Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Archive 4

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Proposal for titles of articles on temples and shrines

(Jpatokal's suggestion): "Place and personal names should of course be offset with a space, and as these are proper names all words are capitalized."

Insert a hyphen before bo, dera, do, in, ji, ; write the English word "shrine" in place of jinja and jingu but hyphenate and write gu, sha, taisha without "shrine."

Do not write "temple"; do not write English translations of names in article titles (where appropriate, they are welcome within the article, e.g. "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion"). Do not prefix "-san" names (e.g. do not write "Kinryu-zan Sensoji"; simply write "Sensoji"); however, do prefix "-san" names (山号) when — and only when — necessary to distinguish famous temples of the same name and provide a disambiguation page, for example, Kaiko-zan Hase-dera and Bu-zan Kagura-in Hase-dera. (See ja:長谷寺 and this link.)

Here are examples of the proposed style:

Gokuraku-bo; Kiyomizu-dera; Sanjusangen-do; Sanzen-in; Kinkaku-ji; Hikawa Shrine; Meiji Shrine; Kamakura-gu; Inari-sha (other than Inari-taisha); Inari-taisha

Doesn't the proposal above say that the last one should be Inari Shrine? Jpatokal 11:10, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Early in the article, explain in English what the subject is, e.g. "Kinkaku-ji is a Buddhist temple ... ."

Fg2 10:53, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

(Actually, Kinkaku-ji is problematic, since the temple's actual name is Rokuon-ji... ) Fg2 10:53, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Sounds good to me, although I could be swayed to eliminate the hyphen (i.e. Hasedera instead of Hase-dera). The thought of a page called "Bu-zan Kagura-in Hase-dera" with three hyphens seems like a bit of hyphen-overload. But this is a complaint on just aesthetic grounds, and there are many examples where having a hyphen makes it easier to read (Inari-taisha vs. Inaritaisha). We'll have to remember to do a few redirects for each page to make sure all of our bases are covered. CES 12:14, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Alternatives include geographic labels, e.g. Hase-dera (Kamakura, Kanagawa), Hase-dera (Sakurai, Nara). Fg2 21:50, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Here's a variation on the theme. Fg2 02:26, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
It all makes sense and is well thought out, but the only gripe I have with it is that you're forcing something that doesn't seem to want to be forced. I don't think there is an elegant way to standardize this, because one method makes the names unrecognizable to many Japanese people, and another method is difficult to understand for people who don't know anything about Japan. Then again, it's not all THAT elegant, what with the exceptions being made for mountains (at least Mount Fuji) and shrines. Freshgavin 05:42, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
I like the basic idea a lot and doubt we'll be able to come up with a better compromise, but I'd prefer to do away with the hyphens. Freshgavin, note that this is only for temples/shrines, mountains are not covered (if they appear in the temple's name, they're treated as parts of a proper name). Jpatokal 11:10, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
Point taken, but I think that in itself is an issue isn't it? Having a different standard for temples and mountains (or rather ... elevated landmasses - -;;) seems a bit messy to me. Anyways, I will support it (though I still don't agree with using 'shrine' instead of 'jinja'!) because it's certainly better than nothing, and I'm not sure if there is a better way to implement this anyways. Freshgavin 00:51, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

What about macrons? I don't mind leaving macrons out of article titles, but I think their use should be encouraged elsewhere. -Jefu 12:50, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Vote on proposal

So let's put the proposal above to a vote! Sign your name in the appropriate section below. Is one week starting now enough? Jpatokal 11:10, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

One week (and then some has) has passed. Nobody dislikes the proposal and hyphens win over non-hyphens. Time to make it official! Jpatokal 05:26, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Written, let's get cracking (Category:Shinto shrines and Category:Buddhist temples should keep us busy for a while). Let's also use this chance to move everything to correct Unicode names and move the temples in Category:Buddhist temples in Japan.

Support proposal, with hyphens

  1. CES 11:52, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
  2. Freshgavin 00:51, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
  3. Philip Nilsson 19:36, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
  4. Jefu 22:35, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Support proposal, without hyphens

  1. Jpatokal 11:10, 12 October 2005 (UTC).
  2. LordAmeth 15:19, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Oppose proposal

Japanese link or not? If so, how?

I had a quick look through the discussions before this, but excuse me if I missed it. According to the current conventions, it says we should write

Taro Cabbage (キャベツ太郎, Kyabetsu Taro).

Today there was a disagreement on the page Akihito. One user wrote the name in the form

Taro Cabbage ([[Japanese language|Japanese]]キャベツたろ, ''Kyabetsu Taro'').

and another user removed the [[Japanese language|Japanese]], then someone else put it back.

I have also seen abbreviations like "Ja" or "Jp" used in the link. It would be nice to have some standard way to do this; first, should the link be there? Second, if so, should it say "Japanese" or "Ja" or "Jp" or what? Rather than arbitrarily doing it how each person thinks is best, then someone else just changes it again, it would be nice to have a clear statement on the style page about whether or not to link etc. --DannyWilde 08:57, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

I've seen links with lowercase "ja" or "jp" or both, and if we're going to have something, I'd prefer "Japanese." It doesn't seem particularly harmful, and for readers whose computers don't have CJK fonts, it serves as a useful explanation of the boxes that I presume appear on their screens (as they do when I click on an article that has IPA symbols). I'm not sure "Ja" or "Jp" or "Jpn." is as clear as "Japanese." Another alternative would be "Akihito (in Japanese, 明仁) ..." (with the link to the language name). The last might be clearest. Fg2 10:17, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

We've had many, many disagreements about this. In essence, as far as I'm aware, at the end of the last round it was agreed that having a link to Japanese language or Japanese name or the relevant Japanese article in the form "[[Japanese]]," "[[JP]]," "[[jp]]," "[[Jp]]," "[[Ja]]," "[[ja]]" or similar was not the way to go, which is why I removed the link that led to this question in the first place.

Additionally, it's my view that having names written in non-Hepburn followed by brackets containing link, Japanese and Hepburn, such as this:

Junichiro Koizumi ([[Jp]] 小泉 純一郎 ''koizumi jun'ichirō'') clumsy, takes up too much space, and besides being confusing, serves no useful purpose. I also find it particularly irksome when people choose to place names in italics and lowercase, since this just reduces them to sounds.

Links to the relevant Japanese article should be placed where they normally go. Links to "Japanese name" aren't especially relevant in most articles, and neither are links to "Japanese language." The possibility of placing a note or template on Japan-related articles stating that names are given in the Japanese order has also been discussed.

Exploding Boy 18:21, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Fg2's point hasn't been answered, though. As it's pretty standard practice to follow the English version of the name with "Fooish:" for other languages (e.g., Feng Youlan, Al-Kindī, Wee Kim Wee, etc.), is there a reason that it should avoided with regard to Japanese? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:30, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, but I don't know what you mean. What is Fooish? Exploding Boy 21:56, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

A variable, standing for a language. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:33, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

  • My opinion is that these things already take up a lot of space in between the name and the key part of the sentence, and the language should therefore not be mentioned when it is obvious from the first sentence. If it already says " a Japanese sumo wrestler" then it's not necessary. If it says "... is a Hawaiian-born sumo wrestler" then yes. Kappa 22:57, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

To address Exploding Boy's ponts:

  1. I used to think that the Japanese link was silly and unnecessary too and removed them when I saw them. But Fg2 makes a good point, that people without CJK fonts may not know what is there without that link. I'm now ambivalent. I'm not going to go back and replace the ones I've removed, but I won't be deleting them either.
  2. I agree that Hepburn in parentheses for names is silly and unnecessary. -Jefu 23:13, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

