Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Archive 5

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Macrons in titles

Thirdly, I've been coming across a huge amount of hepburn titles with ō characters etc. in them and I'm about to start getting more serious about changing those to MoS form. Has everyone else given up or what?  freshgavin TALK   23:39, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Hold your horses, sonny! There has been a lot of discussion about this, and I thought the consensus was to use macrons for any terms that have not been adopted wholesale by English? Jpatokal 01:28, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Yeah it's OK, I haven't actually done anything yet, I just stopped a few guys from doing massive reverts to full hepburn and stuff because I figured it was an unsettled issue. Just quickly checking that discussion it's clear that there is no consensus yet, but due to the nature of the people voting I'm pretty sure it will eventually be decided to use macrons, unfortunately. I don't really like these kind of long winded puffed up discussions and even though I'd like it to be settled (my way if possible, naturally) it's too big a fish to swallow with all the other editors putting in their 2 cents so it's probably best to bow out : ). Good luck User:Fg2  freshgavin TALK   03:00, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Two issues here: one is Hepburn (including macrons) within articles, and the other is Hepburn (including macrons) in article titles. The former is, I believe, clear in MoS: Within articles, use Hepburn with macrons for anything that is not part of English; do not use macrons for terms that are part of the English language. MoS has several examples; when in doubt, consult reputable reference works and look for consensus. The latter --- use of macrons in article titles --- is under debate without consensus, as best I recall. Fg2 07:36, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
There was much discussion on the issue without any apparent consensus, but after the MediaWiki software was changed to allow macrons in article titles several editors went through and changed most of the article titles to a version with the macron in the title. Since I have seen no major objections to those page moves, that suggests a new status quo for the Wikipedia, and the MOS should probably be modified to reflect that. BlankVerse 12:21, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
My objections came beforehand and don't need repeating. We did not have a consensus before, and we don't have one now. Fg2 12:28, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Reviewing the discussion, it does look to me like the pro-macron camp is significantly larger — I counted 8 in favor, with Fg2 the only vocal anti-macronist and Tokek sitting on the fence.

That said, I think even the pro-macronists also agree that some things (eg. Tokyo) are best left macronless, and at the very least we now have the non-trivial task of deciding which are which. Personally, for consistency I'd be tempted to favor macrons for almost everything, including personal and place names. Jpatokal 16:02, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

The rules in the current manual of style are that things which are accepted as English words should not be changed. For example sika deer should not be moved to "shika deer". Similarly, a dozuki saw should not be written "dōzuki" since the non-macroned form is the English name. The exception to this is when the words are used in a specifically Japanese context. I have created several articles with macrons in the title, for example, chōon, yōon. In most cases I made redirects from unmacroned names. I probably came to Wikipedia when macrons were already working for article titles. I don't know what the previous problems were. In the case of stations, the reality is that the names in romaji are probably written without macrons or "shin'ichi" style apostrophes (I couldn't think of a station name with an example of that), so it would be better to use the romanized name that JR uses. In every case, it requires some common sense to judge. I don't think any blanket rule should be given. The current manual of style, which suggests checking in a dictionary or by Google, is very good advice in my opinion. --DannyWilde 22:59, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't think google is good for that. Many sites are still in latin-1 and thus it is a pain to use macrons for them and many people don't know how to type them (this argument doesn't hold on WP as we have this nifty characters toolbar). Checking en encyclopaedias is better. I don't know for english ones but for french ones, most use macrons (even for Tōkyō whereas most people tend to use Tokyo as they don't know anything about translitterations). Med 09:15, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

If macrons are used in the articles, they clearly have to be used in articles also as Wikipedia needs to be coherent and this consistently for every translitterated word. Note that the usage of macrons tends to be more and more widespread among other wikipedias. Med 09:15, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps the decision not to use macrons in article names was influenced by the fact that the English wiki was Latin-1 back then? UTF-8 support came later on (even though the other wiki's already had it back then). Shinobu 10:11, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
In a lot of Western countries where accents, macrons, and such are rarely used, the tendency to use them is lower, especially since people are not used to typing them. People using French, Dutch, German, Swedish, etcetera as their primary language are quite used to it, but for people using some form of English it isn't as natural. I don't think these people should be forced to type macrons when requesting an article on Wikipedia, but as long as the proper redirects are in place there should be no reason not to use macrons in titles, as long as they belong there. JeroenHoek 12:06, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm absolutely in favor of macrons in titles, especially since there are occasionas where it can make a difference: Hiroshi Ito and Hiroshi Itō, for instance. Without the macrons, we would have to revert to something like the IMDB method and put (I), (II), etc., after the names. Also, it helps anyone who is trying to learn Japanese to see that there is a difference between Ito and Itō. --nihon 22:13, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Check out the discussion here!  freshgavin TALK   02:55, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I've read that page. Thanks for the link. :-) --nihon 17:29, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Name Order Discussion

Someone has made the proposal over at Wikipedia:Japanese Surname Policy/Proposal that all Japanese figures be named by Japanese name order. As Fg2 suggests on that page, please feel free to offer your ideas and comments here, but please read the previous discussion at Wikipedia:Manual of Style for Japan-related articles/Name order. Thanks. LordAmeth 14:04, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

My opinion is that it is fine as is. Most modern Japanese figures are most well-known in the English-speaking world by Western name order (e.g. Junichiro Koizumi, Hideki Matsui, Akira Kurosawa). Personally, I am rather used to thinking of Murakami Haruki, Miyazaki Hayao, Watanabe Ken, and a number of others in Japanese name order, but as some sort of standard needs to be agreed upon, I think the Meiji-split policy we have now is perfectly fine. There are always the option for redirects, and for putting the name in Japanese order at the top of the article, e.g. Junichiro Koizumi (小泉潤一郎, Koizumi Jun'ichirō). The only con, really, is the confusion right around Meiji, for figures such as Saigo Takamori and Sakamoto Ryoma. LordAmeth 14:04, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
The problem is, we don't have a Meiji-split policy. The current policy for modern figures is to "use the form of a person's name that is most widely known and used by English speakers ... If a person is not known well, the best thing you can do is to ask other contributors who have been working on the similar field. For example, it seems common to use the Japanese order for those engaged in traditional activities like Go players." I don't think a policy could possibly be more ambiguous.
Personally I prefer SN-GN for all people, primarily because it's a simple and easy to understand solution and secondarily because it makes alphabetizing lists easier. I'm not a huge fan of the Meiji-split for the main reasons that 1.) how to order people who lived during Meiji is unclear 2.) for the uninitiated, the whole "Meiji-split" concept would probably be confusing 3.) looking up a Meiji-era person's birthday every time you include them in an article to determine name order will get tedious (e.g. "wait, when was Soseki born again?") and 4.) the many articles that refer to figures pre- and post-Meiji will have a mix of SN-GN and GN-SN people in the same article, which could get really confusing. But I'd prefer a Meiji-split cutoff policy to no policy, honestly. As it is now, I could see how people unfamiliar with Japanese names would get confused as to whether someone's name order in an article is GN-SN or SN-GN. Meiji-split would at least be a slight improvement.
I think we've pretty much reached a consensus that pre-Meiji people should be SN-GN ... unless people would like to contend this, it would be nice if all further discussion on naming order was on Meiji and post-Meiji people to help narrow the focus. Also, I don't know how everyone else feels, but I'd personally prefer that the conversation is carried out here at the MoS rather than the other page that was created ... after all, discussions like this is exactly what this MoS talk page is for, isn't it? CES 15:24, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

We reached a consensus regarding the name order for historical people and wrote it into the MoS: "For naming the title of an article about a historical figure, use the traditional Japanese order: family name + given name, for example Tokugawa Ieyasu." The problems are that (1) we did not reach a clear consensus for modern names; (2) we did not reach a clear consensus for how to make the distinction between who's modern and who's historical. Those are the two issues where we should concentrate our efforts. Fg2 23:09, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Though not very helpful, there's the valid point that we're never going to be able to standardize this while Japanese people themselves choose the order of their own names by their own discretion. It's popular for singers/actors/talents etc. to write their name in English alongside their Japanese name in photobooks/profiles etc. and I'd say there's about a 70/30 split favouring the western style? Some of these people are quite consistant about the name order in English (easy example, Ayumi Hamasaki) and it will be easy to argue that those people deserve the western treatment. Others are not so consistant, or it may be hard to tell with only a few releases so the only thing making a policy will do is ensure plethori of move-wars. (IMHO)  freshgavin TALK   23:29, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

It might be worth checking what the rules used by other publications are here. If you check any English reference, like Chicago Manual of Style, etc., you should find that the rule in English is to follow the person's own preference. Hence newspapers or books will always write "kd lang" for the singer rather than "K.D. Lang", etc. That means that they are obliged to write "Macoto Tezka" (a Japanese film director) because it is the person's own preference. If the persons themselves haven't expressed a preference, then we can use the most common convention, such as "first name/surname". I don't see why Wikipedia should be different from every other English language publication in having to follow and be careful about these kinds of details and use people's own preferred versions of their names. Many Japanese people are inconsistent, and this is unfortunate, but it is not our job to tell people how to write their names. --DannyWilde 23:46, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
The problem is that most modern (modern = Meiji and after) people are neither famous nor are they nice enough to state a preference for us. The simple fact is both systems (all GN-SN or all SN-GN) have their flaws, and both will result in a good number of articles with odd titles. The question is: which is better--the case-by-case system we have now or going completely GN-SN or SN-GN where exceptions are rare and not the rule. While I think it's important to see how other reference sources (encyclopedias, etc.) deal with this issue, I'd suggest caution when dealing with English style manuals, which have no equivalents to issues such as name order (or romanization, etc.). kd lang vs. k.d. lang isn't as big of a deal as lang k.d., which is what we're talking about here (and ironically, the article is at K.d. lang). But still, let's not make too big of a deal out of it--we're not telling people how to write their names. We're telling people how to write other people's names! But seriously, I think it's important to remember that neither way is perfect ... let's talk about the pros and cons and see which works best here in Wikipedia. CES 01:42, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

The "K.d. lang" is a problem with the Wikipedia software. You're incorrect in saying that the English style manuals don't deal with things like romanization - that is exactly what they do deal with. The Chicago Manual of Style goes into Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew romanizations. If we are telling people how to write other people's names, it's very important to get it right, and this can really only be done on a case-by-case basis. The guiding principles should be, in order of priority,

  1. The person's own preference
  2. How the person's name is usually presented in English (if no preference)
  3. A general rule to apply to other cases.

