Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Archive 20

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Archive 19 Archive 20 Archive 21

New template

This needs to be updated for the new Template:Nihongo3. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 07:59, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this template does not seem necessary at all. I've used {{Nihongo}} before in a similar fashion, and all you have to do is put the romaji first and the English third (kanji second of course). So there is no need to have another template just for this basic switch.-- 09:57, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Manual of Style: What to do when various Manuals of Style give inconsistent guidance

A spirited debate is taking place at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Project guidelines. The discussion is on a proposal to add the text "... where there is inconsistency between MOS and its subpages, MOS prevails" to the main manual of style. Fg2 (talk) 08:16, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

"nihongo2" is one up on "nihongo"

Thank you (whoever) for changing the "nihongo" template back to what it was before. Not because I like the way it is now, but because I dislike it less. (It's less bulky, and unlike the decorative version the CSS doesn't have blunders.) Below, I'll argue that "nihongo2" is a better solution much of the time.

First, let's reconsider what "nihongo" does, via example.

{{nihongo|Shōji Ueda|植田 正治|Ueda Shōji|comment}} is right now converted into:

Shōji Ueda <span style="font-weight: normal">(<span class="t_nihongo_kanji" lang="ja" xml:lang="ja">植田 正治</span><span class="t_nihongo_comma" style="display:none">,</span> <i><span class="t_nihongo_romaji">Ueda Shōji</span></i><span class="t_nihongo_help"><sup><a href="/wiki/Help:Japanese" title="Help:Japanese"><span class="t_nihongo_icon" style="color:#00e;font:bold 80% sans-serif;text-decoration:none;padding:0 .1em;">?</span></a></sup></span>, comment)</span>

(With a little "i" graphic, it's a lot longer than that.)

I'll try to explain the above for those who aren't so familiar with HTML/CSS:

  1. A sizable chunk of it -- the part that's in pink -- adds a little question mark and links this to Help:Japanese. (I'm not going to dissect this.)
  2. Using "lang" and "xml:lang" (for HTML and X(HT)ML respectively), it tells any browser that's interested that the kanji part is in the Japanese language (not that it's in Japanese script). I suppose that this is for audio browsers, so that they attempt to render 植田正治 in Japanese rather than, say, Chinese. (In principle, lang="ja" xml:lang="ja" should be added for Japanese in roman script too, but I'm not recommending this.) Further, MediaWiki:Common.css says: :lang(ja) {font-family: Code2000, "Arial Unicode MS", "Bitstream Cyberbit", "Bitstream CyberCJK", IPAGothic, IPAPGothic, IPAUIGothic, "Kochi Gothic", IPAMincho, IPAPMincho; font-family /**/:inherit;}. I find it hard to think of any browser that benefits from the latter.
  3. It puts the kanji into CSS class "t_nihongo_kanji" and romanized Japanese into CSS class "t_nihongo_romaji". Neither seems to be defined anywhere, though I suppose (i) individuals are welcome to define them for themselves, and (ii) one or both might be added to common.css later.

We all know the first of these three. As for the second and third, they're laborious to explain but add up to very little.

Back to Ueda. He was a member of Chūgoku Shashinka Shūdan. I'm not aware of an English name for this (and doubt that there was one), but let's imagine for a moment that it was "Chugoku Photographers' Club". What I'm encouraged to do is write {{nihongo|Chugoku Photographers' Club|中国写真家集団|Chūgoku Shashinka Shūdan}}. Result: Duplication of all the rigmarole above, with a duplicate (and elegant/helpful/irritating/obnoxious) and pointless link to the exact same Help:Japanese article.

Alternatively, I can write Chugoku Photographers' Club ({{nihongo2|中国写真家集団}}, ''Chūgoku Shashinka Shūdan''). Result:

Chugoku Photographers' Club (<span class="t_nihongo_kanji" lang="ja" xml:lang="ja">中国写真家集団</span>, <i>Chūgoku Shashinka Shūdan</i>)

No mind-numbing repetition of the link, much less bulk, and little (probably nothing) lost. And this is why I am using "nihongo2" as much as possible and "nihongo" as little as possible. -- Hoary (talk) 09:40, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

And your point being? I might add that you want to use, in general, as little kanji as possible when writing the article, this encyclopedia being English one. Ideally, almost all article on topics related to Japan would contain only one nihongo template in the opening sentence. So I don't see much a problem with an older version and new version. Of course, there is still a problem that the icon is probably confusing to people other than Japan-related articles contributors (but I'm not interested in repeating myself.) -- Taku (talk) 11:03, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
And my point being that when, as often happens, I want to add kanji in more than one place, I prefer to use "nihongo2" wherever possible for those second and subsequent occurrences, because doing so avoids pointless repetition of a link, and reduces the bulk of the page. Further, I recommend that others consider doing the same.
I want to use as few kanji as are needed to make the resulting article informative and helpful. But I strongly disagree with any claim that "almost all" articles on topics related to Japan should have no more than one string of kanji. Tadahiko Hayashi is neither typical of articles on Japan-related subjects nor a good article, but it's typical of my articles in mid-development: (i) it's bristling with names in kanji because there's no likelihood that most will get articles in the foreseeable future and in the meantime people may want to look up the names elsewhere; (ii) it has a bibliography that gives Japanese titles in Japanese script as these are what are easiest to look up (in addition to Japanese titles in roman script, English titles where these exist, and my own translations of the Japanese titles into English where I know English titles don't exist). I believe that these additional kanji are (potentially) helpful, and really don't care if they make a bizarre impression on people who can't read them or aren't interested in them. They'll make less of a bizarre impression if they're not all accompanied by a link to Help:Japanese. Which is why I intend to convert most examples of "nihongo" in that article to "nihongo2". -- Hoary (talk) 14:18, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

We do agree that the fewer nihongo (not nihongo2) templates the article has the better, so this isn't an actual debate but anyway. (In fact, others might find this interesting.) By "almost all articles must have at most one kanji" I meant eventually so. It clutters text a lot, often too much, if books title or names of institutions are given with English translation, kanji and romaji scripts. Usually, the first sentence of an article contains a rather detailed information on the name of the topic it discusses. (In case of Japan-related topics, this information includes kanji.) This is good because this is part of the role of the sentence; that is, to define the topic. This doesn't apply to names or titles mentioned in the middle of an article. Ok, granted, I add kanji for all the time in places other than first sentences. But this is just a temporary measure; eventually red links would go away along with kanji. It is true that not every book or institution is notable enough to merit a standalone article; but then I would ask: do we need to provide data lengthy enough to disrupt narrative, if not in the footnote. I know kanji is often useful information when one wants to find, say, a book by that kanji. But, for example, when mentioning a book, say, in a biography article of a novelist, we should use a footnote that would contain the year of publication, language, publisher, link to a digital copy (e.g., Aozora bunko) if available, etc. I know I don't do this, but that's because I'm lazy :) Some article contains a chunk of Japanese text in the middle of an article. Japan Standard Time is an example. But in this case that Japanese text should be replaced by a translation and the text should go to the footnote.

Of course, there are a lot of exceptions to this eventuality-kanji-must-be-gone rule. In particular, in the early post, I didn't think of lists; they are probably a different story. I meant to refer to occurrences of kanji in narrative. -- Taku (talk) 23:18, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Ah. First, it seems that we're basically in agreement on when kanji are appropriate. One reason why people here may be interested in how the "nihongo" template would be rendered by the browser is the cumulative effect when "nihongo" is splattered all over the page. In the past, I'd used it fairly freely, perhaps five times in an article; recently, another user added "nihongo" to lots of instances of nontemplated kanji in my articles (here's an example) and the purely visual effect (I mean, without considering the actual HTML/CSS coding) was grotesque; that user's efforts have led me to (i) convert all their good work to "nihongo2" and (ii) splatter my other articles with "nihongo2" as a defensive measure. All very tiresome. Of course a lot of editors who insert Japanese script here and there are blissfully ignorant of the existence of these templates and don't use them. But while the people who do use them seem happy to add "nihongo" wherever possible, I recommend that (whatever it ends up looking like) it should instead be used very sparingly. -- Hoary (talk) 01:21, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

New project to coordinate Manual of Style pages

Wikipedia:WikiProject Manual of Style is being formed. A draft of its goals (copied from the project page) follows.