My point is that there should be a statement, in the style manual, about what to do about these links. On the Akihito talk page, it was mentioned that it is a Wikipedia convention to add these language links. If so they should be added, in the same way, for example, that the title word should be in bold - it's a convention. However, there was no reference given to where it says that one must add the links. Adding or removing the language links on the basis of personal preference is bound to lead to conflicts. I suggest we try to establish what the Wikipedia-wide convention is, write that up in the manual of style, and stick to it. I'm sure there are lots of good arguments for and against having the language links, but I expect we can all agree that there is no good argument for having language links on some pages in one format, other pages in other formats, and none at all on other pages. That is just messy. --DannyWilde 23:50, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

To my knowledge, it is not convention that we should add language links, and the last consensus was not to do it. I totally agree: it should be one way or the other. Exploding Boy 01:57, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree too. My point was just that I don't really care one way or the other about the language link. I've gone from being against it to being ambivalent. If agreement is reached I will certainly follow the convention in the future. By the way, my preference for the rest of what goes in the parentheses is ([Kanji] [italicized hepburn]), with only a space rather than a comma separating the kanji and the romaji. And as mentioned above, the romaji after the kanji is unnecessary for things like names that are already written in romaji to begin with. -Jefu 02:19, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

If we're talking about preferences, I'm personally against italicising people's names. Italics are properly used to render foreign words, not names. Exploding Boy 02:27, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Exploding Boy and Jefu in finding the use of the Hepburn and the italicising of names unnecessary. I still think, though, that Fg2 is right about the inclusion of "Japanese". --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:58, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

To Exploding Boy's point, we agree that names shouldn't be in parentheses anyway, so the italicization problem is moot. -Jefu 12:21, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

But above you say your preference is for ([kanji] italicised Hepburn). Exploding Boy 17:06, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Keep reading. I then say: "And as mentioned above, the romaji after the kanji is unnecessary for things like names that are already written in romaji to begin with." -Jefu 22:38, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
I disagree with you on that. A good example is Tokyo (東京都; Tōkyō-to). Even ignoring the 都 issue, without the romaji people might think that in Japanese 東京 is pronounced Tokyo, with short syllables, or even "Towkaiow". Romaji explanation serves a useful purpose here. Of course in some articles some people take care to use a correct romanization to begin with (*Tōkyō-to (東京都)) but this is perhaps not as sensible an idea for many Japanese borrowings and names in current use. I say this because even though I promote correct pronounciation of Japanese (and other) terms in daily usage, most people would feel lost if they were to be redirected from Tokyo to Tōkyō-to. As for the link, I always felt it a bit redundant when it is clear from context that it is Japanese: "<name> (Japanese: <> <romaji>) is a Japanese scholar…". Shinobu 08:58, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

I tend to agree with Shinobu ... italics do provide useful information, in particular vowel length. They're also helpful in cases where the Japanese name is not perfectly identical to the English "translation" (e.g. Beat Takeshi = Biito Takeshi) or in cases like Tokyo where the added 都 in places might confuse the reader. Or, when SN-GN and GN-SN have been flipped (in the case of many modern people). My question would be what to do when the article name and the romaji are redundant ... Miyabe Miyuki (宮部みゆき Miyabe Miyuki) seems a little redundant. You know me though, if we agreed on a convention that works I'd favor using it in 100% of the cases.

Unless a person/object's nationality is ambiguous, I don't think a link to Japanese name is necessary. I for one like the common (KANJI Name Name) format, I think it provides the most information in the smallest amount of space. And I think italics are a good idea, as this clues the reader that what is in italics is not English, even if they don't understand what Kanji is, and even though it's not exactly common convention as Exploding Boy points out. I do agree that having names in lower case is silly ... are there examples out there of people doing that? CES 12:19, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I've put in lowercase. My reasoning is that the main text (outside the parentheses) gives the English; the explanation (inside) gives the Japanese. Since the native Japanese form of writing does not have uppercase or lowercase letters, the transcription need not, either. The indicator of a proper name is in the main text, not in the parentheses. The kanji and/or kana show the name, and the letters indicate the pronunciation. Note that dictionaries in English do not use uppercase initial letters when giving the pronunciation of proper names (see, for example, the Merriam-Webster entry for "Tokugawa").
But, if people don't want to use this system, I'm willing to give it up. Fg2 12:43, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
If the italics were there strictly for the purpose of pronunciation (like IPA) I'd agree, but Hepburn seems to be more of a system of transliteration than a true guide to pronunciation (unlike IPA et al., knowledge of Hepburn still requires knowledge of Japanese in order to pronounce the words). English readers are more familiar with names being capitalized, and I believe the convention when writing Japanese in romaji is to capitalize names (even though there's no capitalization in Japanese) ... I for one would be in favor of capitalizing the names in italics. CES 13:25, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree with CES. -Jefu 14:26, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes, in some circumstances the (Kanji name) format might be necessary, as wasw pointed out with the example of Tokyo, above. But too often it's just redundant repetition, and it's not needed. Exploding Boy 15:18, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Time for my two cents. (1) I do not think we should wikilink to "Japanese language" or to "Japanese names". As someone else already said, that's really not useful. (2) I, personally, never put a language qualifier (e.g. Jp, Ja, or "in Japanese:") before the kanji unless the subject is something not exclusively (or not originally) Japanese. For example, the articles on the Mukden Incident and the Nanking Massacre are not exclusively Japanese subjects and have different names in English, Japanese, and Chinese. (3) I like the idea of italics rather than quotations, as it indicates the pronunciation of a foreign word and separates it out from the main text better; but I think this is only useful when it doesn't duplicate the "English" spelling or pronunciation of the word. I put diacritics and such in the "English" name before the parentheses - e.g. Kyōto (京都) rather than Kyoto (京都, Kyōto). Capitalization within the parentheses should, I think, follow normal capitalization rules - proper names are capitalized, regular words like geisha, otaku, and azuki are not.
I like doing things the way I've been doing them, but as with many style discussions I've commented on, I think the most important thing is consistency. Whatever is agreed to here should be established and enforced across the board. LordAmeth 15:51, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for explaining this much better than I have! What LordAmeth said. Exploding Boy 16:23, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

We could solve this problem with a template, css styles and classes. It could provide some sensible defaults, while still making adjustments possible. It could also provide a ? with a tooltip, and possibly a link to a pseudo-article describing customization, pronounciation etc. I remember seeing something similar on a media link. Shinobu 11:19, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

That's a very good idea. Do you know how to set it up? By the way, there is a "Japanese word" template on Manga, but it's not a very good one. --DannyWilde 11:59, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm r&d'ing it now. Since this topic is starting to become a bit on the long side, comments will go in the new Template topic. Shinobu 05:53, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

The problem with using Miyabe as an example is... her books are published in ENGLISH! - Therefore her naming order shall be reversed. I know that there really isn't an agreement right now on naming order specifics, but still... - On the other hand, a historical figure would be a great use of a "redundant italic" remark. In a case of someone like Miyamoto Musashi, I don't think italics are necessary. WhisperToMe 23:35, 7 November 2005 (UTC)


Further discussion about comma's go to the "Comma" section.
Further discussion about the help icon go to Template talk:Nihongo, as goes other talk about the template.

A good name would be Template:Nihongo.

It would need three parameters, like this:


Since the last parameter can be absent, we would need to find a way to branch properly. This can be done using some clever tricks, but I'm still looking into it.


Would yield "Tokyo (東京都, Tōkyō-to ?)".


Would yield "Manga (漫画 ?)". However, the cursive romaji would still need to be there for those who have saved in their preferences (user css) that they want so see it anyway.

