Koda Kumi" (倖田來未). As someone else in the talk page stated earlier, this is a nickname and should be followed as such. Also, when her products are released, Avex writes her name in English as "Koda Kumi" and not "Kumi Koda".

Also, according to the Pseudonym section: In the case of an actor, athlete, author, artist or other individual who is more well known under a pseudonym, use the pseudonym as the article title, and note the additional names they may use (e.g., birth name, other pseudonyms), following the standards above. So, I'm guessing we should go ahead and go with Koda Kumi. If we should not, please tell us so there is a conclusion to thsi confusion. XaiTerran 22:20, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

As Kumi is just a shortened form of Kumiko, I don't see how it warrants an exclusion to the rest of our naming rules. The Pseudonym section is what keeps the article at "Kumi Koda" and not "Kumiko Koda". Neier 23:49, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Many Japanese women whose names end in 子 omit that from their names in everyday contexts, and it doesn't have to carry a special meaning. Even accepting that the 倖田來未 spelling is a stage name and that the stage name is the most common form, we can still identify one as the first name and one as the last name, and that should be formatted GN-FN under the MOS rules. I think the current title is acceptable (give or take a macron). Dekimasuよ! 03:18, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Her original name is "Koda Kumiko" (神田來未子). I don't think so. I think it's much more likely to be Kōda Kumiko. Calling her Kōda Kumi would be fine with me, but refraining from reversing the names of Japanese people seems a repugnant notion to lots of right-thinking folk who argue over this bit of the MoS (see "Utada", above). Incidentally, I notice that with "JUICY", "MAROC" and perhaps others, the Kōda article sports wacky capitalization. -- Hoary 04:55, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
So I guess the verdict is that the article is Kumi Koda then. Thanks guys. XaiTerran 05:31, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

The entire debate about name order seems utterly stupid to me. Standard academic practice when writing in English is to use the preferred name order of the subject, thus Mishima Yukio (not Yukio Mishima); Murakami Haruki (not Haruki Murakami); and Asō Tarō, not Taro Aso. Exploding Boy 01:20, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Koichi Yamadera and confusion over MOS-JA


Why was this discussion made in the first place?

A quick search on Amazon reveals the official romanization of Yamadera as "Koichi Yamadera" - Production IG also uses that name - As does the official Cowboy Bebop website.

Remember the order of preference for names? Macrons almost always go dead last because English publications almost always withhold macrons. WhisperToMe 05:25, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

It really depends on what kind of English publications you read. Most of what I read regularly includes them. By the way, I suggest reading Trade name. Notice that it is about businesses, not people, and the name is legally registered. Bendono 05:54, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
The publications include credits by companies publishing anime with his voicework in English-speaking countries. "3: Use the form publicly used on behalf of the person in the English-speaking world;" - Koichi Yamadera is used on his behalf by the companies. I will change my stance if someone finds a document showing Yamadera using macrons as his trade name. WhisperToMe 06:01, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I was not clear. A person can not have a trade name. A trade name is something that businesses have. They are legally registered. Whichever companies Kōichi Yamadera has worked for probably have their own legally registered trade names, but that has absolutely nothing to do with Kōichi Yamadera, and, it should go without saying, they can not register a trade name for him. Rule 1 is non sequitur in regard to people.
English is the new Latin. There are hardly any countries on the planet where people do not speak or know English (to a degree). This is another basically meaningless rule. Bendono 06:13, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
"A person can not have a trade name." If that is the case, then I suppose whoever is responsible should revise the modern figure section of the Manual of Style for Japan articles. Didn't one of it's rules state that "Use the official trade name" if available in English/Latin alphabet? Perhaps changing trade name to professional name would be more appropriate.
After reading the guidelines all over again and again, I think we should only exclude macrons for articles on those persons who romanize their names without them, which is obvious via through their official websites or blogs, publicity, or even through official music albums of those who are musicians. After all, didn't another two of the MOS-JA rules states "Use the form publicly used on behalf of the person in the English-speaking world" and "Use the form publicly used on behalf of the person in any other popular Latin-alphabet-using language (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, and Dutch, or variations)"? If none of the above is available, then only should the article be under the macronned form. For example, Yuuka Nanri stay as it is since it is that name which she professionally goes under; as evidenced through the spelling of FictionJunction Yuuka, the group which she is the lead vocalist, when it should have been Yūka Nanri instead. Same goes for Houko Kuwashima where her official website and music albums spell her name that way. Not to mention that there are some other people who romanize their names differently, such as in the case of Showtaro Morikubo, in which you can see that he himself uses that spelling on his official website, and even Show Hayami does the same. And since that is the case, we should honor those spellings as well, not just because they themselves spell it that way, but it is also through those names in which they would be most commonly known under in the English-speaking world, and so forth.
As for the Kōichi Yamadera case, I think the article should remain under the macronned form. Bendono is right in a sense that even though Kōichi Yamadera is under the company that spells his name without the macrons, we cannot just determine through that way that the macronless spelling is his correct professional name, since I myself have seen no proof that he himself spells his name that way. Unless something comes straight from Yamadera himself on how to spell his name in the Latin alphabet, the article should remain where it is for the time being.
Basically those are just my opinions. But since there are still disputes over whether the macrons should be there or not, I suggest we should come to a consensus in order to prevent anymore of this from happening, or perhaps like what I mentioned above, revising the MOS-JA guidelines to a point where it wouldn't be confusing to some others. DivineLady 10:15, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
"A person can not have a trade name." I think that "trade name" here means trademark. I vaguely thought that, simply, anyone could claim that anything was a trademark; whether anyone takes the claim seriously is another matter. What people do have to take seriously are registered trademarks. Can a person register their own name as a trademark? I dunno, but certainly they can come close. Consider Dan Bricklin: his website tells the world: "Dan Bricklin's" is a registered trademark of Daniel S. Bricklin. He doesn't say where it's registered, but you get the point. Amazing: If a completely unrelated friend of mine happens to be called Dan Bricklin and I happen to write an article about him, do I have to write "I just about managed to cram my moped into Dan Bricklin's the car of Dan Bricklin"? (NB if unregistered trademarks mean anything, it gets worse: the "Terms of Use" page within tells us that "Martha", "Martha Stewart", "Martha Stewart Living," . . . are trademarks and/or service marks of MSO and/or its subsidiaries. Is your name Martha? No, don't bother answering that: It's MSO's name, not yours.) -- Hoary 10:38, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Hoary, according to, "behalf" may also be defined as: 2. in or on (someone's) behalf, in the interest or aid of (someone): He interceded in my behalf. From states: "A body of opinion favors in with the “interest, benefit” sense of behalf and on with the “support, defense” sense. This distinction has been observed by some writers but overall has never had a sound basis in actual usage. In current British use, on behalf (of) has replaced in behalf (of); both are still used in American English, but the distinction is frequently not observed."

As in Koichi Yamadera did not have to explicitly state "this is how I would like for my name to be romanized" in order for this to fit THAT definition WhisperToMe 20:20, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I think you're addressing User:DivineLady, not me. -- Hoary 01:49, 11 May 2007 (UTC)