Initial goals

  • Provide a forum to discuss issues which cut across several Manual of Style pages, and any other issues which are related to the Manual of Style.
  • Facilitate communication between editors interested in different aspects of the Manual of Style, and encourage editors to think of the Manual of Style as a whole.
  • Identify discrepancies between individual Manual of Style pages, and encourage the resolution of these discrepancies.
  • Develop guidelines for adding new pages to the Manual of Style, and for dividing or combining current Manual of Style pages.

Further goals

  • Provide a cooperative and collegial forum for centralised discussion of style issues on Wikipedia.

Editors who wish to join the project may add their names to the list on the project page. Fg2 (talk) 01:24, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Bold and italic Japanese characters

Should bold or italic type be used for Japanese characters? -- (talk) 18:13, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Use the Nihongo template, which formats them automatically. Doceirias (talk) 19:51, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
The main wp:italics specifically says not to use italic on non-Roman scripts such as Cyrillic, Greek, or Japanese. It also recommends not using bold text for such text, but does not absolutely forbid it. Rhialto (talk) 21:44, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
It makes the characters look bad when around roman script. Take "Nihongo" (日本語?) in italics: 日本語 and bolded 日本語 and then the even more dreadful bolded-italic: 日本語. I don't see a need to ever have to italicize or bold Japanese script, so I'd say don't do it.-- 22:33, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm running Firefox 3b4 on OS X 10.5.2 and neither the italic nor bold italic variants show up as italic at all. So on top of looking bad, they don't even work on some systems. -Amake (talk) 09:59, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, it is only a beta, so I wouldn't be too worried once the full version is out.-- 10:39, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm running Firefox 3 Beta 4 on WinXP and both the italics and bold (as well as the bold italics) display just fine for Japanese text. If you're sure it's not another issue, you may want to file a bug report. Bendono (talk) 11:31, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I was assuming that italic and bold italic variants simply weren't provided by default on OS X, but it shows up correctly in Safari 3.1. Maybe it is a bug. I'll have to look into it more. -Amake (talk) 12:03, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the others: if you're using Japanese text, use the {{Nihongo}} template. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:13, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

WPJ template?

While of course having the WPJ template is useful here on the talk page, should there really be a WikiProject tag on the MOS page itself? I don't think we should imply that the Wikipedia-space MOS is subordinate to (or even just of equal importance to) WPJ, although I do support WPJ wholeheartedly. Dekimasuよ! 02:32, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

The navbox is there so people can find other Japan-related project pages (and the page is listed in the navbox). ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:45, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Re: Names of modern figures

I am confused by this edit by User:Eruhildo mainly because the last part of the addition, This may not necessarily be the same as the official name(s). directly conflicts with the first point on that list, Use the official trade name if available in English/Latin alphabet. Why should we be telling people to use the most popular name while at the same time telling people to use the official name is one exists? I think the last sentence of Eruhildo's addition should be taken out so that it doesn't conflict with point one, and re-write it as "In the case where an official spelling isn't given, use the most commonly known name" or something to that effect.-- 20:10, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Consistency between projects is a good idea; but, adding to the current MoS with terms that directly contradict the existing MoS should be done only after a discussion here. Neier (talk) 11:56, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
It applies to fictional characters only. I merely copied and pasted it from WP:MOS-AM because I'm tired of seeing inconsistency. If you have an exception to a rule, it's not a contradiction. Though perhaps it would be better to leave out that last sentence about differing from the official name and link to the other MOS? How about "In the case of fictional characters, one should use their most commonly known name, as per Wikipedia's naming conventions. See Manual of Style (anime- and manga-related articles)." Is that acceptable? --Eruhildo (talk) 14:41, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Then it seems more to be that WP:MOS-AM was at fault for creating the inconsistency. I don't think WP:UCN should really be used though since at multiple places in that page it specifically talks about an article name, not necessarily about the spelling of a name within an article, such as in the Rationale section: "Names of articles should be the most commonly used name for the following reasons:", and then again in the Overdoing it section: "If there is no agreement over whether a page title is "overdoing it", apply the guidelines at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (precision)." So I don't think WP:UCN should, say, apply to fictional characters that don't have articles. Plus there's an Exceptions section on that page too, and I believe it makes sense for one such exception to be that the common name should only be used if an official spelling isn't already provided. I mean, take into account Yūko Gotō instead of the more common Yuko Goto which is technically a misspelling, and this was moved per WP:MOS-JP, as shown here.-- 19:58, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I kind of wondered about that common name thing - I thought it looked like it was for naming articles, but I figured since this has been this way since the first time I read MOS-AM that I shouldn't question it. Meh, trying to change that could be a long discussion though - there are a lot of articles using the common names of characters, plus there are lots of series with no official romanizations. That could be messy. There's no way I want to get involved in that. --Eruhildo (talk) 02:41, 29 March 2008 (UTC)


There is a proposal at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Loanwords and the inclusion of original terms in parantheses. This is directly relevant to several thousand articles on Japan-related topics. Interested editors are invited to participate. Fg2 (talk) 09:43, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Move proposal

See Talk:Ume#Requested move. Badagnani (talk) 04:51, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

tokyo articles and macrons

Currently, the MOS says that "Tokyo" is the English name for Tōkyō. OK, that's fine. However, there are now a bunch of articles with mixed macrons - e.g. Jinbōchō, Tokyo. It seems more than a little weird to me to have macrons for the are name but not for Tōkyō itself. Any of you have commentary on this? --moof (talk) 12:50, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I believe the rationale is that "Tokyo" is an established notation, while "Jinbocho" is not. Established notations are used as-is, while everything else is rendered in Modified Hepburn. I believe you'll find that all articles relating to Kyoto are similar (however, for instance Kōchi, Hokkaidō, etc. articles are "Kōchi," and "Hokkaidō," because "Kochi" and "Hokkaido" are not household terms). -Amake (talk) 13:07, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
What Amake wrote. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:18, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Name ordering...

I know the ordering of names for Japanese people is a well discussed (and occasionally argued from the look of things) issue, and I hate to poke around in that sort of issue, but...

Evidently as part of the large scale textbook review going on, the Japanese government has decided that giving names in the given-family order is no longer correct when speaking English. The English text books are all being rewritten with names said in family-given order, with the justification that regardless of the language being spoken the cultural and personal opinion of the individual in question should decide name ordering and that doing otherwise is culturally disrespectful. Something like that anyway.

I just thought this should be thrown out so it can be directly addressed instead of turning into dozens of small scale arguments on different pages as people hear about it. I can't help but feel that if the official policy doesn't address this it could get ugly somewhere at some point.