Note to self: don't forget to unbold the right part of the template, in case it's used in the article lead. Shinobu 06:11, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

I've set up an experimental thingy. See Template talk:Nihongo. Further comments can be posted there. If we get this template to obey our wishes, we need to add it to this MoS so that people know it's there. Shinobu 07:26, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

The template is finished, and looks okay. It's easy to use, does what it's supposed to do and it can be completely customized by the reader as well. When it gets inserted in real pages we will see if it's an improvement over the current situation. After these test runs we can add it to this Manual of Style. Shinobu 15:16, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I have already begun adding it (retroactively) to my own articles. You are welcome to take a look at the articles and see how you think it looks. A list of my articles is available on my user page; I have thus far 'converted' the first 100 or so articles. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the question mark, as I think it makes the whole thing look cluttered. But thanks for the template. Now there'll be a slightly more standard form for introducing article names & their original Japanese spellings. LordAmeth 20:17, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
The template is great, a very good idea, but I agree with the above opinion. I don't like the question mark either. A small Japanese flag might be good, but some Japanese people dislike this symbol, so how about a tiny icon with the word "Nihongo" in kanji or something? It should be possible to make a favicon-sized "nihongo" since the kanjis are very simple. --DannyWilde 01:26, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

I think the template is great, but one question it hasn't solved is how to write people's names. Are we writing Junichiro Koizumi (小泉純一郎 (Koizumi Jun'ichirō?)) or Koizumi Jun'ichirō (小泉純一郎) ? Exploding Boy 20:24, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Whoa, and what went wrong with the way I typed that? Exploding Boy

Perhaps Junichiro Koizumi (小泉純一郎 Koizumi Jun'ichirō?) was what you intended?

{{nihongo|Junichiro Koizumi|小泉純一郎|Koizumi Jun'ichirō}}

Wikipedia's template syntax is not that forgiving. Not much I can do 'bout that.

Note that if you don't want to see romaji (or want anything else customized) you can make that happen using your personal css; follow the help link to learn how. I think you can also search for classes using JavaScript, allowing for even more customization possibilities. Shinobu 21:33, 20 October 2005 (UTC)


One minor point ... I've noticed at least three formats of displaying (KANJI romaji) in Wikipedia:

  • (KANJI romaji)
  • (KANJI, romaji) - with a comma
  • (KANJI; romaji) - with a semicolon

Do we have a policy/concensus on which to use? A very minor style issue, but I thought I'd bring it up. Personally I think it's a little strange to see English language punctuation after kanji, so I prefer and use the first style. CES 12:00, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Obviously a pretty minor thing, as you say. But my preference is for a comma; it separates things out a bit. The semi-colon does look odd to me, so my secondary vote would be for nothing. LordAmeth 12:49, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
I'd say definitely no comma, much less a semicolon. It's not a case of things in a list being separated, it's two ways of saying the same thing. Jpatokal 14:53, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

If you're saying the same thing in two ways, you usually put in a comma. Example: "Mister Koizumi, the PM of Japan, (…)". I didn't use the "kanji comma" because as I see it this is a snippet of Japanese in an otherwise western text. If you want to you can hide it using your personal css; you might want to do this if you agree it's a good default but you just don't like it. Anyway, if consensus exists for another default, I'll implement that. Shinobu 16:21, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

I'd prefer to have the comma. If it's generally agreed to use this template, it might be worth making a wiki-editing robot to update all the pages linked from the "List of Japan related pages". I already have a robot for editing Mediawiki wiki pages, so I can probably do this if it is thought to be a good idea. I've added the template to some pages already. --DannyWilde 01:26, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm sure I stated this previously, but, like CES and Jpatoka, I prefer no comma.-Jefu 08:34, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Why? Point is, we're discussing about a default, that will therefore be the way lot's of users will see it displayed. We should base our discussion on good arguments rather than on "I [don't] like it."s. People who just don't like it can always modify their css to include:
or something similar. Perhaps we should also try to broaden this discussion beyond just those who watch this article. Shinobu 11:59, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

If you are in favor of including unnecessary punctuation, I think the burden should be on you to explain why it should be included.-Jefu 14:23, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Here goes:
  • The comma is necessary, because normally any explanation and the word/phrase explained are separated by a comma, as I argued above.
  • The comma visually seperates the kanji and the romaji - it looks better.
  • It's (slightly) easier on readers not familiar with Japanese.
I've heard of the saying "less is more", but when it's about a comma, and one that logically should be there, I don't think there's any truth in that. In the end, I just don't see why we should make an exeption just because the things seperated are a Kanji spelling and it's romanization. Shinobu 18:12, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
The romaji are not an "explanation", they're a reading. The first three uses listed in Comma (punctuation) are 1) to mark off separate elements in a sentence, 2) to separate independent clauses, and 3) to separate items in lists'. I posit that (KANJI reading) fits none of the above.
Consider the case pondered earlier: if you write "Taro Cabbage (キャベツ太郎, Kyabetsu Taro)", it looks like you can say either キャベツ太郎 or キャベツ太郎. If you write "Taro Cabbage (キャベツ太郎 Kyabetsu Taro), it's clearer that it means キャベツ太郎 is read as Kyabetsu Taro.
Also, as CES notes, it's confusing and visually ugly (to my eye) to have a chunk of Western punctuation immediately after a Japanese kanji. In e.g. 「心,」 the comma looks like an additional stroke — which is why the Japanese use their own comma 「、」 instead of the Latin ",". Jpatokal 18:54, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

I don't agree with the point about the Western punctuation and would oppose using "、" rather than the comma. However, yesterday I had a quick look at some examples in the Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition), and perhaps it's worth noting that they didn't use the comma. The comma might be useful if there is more than one kanji way to write something. For example, okama (お釜, おかま?), etc. --DannyWilde 02:33, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Just to clarify, I'm not proposing we use a Japanese comma, I'm proposing we use only a space. And commas are of course okay if you're listing various readings, eg. (日本 Nihon, Nippon). Jpatokal 03:47, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure which of the points about Western punctuation Danny Wilde opposes, but I agree fully with the points Jpatoka has made. And if the Chicago Manual of Style (a widely cited and authoritative reference) doesn't use a comma, that just reinforces the argument in favor of adopting a convention without a comma.-Jefu 10:29, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm prepared to examine the evidence for both sides of the argument. The lack of comma in the Chicago book is a useful data point, whether it agrees with my opinion or not. Incidentally, unfortunately the SWET Japan style guide has no guidance on the matter, surprisingly enough. --DannyWilde 00:39, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Okay, that's what I meant by arguments. I'll change the template. Shinobu 14:49, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Exception for long vowels

I've already started this discussion on the Tokyo and Oume [sic] pages, just wanted to make a note of it here. The city in Tokyo, 青梅 (oume) while commonly (even officially) spelt Ome, should REALLY be spelled Oume in romaji. As it is a combination of the readings o and ume, and thus it is a not a 'long vowel' ō, as would normally be expected. To expand, Oume (for the city) is pronounced differently than ōme/oume or ōme/oome as the /u/ vowel is pronouced. Ōme is pronounced something like /oh-meh/ and oume is pronounced more like /oh-umeh/ but with a shorter /o/ sound.

NOW, of course this is not a pronounciation guide, this is hepburn. Oume is still correct in hepburn because it is the combination of two kunyomi, and thus each character has its own sound. For example 大/ou is only one character and thus there can be no argument about the hepburn spelling of it because it cannot be separated. 青梅/oume is two, and thus they each have their own sounds (though 青/o is not a very common reading) and when put together the pronounciation doesn't change so the hepburn of the two characters shouldn't be changed either to reflect that.

I babbled because I'm afraid of the arguments that some people will put up to defend the incorrect spelling of Oume, but I think I've argued my point.  freshgavin TALK   06:01, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Wards in Cities <---> Wards in Prefectures

The MoS has the sentence, "For wards in cities, use the form [[{ward-name}-ku, {prefecture-name}]]; for example, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto." Does anyone recall why we do this? It seems much more sensible to have wards in cities, not prefectures, since a ward is in fact part of a city, not directly administered by a prefecture. Furthermore, the example is ambiguous, since Kyoto is the name of both the city that Fushimi-ku is in, and the prefecture. Was this a mistake? Should we change it to wardname-ku, city-name?