Example; I recently made a page on Misaki Ito. I found that her name was spelt "Itoh" on many internet pages, but on her own web site it is spelt "Ito", so the "Ito" spelling should be used here as it appears to be the original person's (or her agency's) choice. There are not many Japanese people who present their name in the "Family name/Personal name" order, but if they do, then that order should be used. What we can debate about is the third case, what the default rule should be. However, imposing a default rule on people is something which should never be done. --DannyWilde 03:20, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Are you also suggesting that since CMoS has Japanese romanization in it that we should use it even if/when it goes into conflict with the Hepburn system WP has decided upon? Neier 08:02, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
If only Sakamoto Ryoma had a web page! We'd have no problem. I'll say it again: most people are neither famous (i.e. #2 doesn't apply because their name rarely is found in English) nor are they nice enough to state a preference for us (i.e. we don't know #1). And even if they do have a preference I'm not sure it should take precedence over #2 or perhaps even #3. What if this Misaki Ito called herself Micchan on her webpage? Do we name her article "Micchan"? Or, what if Tanizaki Junichiro liked Kunrei-shiki and signed his name Tanizaki Zyunitiro? Does that take precedent over how his name is normally romanized today? And we haven't even gotten to GN-SN/SN-GN.
I'd argue that the guiding principles should be the reverse of what you have: first, start with a given system. Then, if the person's name is overwhelmingly frequently presented in English in a different way, use that way (say, Yoko Ono--although, I believe she's technically a Japanese-American, so GN-SN is appropriate anyway). The more I think about it, I really don't think a person's preference should outweigh their common English usage. If Koizumi signs his name Junitiro, good for him but the English-speaking world still knows him as Junichiro.
Here's another thought ... we always look at the Meiji era as the cutoff point. Afterall, it's when Japan started to really open itself up to the world. But maybe we should be looking at World War II, c. 1945--when the rest of the world started to really open itself up to Japan and mass media began to make frequent reference to Japanese people. Whenever we have these discussions the same three names pop up: Yoko Ono, Murakami Haruki, and Koizumi Junichiro. I don't hear people becoming passionate about the name order of Sakamoto Ryoma or Ito Hirobumi! Let's be honest here ... the debate's not really about Meiji--it's about people who are alive today.
Danny - Please remember that choosing a suggested name order does not force anyone to use that name order in the real world. Deciding name order should be little different than deciding naming systems for temples and shrines, or choosing whether cities should be in the City, Prefecture format or not. All we're doing is choosing a system for categorization here. And we need a firm policy precisely because if we don't, everyone plays by their own very different sets of rules and "case-by-case" ends up being decided by who the most zealous editors are, rather than by consensus. CES 04:50, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
The usual convention is as I suggested. Check out newspapers and magazines. If Koizumi says his first name is spelt "Junitiro" then we quite certainly should use that spelling. If he says it is spelt "J'n'tro" then we should use that spelling. Further, most of the Japanese people in Wikipedia probably will have appeared in print before appearing here, since Wikipedia only contains articles on notable people (non-notable exceptions who never appeared in English until Wikipedia include "kyabetsu taro" of course). The example "micchan" isn't relevant since that is a nickname, not a spelling of her name. I'm very strongly against forcing any system of writing Japanese names. The only thing I would support is using romaji to spell out the kana pronunciation of the name: Macoto Tezka (手塚まこと, Tezuka Makoto).
I could not disagree more. Common usage should always trump "personal preference". That's not just my opinion, that's the Wikipedia convention:
What rubbish. I'm not going to waste my time discussing with you about this any more. --DannyWilde 00:34, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Sorry to waste your time, and I'm honestly sorry if something I said offended you. But "rubbish" or not, your argument goes against one of the main conventions of Wikipedia ... what more can I say? You're certainly entitled to your opinion ... if you want to argue your point further, the policy and discussion can be found here: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). But please, don't shoot the messenger! CES 01:47, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I do not care how you try to misinterpret Wikipedia documents to support your case. You do not seem to understand what I have stated in the above discussion. I am describing to you the common conventions used in every respectable English-language publication. You, are simply contributing "what I think would be a good idea", without any support except your own misinterpretations. This is just not relevant when there is a huge body of expertise which disagrees with you. You are quite categorically wasting my time making me explain this to you over and over again. Please find out what the conventions are before taking this discussion any further. --DannyWilde 01:55, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
What part of "use the most common name of a person" don't you understand? How am I misinterpreting this? What part of "use the most common name" means "use what a person prefers"? As long as you operate in Wikipedia, Wikipedia conventions are the final word. I understand exactly what you're saying, and I understand that it goes completely against Wikipedia convention: Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things. This convention is not "what I think would be a good idea" it is a Wikipedia convention. Please, if a third party could please offer their opinion, I for one would appreciate it. I feel like I'm being personally attacked just because Danny doesn't like the fact that Wikipedia convention disagrees with him. CES 06:23, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with CES regarding his interpretation of the convention. And, while not completely relevant to GN-SN/SN-GN ordering, this quote came from the talk page of Cat Stevens (and, originally from Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions/archive4) where they've had several heated discussions on using his name Yusuf Islam (as he would probably put on a web site) versus the name that everyone knows him by, and would search for:
The naming of biographical articles in Wikipedia is complicated by the fact that one individual may be known under several different names at the same time, and may change their name a number of times in their life. For example, we have an article at Cat Stevens (his stage name) even though he was born as Stephen Demetre Georgiou and changed his name to Yusuf Islam. To be neutral, our only choice is to examine popular usage. —Morven 23:20, Jul 8, 2004 (UTC)
Sometimes, I feel that those of us who live in Japan, or are just more familiar with Japanese culture than most of the English Wikipedia user profile, need to step back and realize that even though doing it this way is "right", when it has been established on WP to do it that way, it is for a very good reason. Most of the people reading about Japanese people in WP are not us, but others. I think the conventions are usually formed with that in mind, and thus, are what we should follow in the WP playground. Neier 08:02, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Convention: Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things.
Koizumi will always be "Junichiro" no matter if he wakes up today and decides he likes "Junitiro" or "The artist formerly known as Junichiro" better. Unless common usage changes to fit the person's preference, preference should be irrelevant.
The problem is not necessarily whether a person's name has appeared in print, but rather, in what form: SN-GN or GN-SN. No one will argue that Yoko Ono is the most common form of her name. What people will argue is, which is more common: Akutagawa Ryunosuke or Ryunosuke Akutagawa. A quick Google search has them at about 32,000 vs. 41,000 ... but of course one could easily argue that Google is biased against scholarly works, many of which are not online and would tend toward SN-GN. The article is at Akutagawa Ryunosuke, by the way. This same phenomenon is fairly common for lesser known historical figures, authors, etc. And although the tendency is for more modern people to have a "default" of GN-SN, it's not always the case. Take the modern manga writer Kuroda Iou ... a Google search shows a preference for SN-GN of about three and a half to one. And, ironically, the article is at Iou Kuroda! But then again, most post-war "famous" Japanese people are better known as GN-SN ... sticking with manga writers, Rumiko Takahashi is preferable to Takahashi Rumiko at about a 4:1 rate. So what do we do? Do we say everything's case-by-case and keep an eye on Google counts, switching from SN-GN to GN-SN when the pendulum swings? Do we assume that it's just a matter of time before a person is known as GN-SN, so do we have GN-SN as the default? Do we set SN-GN as the default because it's the true Japanese name order and make people "earn" an exception? Each option has its merits and demerits. As I mentioned in an earlier post, should we be looking at Meiji people in the same light as living people? Kuroda Iou (assuming he becomes more well-known in the English-speaking world) will most likely shift to GN-SN in time. But Sakamoto Ryoma will most likely always be Sakamoto Ryoma (Google: SR (15,500) overwhelmingly prefered to RS (638)) as Sakamoto has already left his mark on the world (and the publishing industry). Maybe Meiji's not the best cutoff afterall ... CES 14:14, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Meiji is only a loose-cutoff. There is no other cutoff known. See, Meiji is the general point where naming order starts to differ. Therefore it is a "general" cutoff. Yet people are in an intermediate area where naming order can go either way. As for Kuroda, his book was first published in English on July of this year, so the naming order pendulum will swing sometime soon. As for Akutagawa, I found out that some publications use Western order while others use Japanese order, so his case is NOT clear-cut! WhisperToMe 02:04, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
My point is that most cases are not clear cut. So what philosophy should we operate under? I agree that Meiji is only a loose cutoff. That's why I brought up World War II as food for thought--perhaps there is another loose cutoff that we should consider. And what determines common usage? Publications? Google searches? The fact that we keep debating the same points tells me that we have yet to reach a consensus on this matter. I could go along with the "pendulum theory" for living people, but not Meiji people, for example. My questions are simple: what should our philosophy be for determining name order? What determines "common usage"? CES 06:23, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I would say only some cases aren't clear cut. Most cases work just fine. There are... only maybe 1 out of 3000 cases that aren't clear cut at the most. WhisperToMe 06:48, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I won't ask where you got the "1 in 3000" number, but I must say I'm not a huge fan of the pendulum-assumption philosophy. If we're going to continue to go case-by-case, I'd prefer to use a Google search or similar such quantifiable method. I don't like the assumptions involved in the reasoning behind "Well, X is her common name now but I think she'll be commonly known as Y at some time in the future, so let's put the article at Y." Personally, I'd prefer to have a suggested default (i.e. "use SN-GN (or GN-SN, whichever is decided upon) for modern people unless common usage suggests otherwise"). Our current policy, as shaky as it is, specifically states use the form of a person's name that is most widely known and used by English speakers ... I don't see anything about future common use. I understand where you're coming from (and I agree that in many cases, for living people, what you suggest is true), but I think "future common use" is problematic as a policy--it's hard enough to debate common usage, let alone future common usage. CES 12:47, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Oftentimes I use Western order at default if the person lives in the modern era. If the person has written books and they are translated, the person almost always gets the Western order as the Western order has been used in the book release. WhisperToMe 23:43, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

It's interesting to see the debate on the topic, and there's been a lot of good points brought up. I do agree, it would be hard to reach a consensus on all names - for instance, Yoko Ono, which is spelt even in Japanese using Western name order. I do think that it does need to be pointed out that many Japanese celebrities use their names in Western order when writing them in English mostly because the majority of Westerners would otherwise mistake their last name for their first (as an apt example, people who would think that Utada Hikaru's first name is Utada). I do think that it's fairly Anglo-centric to use Western name order for Japanese names in principle, though. Still, as long as the correct name order is mentioned on the entry, as most of the entries do see to have, it seems like a fair compromise - I have also created a template for Japanese names, (see Japanese name, which I borrowed from Chinese name, which I feel would be useful in some entries. Kitty 03:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Personally I would favor consistency, and I don't particularly care which way the consistency lies. Radiant_>|< 23:54, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I think, regardless of how an article with a name as a title is ordered (SN-GN or GN-SN), a redirect page should be put up for the opposite. Then it won't really matter which way is used as searching for it either way will get you to the right place. That's the most important thing, IMHO. Additionally, if there are other common possibilities for how a name would be romanized (Ito vs. Itou vs. Itoh vs. Itō, for example), redirect pages should be set up for those as well. --nihon 07:35, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that everyone pretty much takes that for granted (even if they're against mass redirects) but even if they weren't there is nothing you can do to stop that because the community will create those redirects automatically when they feel the need for them.  freshgavin TALK   02:18, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

This is being discussed again over here, so please come give your input. --nihon 06:50, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

How should Wikipedia write 青梅 (おうめ)? More broadly, how should WP handle vowels in adjacent kanji?