RatherJovialTim (talk) 12:34, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

But this is what the Japanese government has decided for English language conventions? I don't think they really have a say in what other languages do with their language. Same reason we have Tokyo in English, instead of Tōkyō. Just because the Japanese want to be more "correct" doesn't mean the English speaking world is going to follow suit; or at least not immediately. In any case, I'd like a source to substantiate this claim of yours.-- 20:32, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
While I think it's great that the Japanese government is finally taking a position on this issue, the WP:MOS (and WP:MOS-JA) both indicate that the most common English usage is what should be used. Until the most common English usage is to use that order, it won't be the primary usage here. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:37, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Categorization of macroned ( ¯ ) titles

When a title begins with a macroned character, the article name is categorized after Z instead of in the normal alphabetical order. For example in Category:Judo technique, "Ō guruma" is not categorized under O between M and N, but instead under Ō which is placed at the end. This is a bit confusing when readers can't find articles in the category. Could this be fixed? Shawnc (talk) 19:31, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

This is a matter of sorting in the category. Wiki markup language has something called "DEFAULTSORT" that can help. To get it sorted together with the "O" articles, edit the article and just before the first category (categories should be near the end of the article) add a new line {{DEFAULTSORT:O guruma}}. This tells Wikipedia to sort it as if it were spelled without the macron. Give it a try and see how it works. You can see an example in an article like Hyōgo Prefecture. Best regards, Fg2 (talk) 20:29, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation and User:Bendono for doing the sorting. Shawnc (talk) 15:55, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Clarification on island names?

I've just finished slogging through the archives of this page and I think this issue has been briefly touched on once or twice before, but I'd just like to clarify: What is the preferred system for giving the names of islands? For example, should the island 久米島 be rendered as Kumejima, Kume-jima, Kume Island, or simply Kume? Currently, the article is situated at Kumejima Island, which seems suboptimal to me, while Kumejima redirects to the town of the same name. The current guidelines for place names suggest that "Kume Island" is not preferred, and earlier discussion seemed to oppose dropping "jima" in most cases, but the hyphen issue is unclear. Moreover, usage in current articles varies wildly. For example, Miyako-jima uses the hyphenated form in the title, but drops the hyphen in the body of the article, while on the Ikemajima page there is a reference to "Miyako Island". I realize there may not be one rule that fits every situation, but can we decide on a general principle to apply to most cases?

On a similar note, the articles on the Daitō Islands are also rather inconsistent. Should 南大東 be Minamidaitō, Minami Daitō, or Minami-Daitō? (With or without a "jima" suffix?) Ditto 北大東 and 沖大東. Currently, each of these three patterns is used in at least one article. --Shiquasa (talk) 06:21, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

For the hyphens, they are generally discouraged. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:27, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Should islands, rivers and mountains have a consistent naming scheme? Fg2 (talk) 07:13, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Probably? Right now, islands, in as much as they're addressed at all, seem to be classed together with municipalities (see my comment below), but perhaps it would be more appropriate to treat them the same way as other geographical features. That being said, is there currently a consensus about how to treat mountains and rivers? --Shiquasa (talk) 00:29, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Without boring you with too many details, I am in charge of English translations for a (small) Japanese town. The way I and at least some of my peers do it is this: Always drop suffixes (-shima, -yama, -kawa, etc.) unless doing so makes the name too short or nonsensical. "Too short" is obviously relative, but our general rule is that given a Japanese {name}{suffix} (e.g. {肱}{川}), if {name} is only one character then {suffix} should not be dropped. Then we attach an English identifier like Island, Mount, River, etc. For instance 堂々山 → Mount Dōdō, but 肱川 → Hijikawa River, and 亀ヶ池 → Kamegaike Pond ("Kamega" is nonsensical). In general I like this method. I would recommend "Kume Island" for 久米島. -Amake (talk) 09:41, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, regarding Minamidaitō vs. Minami Daitō, etc., my policy is not to separate location prefixes and suffixes like Minami-, Kita-, etc. So I would recommend Minamidaitō, Kitadaitō, and Okidaitō. -Amake (talk) 09:45, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the rapid reply! That sounds generally reasonable to me, but the current MOS:JP states: Suffixes such as "City", "Town", "Village", and "Island" are generally superfluous in English and should be avoided. So, er, I guess my question still stands. Perhaps this issue needs to be revisited? --Shiquasa (talk) 00:29, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually I think I wrote that. The "no suffixes" thing originally came from wanting people to stop writing "Honshu Island." "Honshu Island" is bad because the Japanese (本州) does not contain the word "island" in it, and because it's redundant as everyone (should) know that Honshū is the name of an island (just like "England Island" is redundant). Municipality suffixes are a separate issue, but I won't bore you with my thoughts on that.
So you're right, the rule needs clarification. What do people think of suffixes like "island" for names that actually contain 島? -Amake (talk) 03:23, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this has been resolved, but superfluous in English does not mean superfluous in Japanese. Honshu in fact contains "state" not "island", but it's still called Honshu in English, and not called simply "Hon" in Japanese. It should be transliterated into romaji as a proper name, not translated into English. Kawa is a little different. Sumidagawa is "Sumida River" but somehow we have gotten redundant because Sumidagawa is taken as a proper full name, and people will write "Sumidagawa River" I've also seen "<something>-ji Temple". So it may be necessary to go case-by-case, and maybe do a lot of redirecting if suffixing is to be standardized.MSJapan (talk) 13:45, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's really been resolved yet, and I've held off on editing the articles in question for the past few weeks. My particular concern in these cases is that I'm dealing with a lot of islands which share their names with the municipalities located on them. So, for example, there is the town of Kumejima (久米島町) located on the island which is also named Kume(jima) (久米島), the city of Miyakojima(宮古島市) which is partially located on the island of Miyako(jima) (宮古島), and so on. Certainly there will have to be lots of redirects whatever happens, but in general I think I prefer the "X Island" approach just to make it is clear as possible when we're talking about the island and when we're talking about the municipality. I'm really not too bothered either way, though, so if anyone else has an opinion, please speak up. --Shiquasa (talk) 05:58, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Personally I don't see a point of having separate articles for a municipality and island when they both refer to the same geographic entry. Hokkaidō is a case in point; the article basically starts like "Hokaido is Japan's second largest island and one of prefectures." Why can't we do the same for other small islands as well? For example, Kumejima, Okinawa can start like "Kumejima is an island and town in Okinawa". (And I thought that was a kind of informal unwritten consensus.) I'm not sure about the naming convention, though. But any attempt for standardization should begin in List of islands of Japan. -- Taku (talk) 06:35, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Fair enough. It gets a bit more complicated when the municipality in question actually encompasses multiple islands, such as Miyakojima, Okinawa, but even then you may be right that the islands don't necessarily need their own articles. Either way the naming question is still relevant. --Shiquasa (talk) 01:00, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree that we don't necessarily need separate articles for, say, municipalities that solely occupy an island of the same name. In that case I would make an article for the municipality (Kumejima, Okinawa) and within that article note that it occupies Kume Island (久米島 Kume-jima?). I'm not sure I understand MSJapan's objections above. We seem to agree that Honshū should be Honshū (if you want to get technical, 州 has other, more relevant meanings than "state;" also note that reducing to "Hon" fails the brevity test I mentioned above), and that suffixes like 川 are redundant. I definitely think 島 as a suffix (久米島 the island) is redundant; as part of a proper noun (久米島町 the town of Kumejima) it is not. -Amake (talk) 03:35, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, consider Iwo Jima (which has since been renamed), which is/was called such in English and Japanese. It's not "Iwo Jima Island." Similarly, is it "Kumejima", or "Kumejima Island". If we use "Kumejima" which one does it refer to if the suffix is redundant?
Also, this isn't just a question of island names, but a larger question of when to use suffixes and when not to use suffixes in Japanese geographical and other place names. If we resolve it only for one type of usage, it has to be gone through over and over again, so we need to consider English usage as well as Japanese usage in each case and come up with an SOP. MSJapan (talk) 04
36, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
I've been ignoring this, since I'm hardly an expert, but with article titles, don't forget the option of paranthesis. Kumejima (island) or Kumejima (town) would be just dandy, and we're even more free to add context within the body of the articles. I would generally argue against ever using both Japanese and English; someone mentioned above saying things like Hijikawa River, but I think we definitely need to call that either Hiji River or Hijikawa (River). Likewise, Kamegaike (Pond). No need to repeat the extra phrase within the body of the article, since it is defined as such in the lead; in other articles, we can add context, "near a pond named Kamegaike." Doceirias (talk) 05:02, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Replying to the posters above: Iwo Jima is a historical name which should be left alone, but by my system it would be Iō Island. Regarding Kumejima, I already described how this should be handled (Kumejima is the town and Kume Island is the island). I also already described my formula for coming up with these names above, which covers not just islands but also rivers, mountains, etc. Regarding parenthetical explanations like (island): Those are currently only used for disambiguation as far as I know. Unless there's more than one thing named Kamegaike, "pond" should not be in parentheses. For unfamiliar cases (which is most cases) I think an English label is necessary, if only on the first mention (not every instance in the same text). For short names ("short" defined above) I think the redundancy is acceptable since the whole point is that English speakers don't understand the Japanese suffix in the first place. -Amake (talk) 10:57, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Let's examine common usage for a second, instead of aesthetics. From existing Wikipedia articles at least, the following appears to be preferred usage (feel free to disagree ... I know there are exceptions to everything below, but I'm trying to identify commonalities):