Note that the above sentence does not apply to the special wards of Tokyo; they have the sentence that comes next: "For the 23 special wards in Tokyo, use the form [[{ward-name}, Tokyo]]; for example, Shibuya, Tokyo." I am not proposing changing the convention for special wards of Tokyo.

I am proposing changing the ordinary wards of cities.


Fg2 07:01, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Ward, city definitely does make more sense. Especially since I woudln't be surprised if there were a situation where two cities in the same prefecture both had, say, a Kita-ku Nik42 08:35, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
Something tells me that's a mistake. Just a quick glance at Yokohama and Nagoya shows that the wards of those cities are in the Ward, City form. It wouldn't hurt to change the example in the MoS to a ward in a city with a different name than a prefecture, to clear up any ambiguity. CES 12:47, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
The reason I ask is that someone changed the wards of Kawasaki to ward, prefecture format. I'm all in favor of accord with the MoS, but I think this is an error in the MoS. Fg2 20:54, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
I think Ward, Prefecture is nuts and we should change the MoS immediately. I can't think of a single good reason for the Ward, Prefecture format. CES 21:33, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
Yeah that would be me, Fg2. I've been looking around for a while (I've started a lot of work on the pages for the rails and stations around Tokyo) and I came across a whole slew of inconsistencies with the MoS and started changing them and adding pages / redirects and such. The Ward, Prefecture thing did sound a bit strange to me but I figured the discussion had been had a billion times before and everyone decided that Ward, Prefecture would work out better if it was consistent with City, Prefecture. I actually backtracked a lot when I gave it a second look and decided that it wasn't worth doing, and I think everything I did is back to normal now (and I'll finish cleaning up some of the Kawasaki and Yokohama wards today or tomorrow). I think the MoS should be changed, and also take a look at my conundrum(sp?) above!  freshgavin TALK   23:39, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
Can't fault you for doing what the MoS says! Fg2
I'll put a notice in MoS saying it's under discussion, and we can keep discussing until someone wants to declare it decided. I don't feel comfortable closing the discussion since I started it (and it's going my way, for a change). Fg2 07:59, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
So just to clarify, while I try to eliminate a lot of red links in the process, your way is [[Ward, City]] (where wards exist) and [[City, Prefecture]], [[Town, Prefecture]], [[Ward, Tokyo]], [[City, Tokyo]]?
Also, I just came across something while making Tobu Tojo that I didn't know existed; the '-kun' districts in Saitama (etc.) (I've lived in mostly urban areas so I don't know much about stuffs 'out there'). Right now they seem to be linked as [[District, Prefecture]] and [[Town, Prefecture]] even though the towns (machi) are clearly part of the districts, just as wards are part of cities. I'm not planning on argueing this I'm just wondering if that's relatively acceptable and I'm not gonna get smashed by someone for trying to keep everything consistent : ).  freshgavin TALK   01:14, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I think you've got it right: town, prefecture and village, prefecture and district, prefecture but I'm proposing ward, city. (And let's add that we already have special ward, Tokyo --- no proposal to change that.)
Not sure what you mean by "kun" --- do you mean "gun"? That (郡) should be "district" according to MoS. If that's what you mean, it's "gun" (rather than a rendaku of "kun"). But if you mean something else, we can look into it for you. Fg2 07:29, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I meant gun. Labelling the districts is pretty straight forward, like I said, at [[X District, X Prefecture]], but I was just wondering about cities inside the districts, that are being labelled now as [[X City in Dist., X Prefecture]] and it kind of feels the same as the awkward Nakahara-ku, Kanagawa to me. Fg2 05:07, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't think any cities are in gun; when a city is established, it separates from the gun. Towns and villages are in gun. However, I think the gun is really vestigial. A leftover from the Nara period. The government of a gun doesn't do much, as far as I know. So even though towns and villages are in gun, it's not a big deal. In contrast, a ward of a city doesn't do much; the larger unit (the city) does it all. The city has a mayor, city council, public works department, city offices; registers births, deaths and marriages (I guess). (Ordinary) wards do not have these things, except as branch offices of the city; employees do not get hired by, assigned by, or paid by the ward (I believe) but rather by the city and can get transferred from ward to ward. The ward is not a body corporate; the city is. In contrast, a town or village is a body corporate. It has finances, revenues, provides services, has elected government officials, has a "mayor" and a council, may have public works departments; registers citizens etc. I don't think gun do any of these functions, or at least they do them minimally. So the town or village strikes me as more important than the gun, and it doesn't help a whole lot to title the town and village articles according to gun. Membership in a gun is only slightly important, and is mentioned in the article. Wards are likewise only slightly important, and we should name the articles (in my opinion) ward, city, since the city is a real, active, effective unit that contains the wards. At least this is my understanding --- I have not looked up any of it, so please do not take this as Truth. Fg2 05:07, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
- -;. Right, I meant town. I won't take your word as truth, but it's good enough for me. 10Q! P.S.: You're signing my old comments you goof : O!  freshgavin TALK   06:28, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Hah! I put in a /nowiki tag that you had omitted. Everything from your nowiki tag down was nowikied, including your signature. When I put in the /nowiki tag, the software must have taken your four tildes as mine. Fg2 06:37, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Changing MoS

I'm closing this discussion and changing the Manual of Style. If anyone has a serious objection, revert the change and reopen the discussion. Fg2 10:48, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Sounds good to me, at least. CES 12:58, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Subway Station Names

Came across a difficult example while making the table for Tobu Tojo line. Basically, how do you think the station name should be written for stations of underground (地下鉄) lines? For example, 地下鉄成増駅 (chikatetsu narimasu eki) of the 有楽町線 (yuurakucho sen) which pairs up with the regular narimasu station on Tojo line. A few of the other pages (including yuurakucho line) just put Chikatetsu Narimasu Station which I think is totally clunky, but I'm leaving it at that temporarily. I was thinking Narimasu Underground Station? (not all 地下鉄 stations are Metro) but that's a little bit misleading because a lot of normal stations are underground. I say subway, but most British people don't ... so I'm a little bit lost here.  freshgavin TALK   05:38, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Why on earth would you want two separate articles? See eg. Shinjuku Station, which covers all lines in one article, just the way it should be. Jpatokal 11:36, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Jpatokal. And the precedent isn't only among Japanese station articles; it really just makes sense. See Pennsylvania Station, Grand Central Station, etc. LordAmeth 21:11, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Well if you've ever been to some of these stations, (I'm quite sure you have) you would know that Shinjuku Station is one station including transfers to a dozen and a half different lines (and the building exists generally right across the board), but stations like Narimasu and 地下鉄成増 one are not the same station, and can often take 10-15 minutes to walk between. It's basically the same difference as the one between Hachioji Station and Keio Hachioji Station or even Kawasaki Station and Shin-Kawasaki Station. Lastly, take a look at 地下鉄成増駅 and 成増駅 on the Japanese wiki.  freshgavin TALK   01:23, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, if you absolutely must, then use "Narimasu Metro Station". "Chikatetsu" is not English. Jpatokal 02:42, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
First of all, your tone is a little harsh considering it wasn't me who created those links using Chikatetsu, so please calm down a little so you don't accidentally insult someone who's a little less balanced than I. Second of all, if you read my problem first of all you would see that I mentioned that not all 地下鉄 are Tokyo Metro stations so what I was really wondering about was how to name the underground stations that aren't on metro lines.  freshgavin TALK   04:56, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
No offense intended — I didn't mean to imply that you were to blame for anything. Anyway, "metro" is a generic word for what Americans call subways and the Wikipedia article on the subject is named as such, so I think it's fine to call a Toei station "X Metro Station" if need be. I wouldn't object violently against "X Subway Station" either (although do see Talk:Tokyo Subway), but "Chikatetsu X Station" just smacks of hypercorrectness. Jpatokal 15:49, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I totally agree. I think a reasonable compromize is [[X Metro Station]] for stations actually on the Tokyo Metro lines, and [[X Subway Station]] for other underground lines, e.g. Osaka Municipal Subway if the station is indeed called 地下鉄X駅. Note: The first line of Osaka Municipal Subway The Osaka Municipal Subway (大阪市営地下鉄 Ōsaka-shiei-chikatetsu) is the metro network in the city of Osaka, Japan. That would be a mistype wouldn't it? It can't be called a metro network if its not a Metropolis, or ... am I wrong? If I am then forget everything I've said : ).  freshgavin TALK   04:05, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Um, you're wrong. As I just said above, "metro" is a generic word for what Americans call subways, and has nothing to do whether the system runs in a Japanese 都 or not. I'd vehemently oppose calling some underground stations "X Subway Stn" while others are "X Metro Stn". If the company name is to be mentioned, it should go in front: Tobu Nikko Stn, Tokyo Metro Marumaru Stn. Jpatokal 08:14, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
I really appreciate your rather blunt response. Because I appreciate it so much I'm going to point out that while subway is a word used by Americans, metro is NOT equal to subway because it is only used for subway systems within metropolitan cities, or in a few cases because the name of the subway line itself contains the word metro whereas subway could refer to any underground railway and in fact in many cases refers much more generally to passageways that have been created underground, not only in America but also in Canada and even England. In fact, subway was originally a British English term that fell out of fashion in the early 1900s, although it is certainly not defunct, as can be seen at Glasgow Subway. Also, I gave no reference to a link between the word metro and the Japanese land division -gun which was covered in a completely different discussion above, and in fact, was labelled under a separate heading. I was referring to Osaka which I'm sure you're familiar with, and as I recently have figured out, no thanks to your help, Osaka is considered a metropolitan city, though not a metropolis, and thus the term metro wouldn't be inappropriate for stations in Osaka either.