The city name 青梅 could be written Ōme, Oume, or Ome. The kana, おうめ, appear the same as a construction that we normally write as a "long vowel" but is it really a long vowel? Or an irregular reading? Do the last two kana come from "ume" even if the first one is not exactly "ao"?

Similarly, there are words with regular readings, including both おう and うう. Should we write these with macrons? Or as "ou" and "uu"? Or adopt a different device, such as an apostrophe (e.g. Riku'u)?

Fg2 08:18, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

As a general rule, we should follow Hepburn and spell according to how things are pronounced. So 白馬 is shirouma. That said, Ome, Tokyo is a bit of a special case because the correct Hepburn form is so rarely used — I'd also posit that, kana notwithstanding, the average pronunciation of the name is a lot closer to "Ōme" than shirouma ever goes to "shirŌma". Jpatokal 10:15, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Do we have precedents in Wikipedia? I know there's a Hiroo Station ... searching for Oumi got me a 青海 in Niigata and a redirect to 近江 at Omi (another irregular reading). Searching for Hiroo got me a few people who should probably be at Hirō! I'm not a linguist, but my amateur opinion is that if the sounds are clearly represented by different kanji then the romanization should reflect this, such as Hiroo, shirouma, and Rikuu (I don't think we need an apostrophe here, in contrast to n-vowel combinations like Shin'ichiro). If it's your "normal" long vowel like the long vowel in Taro, use a macron: Tarō. But your last question cuts to the core of the issue: Do the last two kana come from "ume" even if the first one is not exactly "ao"?, the implicated alternative being "or, are all three kana "spread evenly" over both kanji?" I sure don't have an answer, but I think the answer is key. Is there a linguist in the house? CES 16:08, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
My position on this matter is, and I think jpatokal might have been alluding to this (not sure?), its Officially written as Ome (three letters), most times just Ome sometimes with a macronized O, but in either case its three letters Ome. There are no official cases where the city name with four letters and the "U". So this might be a special case because in the english translation the correct Hepburn version is never used on official government websites, maps, theres even a train line, train station, and university, and in all these cases appear with the three letters O-M-E (again the macronized O soemtimes, but thats another argument) I'm just stating that its three letters and not the four. I'm not arguing on how its supposed to be written or supposed to be pronounced, I'm saying we should go with official government english written name, the universally accepted version. We should leave the official title-spelling here on Wiki, Then, in the article, explain how it is supposed to be pronounced or written.
stationmaster 11:28, 16 November 2005
I know nothing about how Ome is usually romanized, but if Ome/Ōme is the form commonly used and is also the official name, let's go with Ome or Ōme. Which we use depends on which is common usage and/or what we decide our policy is on macrons ... the [above conversation] seems to indicate we're still pro-macron, more or less. My comments above are in response to the generic question "how should WP handle vowels in adjacent kanji?" Of course, for Ome the question still remains how to romanize it in parentheses. We'd have to choose between Ōme and Oume. CES 18:14, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
CES, I pointed out in the ome discussion page, that it is officially used as Ome on the official city website, and the TMG's website and the government tourist website, also its spelled Ome on the university's website as well. So I think it can be safely said that Ome is the universal accepted spelling that is commonly used (in the case of train line and station it has the macroned O, but its still spelled with three letters). Right now Ome Tokyo, is being redirected to Oume Tokyo and the main subject official title was changed to Oume, I think it be changed back to its original direction of Ome Tokyo, but I don't think it should of just been changed to Oume just because its the "right way" to write it (and have everything redirected to Oume), I think it should appear the way its commonly written or translated by official sources and then any information about how it is supposed to be pronounced and written be included in the article page. stationmaster 18:11, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Then I see no reason why the article should not be at Ome (as opposed to Oume). Whether to have a macron, and how to romanize it in the transliteration of the kanji still remains the question. In other words, I see four options:
  • Ome (青梅市; Oume-shi)
  • Ome (青梅市; Ōme-shi)
  • Ōme (青梅市; Oume-shi)
  • Ōme (青梅市; Ōme-shi)
Personally I like the last two options the best, and I'd probably opt for #3, as it indicates that the first two kana are おう as opposed to the おお in Osaka. I would strongly argue against Ome (青梅市; Ome-shi), as it does not alert the reader to the fact that the kana is おうめ as opposed to おめ.
CES 01:57, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
I like the use of Ōme (青梅市; Oume-shi) as well, currently all pages that appear as either Ome Tokyo (macroned and not marconed) are redirected to Oume (青梅市; Ōme-shi) as I noted in my previous statement I think its good to go with Ome first (macroned O because wiki seems to be pro macroned) and Oume-shi in parenthesis. I guess the question I'm trying to ask are we in agreement that the three lettered version appear first (as official sources use the three lettered version first), if so can we correct and redirect the pages back to its original Ōme/Ome page? stationmaster 17:19, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Let me add oushi (雄牛) to the debate. In this case, there's no doubt about which kana belongs with which kanji. Fg2 07:26, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Better than an unambiguous kanji reading, how about a complete disappearing act. 国府駅 (愛知県) (Kou Eki) and, we can try to explain where the second kanji went if we name it Ko or Kō (The seems to call it Kō). Neier 07:50, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm away and can't get into this discussion, unfortunately, but just have one comment. No matter how this goes I have to point out that even though there is widespread use of the word 'official' here, it doesn't really mean anything when referring to place names in Japan. If you want to interpret 'official' as what is written by a goverment official, then it's easy to find an official source. Often official sources are assumed to be researched and verified by experts, but when it comes to city/station names in Japan, there doesn't seem to be any of that process as they just follow the conventions that they see around them. It's easy to rely on JR because of its large span, but it's not uncommon to see stations on private lines spelled completely wrong, with old style macrons (ô), or even spelled differently within the same station. Not a challenge to using the official sources as reference, I'm just pointing out that it's possible to say that even official sources can suck sometimes.  freshgavin TALK   09:29, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

They can suck sometimes, but in the case of Ome, its also the universal spelling of the city as well (in english, with three letters O-M-E). So not only is if official, its a universally accepted spelling (macroned O no macroned is another arguement), I can look on a map, look at a guide-book index, a tourist guide and see three letters OME (macroned, not macroned, still three letters) and not four letters O U M E, which I would argue if one wants to point out the correct, do it in parenthesis and do a write-up in the article (see above posts), but when it comes down to it, its my opinion we go with the government source, and the unversally accepted version. I'm not just relying on JR for the three lettered spelling, but the from the Ome City government site, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government spelling of the city, the post office spelling of the city (if one were to send a letter), along with those official government sources, JR of course spells with with three letters, and two other well known encyclopedias use the three lettered version, so its not just one source that says its spelled with three letters, and my argument is that the three lettered version be the first to appear when one reads the page here on Wiki, and not the four letter hepurn correct (or whatever) version. That should appear after in parenthesis, or written up in the article on the proper way to spell/pronounce it. My argument is not on the proper way to spell it, my argument is not if whether the three lettered version is the correct version or not, my argument is its the three lettered spelling version that is officially and universally used and that should appear before all else. It used to be that way here on wiki before it was changed to the four lettered version spelling that appears first. It seems to me a concensus that the unversally accepted version (common usage, common usuage in the sense that its commonly spelled with three letters if written in English) be used first with the alternate version one appearing after. stationmaster 23:24, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Topic seems to have died so I think there should be a decision about this. I agree with stationmaster that Ome is not only 'official' but universal and Ome is much more useful than Oume, and it seems logical to call this one an exception and allow it to follow its own rule outside Hepburn and kanji-logic. On the other hand, all the forementioned examples (国府, 雄牛) are also exceptions and thus would seem to follow suit. Since stationmaster is only arguing for station/place names, as they are the ones that are officially spelled, and people rely on their spelling for transportation, then I believe 雄牛 and 白馬 (if there were ever such a page) would be exempt from this ... exception. The issues that stand now are:

  1. How is the name spelled within the contents of the article
  2. How to explain the reason for the odd spelling within the article
  3. How does this all stand towards Wiki policy?