  • Mountains: "Mount X" (e.g. 100_Famous_Japanese_Mountains, and note though List_of_mountains_and_hills_of_Japan_by_height uses Japanese terms (-san, -dake, etc.) the articles it links to tend to be of the form "Mount X")
  • Islands: This one is not as clear cut ... it appears that the Japanese suffix is preferred when it is -shima/-jima, but "Island(s)" is preferred when it is -tō or -rettō (reference: List_of_islands_of_Japan, again click on the articles to see actual article title, which doesn't always match the link on the list page)
  • Rivers: "Y River" seems to always be preferred. The question is whether -kawa/-gawa is dropped. Usually it is dropped (e.g. Sumida River), except for situations like Amake notes above, when the part before -kawa/-gawa is subjectively deemed "too short" or "nonsensical" (e.g. Arakawa_River, Kinokawa_River)

This seems to suggest a limited number of potential solutions if we want overarching policy instead of just "case by case" decisions.

  • Mountains: There seems to be a general consensus on dropping -san, -dake, etc. and just using "Mount X" (e.g. Fuji-san -> Mount Fuji)
  • Islands: I see two paths ... either give preference to common usage, which might give us a two part rule--if the suffix is -shima/-jima, keep Japanese usage (e.g. Itsukushima) otherwise drop the Japanese suffix and add "Island(s)" (e.g. Rebun Island). Otherwise, the simpler solution is to either keep the Japanese suffix and make no further change in all cases, or drop the Japanese suffix and add "Island(s)" in all cases
  • Rivers: It seems that we either can keep it simple and drop -kawa/-gawa in all cases and add River, or continue to allow subjective judgment in cases where the part before -kawa/-gawa is deemed too short or nonsensical

My preferences (for what they are worth):

  • Mountains: "Mount X" (drop Japanese suffix) ... English common usage seems pretty consistent here
  • Islands: either 1) for -shima/-jima, keep Japanese suffix and add no English suffix; for all else (e.g. -tō, -rettō), drop Japanese suffix and add "Island(s)" (I don't know if "forcing" suffixes like -tō/-rettō/-shotō that are unknown/unused in English is a good idea) or 2) use Japanese suffix in all cases (KISS). I am not a fan of 3) keep Japanese suffix, add "Island(s)" (I don't like the redundancy of a "Miyajima Island") or 4) drop Japanese suffix in all cases and add "Island(s)" (this is mostly an aesthetic preference ... there'd be too many "strange" cases like "Miya Island", "Itsuku Island", & "De Island" for my liking
  • Rivers: I hate allowing subjective judgment in rules ... it seems to defeat the purpose (imagine a law on speeding that simply read "don't drive too fast!"), therefore I favor dropping -kawa/-gawa in all cases and adding River. I am not concerned about the cases where the first part is subjectively deemed too short (I see no real issue with "Ara River" or "Hiji River", especially for the general Wikipedia user ... if we can handle the lovely Aa River, I'm sure "Hiji River" would not be too shocking to the eyes). I am slightly more concerned about cases where dropping -kawa/-gawa makes no sense in Japanese ... but note that it makes perfect sense in English. Thus, while "Kino River" is a little strange when you know that the Japanese is 紀の川, in English "Kino River" makes perfect sense.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought it might be helpful to identify common usage first, then potential solutions, and finally my personal thoughts. I hope this helps! CES (talk) 13:51, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

My preference is always a rule that is simpler and consistent, because rules of that kind are the easiest to apply, remember and maintain. Aesthetic, unfortunately, is a delicate issue. I agree that "De Island" (as opposed "Dejima") sounds way too strange. I would thus propose this. Basically, we should ignore the fact that islands are islands, and treat them simply as geographic entities. If we do this, it would make perfect sense that we don't have separate articles for a municipality and an island, when they are exactly the same geographic entity. Dejima would be named "Dejima" because we ignore that it is an island, and simply give it the commonly used geographic name. In fact, not every article about an island necessarily contains the suffix "island" or counterparts in Japanese (e.g., jima, to). For example, technically speaking, Kansai International Airport is an island (artificial one that is). But we don't give put the suffix "island", obviously. "Dejima" won't be different. I would also want to note that some place names may contain "jima" or "to" even though they don't refer to actual islands. (I can't think of any particular example on top of my head, but there are quite few of them, I think.) Needless to say, those are not suffixes but part of the names and should never be altered in any way.
I'm not sure about rivers and mountains, for I don't contribute to articles on those topics. But the consistent use of the prefix "mountain" and the suffix "River" (don't forget capitalization) seems a no-brainer to me. In any case, good work, CES. A standardization, if feasible, is a definitely a good step. -- 02:17, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I think most of our problems with dropping the Japanese ending for the feature comes from the fact that we are familiar with Japan and Japanese. I recently wrote an article on a small mountain called Mount Maru. We all know that there are literally dozens of Marauyamas scattered throughout Japan, so it sounds odd to us. However, consider our audience. Most of the readers of Wikipedia probably have little or no knowledge of Japan and Japanese. For them, it won't be an issue. Those readers who do have such knowledge (granted those readers will be more interested in our articles than not) may look twice, but will adjust. We can also supply redirects for the common Japanese names.
Though it has been archived, this naming conventions article has merit: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (landforms). It allows for regional variations should we encounter some that we deem necessary, like Iwo Jima.
I have another example like Gassan. Daisen was listed under Mount Daisen. I just moved the article to Daisen as Mount Dai seemed a little too short to me, especially when the reading is not strictly Japanese, but sinitic (to quote my source).imars (talk) 13:37, 21 May 2008 (UTC)


I do not believe that capitalization in romaji is addressed properly in the MOS. The MOS says there is no real system and therefore people tend to follow the English MOS, but that is simply not feasible because the grammatical structure of English and Japanese is totally different. For example, in English we don't cap "in", "on" and "of" in titles, but people here are capping "ni", "de", and "no", which fall into that same general category. That is what people who don't know how to work with Japanese in an English setting tend to do, and as a result, it looks amateurish.