As a final note, as I was listening to the English announcements on Yamanote yesterday, and I realized that JR lists the names of underground lines as Yurakucho Subway Line and X Subway Station universally whether they are part of Tokyo Metro or not. This is just JR policy though and probably isn't the case for all lines, and doesn't necessarily mean it's the best system. In the meantime I would suggest that you stop vehemently opposeing things and try instead to reasonably justify for the good of everyone. You may want to take a look at Handling anger assertively if you need help with that.  freshgavin TALK   01:03, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

We have four-way confusion here! The government of Tokyo chose the word "metropolis" for the English translation of its name, but (a) Tokyo is more than a metropolis; (b) the Tokyo Metro is a company distinct from the government of Tokyo; (c) the government of Tokyo operates a subway system not named Tokyo Metro; (d) the English word "metro" means something like "urban mass transit system" including subway, surface rail, and bus while not referring to Tokyo Metropolis. It's possible to call all Tokyo's subway lines (and buses and surface commuter railways) "metros" whether they are part of the Tokyo Metro company or the Tokyo Metropolis government or the private companies. The same word, "metro," also applies to urban mass-transit systems in Osaka, Yokohama, Kyoto and other cities. Personally, I grew up before the "metro" word fad; that word applied to Paris (and maybe Montreal?) but not to New York or Boston. Now, people apply it freely to NY, Boston, Washington D.C. and cities in Japan. Still, it sounds unfamiliar to me, so I normally say "subway" and use that word only for underground systems, even Tokyo Metro, except in writing about Tokyo Metro lines, where I use the proper name in article titles and references to the company, but "subway" for their transportation system. Fg2 07:10, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
For what it's worth, in twenty years of living in Tokyo I don't recall ever hearing the system referred to as a "metro" until April 1, 2004, when Eidan renamed itself Tokyo Metro. And my reaction was "What the hell? This ain't Europe (or DC)!". I consider the "Metro" as the same as "New Transit" -- a marketing term for the particular system, but not a general-use descriptive term. -- Paul Richter 12:17, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Freshgavin, what's with the sarcasm and sniping? I happen to disagree with your opinion, I don't see why you're taking this so personally or even assuming that I'm somehow particularly angry about anything, much less at you.

So, getting back to the topic at hand, I gather this whole thing was started by the question of what 東京メトロ地下鉄成増駅 should be rendered as in English. Tokyo Metro Narimasu Station is one option, which certainly has the advantage of being both accurate and, I think, uncontroversial. Now, if I distilled your commentary above accurately, you would be OK with "Narimasu Metro Station", but for a hypothetical 都営地下鉄丸々駅 would prefer "Marumaru Subway Station". How would you feel about Toei Marumaru Station or, for that matter, Osaka Subway Marumaru Station?

And if there is something in the above two paragraphs that offends you, then please count to ten, sprinkle sugar on top, add in 失礼ですが、‥ではないかと思っております around every sentence and accept my most humble apologies. Jpatokal 14:53, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