Somebody a little more familiar with Wiki might be able to answer, is the Wiki ideal in this situation to inform the user of the common mistake, and to agree to the general usage thus fermenting its use? Or to educate the user of the common mistake, and to admit that it is said as thus, but then the show how it should really be spelled in an ideal world? In other words, would it be more Wikialistic to a) put a simple speller warning at the top of the page, b) put a speller warning and henceforth use the most correct spelling, or c) redirect and put a speller warning explaining why the redirect exists.  freshgavin TALK   01:18, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Not sure what the ideal is. We've been round and round about alternative romanizations (a year and a half ago?) and I think we decided not to include them. But if we make an exception from Hepburn, it seems prudent to make an exception for the same article and explain the discrepancy. Alternatively, we could put something on the discussion page. Still, I'm not sure whether it's an exception to Wikipedia romanization or an exception in Japanese. Fg2 07:28, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
I might have trouble arguing it, but I don't think it's an exception at all. I think that Hepburn and standard romanization supports the Oume spelling (and I wish I could find a reference broad enough to cover spelling cases like this), but because the combined characters are so rare nobody really knows how to treat them and thus it's an exceptional mistake rather than an exeption to any rule. I don't want to be overly idealistic on this but I just don't really see the logic in completely ignoring Japanese spelling and logical, established standards.  freshgavin TALK   03:13, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Bringing this topic back. My argument is the official city spelling is Ome, thus that should take precidence over the Oume spelling. I have no problem with Oume spelling appearing right after the Ome spelling either in parenthesis or with explaination. But you cannot deny the fact that the official spelling (right or wrong doesn't matter to me I'm just saying thats it just is) is Ome not Oume, and for that very reason the Ome spelling should take precedence (ie when one pulls up the page on Ome, Ome should be bolded appearing first, and then if one wanted to put Oume in parenthesis after and explain the the proper way I don't have a problem, thats my whole argument. I believe if you look at the Japanese version of wiki, they do an explaination between the two, however on the main english page Ome is completely removed and no explaination (on the main page), thus I repeat, I think Ome should appear first because thats how its officially used by the government (when they write Ome in english) then explain the OUME spelling. stationmaster 18:00, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I think Freshgavin and others are assuming that, because one of the kanji in Ome is ume, that this should be preserved in the spelling of Ome. While completely understandable (I just had to spend a half hour doing some research myself), this appears to be incorrect. First, as we all know, Japanese (particularly names) are rife with ateji, or examples of words where the pronunciation of a compound is different from its components. I'll present three pieces of evidence why the u should not be preserved in the spelling of Ome (i.e. it should either be Ome or Ōme). First, and admittedly the least convincing, is simple pronunciation. Although there does appear to be a very slight u sound just before the me when most people pronounce the word 青梅, I don't think it is nearly as distinguishable as it would be if someone where consciously pronouncing, for example, the word ume with an honorific o affixed to it. And in any event, I'm not sure the sound is all that distinguishable from the pronunciation of 大目, because you must purse your lips at the end of the o sound in order to pronounce the m. Second, slightly more convincing, is that if you look the word up in Kojien (one of the most authoritative Japanese dictionaries), you will see that the historical kana usage for the word was アヲメ, or awo + me. In other words, the u was completely dropped in the spelling that was accepted even before modern kana usage was adopted. Finally, and the most convincing to me, is that you will find an overwhelming number of people (companies with factories in Ome, the city itself, etc.) spelling it Ome. If the Japanese were conscious of a u being in there from the "plum" component, there is no way you would be able to shorten it to just the letter O. This widely accepted dropping of the u makes it much more analagous to the dropping of the hiragaa us in the speling of Tokyo (since they only act as vowel lengtheners).-Jefu 02:21, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Overall, just for the record, I have always been a fan of writing out the extra vowels. We never used macrons in romanji in any of my Japanese classes; plus, I think that while words like "joousama" (女王様) may look somewhat scary to readers (users) unfamiliar with the long vowels or the origin of the word, macrons can be even more unfamiliar. I still don't get what half the diacritics in the major European languages are supposed to be, and I don't expect the average Wiki reader to know what a macron in Japanese is supposed to be. That said, I have never seen Ome spelled with a 'u'. Never. And I've been there. The pronunciation, as far as I was ever aware, is no different from that of 大目, and it just looks strange and wrong with the 'u'. LordAmeth 02:43, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmmmm. I understand not understanding all the diacritics in European languages, but I think virtually every English speaker understands that putting a line over a vowel makes it a long vowel. Adding a bunch of u's that aren't really pronounced seems far more confusing to me. Don't you think more people would be likely to pronounce Tōkyō properly than Toukyou? -Jefu 03:39, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmmmm². The very term "long vowel" is more likely to confuse speakers of English than to clarify matters. The use of a mark to indicate that a vowel is long hints that any vowel without the mark is short, but the "o" and the "u" in Japanese words are not short vowels (as in "hot" and "hut"). Rather, they are (often) identical to long vowels except in duration. I've heard non-native speakers pronounce the "o" as in "hot" and wondered if their reason for doing so was the lack of a macron. So while a macron might help get the long vowels right, use of a macron for long vowels might adversely affect the pronunciation of short vowels.
Wikipedia has never defined its target audience. Is it for researchers in a field (e.g. linguistics) who want to know specifics about a language (e.g. Japanese)? Or is it for the baccalaureate-level reader? Or high-school reference? Or a general audience? A clear answer would make it easier to decide on a system for writing foreign words.
I've repeatedly advocated writing the English Wikipedia in English. The English language I grew up with has 26 letters. It does not have accents acute, grave, circumflex, cedilla, umlaut, or any of the various extra letters or diacritics of German, Turkish, Polish, Swedish etc. To write in English is to write using those 26 letters, uppercase and lowercase.
English does not have macrons. Macrons are symbols used in specialized books to indicate pronunciation. They are not used in newspapers, novels, office communications, or other documents in natural English. (Japanese does not have macrons, either.)
English has words with the "ou" combination; "house" is an example of one pronunciation and "wound" (the noun) is an example of another. Writing "ou" to indicate a long (or should I say "enduring") vowel invites anyone who does not already know Japanese to pronounce it as in one of those words. Which one would a speaker choose for "Toukyou"? Both are wrong. I don't see how that helps.
For people who already know Japanese, we have links to the Japanese Wikipedia. For those who don't, I advocate writing in English. No macrons and no u's to indicate long vowels. Fg2 07:49, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I think that argument is a little oversimplistic. I have several volumes of The Cambridge History of Japan sitting on my bookshelf, which I presume are written in English, and they are full of macrons.-Jefu 13:43, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
If our specified target audience was low, I might agree with you. But by not taking advantage of the tools we have, all we do is dumb down Wikipedia by excluding diacritics not used in English. For the people that don't know the pronunciation rules of a language (be it Japanese, Chinese, French, etc.), neither the presence nor absence of the diacritics (or "long vowel" conventions in Japanese) predicts accurate pronunciation. Sure, "Toukyou" is sure to be mispronounced (which is why it's always the more English-pronunciation friendly Tokyo or Tōkyō in Wikipedia), but words without macrons or long vowels (take "karaoke") are regularly butchered anyway.
To me, saying that there's the Japanese Wikipedia (or French, or Czech, etc.) is a cop-out. For people who can read Japanese without a problem, then obviously that is a solution. But there are many people who know the basic pronunciation rules of Japanese but cannot read it well enough to read the Japanese wikipedia. For them, indicating long vowels is very useful. The same argument can be made for marking tones in Chinese, accents in French, umlauts in German. Sure these marks may confuse some people, but given the fact that the reader has voluntarily come to Wikipedia seeking knowledge, couldn't we also assume that the reader is also motivated enough to investigate how these marks are read if they so desire (or ignore them, if they are not so motivated)? I don't know a single word of Czech, but after running across words with letters such as č I was motivated to see how it was pronounced.
Returning to Japanese, I agree that we need to have a general consensus on how much macron/long vowel usage we should have in the articles. To me there seem to be 3 options. 1 - No macron usage. 2 - selective macron usage (for example, only in the initial romanization of the kanji of the word/name at the start of an article). 3 - Complete macron usage. I'd be against #1 for the reasons mentioned above ... #2 and #3 have their pros and cons. As Fg2 notes, without having a specified target audience, it's hard to say which is better for the majority of readers ... but as Fg2 also said, "macrons are symbols used in specialized books to indicate pronunciation." Isn't Wikipedia a specialized book? Isn't pronunciation an important part of knowledge? CES 14:00, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Well with an argument like that I suppose there's no use in argueing anymore. I'll stop resisting as long as the romanization is preseved as oume in the ttranslation widget. It is true though that as long as English is the way that iit is languages like Japanese will never be able to be accurately represented, and it's pointless to try. At least for now ... it's a lot better than katakana-izing everything.   freshgavin TALK    08:15, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

We've gotten fairly far from the topic --- writing words like "Ome" --- so I've started a new section below, including questions that, as Jefu correctly points out, we discussed in the Template section of this page.

Back to the topic, what would be the correct title for Shimo-Usa Province? Is it correct, or should the first element be Shimosa or Shimōsa or Shimo-Osa or Shimo-osa or Shimousa or Shimo-usa? Fg2 02:42, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I think this deserves its own discussion (if it hasn't taken place already). Should places beginning with Shimo-, Kami-, Kita-, Minami-, Higashi-, Nishi-, Moto-, and (others?) always be named in accordance to a common format? I think JR would name their station Shimo-usa, if such a place still existed; although, right now I would disagree and vote for Shimo-Usa in our article. Once we settle the adjacent vowel issue, maybe we should tackle this one next. Neier 13:35, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Well you know my vote, at least for the Shimo-Usa province. As for the rest of those prefix-suffix types, that's gonna be a hard one. I don't think it's fair to use JR as an example in this case (I've had problems with quite a few of their romanizations in the past too), and there's a lot of inconsistancy between different companies and publication, basically with Shin- and Kita-, which I'd say are the most common? I basically promote the hyphonization of any of these Japanese names that are implying a a pair, triplet, etc. relationship. E.g. Yokohama and Shin-Yokohama (I prefer capitalization after Shin-) but there may be some cases where the Shin- doesn't have such a dual relationship, and thus I might spell it Shinba (or something like that). Some suffixes (that I would leave lowercase): -gai, -chō, -machi, -jō ... hell even -kō/-wan (港) could usually be considered a suffix (Hong-kong anyone?). Here's a good example of suffix/prefix madness: Moto-machi Chuka-gai. I can't think of how there would be too much debating about this issue, so it probably just has to be thought out and written up in the MoS.   freshgavin TALK    03:07, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Topographic features; cities, towns and villages

Rivers, lakes, mountains and ranges. The other day, I started the article Lake Chuzenji. Not sure if it should have been Lake Chuzen-ji. Should we include or omit the Japanese (湖、川、山、山脈 etc.)? Should we include or omit the English "lake" etc. and if we include it, should we write it first or last?

Some similar questions apply to cities, towns and villages. Should we include or omit the Japanese? Should we include or omit the English "city" etc. and if we include it, should we write it first or last? For example, should we write Kobe, Kobe-shi, Kobeshi, Kobe City, Kobe-shi City, the City of Kobe-shi?

I am not suggesting changing our policy on naming articles. Rather, I'm talking about uses of city names within articles. For example, should we write that "Kobe-shi City has 9 wards" or something different? Should we put a caption that says "The Port Tower is the tallest building in the City of Kobe-shi" (if such a statement is true)?