There are plenty of resources that say to use an initial cap and not to cap anything else. The Monumenta Nipponica style sheet is the de facto standard MOS for academic papers dealing with Japanese, and they say to initially cap the first word (as well as proper names) in titles. Japan Style Sheet: The SWET Guide for Writers, Editors, and Translators (ISBN 1880656302) also advocates the same position. Therefore, I think we need to change the Japanese MOS to reflect common convention, instead of running counter to it. MSJapan (talk) 13:37, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

If it's a sentence, sure, but in a title we capitalize the same types of words as an equivalent English title. Therefore, particles are not capitalized, and I don't think they should be. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 00:19, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear enough. What I mean is that from a romaji standpoint it should be, for example, Kojinteki na taikei not Kojinteki Na Taikei or Kojinteki na Taikei, and the latter two seem to be the norm, not the first one, as I've recently gotten into a minor disagreement over such with respect to song titles. MSJapan (talk) 05:01, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I would recommend Kojinteki na Taikei (which is also what MOS-JA recommends). As we are writing for an English-speaking audience, and because titles generally have capitalised words in that manner, it's more natural for it to be that way. For a title, Kojinteki na taikei is not suggested or recommended here. And referring to anything from Japan when it comes to Romanization issues is absurd as they haven't sorted it out themselves yet. I can't offer an opinion on SWET as I've never seen or used it. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:23, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Nihonjoe. Keeping articles about, say, Japanese music in line with the capitalization section of WP:MUSTARD is certainly desirable with the general call for consistency in WP:MOS in mind (the other WikiProjects have similar standards). And I actually own a few records by Japanese artists where exactly that kind of formatting was applied to the romaji titles included for an overseas audience. If anything, a list of particles and their common romanizations (or a link to such a list) would be a worthwhile addition to the guideline, as it would help the not so Japanese-savvy editors to figure out what words exactly must not be capitalized in mid-title. – Cyrus XIII (talk) 10:38, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
On a related note, should we include something about not merging particles with words (e.g. Kojintekina Taikei)? This confuses people less familiar with Japanese (makes it harder to look up the word). ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:26, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Certainly, I mean, I for one consider myself "less familiar" with the language and would welcome such advice with open arms. – Cyrus XIII (talk) 10:57, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with both the capitalization rules of English being placed on Japanese words and particles, and with the separation of the particles from the ends of words. For the former, there was a similar question here, and Cyrus's response has a useful link to the NYT, where Spanish titles are normalized. I'm sure if we dug long enough, we'd find something similar (refs to Tonari no Totoro or the like) for Japanese. The latter is probably less controversial than our practice of separating the family and given names in kanji (which I whole-heartedly support). Neier (talk) 06:06, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I brought it up because of absurdities like Rurouni Kenshin. That one bugs me every time I see it. It's like writing "Thewandering Samurai". ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:28, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Or it would be if ni were a particle. If memory serves, the (fictional) word is Rurouni. Doceirias (talk) 18:53, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Nope. Rurō is a real word by itself. MSJapan (talk) 01:16, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Nope. Rurouni (流浪人?) is an entirely fictional word created for the series. Doceirias (talk) 03:29, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Hmm...doing a little more research, it looks like it was written るろうに (in hiragana) until volume 28 of the manga, at which point they finally wrote it as 流浪人, which is normally るろうにん (Rurōnin). I bet most Japanese didn't know that until the author explained it in volume 28. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:10, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
It's written in kanji a couple of pages into the first chapter. Above, I just grabbed volume one (of the kanzenban) and checked. Doceirias (talk) 09:52, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
While this matter isn't really about capitalization anymore, but rather spelling, wouldn't it be a case of honoring the subject's official romanization (Rorouni Kenshin) rather than following conventions (Rurō ni Kenshin), as in Kodansha vs. Kōdansha? – Cyrus XIII (talk) 09:40, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I've yet to see any official titles not separate particles. The ni in rurouni not being a particle, that aspect of it was just a misunderstanding. Doceirias (talk) 09:52, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Especially since the way I was reading it offers pretty much the exact same meaning. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 06:05, 2 May 2008 (UTC)


Over at Talk:Guilty Gear XX, I have been involved in a debate of whether or not to include the pronunciation of the title in addition to the romaji. I am on the side of no, as I feel it's redundant. My opponent, an IP address, has included "pronounced Guilty Gear Igzex" in the article in question without consensus. What I want to ask is if there is a ruling against such inclusions. Are there things that should and should not be included in the extra portions of the template? Satoryu (talk) 22:29, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Generally, pronunciation information is unnecessary for Japanese articles. The rõmaji provides everything you need, especially since Japanese is quite straightforward with pronunciation. Now, in this case, as the pronunciation of the "XX" is unusual, it's worth mentioning in the article as long as it can be sourced. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:29, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
A source for what exactly though? The fact it's a non-standard pronunciation? If you know a bit of Japanese, you can see that based on the kana spelling... (talk) 18:00, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
A source for the unusual pronunciation. "Igzex" is not a Japanese word, so the pronunciaton may not be immediately apparent. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:13, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure I follow you... I don't know what kind of (probably made-up?) word "iguzekusu" is supposed to stand for. I've looked around, but couldn't find anything. "Igzex" is just intended to give the lambda reader an idea of the way the "XX" is to be pronounced. If we leave it at "iguzekusu" in the nihon template, a lot of readers might completely overlook it or simply (and wrongly) assume "that's how they say "XX" in Japan" (which is what Satoryu first did, in fact). Maybe I could make that clearer by removing the capitalization: "Guilty Gear Igzex" -> "guilty gear igzex"? Or reformulate the whole thing altogether?
Anyway, should the non-standard pronunciation not be noted in the article simply because we don't know of an official romanization for "iguzekusu" (assuming there is one at all)? (talk) 07:39, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

What's wrong with ruby?

An earlier discussion of ruby is in the archives here.

Ruby is encouraged in Chinese pages. It was first created for the Japanese language (Furigana), why not use it? --Atitarev (talk) 13:18, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

can you provide more information? I'm aware of Ruby but have never seen it in practice. Is it universally supported? Brettr (talk) 14:11, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Currently, most web browsers do not support it without special plugins. Rhialto (talk) 14:19, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
Not most browsers. MS IE supports it by default. Mozilla Firefox requires an easy to install plug-in. There is no issue if the plug-in is missing but it shows similar to this. Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(use_of_Chinese_language)#Ruby_characters Ruby characters in Chinese. --Atitarev (talk) 05:09, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
While MSIE may support it by default it doesn't support it very well. To quote from the page you linked, "IE — perfect... except if you put it inside a table, in which case it crashes the browser." ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:13, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Also, you say it is encouraged in Chinese pages, but this page says that only about 15 pages are even using the {{ruby}} template. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:16, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
OK, then, thanks for the participation. --Atitarev (talk) 11:13, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Te form plus iru