I seem to remember there being a difference between the meanings of 'I disagree with your opinion' and 'um, you're wrong'. Anyways, I don't care if you're blunt (I'm not taking it personally, maybe it just seems that I'm starved for an argument?) but you seem to be prone to misinterpreting my comments as fully fledged proposals (or at least it just seems that way by your responses).
I think we universally agree that Tokyo and Osaka to/fu subway stations could be uncontroversially named [[X Metro Station]], and if Fg2 is right about the English use of metro then it could really apply to any station, inside or outside a/the metro network. I'm not sure about the hypothetical Marumaru station, but if it were in Tokyo-to/Osaka-fu then I would think to keep things consistent, metro station would be fine. 神戸市営地下鉄 is a better example, I think. I wouldn't agree to calling any of the stations in Kobe metro, but that's just because it doesn't seem right to me to call anything in Kobe metro. Then again, maybe the word has grown so much that it IS almost equal to the word subway.  freshgavin TALK   01:03, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Just for the sake of argument, how about keeping it simple and having a default of "X Station", and disambiguating with parentheses only when necessary? That is, if there is only one Marumaru station, the article is at Marumaru Station but if there's a Naninani station in the Osaka Subway system and the Tokyo Metro we have an article at Naninani Station (Osaka Subway) and Naninani Station (Tokyo Metro). If there's a Nanigashi JR station and a Nanigashi station in the Yokohama Subway system, then only Nanigashi Station (Yokohama Subway) needs to be disambiguated. It would be nice if we could avoid a system that encourages four and five word article titles like "Osaka Subway Marumaru Station" that are long and a bit awkward to decipher. What goes in parentheses could be whatever the common usage and/or official name is (hopefully they're the same), avoiding the problems of extremely confusing names like Osaka Subway Marumaru Metro Station or Tokyo Metro Marumaru Subway Station that would arise if we used only "metro" or only "subway" and called all stations "X Metro Station" or "Y Subway Station". CES 04:04, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Elegant and follows Wikipedia conventions — I like it. Can we also agree on just putting enough info to disambiguate, eg. "(Osaka Subway)", not the full corporate name like "(Osaka Municipal Subway)"? Jpatokal 10:59, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I think that's a good idea — just put enough to disambiguate. CES 13:03, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I just want to make sure of one thing. For stations that have the same name, but are spread far apart (like Izumi-Chuo Station or Kanayama Station) we're not saying that (Prefecture) should be trashed in favor of the line name, are we? If (Prefecture) is the norm, then I'm on-board (train pun?) with the minimal disambiguation for multiple stations in the same city/prefecture. I have a list somewhere, but I can't find it. Time to get busy, I guess. Neier 13:13, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm suggesting that the city subway system name be used instead of individual line or prefecture. So, Hiroo Station (if it needed to be disambiguated) would be at Hiroo Station (Tokyo Metro). Using the same format as train stations and just using prefecture could get problematic if train and subway stations in the same prefecture share the same name (unlikely but not impossible). Using the line name would be problematic, especially in larger cities with stations that serve multiple lines.
The only problem I can think of is what to do in the rare case that a station fits all three of the following conditions:
  • Disambiguation is needed
  • A train line is not served
  • Multiple subway systems are served
I believe Tokyo is the only place with two subway systems (Tokyo Metro and Toei), so if that's the case, then it's the only place where this problem could arise. And although I know several stations serve both lines, I don't know if any need to be disambiguated (if they don't need to be disambiguated, the article is at X Station, problem solved). Even if they need disambiguation but they serve a train station, I'd say the train station system of disambiguating by prefecture gets priority. Take Ichigaya Station, which serves JR, Toei, and Tokyo Metro. So, if there's several Ichigaya stations in Japan, Ichigaya Station in Tokyo would be at Ichigaya Station (Tokyo)).
The question is what to do when a station serves two subway systems (note: subway systems not subway lines) but no train lines, and disambiguation is needed. As this case would be very rare, I'd suggest mentioning both systems in the article name: Y Station (Tokyo Metro and Toei). Or, since this phenomenon is limited to Tokyo (I believe), we could hope that there's no other Y Station (train, etc.) in Tokyo and just call it Y Station (Tokyo).
I apologize, since none of that directly answered what you asked. I believe you're asking what to do in the following disambiguation cases:
  • Case One: There is a B Station (Osaka Subway) and a B Station (JR, in Osaka Prefecture)
  • Case Two: There is a C Station (Osaka Subway) and a C Station (JR, but in Miyagi Prefecture)
For the sake of simplicity, I'd name both subway stations the same way: B Station (Osaka Subway) and C Station (Osaka Subway). By giving the subway system it consistently disambiguates both where it is and what kind of station it is better than if we named them B Station (Osaka Subway) and C Station (Osaka) respectively. It also gives flexibility in case JR or someone else puts in a C Station on a train line in Osaka Prefecture later on, or in case two cities in the same prefecture had subway lines, etc., etc..
This ended up being a long answer to a simple question, but that seems to happen whenever disambiguation is involved, with all the "but, what about when ...?" situations. In all this, I don't want my main suggestion to be lost, that the default station name is X Station. How we decide to disambiguate it is not that big of a deal as far as I'm concerned, and I could see good arguments both for and against what I've proposed versus using the same disambiguation system the train lines use (or maybe there's something altogether different that's better). CES 17:25, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I see. Something else to keep in mind is that in Kansai, the problem is slightly different due to the number of private lines through the region (and others, I know; but Kansai seems to have more than other places). I think that there are several cases where multiple private lines have stations with the same names. Sometimes in the same prefecture, other times one would be in Kyoto on one line, and in Osaka on another. So, "CITY subway" by itself would not be enough. We would need "CITY Kintetsu" or "CITY Hankyu", etc. for each private line. One example is Amagasaki, there are two stations (Hankyu and JR-West. The Japanese page disambigs them by line (without the city name), since they are both in Osaka. But, for the most part, the rest of the disambigs there are all done by prefecture.
From the romaji lists that I built from the Japanese site lists, a rough search gives about 700 (or ~350 pairs of) stations which are disambig'd by prefecture on the Japanese site. There are another 186 pairs which were not disambig'd by prefecture in the Japanese listings, but a good deal of them -can- be. (These are stations which have different kanji, but the same romaji, like Izumi-Chuo Station). From greping the file I used to make the lists, I think that there are 130 pairs which are not disambig'd in Japanese, and my guess is 90% of these probably can be disambig'd by prefecture. The other 56 are disambig'd in Japanese by some other method besides prefecture (like Amagasaki). This is from a total of ~9000 stations. So, roughly, 1% fall through the prefectural sorting cracks.
Disambig by line without the city or prefecture in front of it is a big no-no in my opinion. Only people familiar with the region would know that 相模鉄道 (Sagami LIne) (of いずみ中央駅) is in Kanagawa.
In this particular case, of the three choices "(Sagami)", "(Sagami Kanagawa)", or "(Kanagawa)", I would choose just the prefecture name. The first choice (line name) is bad for the reason I just stated. The second choice (Line Prefecture) is cluttered, and for all but a handfull of cases is overkill. When we need to do that, it is ok, but for the most part, I still think that prefecture by itself is sufficient. (And, it maintains consistency with the Japanese site). Neier 23:04, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Ok. I found the list, and put them in Category:Lists of railway stations in Japan. The status of things is summarized at Wikipedia_talk:Japan-related_topics_notice_board#Station_List_Help_Request, but suffice to say that it needs some naming cleanup. There are a lot of names which don't need any work at all (just articles to fill the red-links), and I pretty much hit the wall with what I thought could be automated easily versus what needs to be edited by individuals. Since it's not directly related to this discussion, comments about these lists should probably be made at the notice-board linked above. Neier 15:22, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

I should also point out that the stations that started this discussion are listed as "Narimasu Station" and "Chikatetsunarimasu Station" as output by the script. And, that's one reason why we need to let people take over the page edits at this point, and not computer programs. Neier 15:25, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Don't worry, one of these days computers will understand basic Japanese too! Ok, once all this is written in the MoS I'll start to check up on the lines that I've been working on to conform them to the standard. Unless there needs to be a vote?  freshgavin TALK   23:41, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Hold on just a second ... I think we're still trying to work out what the disambiguations should be for trains and subways. We'll probably want to take a vote too, to make it official. I think we've agreed that X Station should be the default for both train and subway stations. Here are my proposals for disambiguating stations with the same name:
  • Disambiguate by subway system (i.e. Station X (Tokyo Metro) and Station Y (Osaka Subway)) where "subway system" is the shortest reasonable form of the official system name. Tokyo (having two subway lines) could cause problems, but for now that's the basic disambiguation scheme I propose. Also, if there is a train line running through the station, disambiguate using the train disambiguation system (below)
  • Disambiguate by place first: disambiguate by Prefecture. Example, there is a Yamada Station in Gifu, Osaka, and Tokyo according to the list of railway stations. They appear to be run by different companies, but disambiguate only by prefecture when possible (the details can be explained in the article). So we have Yamada Station (Gifu), Yamada Station (Osaka), and Yamada Station (Tokyo) respectively
  • Disambiguate by train company next: for example, I believe there is a Nara Station run by JR and one by Kintetsu. I'd put the articles at Nara Station and Kintetsu Nara Station respectively. JR is the dominant rail company in Japan, so I'd say other stations disambiguate with respect to JR rather than as "equals".
Especially with the trains, I don't think I'm proposing anything too radical. I believe that's pretty much the informal system already in place on Wikipedia. Does anyone have objections or alternative ideas? CES 01:14, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with CES regarding Trains. I don't have a strong preference between Kintetsu Nara Station and Nara Station (Kintetsu), but I would guess that "Kintestu Nara" is how the locals refer to it anyway; and there are 15 "Kintetsu*" stations in the romaji-fied list (which need spaces, etc but, I digress...)
I don't completely agree about Subways, though. I'm not convinced that they should be treated any differently from Trains in general. For one thing, there are too many places in Tokyo where the line between subway and local train is blurred. For example, somewhere around Akabane, I think it's the Nanboku line that turns into a private line that goes up to Saitama Stadium; another line (green--forgot the nameChiyoda-sen) goes out to Machida and Kanagawa-ken after it leaves Harajuku and Yoyogi-Uehara; and many of the other lines extend out as well. My minimalist proposal is that for stations that can be disambiguated by prefecture (even if they are in a Subway), then only use the prefecture. If there are more than one Station X in Tokyo, then Station X (Tokyo Metro) is fine with me, per the Kintetsu Trains example. I don't have a preference between (Tokyo Metro) or (Tokyo Subway), although I agree with Paul Richter above that I never heard Metro used until 2004 (I don't go down to Tokyo much, so take that with a grain of salt).
In the case of Narimasu, where the subway and train stations are physically separate, then if I understand correctly, it would be : Narimasu (Osaka Subway) and Narimasu. That's fine. In Sendai, the subway and JR stations are somewhat connected, but I wouldn't call them the same building. Nevertheless, they are both in one article, and there's nothing wrong with that approach either. Neier 02:36, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
In respect to Kintetsu Nara Station and Nara Station. It should be left as Kintetsu Nara Station and not be written as Nara Station (Kintetsu).
I think disambiguate only when the stations share the same EXACT name but are in different locations. Nara Station is the official name of the JR station, and Kintetsu Nara Station is the official name of the Kintetsu station, since they don't share the exact name, there's no need to disambiguate it to Nara Station (Kintetsu). Same situation Ueno Station and Keisei Ueno Station, Keisei Ueno Station is its official name thus there isn't a need to disambiguate it as Ueno Station (Keisei). stationmaster 14:01, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Replying to my own response. I think there is at least one station where the two subway lines share a station name but not an address: 雑司ヶ谷駅(東京地下鉄) and 雑司ヶ谷駅 (東京都交通局) (Zōshigaya). That should help crystallize the arguments for/against (Tokyo Subway) vs (Tokyo Metro) vs (Tokyo Toei Subway). In other words, I think Tokyo Subway is not descriptive enough, and the line name (Metro/Toei) needs to be there. Neier 03:49, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Little misunderstanding Neier. Narimasu Station is in Tokyo (close to Saitama); part of the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line and there are separate pages for 成増駅 and 地下鉄成増駅. This is getting a bit long to read anyways so I wouldn't be suprised if I start forgetting. Anyways, as opposed to Neier I strongly support Kintetsu Nara Station over Nara Station (Kintetsu) as well as Station X (Prefecture) for disambiguation cases. I wish it could be consistent with the standards here using Narimasu Subway (or Metro) station but I do agree that Narimasu Station (Tokyo Metro) works better with Wiki so I'll support that.
Now not to throw a stick in anyones spokes but ... as an example Yurakucho line (which is Tokyo Metro) actually extends outside of Tokyo-to into Saitama (Wako Station). Does anybody feel scratchy over the prospect of a Wako Station (Tokyo Metro) even though it exists in Saitama? Mind you, Saitama is part of the GTA, and I don't think there are any metro lines that reach outside that boundry. Freshgavin 05:13, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