I'll start the debate by giving my opinion about topographic features: that we should omit the Japanese (e.g. Chikuma, not Chikuma-gawa) except when reporting the Japanese name (e.g. in parentheses after the name on the first line of the article on the Chikuma) and that we should follow these patterns:

  • Chikuma River
  • Lake Suwa
  • Mount Fuji
  • Chugoku Mountain Range, but Japanese Alps

Next, about cities: that we should omit "-shi" except when reporting the Japanese pronunciation (e.g. in parentheses after the city name on the first line of the article on that city) and that we should omit "City" after the name of the city. We should feel free to write "the city of Kobe" or "Kobe is a city" when circumstances warrant it. We shoud write "Kobe City" only when referring to the legal entity, the corporation, that operates the city, such as when saying that "Moody's gave Kobe City bonds a rating of PG-13."

If we adopt principles like these in the MoS, it'll make it easier for authors and editors, especially non-native speakers, to write in whatever style we wind up adopting.

Fg2 06:22, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree with omitting the Japanese suffixes (although now that I've said that, I'm sure someone will come up with a good exception). It avoids redundancy and I think it's generally in line with common English usage for Japanese topographical features. I have a feeling we'll have a few strange article names as a result, especially with short river names ... I imagine somewhere in Japan there's an Agawa which will become A River ... but I'm not sure there's much we can do about that.
I also agree with the patterns you describe (X River, Lake Y, Mount Z, etc.).
I agree that Lake Chuzenji belongs at Lake Chuzenji and not Lake Chuzen-ji, just as Kanagawa Prefecture shouldn't be at Kana-gawa Prefecture (or heaven forbid, Kana River Prefecture). Again, someone will probably come up with an exception, but in general I think the final "suffix" should be the only one that is dealt with in the naming system (be it omission, hyphenation, or whatever the appropriate rule is).
I also agree that these conventions (once agreed upon) should be written into the MoS. Am I agreeable today or what? Like name order and city naming systems, this is another topic that makes its rounds a few times a year and fizzles out before reaching a conclusion. It would be nice to get something formal established. CES 14:47, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Although I've done a fair amount of work on Japan-related articles, I'm not an expert - in particular, I don't read or speak Japanese. Speaking as a non-expert, this makes sense to me (and seems to match common English usage - which I think should be the overriding guideline). I believe we already have an exception in article titles for wards of cities (suffix "-ku" in the article title), but probably aren't overly consistent in the article text. Also, doesn't 'jima" (probably also "ima") mean "island", so Iwo Jima (for example) literally means "Iwo Island". Perhaps the rule needs to explicitly identify for which types of geographical features it does and doesn't apply (i.e. applies to rivers, lakes, mountains, but not islands). Referring to cities as "X City" (ever) strikes me as a foreign construct. I'd rephrase your example as "Moody's gave bonds issued by the city of Kobe a rating of PG-13." I think it is a good idea to codify these issues in the MoS - thanks for bringing it up. -- Rick Block (talk) 15:30, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
I knew there'd be exceptions, thanks Rick. I agree, -shima and -jima islands should be at their original names (i.e. Miyajima instead of Miya Island, Shodoshima instead of Shodo Island, etc.). Same for wards ... it seems like we voted on this one and decided they should be at X-ku instead of X Ward. I agree, we should be specific in the MoS about how specific suffixes are dealt with in English. It could be as simple as a list:
  • Mountains: Xsan becomes Mount X
  • Rivers: Ykawa becomes Y River
  • Islands: Zshima remains Zshima
and so forth. CES 16:39, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Islands are tricky. I'd suggest that the -shima be left off entirely if it's not commonly used in Japanese: Ishigaki and Iriomote can stay put, because they can be used as is even in Japanese, but Miyajima needs the suffix because you can't just say "I'm going to Miya" even in Japanese. Jpatokal 03:48, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Iwo Jima (by any of various spacings, hyphenations, or capitalizations) is clearly established as an English word of Japanese origin, alongside Tokyo. So it's an exception, and I don't think we should build a rule around an exception. Miyajima, probably likewise, but I don't know about Itsukushima, the same island. It's hard to sort out Sado-ga-shima (which I would just write as Sado) and Tsushima (not Tsu Island, that's for sure) and Izu Oshima (please, not Izu O Island!). Mostly, though, the system CES proposes seems workable, even though Miyake, Hachijo, Ishigaki and several others seem fine with "island" after them. Then, there are the -to cases, like Okinawa Honto (I think it was jpatokal who retitled that article, wisely). So islands seem a bit detailed. Fg2 01:14, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Comment. I think Sadogashima can be omitted from this discussion (and other examples like onigashima) because I wouldn't agree with it to being translated as Sado Island, but rather something a little more grammatical like Isle of Sado or Isle of the Oni. There are examples of such fancily named islands/mountains/places in English and I think the ヶ construction forms a nice parallel with them. Of course, they wouldn't be translated in the article titles, I'm just implying that the simple dokodoko Island form doesn't apply here.  freshgavin TALK   02:24, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Vote on comma for template

The two options:

Tokyo (東京都 Tōkyō-to)
Tokyo (東京都 Tōkyō-to lit. eastern capital)
東 (higashi lit. east)

I'm not terribly concerned with the comma; I'd greatly prefer to omit "lit." Fg2 06:59, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Lit is optional, and I imagine generally it will be included in the text, rather than within the brackets (e.g. Tokyo (東京都 Tōkyō-to), meaning eastern capital...) but it is very useful in some articles that have many short definitions.   freshgavin TALK    04:18, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Tokyo (東京都, Tōkyō-to)
Tokyo (東京都, Tōkyō-to, lit. eastern capital)
東 (higashi, lit. east)

(note: transliteration may also be italicized, but 'lit.' will not be)

Points against commas

  • roman comma following a kanji seems strange/visually ugly (CES, Jpatokal)
  • comma implies a list of readings (for the same thing), not a separation of different systems (Jpatokal)
  • unnecessary punctuation (Jefu)
  • commas separate items in a list, or separate elements of a sentence (Jpatokal)
  • as per Chicago manual of style (DannyWilde)
Comment: It's not possible to browse the CMOS online is it? I forgot my copy back in Canada : P. I doubt CMOS deals with the extra parameters though.  freshgavin TALK   06:03, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Points for commas

  • visually separates kanji/reading/etc (LordAmeth, Shinobu)
  • commas often refer to rewordings e.g. Mister Koizumi, the PM of Japan and thus (kanji, romaji, meaning) apply to the same principles
  • slighter easier on readers non familiar with Japanese (Shinobu)
  • {東京都, Tōkyō-to, lit. eastern capital} is merely a list (or set) of readings or interpretations referring to the same object so I believe Jpatokal's argument supports commas (freshgavin)
  • while useful for listing different readings of the same kanji, I believe that will have to take a back seat to this use of the comma in order to visually separate the extra parameters (which could possibly be long in some cases) (freshgavin)

Note: This is a vote for the default setting of the template. In order to make the style consistent the setting may become redundant and the default made standard. This setting can be changed at the user level.

Support proposal with commas

  1.  freshgavin TALK   06:03, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
  2. Endroit 02:53, 8 December 2005 (UTC) Actually, there's no need for comma between Kanji and Romaji (but it would be OK if commas were used). However, commas (or whatever delimiter) SHOULD separate material that FOLLOWS the Romaji. It only makes sense to separate all material in English/Roman characters using commas. The way the votes are set up now, my vote would go here.
  3. Hermeneus (user/talk) 21:20, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Support proposal without commas

  1. CES 13:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC) for the reasons stated above: it's unnecessary and ugly
  2. LordAmeth 12:01, 7 December 2005 (UTC) I'm afraid I'm going to have to vote against the commas for one simple reason: those people who want to use them can still put them back in. I'm not sure if I like having a comma after the kanji or not, and I don't think I like having any more than one comma between the parentheses, because then it looks too cluttered. Still, my previous comment about it separating things out stands. I may manually continue to put commas, for my own entries.
  3. nihon 16:51, 7 December 2005 (UTC) I think having the transliteration in rōmaji in italics is good enough.
By that you mean you don't want the lit. tag?   freshgavin TALK    04:15, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't like this "lit." business either. If the meaning of the characters has significance or importance, I think it should be included in the article itself, not attached to the kanji-romaji explanation. CES 04:18, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Oppose both


@Note: This is a vote for the default setting of the template. In order to make the style consistent the setting may become redundant and the default made standard.:

The setting is on a per user basis rather than on a per call or per page basis; all templates will for any given user always look identical. </@>

I feel too involved with Template:Nihongo to actually vote here. Shinobu 09:23, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Comment. I initially used 'lit.' with this sentence:

...part of Hoori's name, ori (折り, lit. to bend), indicates a crop...

because I felt it was the cleanest and easiest way to present the information in that form. If I hadn't used the 'lit.' internally, I would have written:

... part of Hoori's name, ori (折り) — which means to bend — indicates a crop...

I can understand that the 'lit.' does clutter the template a little bit but I really don't want to have to deal with those grammatical double pauses especially since many people won't use them correctly and instead will just use more commas. Is there another way I could write this sentence to make it less clunky and not deal with the template?   freshgavin TALK    07:02, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