Skimmed the MOS, didn't see this - when transcribing a verb in this form, should it be written shite iru or shiteiru? I'm thinking the former. But what about when the thing is slurred to shiteru? Confusing. Doceirias (talk) 05:29, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I guess I'd favor separating them by following the form shite iru. Certainly they're often slurred and then I'd probably write shiteru. What would you think about shite 'ru with an apostrophe indicating the omission of something? Fg2 (talk) 07:42, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I've never seen an apostrophe used, and can't recommend creating a new mark up here. Doceirias (talk) 08:19, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Since the verb form connects the te-form and iru, I think there should be no space, and this would also work to be consistent with the relaxed pronunciation shiteru.-- 07:52, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
But we separate other verb forms, like nasai or kudasai... Doceirias (talk) 08:19, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I personally have always seen kudasai separated from the te-form, but have yet to see iru separated from it, or else I'm just looking in all the wrong places. Maybe it's more up to preference in romanization techniques, especially if considering there's nothing currently in the MOS about it. Have you looked over revised Hepburn romanization romanization and made sure they don't cover it somewhere?-- 08:52, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem romanizing している as "shite iru" and してる as "shiteru". To me, it's just like saying "do not" and "don't" because the latter in both cases is just a contraction.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Douggers (talkcontribs)
But contractions in English are relative. For example, why is it that "cannot" is correct, and "can not" is not?-- 04:03, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't believe "cannot" qualifies as a contraction in the same way "can't" does; it's a compound word. Also, in my mind "cannot" and "can not" would, strictly speaking, mean different things: "I cannot x" is exactly what you think it is, while "I can not x" is a (possible and syntactically correct but completely contrived) statement of ability to do [not x]. So first of all I think you're wrong, and second I don't see how that has anything to do with romanizing している as "shite iru" and してる as "shiteru" (which is what I have generally done in the past). -Amake (talk) 09:52, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
My point is that we don't have things like "donot", but we do for "cannot", giving an exception to the rule on when to make it a compound word or a contraction. And, strictly speaking, wouldn't "don't" be a compound of "do" and "n't" where "n't" is just a relaxed pronunciation of "not"? In that case, contractions are just merely a subset of compound words in that contractions are just relaxed pronunciations of compound words. In the case above, してる would be a compound of して and る, the relaxed pronunciation of いる. So we can have "cannot" but not "shiteiru", or we cannot have "donot" but have "shite iru". This was what I was getting at; it's relative.
And I might add, in terms of meaning (to me at least), "can not" and "cannot" mean the exact same thing. English just decides to push the two words together in written form for some strange reason; this is why I hate English so much. I mean, it's not like it's wrong to emphasize it in speech by saying "I that", although you could also say "I canNOT do that", but I think the first case is more emphatic due to the spacing between the words.-- 10:35, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we need rules or guidelines for every possible question regarding romanization. I would prefer "shiteiru/shiteimasu" as this is basically a compound verb. This is the way I generally see it written in academic works and textbooks, too. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:22, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Update Addresses

I think the style guide for the romanization of Japanese addresses needs to be updated. Under current guidelines, the following is recommended:

123 Minatoura, Ikata-chō, Nishiuwa-gun, Ehime-ken

Considering the names of article pages on Wikipedia, I think a better style would be:

123 Minatoura, Ikata, Nishiuwa District, Ehime Prefecture 123-4567
(I didn't look up the proper postal code, but it should be included. I also think "Japan" should be included if the address is in an infobox or the like.)

Also, I know it says that linebreaks shouldn't be added, but that can make addresses confusing when they're in infoboxes or other small spaces. How should they be broken up?

123 Minatoura
Ikata, Nishiuwa District
Ehime Prefecture 123-4567

All suggestions are welcome. Douggers (talk) 06:17, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

First of all, let me note that I'm the one who wrote the current guidelines, based on what I perceive to be the general standard actually used in the real world.
The biggest problem with your proposal is that it destroys the idea that an address is a unique identifier of a specific physical location. Under your proposal, a unique Japanese address would be rendered differently for every single language in existence. This is undesirable for obvious reasons.
Additionally, listing an address is ostensibly an invitation for someone to send mail to that location. Addressing something as you suggested (with English or French or etc. words) might work, but now we've placed the burden of decoding every language on the planet onto the shoulders of Japan Post. I would not expect a package addressed to my home in the US to arrive if each address component has been written in Mongolian.
Yet additionally, in the real world no one uses the scheme you're proposing. I've never managed to find official recommendations from Japan Post on how to address parcels in rōmaji, but I think we can take a cue from their website, which seems to use a system identical to ours (except that they don't use macrons and they leave the -to off of Tokyo-to; I recommend macrons and full suffixes for simplicity's sake).
Finally, I think in almost all cases it should already be clear that the address is in Japan, so there shouldn't be a need to append "Japan." I also recommend leaving it out as it again destroys the address's uniqueness ("Japan" is English, and so must be changed for French, etc.).
-Amake (talk) 09:09, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Forgot to address some of your points:
I agree that zip codes should be included. That is an oversight.
It currently says that linebreaks need not be included. You can include them if you want to, but the problem is that a) Japanese addresses are usually written all on one line in Japanese, and consequently b) there is no standard for inserting linebreaks. I don't think it's particularly confusing the way it is, and I don't want to impose some new standard when no one knows, cares, or will follow it.
Finally, I don't see the need to link locations in an address unless they are particularly relevant to the subject at hand. I especially don't feel the need to link the 〒 character every time it's used. Yes, yes, I know build the web and all, but if people are that curious they can always use the search function.
-Amake (talk) 09:15, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

A few things:

  • Personally, I think one line break would be beneficial, especially for addresses within infoboxes. The second line would be Prefecture and Postal Code. Not too hard, IMO.
  • When adding the Postal Code symbol to the addresses, I've been linking them. The reason for this is that I found it to be similar to linking the yen symbol (¥) the first time it appeares in an article.
  • I do not think "Japan" needs to be added to the addresses themselves. If needed, a "Country" section could be added to the infoxbox, which would then display "Japan".--TorsodogTalk 17:35, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I just think if we leave things as "Ikata-chō," etc., then shouldn't there be some explanation of why "-chō" or "-shi" or whatever is added? Atleast make a note of the reasoning on the style page, since prefixes aren't added at any other time for locations.
Also, when I suggested that "Japan" be added to the addresses, I was primarily talking about infoboxes that don't have a "country" sections. Maybe it would have to be changed for each language, but when sending parcels internationally, don't you include the name of the destination country? Douggers (talk) 01:12, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the proposal has merit, though I would pipe link the address, making it a combination of what is recommended, but linking to the appropriate articles. I don't think inserting line breaks destroys the idea that the address is a unique identifier of a specific physical location, either. As for where to break the address, most people I know will do it like this:
Street Address
City/Town/etc., Prefecture, Postal Code
···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 03:46, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I usually break them up your way, Nihonjoe, but that's because I live in a city in Japan. When towns and villages are in districts, it would make that part really long. But what do you mean when you say "linking to the appropriate article"? The address is usually only found on the page related to the location, so why wouldn't just linking to the city/prefecture be okay? Douggers (talk) 04:09, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand. Obviously, you wouldn't link to the article on which the address appears. I was meaning that you would link to any other articles. Hope that clarifies it. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:20, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I know it would be other articles, but which ones? It would be to the municipalities and prefectures, right? If not, can you give an example? Douggers (talk) 05:42, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I never said that linebreaks would ruin the uniqueness of an address. I'm fine with linebreaks. I just don't think they're necessary, and I agree with Douggers that some address will end up with very unbalanced line lengths if we give specific recommendations like Nihonjoe's. Regarding appending "Japan:" Of course you should append the country name when you send mail, but my point was that the exact word written will depend on the country of origin (Japan, Japón, Yaponiya, etc.), and so can't be uniquely included. Unless everyone in the world writes country names in English now (I wouldn't know). -Amake (talk) 06:16, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the de facto languages used when sending international mail are English and French, but I know other languages are often used. It really doesn't matter in which language "Japan" is written, though, because "Japan, Japón, Yaponiya" are only used in the country where the mail originates, which then send the mail to Japan. And since we're talking about this on an English-language site, I don't see why including "Japan" causes problems. Douggers (talk) 06:25, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
"'Japan, Japón, Yaponiya' are only used in the country where the mail originates" ... Yes, exactly. And since the precise word used depends on the originating country, appending "Japan" makes the address non-unique. But this is a very minor point that I don't care to argue any further. -Amake (talk) 13:00, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

My understanding is that the Japan Post Office (or whatever it is called nowadays) discourages use of the "〒" symbol for postal codes in addresses (in Japanese or English). Just the 7-digit postal code should be used. --DAJF (talk) 05:34, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Do you have a link for that? Because if that is the official recommendation then I think we should note that 〒 is discouraged in the MOS, and remove it from, for instance, {{Infobox City Japan}}. -Amake (talk) 13:00, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Question about place name prefixes

The Manual of Style doesn't seem to address the issue of place name prefixes, such as points-of-the-compass ones (kita, minami, higashi, and nishi), and other ones (hon, chuō, shin, kami, shimo, naka, musashi). Are they 1) to be separated from the rest of the place name (ex. Higashi Murayama), 2) hyphenated with the following letter capitalized (ex. Higashi-Murayama), 3) hyphenated with the following letter lower-case (ex. Higashi-murayama), or 4) typed as one word (ex. Higashimurayama)? I looked around a bit, and what I found was this:

For city names, usage of option 4 seemed universal (I couldn't find any exceptions). See Kitakyūshū and Nishinomiya, Hyōgo (which if hypenated should probably have two hypens, as in Nishi-no-miya). You can check the list at List of cities in Japan. I haven't looked at towns and villages, at all.