You're right -- it's getting really long. (We don't need to worry about Wako, because it seems there's only one in Japan. whew). How about a quick summary based on what I think three or four of us are leaning towards (for people to have something concise to object to).

  • Train station names in multiple prefectures: Aiueo Station (Prefecture), except as noted below
  • Stations on private lines that have the same name as other train or subway stations in the same prefecture: PrivateCo Aiueo Station
  • Subway stations in Osaka that require disambiguation: Aiueo Station (Osaka Subway) (overriding rule #1)
  • Subway stations in Tokyo that require disambiguation: Aiueo Station (Tokyo Metro) and Aiueo Station (Tokyo Toei) (overriding rule #1)
I'd remove the "in Osaka" and "in Tokyo" and say that all subway stations that need disambiguation follow rule #1 (I'm changing my opinion from above ... why not use the same rule for train and subway stations?) CES 02:36, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
This is fine with me. Neier 05:58, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
  • JR stations in a different prefecture with another station of the same name: Aiueo Station (Prefecture) as in rule #1
  • JR stations in the same prefecture with another station of the same name: Aiueo Station (no disambiguation, but a sentence in the article mentioning other stations) (Note that if there are three or more stations, and two are in the same prefecture (one JR), and a third is somewhere else, rule #1 should apply.
We must disambiguate, or are you saying they should be at the same article? I don't know if this situation even exists, but I'd suggest disambiguating by (City, Prefecture). So you have Z Station (Yokohama, Kanagawa) and Z Station (Kamakura, Kanagawa) CES 02:36, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
I was thinking of the suggestion that JR is dominant, so the JR station would be Z Station, since Z Station (Prefecture) would be ambiguous; while the others would need either Private Co or (Subway) as disambiguations. In other words, JR Z Station would never be used; and in these cases, the JR station article should have a sentence mentioning the other two. But, I like your other suggestion, so this section is academic. Neier 05:58, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
I see what you mean now ... this could potentially cause problems, if there are two stations of the same name in the same city (which is possible, if not probable, in larger cities like Tokyo or Osaka). We have the Narimasu example, but fortunately the one station is run by Tobu, so it goes at Tobu Narimasu. What if it had been a JR station? Personally I'd recommend putting them at the same article and mentioning the situation within the article (which is exactly what you suggest). If the two stations are both in Tokyo but separated by significant distance (unlike the Narimasu example) we might have to disambiguate further ... maybe have the JR station at X Station and the subway station at X Station (Tokyo Metro)? Or disambiguate by (Ward, City) if we wanted to continue with the geographic disambiguating. The odds of two distinct stations with the same name, in the same city, and one of them is not a private rail line seem so slim that we should worry about how to disambiguate that situation only if it actually arises. CES 13:12, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Two JR stations with the same name (romaji) in the same prefecture: Let's hope we don't find any of these.
How is this different from "JR stations in the same prefecture with another station of the same name"? CES 02:36, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
It's only different in that we couldn't rely on the "JR rules" rule. In this case, your (City, Prefecture) progression should weed these out.Neier 05:58, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

I only have strong feelings for the first rule, and that subway stations which don't require disambiguation shouldn't have anything after their name. Any other tweaks to the above list, I'm inclined to agree with. Neier 07:42, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

So to summarize my changes to these rules, I'm suggesting progressive disambiguation of both trains and subways as follows:
X Station -> X Station (Prefecture) -> X Station (City, Prefecture) ... I would think that this, plus Rule #2 (Stations on private lines that have the same name as other train or subway stations in the same prefecture: PrivateCo Y Station) would cover 99.99% of the cases, if not all of them. Two simple rules -- how about that for simplicity? CES 02:36, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
This is fine with me, and better than my progression by the keep it simple principle. Since my main criteria (rule #1) has survived, I'd endorse this. Neier 05:58, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
One more thing--what kicked off this entire conversation (it's so long, I'd almost forgotten) is what to do with a situation like Narimasu, which apparently has two nearby stations, one on the Yūrakucho subway line and one on the Tojo Line run by the Tobu Railway. In this case, the articles would be at Narimasu Station and Tobu Narimasu Station respectively. CES 13:12, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Vote on Train & Subway Station Names

We seem to have reached a consensus on naming train and subway stations. Just to make sure there are no objections I wanted to have a formal vote before adding to the MoS. The naming system for the stations is fairly straight-forward:

  • The default name is X Station
  • When necessary, disambiguate by geographical location: Y Station -> Y Station (Prefecture) -> Y Station (Prefecture, City)
  • Stations on private lines that have the same name as other train or subway stations in the same prefecture are disambiguated as PrivateCo Z Station. For example, the main JR station in Nara is at Nara Station while the Kintetsu station in Nara is at Kintetsu Nara Station
    • The example makes it clear that by PrivateCo you mean something shorter than the complete name of the railway company. Kintetsu's kind of easy, but how about Keihin Kyuko (Keihin Electric Express Railway, Keikyu) Kawasaki Station? Same question for Sotetsu (the usual name of Sagami RR).
    • Also, do these stations have official names?
    • Finally, is "Prefecture" necessary? Are there times when it's better than Y Station (City)? I confess to not having read all the discussion --- it's too long for my mind to handle (although if I just stopped chewing gum...). I wonder if a better pecking order would be "Y Station --> Y Station (city) --> Y Station (city, prefecture)"?
    • After the questions, I think we should make it clear whether disambiguation is not necessary when the stations are connected, e.g. by tunnel or crosswalk etc. For example, Tokyo Station has JR and Tokyo Metro parts. I don't know of a way to go from one to the other without going outside the ticket area. Even so, I would not think it necessary to disambiguate them. Next-door is Otemachi, where again some passengers have to exit the ticket area and reenter. I would not think it necessary to disambiguate Sotetsu Ebina Station and Odakyu Ebina Station, which are adjacent; nor JR Noborito Station and Odakyu Noborito Station, likewise adjacent, where passengers have to (is this still true?) exit and buy a separate ticket for the other railroad. But JR and Keikyu Kawasaki Stations deserve articles as separate as the stations are, as do the Asakusa Stations. Ueno Station? That's too close for me to call. Fg2 05:52, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Based on the duplicate names I've seen in the lists, there is going to be very few (if any) times where (City, Prefecture) is going to be necessary. Most are either far apart, or in the same city on two separate company's lines. I would stick with Prefecture, if for no other reason than to keep consistency with the Japanese wikipedia. Also, it may be a little harder to figure out where a station is if you are not familiar with the local city/village/gun. That's only a minor qualm, since the disambiguation page of XYZ Station should be able to describe where each XYZ Station (village) is located if someone is looking for something in particular. (Another problem would be deciding whether to use village or the enclosing -gun? Yet another reason to stick with Prefecture)
      • The topic of when to make multiple articles should be kept separate from the naming conventions of those articles. If Ueno gets two stations, then we will know how to name it. I don't think the creation of multiple articles needs to be in the MoS; since, it will be best addressed on a case-by-case basis as they come up. We can monitor the talk pages of stations which are likely to be split. Neier 10:52, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Support Proposal

  1. CES 05:09, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
  2. Neier 10:34, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Oppose Proposal

If there's sufficient support (or no objection) to the naming system, I'll write it up and add it to the MoS Place Names section. CES 05:09, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

It's been a week with no opposition so I'll add it to the MoS. CES 01:37, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

A whole week that I've been away from a computer due to exams (the students', not mine). Just for the record I would have weakly opposed the proposal because I don't believe this covers the problem (or even the convention) with subway stations. Even if Narimasu didn't exist as a Tobu station I would have named it Narimasu Subway Station for Yurakucho line, because that's what it's called in Japanese (chikatetsu), and because that's how JR announces it on their trains. This problem was as much about disambiguating stations with identity problems as it was (at first) about how to elegantly translate Chikatetsu XYZ Station into English. The way the MoS has been expanded is fine and correct, I just feel it's omitting some stuff right now.  freshgavin TALK   05:49, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
From the discussion, I think the consensus was to go with simplicity and follow the MoS convention of only disambiguating when necessary. In other words, the most "elegant" translation of Chikatetsu XYZ Station was decided to be XYZ Station. I'm not very knowledgeable about the naming system of subway stations, but a quick glance at the Japanese Wikipedia article on the Yurakucho line indicates that including "Chikatetsu" in the official name is the exception and not the rule. Were you proposing that all subway stations be named XYZ Subway Station, or just the stations that have "Chikatetsu" in their official name? Personally, I'd still prefer to keep the naming system as it is, and for the stations with Chikatetsu in their official name, include a note in the intro paragraph explaining what the official name is (and perhaps why "chikatetsu" is in the official name ... I for one would be curious why this redundancy was included) CES 13:03, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, the stations with Chikatetsu in the name are exception; it is the Japanese way to disambiguate the handful of cases where there's a subway station close but not attatched to the (generally) land station. It's not redundant, but you could complain that they shouldn't have 2 stations with the same (root) name in the first place, when there's a 2km walking distance between them. I don't believe it's smart to simplify the Narimasu couplet (and all the others) to Narimasu Station (Tobu) and Narimasu Station because that makes it seem like the subway station is major and the Tojo station is only secondary, when in fact it's the opposite. Also, Chiketetsunarimasu-eki is known (and familiar) in Japanese as Chikatetsunarimasu-eki so I think we should preserve the naming parallel instead of simplifying both and adding something (Tobu) where it shouldn't be needed.  freshgavin TALK   03:05, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
I meant redundant in the sense that if you call it "Chikatetsu Narimasu Station on the Yurakucho Line" it's immediately obvious that it's a subway station because the Yurakucho Line is a subway line. But, I see where you're coming from ... re-reading the thread from the top, I for one was under the impression that you wanted to name all subway stations X Subway Station. I would be against calling Chikatetsu Narimasu Station "Narimasu Subway Station", because translating Chikatetsu implies (to me at least) that it's not part of the name of the station. It would be like calling Shin-Yokohama Station "New Yokohama Station" or "Yokohama New Station". I'm completely unfamiliar with the common usage of C.N. Station, but if "Chikatetsu Narimasu (eki/station)" is common usage, I don't see why the station name in Wikipedia shouldn't be at Chikatetsu Narimasu Station with the Tobu station at Narimasu Station since it's lost its need to be disambiguated.
It's long, and "chikatetsu" isn't an English word, but neither is the "Shin" in "Shin-Yokohama". The only other alternative I see is to have the subway station at Narimasu Station and the train station at Tobu Narimasu Station. But if the official name and common usage is "Chikatetsu Narimasu", then why not use that? It doesn't change the naming conventions at all, it's just a quesiton of common usage. CES 05:03, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with CES. If it is the station's name, then chikatetsu should stay. Here is a rather extreme example from the Japanese WP: 嵯峨駅前駅 which is しが えきまえ えき (Shiga Eki-mae Eki). I think there is no argument between "Shiga Eki-mae Station" and "Front of Shiga Station Station". But, I digress. lists it a Chikatetsu-Narimasu in English (there is a map link on the right of the page), and that's good enough for me. Neier 06:31, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
That's Saga, but no matter. I think there are similar examples, maybe Hiroshima station and something on the Toden? I probably would not give them separate articles. Instead, I'd put the -mae station into the article on the station it's in front of (e.g. Saga Station with a section header on Saga-mae Station). Even though they're probably corporately separate. But again, that's not relevant to the issue of naming Narimasu Station... Fg2 07:27, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Hmm. Saga Eki-Mae certainly makes a point. If you go back to the beginning (or just look at the Tojo page) you'll see that I originally intended to just use Chikatetsu Narimasu Station for the exact reasons CEC stated, but I backed down when there was considerable opposition to that and I kind of warmed up to the idea of subway. I guess the reason why is that nobody would call the line itself Chikatetsu Yurakucho Line; they would transliterate it into Yurakucho Subway Line so I figured it would be consistant, clean and easy to do the same for stations with chikatetsu in the name. Anyways, using chikatetsu is consistant with other station names (like Saga Eki-Mae) so I'd support that. Comment: I must say that Saga Eki-mae Station is a bit amusing, even in Japanese. I suspect someone is creating names like that as a joke to make clean translation more difficult. There's probably someone planning a mini-line inside Shinjuku Station called 新宿駅中線 and all of the stations are named 新宿駅駅.  freshgavin TALK   04:27, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Merged Towns

They're all the rage nowadays. I think there should be a MoS for dealing with the old/obsolete towns, and the new merged cities. Two that I've done in Tochigi are Sakura, Tochigi and Nasushiobara, Tochigi. There is probably a better way than my table for showing the size/population of the merged locales -- maybe a template? Also, I've left the old town pages alone (like Ujiie, Tochigi); because these towns probably need a common format even moreso than the new cities. A template like On date, NewCity was formed from This city and others ?? Neier 13:21, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

It's not in MoS, but we had some discussion about it at the Wikipedia:Japan-related topics notice board. Check Wikipedia talk:Japan-related topics notice board/Jan-Mar and see what you think. Fg2 06:55, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for that pointer. Those guidelines look ok to me, so I finished up the two listed above. Neier 12:48, 12 November 2005 (UTC)