In times when it's necessary, why not write the whole word? Personally, though, I think it's seldom important. I doubt that the French Wikipedia explains the name of George Bush or Adam Smith, so in English we should seldom have to explain the names like Koizumi and Watanabe. When discussing fictional characters, we might occasionally want to report the literal meaning of a name, especially if the author appears to have selected it to reveal something about the character. That might go elsewhere in the article rather than within the template to avoid the "double pauses" as you suggested. When it really makes sense for it to go in the template, I lean toward "literally." Fg2 07:18, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Including "literally" inside the template is too long, I think. "Lit." carries the same meaning, and looks a lot more streamlined. As for when it should be used, I agree that we do not need to explain names like Tanaka and Yamamoto. But how about "Higashiyama Bunka (東山文化, lit. 'culture of the Eastern Mountain'), or pretty much any other term that's not a name? Surely there are plenty of occasions when having "lit." inside the parentheses will be helpful, and will result in a cleaner and less cluttered opening sentence for the article. LordAmeth 12:18, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Thought neads to be given when adding literal translations, especially in the leading sentence of an article. I fear that the possibility of "literal" translations being more confusing than helpful is too great. Sure, Higashiyama Bunka could be translated as "culture of the Eastern Mountain" (or if you want to get truly literal, "East Mountain Writing Transform") but that's not what it the word really "means" in the article. It means "Higashiyama culture". If I didn't know that Higashiyama (district in Kyoto) = eastern mountain, then I'd be wondering why the phrase "eastern mountain" doesn't appear in the article at all and what mountains have to do with Higashiyama Bunka.
In my mind a distinction should be made between meaning and literal meaning. This might seem like hair-splitting but it's the difference between "Higashiyama Bunka (Higashiyama Culture)" and "Higashiyama Bunka (lit. culture of the Eastern Mountain)". Or explaining what the word "Tokyo" means as "Tokyo (the capital of Japan)" as opposed to "Tokyo (lit. East Capital)". The meaning generally adds much more valuable information than the literal meaning, and the former generally works better parenthetically than the latter because the context of the literal meaning is not always obvious. Take Tokyo--explaining that it is the capital of Japan is a complete explanation into itself. Explaining the literal meaning of "East Capital" might require a sentence or two to explain the history of the name and what this capital is "east" of. My main point is that if you have the urge to use the word "literally" to explain the meaning of something, ask yourself: is the information really needed? If it is (such as in the Tokyo example), what's the best way to present the information? In my mind, the Hoori article Fresh Gavin mentions is perfect. The article does not start off as "Hoori (lit. crop bend)" and instead takes the time to explain the literal meaning of Hoori in two complete sentences: "In mythology it was said that the ho (火) part of his name meant fire, but etymologically it is a different character pronounced ho (穂), which refers to crops, particularly rice. Ori (折り, to bend) incidates a crop that is so rich, it bends under its own weight." The word "literally" doesn't even come into play. CES 15:55, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Hm. I see your point. For the most part, a general meaning rather than a literal meaning is most useful; and, as you say, 'bunka' can be translated as 'culture' just as well as 'word transform'. Still, I think that many readers would find the literal meanings useful in certain cases, and interesting at least in most cases. I am always interested in knowing where the names of places and things come from, so I can make connections and interpret things for myself. It throws me off to see terminology in foreign languages just left as is and not explained; it leaves it too inaccessible. By using literal translations, readers will be able to see the logical/linguistic differences between Ginkakuji & Kinkakuji, between Kyoto & Tokyo, and between Beijing and Nanjing. This is particularly useful when it comes to the words for different types of places in different languages - learning the Japanese words for river, mountain, city, etc, through the use of these literal meaning tags, will help users/readers understand the connections between different places and the reasons those names came about. Essentially what I am trying to get at is the idea that foreign words and names are more accessible and less intimidating or confusing when you know what they mean or what they break down into. I was just in Wales a few weeks ago, and there's a multitude of towns there whose names start with "Llan-". Had I not been told the meaning of it, or at least that it is a prefix or separate word, I would have continued to see all the towns as a confusing mess of Llan's. LordAmeth 21:30, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more, there are many times when knowing a word or phrase's etymology is useful and interesting. I think the key is just to be careful about how the information is presented. With a medium like Wikipedia, where space is not a major concern, if the literal meaning is important or interesting, I'd rather see someone take the time to explain it properly in a few sentences rather than a terse "lit. XYZ" translation. I'm not sure my comment has much to do with the template talk, but bad/unnecessary literal translations are one of my pet peeves, so this was a good chance to get it off of my chest =) CES 00:03, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I wrote this response a little while ago but had to stop halfway so forgive me if I restate something! I have trouble with CEC's statement that a distinction should be made between meaning and literal meaning. The tag 'lit.' is used for exactly that reason and most people know that the literal meaning of words does not necessarily reflect the exact meaning (just like my name does not imply that I am a saucy hawk). I will not give 'most people' that much credit though (it's true, they usually don't deserve as much) and if you think that there are too many people who will take literal meanings literally, then I think that the help page would be a good place to explain about the dangers of thinking too much in the literal sense (after all, the question mark would be right after the transliteration).

As for my edits on the Hoori article (I made the mistake of looking at a draft edit instead of what I actually put up there) I really felt that I was oversimplifying the sentence structure for the sake of brevity. The grammar isn't perfect and I don't feel it is clear that to bend is actually a definition. Contrarily I feel that not including the 'lit.' tag in this case causes doubt as to whether to bend is a literal definition or otherwise. The interpreted meaning is stated after (a crop that is so rich it bends) and I think explicitly stating that to bend is the literal meaning would help to contrast the two.

But even saying that, I thought a little bit and when you think about it, the kind of resource that it would actually be quite useful to use 'lit.' in this way, ... well Wikipedia isn't it. There are a few pages (maybe name lists or place lists) that could benifit from loads of quick translations without getting too wordy, and for those types of pages it would/should probably be explained that what follows is a literal translation, and thus a 'lit.' tag would be unnecessary. I still think that ori (折り, to bend) is unclear because it doesn't seem to be following the style of anything else in the article (or the rest of Wikipedia) but basically I agree that lit. will be used incorrectly, and it can't hurt to force/let people to give a little explanation about the translation. I still think the help page should have a note about literal translations though.   freshgavin TALK    03:42, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Kyūjitai (旧字体)

Someone added the kyūjitai for Hiroshima (廣島) in the lead sentence of the Hiroshima article, and I was tempted to delete it because of the potential for confusion but I wanted to see what others' opinions are on the subject. At first I thought of the kyūjitai as unnecessary, random trivia, but I could see the value in having that information for someone interested in Japanese history. Similar to my thoughts on literal translations though, I think that the kyūjitai deserves at least a one sentence explanation to clear up potential confusion ("Prior to 19xx, Hiroshima was written as 廣島 ..." or something to that effect). CES 14:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

In other words, I think the best solution would be to remove the kyūjitai/shinjitai distinction from the intro, and add a sentence about the kyūjitai somewhere else in the article. CES 14:56, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Please push it off to another sentence, like you suggested, for all place-names. Kyūjitai is not used in Japanese place-names at all today. You won't find it in any modern Japanese-English dictionary. You won't find it in the Japanese Wikipedia, or in other modern Japanese references. So it certainly DOES NOT belong in the first line of the English Wikipedia article as well. (Please beware, however, that some people-names may still use Kyūjitai.)
Also, you may refer to this Chinese-Japanese dictionary, to look up Kyūjitai as a Traditional Chinese character (繁体字).--Endroit 17:01, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Isn't this very similar to the alternative romanizations issue we faced a year or more ago? One is a variety of ways to write the name in the Latin alphabet; the other is a variety of ways to write it in kanji. For the Latin alphabet, we decided very clearly that we do not need or want it, certainly in the lead section. If it belongs anywhere, it should be later in the article. I feel the same way about kyujitai. I'm not opposed to having it in the article, although in most cases it would go near the bottom. A section could list alternative and earlier ways to write the name. Think of Osaka, with its variety of kanji and pronunciations. Most cities, people etc. would not need this but a few would benefit from it. Information on kyujitai is encyclopedic, in my opinion, but not opening-paragraph material. Fg2 20:48, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Japanese in the English Wikipedia

How much Japanese should we include in the English Wikipedia?

Should we include the Japanese writing of Japanese words, and if so, where? Presently, many authors place the Japanese right after the first use of the term that's in the article title. If we want to include the Japanese way of writing the term that's in the article title, is that the best place? Or should we put it somewhere else, for example, a separate section at the end of the article?

This was partly dealt with in the section above called Template.-Jefu 07:03, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Should we record ogg files containing the pronunciation, and link to those files from articles? If so, where should we place the link? Where should we put the files --- on Wikipedia, Commons, or somewhere else?

What about Japanese words other than the subject of the article: should we write them in Japanese? link to ogg files? For example, in the article on Koizumi Jun'ichiro, should we state that he is the "Prime Minister (内閣総理大臣, naikaku sōridaijin, hear it) of Japan (日本, Nippon hear it or Nihon hear it)"? Or limit Japanese text or sound to the title of the article? Should we distinguish between terms that have links to articles of their own and words that don't (e.g. providing Japanese for terms that do not have articles, but not providing it for terms that do have articles, since the information is only one click away)?

Does it make a difference what type of articles these are? Should we adopt one strategy for text articles and a different one for lists? A third for glossary articles?

Speaking of glossaries, is a glossary section a worthy option for ordinary articles like Sumo that have enormous numbers of Japanese terms.

Fg2 01:50, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

I would vote in favor of any proposal to generally eliminate most Japanese from the text portions of articles, except for the object of the article at the start. If someone created a link from Elvis Presley to Junichiro Koizumi, there is no reason to include his Japanese name, since it is at the top of his personal article. The same argument can be extended to pretty much any proper name (Cities, people, etc) since they all should have their own article. (Even people who don't have their own article -- if someone mentions them in an edit, and wants to put the kanji in, then maybe it's extra incentive to create another new stubby article!) At any rate, I see no large benefit for adding those kanji to peripheral articles. The further we get from proper names, the harder it is going to be to make a clear distinction. This is where I'll wimp out for the time being.
For lists/glossaries, kanji is acceptable to me because of two reasons. First, people looking at a list are more likely to be wanting the complete info without making 20 separate jumps. Second, the kanji (provided the list is formatted in a rational way) wouldn't interrupt the reading experience in the same way that it does in the middle of paragraphs. Using the Sumo example, if I was watching NHK and saw 吊り落とし as the winning style, it would be easier to look through a list than to click on 60 different romaji-fied techniques until I found the one that matched. Just my 2.3 yen. Neier 13:15, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Do other languages have policies about this? This topic is hardly unique to Japan-related articles. While there's obviously the opportunity for excess (as in Fg2's fake Koizumi example) I really can't recall running across a real article with that kind of excessive usage. Wikipedia's "survival of the fittest edit" (in theory) environment tends to weed these things out.
Perhaps it would be better to leave this kind of issue on an article-by-article basis, as clearly the type of article matters, and clearly any guidelines drawn up here will be vague and ignored by the general Wiki-populace, as everyone has their own idea of how much of anything is appropriate or useful. CES 13:35, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
You may well be right. On the other hand, if it depends, as you said, on the type of article, we might be able to identify common types and develop guidelines. There's no need to be exhaustive; if we can cover 80% or 90% of situations we're doing a lot of good. What percent of articles fall into the following three categories: (1) Narrative articles consisting primarily of complete sentences, usually organized in paragraphs and often with headers; (2) List articles consisting primarily of bullet, numbered or indented items (even if followed by text); (3) Glossaries, which are special types of lists designed to collect definitions of terms in one article? Or of mixtures, with several paragraphs of (1) followed by some (2)?
As to the issue of people ignoring them, again I agree that people will. But one benefit of a manual of style is that when an editor makes changes that conform to the MoS, there's a weight of community agreement to support the changes. I've found that when I change "ou" or "ô" to "ō" people seldom change it back, especially if I link to MoS in the edit summary.
Even though many MoS statements are vague, we can write concrete guidelines as well. For example, "In a narrative article, provide the Japanese script for the subject when you first introduce it. Subsequently, do not provide the Japanese. Do not provide the Japanese for any term that is linked to an article containing the Japanese for the term." I think this is very concrete (although it by no means covers every case).
Writing a statement like this won't result in every editor doing it this way every time. But again, it provides a rationale for making changes, and a basis for making them stick. Fg2 00:57, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I like your idea about not having the script for words with their own article ... while I think most articles abide by this more or less anyway, this would clean up the few outliers (it's China-related, but History of China is one of the worse offenders, in my opinion). The trickier issue is what to say for words that do not have their own article. I think that there should be adequate justification for including Japanese script -- but what makes for "adequate justification" varies greatly by person. Taking an article I created, hatsuyume, I included script 1. at the beginning of the article 2. to explain a homophone (nasu vs. nasu) and 3. to clarify the phrase Ichi-Fuji, Ni-Taka, San-Nasubi which is not easily rendered into English. Yet, some people could argue that even these uses are unnecessary, while others might argue for more (see Marnen's comments [here] for what I'd personally consider a somewhat extreme example of this position). It seems like the best guideline is, as the Japanese would say, tekitō ni, "as appropriate." If you've got ideas for guidelines, I'd like to hear them but I'm a little skeptical that we could come up with something concrete enough to make a difference. CES 17:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC) 