For train station names, use of option 2 seemed most common. See Nishi-Nippori Station, Higashi-Muroran Station, Shin-Ōsaka Station, Hon-Kawagoe Station. Although I also found Hongō-sanchōme Station (option 3), and Shimofunato Station and Kamisugi Station (Hiroshima) (both option 4). You can check the list at List of railway stations in Japan.

It looks like there is a consensus for city names (or at least common practice; or maybe this was discussed long ago and I haven't found the archive) but shouldn't train station names follow the same convention? Looks like a huge task, but before I continue writing articles, it would be nice to know which format to follow. It would also prevent duplicate articles. RNavigator (talk) 21:55, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

This could affect at least one river name also (Kyu-Edo River) if anyone decides to write that article. RNavigator (talk) 22:01, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Names of train stations are normally copied from the operator. Wikipedia doesn't have a systematic practice of altering station names containing components like these. We usually look at the railroad's web site or a photograph of a sign in the station. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Trains in Japan#Resources for links to helpful information. Sometimes articles are created with one style, and when someone later checks the railroad's official way of writing it, the article is renamed. So I'd hesitate to draw conclusions about Wikipedia editors' favored styles from names of station articles.
Separately, I'd like to consider moving away from names like Musashimurayama and Aizuwakamatsu by separating the geographic component from the proper name, maybe writing Musashi-Murayama, Musashi-murayama, or Musashi Murayama. Unfortunately, both cities write their names without spaces (or hyphens) on their Web sites... Fg2 (talk) 23:40, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. For train station names, I guess I'll take my cue from the operators. In reality, many of the station articles have already been named; the articles just haven't been written yet. Of course, when I write them, I'll have to check all the links to make sure they're consistent. RNavigator (talk) 01:41, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
As for city names with geographical components, I wonder if the Japanese government has issued a directive for how the Romaji is to be written. I haven't heard of one, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is one. RNavigator (talk) 01:46, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Even if they did issue a directive, it would probably be like their suggestion of using Nihonshiki for everything (e.g. "Mount Huzi"), which is a horrible, terrible idea and should be ignored entirely. -Amake (talk) 03:32, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Fictional Characters

At Talk:Rurouni Kenshin#Character Article Names, a discussion is under way regarding whether the characters should be listed in western order or Japanese order. Normally with anime and manga series, characters are listed in Western order. However, as the series is set in the Meiji era, some feel the naming guidelines for historical characters, which states "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 and family name + <space> + given name for Japanese characters. Names from Japanese mythology and folklore fall into this category." should apply. The guideline does not specifically note that it includes fictional characters like these (which are not mythological nor folklore). Some clarification as to whether other fictional characters are included in his not would be very helpful for the discussion. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 17:34, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

To clarify the clarification ^_^;... what should be done in the case of stories written in modern times (after 1868) about historical times (before 1868), where the setting is intended to pass as a legitimate historical setting (with some fictional elements)? And especially in cases where the fictional characters interact with historical characters (should we have pages that are a jumble of family name + given name and given name + family name depending on whether they are historical or (hopefully) fictional, or not)? For stories that are set in clearly non-legitimate historical settings (for example, fantasy stories with magic and stuff, or blatant anachronisms), i don't see a problem with using modern name conventions... but what about stories that aim for historical legitimacy? --DarkerStar (talk) 18:07, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, to be fair, I would say only some historical legitimacy, with lots of liberties taken (like quite a few superhuman abilities LOL) -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 18:10, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
All too true. ^_^; i was asking generally - for the sake of really legitimate historical stories. As to whether Kenshin applies... ya... we'll cross that bridge as the next step. ^_^; (No comment.) --DarkerStar (talk) 18:15, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Another "nihongo" template?

While adding info to the page on gyaru-moji, i found myself hurting for a different kind of {{nihongo}} template. Right now there is {{nihongo}}, which renders as Eng (Kan, Rom), and {{nihongo3}}, which renders as Rom (Kan, Eng). The first is perfect for general use, and the second is great for those cases where you want to focus on the rōmaji (for example, (off the top of my head) when reporting speech: "Before taking a swig, it is traditional to shout "Kanpai!" (乾杯?, "Cheers!")). However, neither is really suitable for the (admittedly rare) cases where the kanji form of the word is what is being focused on. What would be perfect in those cases is Kan (Rom, Eng). For example, in the article on gyaru-moji, the visual representation of the kanji is key to understanding what the article is talking about. It would be nice if i could type {{nihongo4|"good morning"|おはよう|ohayō}} and get おはよう (ohayō, "good morning") with all the correct styles and such. Then i could write a sentence that reads naturally: "For example, おはよう (ohayō, "good morning") might be written as 才(よчoぅ." (As you can see, the kanji (technically kana, but who's counting?) representation is what deserves to be highlighted in this instance, not the English or rōmaji.)

If this suggestion has merit, i could figure out how to do it with little hassle (unless someone else wants to do it). But i will not do it if this is a bad idea. Personally, i recognize the temptation it might have for encouraging bad style (where people select it over {{nihongo}} or {{nihongo3}} without proper justification - that is, other than in cases where the Japanese script representation is what should be the focus). A note on the template page to prefer {{nihongo}} unless the rōmaji is the focus, in which case use {{nihongo3}}, might help prevent that... but if need be, the template name could be something else entirely: instead of {{nihongo4}}, maybe {{nihongo script}}. --DarkerStar (talk) 17:55, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Hmmm...I think it is such a rare case, that doing it manually might be the better option than making another template. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 18:06, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
That makes sense, for sure. It's just, to do it manually correctly, what would the code be? i can certainly figure out this much: Kan (''Rom'', Eng)... but there's far more to making it work properly than just that. There are style classes that get applied to the kanji part, for example, that indicate the language and hint to browsers not to mess it up. Would this work: {{nihongo2|Kan}} (''Rom'', Eng), or am i missing something? --DarkerStar (talk) 18:13, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
The best way to do it is to use {{nihongo}} like this: {{nihongo|"Kanpai"|乾杯|}}, which produces this: "Kanpai" (乾杯?). Just make sure to include the final pipe character. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 00:18, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I actually created a template for this a while back. It's called {{eigo}} (called it that 'cause it does the opposite of the {{nihongo}} template). It also provides suppport for both furigana and rōmaji. I also put in support for the other Japanese help symbol 'cause I made back when we were discussing that. It looks like that's the one it uses when you see it on the template page, but the small superscript "?" is what shows up by default when in use. Using the template, your example would be written {{eigo|おはよう|ohayō|"good morning"}} and would look like this: おはよう (ohayō, "good morning"). Hope that helps. --Eruhildo (talk) 03:35, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to change Manual of Style: Write "Hokkaidō" without "Prefecture"

Presently, Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles)#Place names says

For prefectures, use the form [[{prefecture-name} Prefecture]] without ken, fu, or to, for example, Tochigi Prefecture. As an exception, use the title Hokkaidō Prefecture when refering to Hokkaidō (北海道?), for dō ( passage or circuit?) being an integral part of the prefecture's name cannot be omitted.