Comment: (Slightly off-topic) I am trying to complete a list of sumo moves, whether it will be welcome in it's own page or in a glossary page or as a subset of the sumo page will be seen later but meanwhile if anyone knows of a resource online with a complete list (kanji please!) let me know!   freshgavin TALK    01:08, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Ordering of Lists

I came across List of gairaigo and wasei-eigo terms, which lists the words (mostly) in the Japanese あいうえおかきくけこ, etc order. For someone completely unfamiliar with Japanese (or, even first-year students), this order is awkward, to say the least. Of course, the flip-side is that most people reading that article (and others like it) are probably more likely to fall into the minority of people who understand why it is listed that way.

On the other hand, Japanese words of Portuguese origin (which I presume would have pretty much the same target audience as the first article) lists the words in abc order (according to the romanization).

I think that at the very least, the lists of these two articles should be in the same order; and even more broadly, it seems like a good time to make a convention about lists of Japanese words in general.

My opinion is based on the fact that it is the English wikipedia. Anyone looking for words in a list like that may be inclined to search あいうえお-style, but it wouldn't take too long to recognize that the lists are in abcd order. On the other hand, someone looking for Dorama might be puzzled when it turns up after all the T- words.

So, I'd like to propose a convention that lists of Japanese words be ordered by their romanization and not by their kana ordering. Thoughts? Criticisms? Neier 13:15, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I support this proposal. This is an English site, so it makes sense to assume that a person looking up information on it will have little knowledge of the ordering of words according to あいうえお. --nihon 17:30, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I support it too. Just a bit of background: the list of gairaigo resulted from a merger of a couple of predecessor articles, and possibly the merger didn't put things in alphabetical order. One or both might have started with kana order. Also, the table makes things hard to edit (e.g. split into sections by letter or kana) so people might tend to look for a place that seems about right and stick new entries in places that might not agree with any particular order. Alphabetizing and converting from table to text might go well together. Tables are convenient, but don't seem necessary; dictionaries do very well without them. But enough digression about the particular article; generally speaking, I favor alphabetical order for lists, at least allowing the rare exception where there's an important reason for kana ordering. Fg2 20:36, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback. I have updated the MoS. Neier 06:28, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Macrons in titles proposed MOS change

So, going with all the discussion above in "Macrons in titles" and in "Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style for Japan-related articles/UTF-8 conversion," I'm proposing a change in the Romanisation section of MOS:JP as follows (changes marked in bold red):

Wikipedia uses the Hepburn romanisation because it is generally accepted by scholars and it gives a fair indication of Japanese pronunciation to the intended audience of English speakers. People who care about other romanization systems are knowledgeable enough to look after themselves.
Take care with these points:
  1. Long o and u are written with macrons as ō ū respectively.
    (If you are having difficulty typing these characters with your IME, remember that you can now also click on the special characters below the Wikipedia edit box. You can also enter the HTML entity &#333; for ō, and &#363; for ū.)
  2. は, ヘ and を as particles are written wa, e, and o respectively.
  3. Syllabic n ん is generally written n (see below).
  4. Syllabic n ん is written n' when followed by a vowel or y but not when followed by another n.
Article titles should also use macrons and omit apostrophes after syllabic n, except in cases where the macronless spelling is in common usage in English-speaking countries (e.g., Tokyo, Osaka, Sumo and Shinto, instead of Tōkyō, Ōsaka, Sumō and Shintō). "Common usage" includes unconventional romanizations by licensees (e.g., Devil Hunter Yohko and Tenjho Tenge). Where macrons are used in the title, an appropriate redirect using the macronless spelling should also be created, which points to the actual title (e.g., Tessho Genda pointing to Tesshō Genda).
The original version of Hepburn used m when syllabic n ん is followed by b, m, or p. While generally deprecated, this is still allowed in titles for cases where the official romanisation continues to use m (examples: Asahi Shimbun, Namba Station). Use Google to check popularity if in doubt, and create a redirect from n version.


Please add your vote (Support, Oppose, Neutral) by adding the following under the appropriate header below :


Feel free to include any comments you wish in the "Comments" section, below. --nihon 20:59, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

I forgot to mention: the vote will be open through Saturday, February 11, 2006. --nihon 21:13, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Voting has ended. The record below remains so that interested parties can view it.


  1. --nihon 20:59, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. --み使い Mitsukai 21:32, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
  3. --Jefu 23:29, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
  4. --Mkill 23:55, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
  5. --in principle. See below about category ordering. Neier 06:20, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  6. --Jpatokal 02:39, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
  7. --CES 03:56, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
  8. --LordAmeth 18:50, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
  9. --AdamJacobMuller 04:31, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
  10. BrianSmithson 15:27, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  11. JeroenHoek 00:01, 10 February 2006 (UTC) — Use of macrons in titles is consistent with the use of macrons in the articles themselves and good academic practice.
  12. --JadziaLover 10:59, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
  13. --Apoc2400 08:54, 15 February 2006 (UTC) - But official romanized spelling should be used if existing.
Voting has ended.


  1. First of all, I don't think this issue can be resolved through a vote. Technically, it's a policy not to allow it to be. There is too much division among the issue and this is not an issue limited to pages of Japanese content (although the specific message we're talking about is on the Japanese page). Please see m:Polls are evil and I believe creating redirects from simplified romaji articles (e.g. Atsushi Itoh, Atsushi Itou, and Atsushi Ito) to fully macronized titles (Atsushi Itō) constitutes m:Instruction creep as the majority of searches will be for the most simple form, e.g. Atsushi Ito, which will promote needless redirects and it's a waste of resources. I will argue this to the death, until someone can think of a good argument why changing this policy isn't just a case of ultra-correctism, editor laziness, and elitism, as well as a good argument why changing this policy is worth wasting the extra server cycles on an already burdened system.   freshgavin TALK    00:02, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. For reasons I've detailed many times before Fg2 08:10, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  3. --Endroit 09:14, 6 February 2006 (UTC) See below for my reason.Changed my mind, as explained below in the discussion.
  4. Macrons are annoying. Keep things simple and user-friendly with romaji.--Sir Edgar 23:46, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  5. --Pmsyyz 06:53, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Voting has ended.


  1. --Endroit 09:56, 9 February 2006 (UTC) Macron is OK, its overusage is NOT.


Comment—I agree. I guess I was considering "common usage" to include those titles that are romanized deliberately in an unconventional way (like the two examples you give, or the (IMHO) bizarre Hikaru Ichijyo). --nihon 22:03, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
True, but most people would consider the common usage to be the Anglicized ones, and deliberate usage may not be common enough outside the Otakusphere to fall under that heading, which is why I made the recommendation.--み使い Mitsukai 22:08, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Gotcha. I've added a clarification sentence above. --nihon 22:22, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
  • All the article titles with macrons should be accompanied by a redirect with macrons even when they are not in common usage in English language (if you go for macrons in title). Hermeneus (user/talk) 21:28, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. --nihon 22:03, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Agreed, although I would recommend modifying your proposed language, which is confusing as currently written. My suggestion would be: "Article titles should also use macrons and omit apostrophes after syllabic n, except in cases where the macronless spelling is in common usage in English-speaking countries (e.g., Tokyo, Osaka, Sumo and Shinto, instead of Tōkyō, Ōsaka, Sumō and Shintō). "Common usage" includes unconventional romanizations by licensees (e.g., Devil Hunter Yohko and Tenjho Tenge). Where macrons are used in the title, an appropriate redirect using the macronless spelling should also be created, which points to the actual title (e.g., Tessho Genda pointing to Tesshō Genda).-Jefu 23:29, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
I like the rewording, so I've added it since it doesn't really change anything (outside of making it more clear). --nihon 23:43, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
  • What exactly do we need this for, macrons in titles are already common practice. --Mkill 23:55, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
That was my basic thought, but another editor told me it wasn't. I certainly wasn't the only one doing it, and it was done quite often before I started doing it. I decided to put this to a vote since it hadn't ever been officially decided and it needs to be in order to keep everything consistent in Japanese articles. --nihon 00:27, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Macrons aren't always used. In the case of my examples above, I came across the Atsushi Itō article originally at Itoh Atsushi, which is contrary to both the name order and macron rules, so no, they're not always followed. By clarifying and finalizing it, it makes it easier to deal with these situations.--み使い Mitsukai 01:53, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Regarding freshgavin's oppose comments: The biggest reason I see to use macrons in titles: to avoid problems such as this: Hiroshi Itō and Hiroshi Ito are two different people. They are both voice actors, too, so it would require really odd parentheticals in the titles to distinguish between them if we didn't use macrons. I'm sure other examples could be brought to light with a little digging. --nihon 00:27, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
There are examples, they are much more common in place names than in names. They are considered as special cases and require disambiguation pages regardless of whether one name is いとう and one is いと (for the searchers benifit). As far as English is concerned they should be treated as the same name and if neither of them has priority over the other, given unique names along the lines of Hiroshi Ito (Fan repairman) and Hiroshi Ito (Telephone duster).
Edit: Ok, if they're both voice actors then that's a little bit more different. You may notice that we had a discussion a while ago about rail stations (in Japan) with the same name, in the same prefecture/ward, which is similar to here. To solve your Ito/Itō example just think in more extreme terms. What if they had the exact same name and they were both voice actors? How would you disambiguate that? I would suggest Hiroshi Ito (Okayama) and Hiroshi Ito (Fukuoka) but I'm sure you can think of other ways if you put your mind to it. This issue is no different than your typical Michael Smith issue because this is an English encyclopedia and all article titles are in English, hence there is no difference between the words ito and itō.   freshgavin TALK    02:02, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes, this is the English section of Wikipedia, but we're talking about non-English items here. Therefore, I think that some accomodation needs to be made to allow for differences in Ito and Itō. They are absolutely not the same, no matter how much you may want them to be the same. The majority of English speakers may not know the difference, but we should not lower the standards of the encyclopedia due to that. Instead, we should be making it as accurate as possible, and take advantage of all the tools we have to help the uneducated learn that there is a difference. --nihon 07:16, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't want them to be the same, and I have never implied that. In English, they are the same, and although you can understand some Japanese, 99% of the world can't, so we play by the English rules here. You are describing a concept called ultra-correctism and has nothing to do with being accurate or Encyclopedic standards. It is not the place of an article title to teach users a lesson, that is what the article text is there for, especially since it causes unnecessary complexity in terms of server tasks. Wikipedia is not a medium in which we force people to learn things (thus we do not allow original research and the like), thus you have no right to "take advantage of the tools we have to help the uneducated learn the difference".   freshgavin TALK    03:09, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with this for categories. It makes sense. --nihon 07:09, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  • To show you how meaningless and absurd macrons are in English, take a look at Category:Honolulu County, Hawai'i. (I'm assuming most of you are not familiar with Hawaiian). Most of you are likely to just ignore the macrons (and 'okinas) on that list. (Most out-of-state Americans ignore them anyways). The only accents used in English are probably acute accent, grave accent, circumflex, and maybe umlaut, mostly found in words recently borrowed from French. I believe that introducing macrons (and 'okinas) on titles in the English Wikipedia is a bad idea.--Endroit 09:14, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
However, if it's not in the title, macrons should be OK. For Yuka Sato, the first line of the article can start with "Yūka Satō (佐藤有香 Satō Yūka ...) " or "Yuhka Satoh (佐藤有香 Satō Yūka ...) " or "Yuka Sato (佐藤有香 Satō Yūka ...)" whichever is appropriate depending on international/English usage.--Endroit 10:04, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, no, actually your example doesn't at all show why macrons are "meaningless" or "absurd". To me it shows that macrons don't cause significant harm to those who don't care about them, and they're quite useful to those who do care. Jpatokal 14:26, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Doing a quick, unscientific jaunt around Wikipedia, I was able to easily find many articles about German, French, Czech, Spanish, and Norwegian subjects that use symbols, letters, and other mysterious markings not typically found in English in their article titles. I'm not really sure why macrons are any different. I'm holding off on voting to hear more debates, but as of now I am leaning towards voting in favor of the proposal. I don't buy the argument that this being an English dictionary is somehow an excuse for ignorance of symbols not commonly used in English. If you can read them, great, if you can't, ignore them. CES 23:17, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