I propose to omit "Prefecture" following "Hokkaidō" in titles of articles, categories etc. as well as in body text. Also, to clarify the scope by specifying titles and body text. (Things that readers of Wikipedia do not normally see, such as template names, don't have to conform to this.) Specifically,

For prefectures, use the form [[{prefecture-name} Prefecture]] without ken, fu, or to, for example, Tochigi Prefecture. As an exception, use the title Hokkaidō without the word "Prefecture" when refering to Hokkaidō (北海道?), for dō ( passage or circuit?) being an integral part of the prefecture's name cannot be omitted, and already carries the meaning equivalent to "Prefecture." This style for prefectures (to, dō, fu and ken) applies to titles of articles, categories and other content readers of Wikipedia are expected to see as well as to body text.

Discussion is welcome. Fg2 (talk) 01:59, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, it seems the official Hokkaidō site doesn't use "Prefecture" in the title, so I'm fine with changing it to leave that out. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:03, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
It seems to match the common usage. Hokkaidō is always just Hokkaidō. Doceirias (talk) 04:37, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I support the change. Douggers (talk) 05:23, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I support the change as well. I totally misread the phrase. I was reading what I wanted to read, namely that you can leave out the prefecture.imars (talk) 06:31, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2008 June 26#Category:Hokkaidō. - Neier (talk) 21:55, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Why is this being applied to categories, where ambiguity introduces alot of matintenance problems? (talk) 04:27, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

City names

A proposal has been made to alter the names of some Japanese city categories, and for some reason, it seems to have not been brought up on this page. Please comment at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2008_June_23#Category:People_from_Japanese_city_sharing_name_with_prefecture but, there is not much time left. Neier (talk) 21:48, 27 June 2008 (UTC)


Our beloved MoS tells us:

For wards in cities, use the form [[{ward-name}-ku, {city-name}]]; for example, Naka-ku, Yokohama.

Which seems OK to me, but also:

For the 23 special wards in Tokyo, use the form [[{ward-name}, Tokyo]]; for example, Shibuya, Tokyo.

I suppose this for consistency with their official designation as "cities", which I happen to find ridiculous. (Well, the whole business of "towns" and "cities" in Japan strikes my European self as a joke, in that they're juridically agglomerated "villages" and "towns" and "cities" or burbs, which themselves were juridically agglomerated. So "Arakawa City" is no more ridiculous than "Akishima City", and can't start to rival my personal favorite, "Sado City".)

Without claiming to have either native-Japanese-speaking intuition or native-Tokyo-dwelling knowledge, I'd guess that "Shinjuku" (without an additional ku) tends to bring to the minds of Japanese-speaking denizens of Tokyo scenes such as those shown in "Shinjuku, Tokyo". However, at the top of the list of "Places in Shinjuku" within that article is Ichigaya: A commercial area in eastern Shinjuku, site of the Ministry of Defense. (And of Dai-Nippon Insatsu, or so "OR" tells me.) Now, I don't think that "Shinjuku" brings to mind Ichigaya, which is after all very roughly halfway between Shinjuku station at the left of the Yamanote train loop and Akihabara at the right.

Am I just imagining a distinction between Shinjuku and Shinjuku-ku, between Shitaya and Shitaya-ku (as was), etc?

As it is, Ueno gets its own article, because it's in a borough (sorry, "special ward" or "city") that happens to be called Taitō-ku and not Ueno-ku. Indeed, even Ichigaya gets an article. But Shibuya is in Shibuya-ku, so it doesn't get its own article, unless of course you think that Shibuya is Shibuya-ku. Though Harajuku, one station north of it, and Ebisu, one station south, do get their own articles. -- Hoary (talk) 02:16, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't think the distinction between 新宿区 and 新宿区新宿 is relevant enough to warrant separate articles. If you want to discuss 新宿区新宿 then put it in the 新宿区 article. -Amake (talk) 12:34, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
"Relevant"? To what? (Or do you mean salient, important, something else?) -- Hoary (talk) 14:07, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
To the reader. While Tokyoites may picture only a specific area of 新宿区 when they hear of "Shinjuku," the rest of the world doesn't understand the difference and doesn't care. It's pretty arbitrary as well--if you have a separate article called "Shinjuku," are you restricting it to describing 新宿区新宿, or are you including 新宿区新宿二丁目 as well? Include perhaps anything with an address of the pattern 新宿区新宿*? Who's going to check to make sure nothing from outside that area, which would need to be in the "Shinjuku, Tokyo" article, isn't added? In short I think having a separate "Shinjuku" article is unnecessary pedantry. Anything you'd put in "Shinjuku" would work equally well in "Shinjuku, Tokyo." -Amake (talk) 20:30, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
There's something in what you say: a solution would not be simple. "Shinjuku" would surely have to include 西新宿, which is already outside either of your suggested patterns. However, there's nothing so very shocking about that, when you realize that (for example) "Harajuku" includes 神宮前 and "Ebisu, Tokyo" includes 東. Just checking: are you really saying that (for example) it's OK for (i) "Shibuya" to redirect to Shibuya, Tokyo, an article that will deal with both (a) the whole of Shibuya-ku (including Harajuku and Ebisu, of course), and more specifically (b) the area usually referred to by 渋谷; (ii) Harajuku and Ebisu, Tokyo to describe those areas commonly called 原宿 and 恵比寿; (iii) no article to exist to describe in more detail what's commonly called 渋谷, as doing so would be "unnecessary pedantry" and "irrelevant" to the concerns of people who're not in/from Tokyo and neither know nor care about such distinctions? -- Hoary (talk) 00:21, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
First of all, I think the article titling is currently inconsistent and should be changed so that the non-municipality places you mentioned either all have ", Tokyo" or all don't. Second, I have no problem with separate, in-depth articles on subsections of municipalities when the subsection has a distinct name. Everyone can appreciate the difference between Harajuku and Shibuya-ku, but the difference between "Shibuya" and "Shibuya-ku" is less well defined and I don't think that just "Shibuya" merits its own article. The Shibuya-ku article can talk about Shibuya, and have perhaps a brief subsection about Harajuku, with a Main article: Harajuku header. The same goes for Shinjuku-ku and Ichigaya. To directly answer your questions, (i) yes, (ii) yes, but the article names need to be made more consistent, and (iii) yes, since that content can quite easily and naturally fit in the Shibuya-ku article. -Amake (talk) 14:26, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Question about colors

When the Japanese word for color iro (?) is used in a title, how should it be formated? For example, should 赤色 be "Aka Iro", "Aka-iro", "Aka-Iro", or "Akairo"?-- 01:50, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

I would tend toward the first or the last. Hyphens should generally be avoided per MOS-JA. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:08, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I would have suggested Aka-iro, excusing the hyphen since it is actually a compound word (obviously, would not be used for kiiro or one of the words that customarily has color in it.) Doceirias (talk) 04:11, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I would've recommended the hyphen, but if those are to be avoided, I recommend "akairo." Like Doceirias said, it's a compound word, so it's best to keep it together. Having a space in the word would be confusing, because then it'd look like you're translating the two words into just "red." Douggers (talk) 04:30, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
赤色 is read as せきしょく/sekishoku, never read as aka-iro. See [1] and [2]. Oda Mari (talk) 07:41, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
赤色 can also be read as あかいろ aka-iro. See [3] in the same dictionary. --Kusunose 08:27, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry. Stupid of me! Oda Mari (talk) 08:39, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I'd suggest akairo since "Chicago" recommends avoiding excessive hyphens in Japanese words. It's not very strong in its guidance; still, it seems harmless to write it as a single word. I don't have a strong preference. Capitalize it whenever other similar words in are being capitalized. Fg2 (talk) 10:44, 30 June 2008 (UTC)