CES might have an argument there about the háček and the eñe (Spanish tilde), plus the other 4 that I mentioned above. But strictly limiting the argument to macron, I can guarantee you that the macrons are universally ignored and meaningless, hence not necessary (other than romaji use). I could understand how macrons can facilitate someone learning Japanese. However, macron usage derived from any particular language only facilitate usage in that ONE language, while being ignored in other languages. From my example above, even Japanese users speakers ignore the macrons when they are derived from another language. Kalākaua becomes カラカウア (karakaua), Kāne'ohe becomes カネオヘ (kaneohe), Mākaha becomes マカハ (makaha), etc., hence proving that macrons are ignored. In case of Ito (伊藤 itō) vs. ito (糸 ito), all we need to do is to show the romaji correctly, and merge Itō (disambiguation) into Ito (disambiguation).--Endroit 00:22, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
About CES's comment; of course they exist in every language, in many languages perhaps moreso, because people that don't read the MoS (or don't care) exists all throughout Wiki, and all throughout all Wikis. There are also those who disobey the rules intentionally. I don't believe this is an issue of 'being able to ignore macrons', but rather that the macrons are a cause of significant trouble and shouldn't be used intentionally in article titles. As for Endroits comment about the Japanese wiki and Katakana, that's an example of the complete opposite phenomenon to ultra-correctism; there is a general lack of interest in being accurate at all when it comes to spelling things in Japanese. The concern there is to facilitate all Japanese readers to be able to access articles as easy as possible, and disambiguation pages are much, much more rarely used than in the English wiki. That's a much bigger issue dealing with the entire country though, and I don't feel like taking that on at the moment.   freshgavin TALK    03:09, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
The Japanese wiki & its katakana usage are absolutely correct for Kalākaua (カラカウア), etc. The problem is that the Hawaiian macrons are totally ignored in the Japanese language (in general) besides being ignored in the English language. My prediction is that the Japanese macrons are likely to be totally ignored by others in a similar fashion. I agree with Freshgavin that it is wrong to deliberately include such things which people never use.--Endroit 03:58, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Depends what you mean by correct. Spelling Kalākaua as カラカウア creates ambiguity between Kalākaua, Kalakaua, Caracoua, Color-Cower, etc. While in the context of Japanese it is correct, that's a pretty thin range of correctness.   freshgavin TALK    04:17, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Stepping back from the Japanese macron issue for a second, I for one find it helpful that French-related articles have accents, German-related articles have umlauts, and Eastern European articles have haceks. I know the pronunciation rules for some markings, for others I don't. If I don't know them, I ignore them. If I know them, they are frequently helpful. I don't understand how macrons (or any other diacritics) are "ultra-correctionism" nor do I understand how such a distinction can be made. Are some romanizations "too correct"? Some "not quite correct"? Others "just correct enough"? Sometimes I worry that in our attempt to avoid having "too much" Japanese we become timid and hold back useful knowledge on the grounds that Joe Wikipedia will not be able to handle it or he'll ignore it or will scoff at seemingly meaningless conventions. I say we give Joe some credit--people come to Wikipedia to learn not to avoid knowledge. The only consistent arguments I have heard against the macron is that it will be ignored and that it doesn't look cool. Who cares? This isn't a popularity contest or a beauty contest! Vowel length may not be a critical distinction in English but it is in Japanese, thus the macrons serve a purpose. For the people who understand this--be they few or be they great in number--the macrons will be helpful. I've heard enough to make my decision--I vote for macrons in the titles. CES 03:56, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I think I may be against using macrons in French and German as well, I'm not sure though; I haven't put much thought into it. I don't think macrons directly relate to "ultra-correctism", but I believe nihonjoe the friends he's calling in are "ultra-correctionists", and the macron issues is something that he promotes, and I disagree with. I honestly can't give a proper argument that separates using macrons in Japanese with umlauts in German, except for the fact that such European characters are relatively easy to input on European keyboards, while macrons are impossible to input even with a specialized Japanese keyboard. It's convenient enough to have links from Anime to follow through whenever you want to find your favourite character or whatever, but if you create an article about an isolated subject with few links from any major page, it will be virtually impossible to access for the average user. I don't think I've ever seen a user that I respected argue that macron don't look cool, and I would argue against that point as well if I ever saw anyone making it (variety is the spice of life). I don't think I'm being anti-macron, I'm just trying to think from the perspective of a responsible Wikipedian. (m:What would Jimmy do?)   freshgavin TALK    04:17, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm curious which friend's I'm supposed to be calling in? I posted information on the vote in three highly visible places for anyone doing things related to Japanese articles, and that's it. I haven't posted on any user talk pages asking people to come. I haven't emailed anyone about this vote. Where did you pull this from, Fg? --nihon 07:11, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Your talk page.   freshgavin TALK    23:43, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
  • if you create an article about an isolated subject with few links from any major page, it will be virtually impossible to access for the average user -- two words: redirect page
I've been arguing that this "force the user to go through a redirect" policy constitutes m:Instruction creep due to extra hops required from "average" users. See above for my argument.
  • I honestly can't give a proper argument that separates using macrons in Japanese with umlauts in German -- then what's your beef with macrons in Japan-related articles? CES 13:13, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Isn't this clear? I disapprove of their use in article titles, for all the reasons stated above.   freshgavin TALK    23:43, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
In English, we have crème brûlée (from French) which contains a grave accent, a circumflex, and an acute accent, in that order. (Look up your English dictionary, it probably includes these accents.) macrons, however, are NEVER used in such a manner in English. In English, Japanese words are not treated in the same manner as French, German, Spanish, and East European words. (See the article List of English words of Japanese origin: all the entries have lost their macrons to begin with.) The use of macrons would tend to make any article Japan-centric (perhaps ultra Japan-centric?), so macrons should be used sparingly.--Endroit 05:45, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
You're making my point--people who understand these markings benefit, people who don't simply ignore them. With extremely rare exception, umlauts, haceks, Scandinavian rings, circumflexes, accents et al. are as unfamiliar to the English language as the macron. What exactly is an "ultra Japan-centric" article? How is a spelling of "crème brûlée" not "ultra France-centric" when Joe Wikipedia would, 99.9 times out of 100, search for "creme brulee"? I wish the argument would return to the use of the macron in Japanese rather than judgment of the humble macron itself. And, I hope I am wrong, but I feel an undercurrent in the debate that implies that Japanese is somehow not "worthy" of the special treatment that French, German, and pretty much all of the European languages receive. CES 13:13, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
"According to 'different sources', between one third to two thirds of all English words have a French origin." (This was a quote from the article List of English words of French origin.) The "undercurrent" obviously exists in the English language itself, not me nor any other Wikipedian. Mine is purely a linguistic argument, that the English language has traditionally borrowed words from other European languages, often intact with the various accents. However these "various accents" do NOT include macrons, cedillas (ç), German Eszets (ß), among others.
But no, the European accents are NOT preferred either. Once any word is borrowed into English, they gradually lose all the accents. Take coup d'etat for example. It has taken many years for the acute accent to be dropped from the original fr:coup d'état. Crème brûlée is starting to lose the accents too. Some restaurants use creme brulée, obviously proving that the acute accent is preferred among English users. It's not my choice that many English users despise certain types of accents over others. So I'm just saying that you have to be careful when you introduce the macron in Wikipedia, and use it sparingly. For example, Yuka Sato has been known worldwide WITHOUT the macrons. And it would be a bad idea for you to reintroduce the macron for her.--Endroit 17:07, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Japanese words which have already lost their macrons due to common usage in English are exempt from this standard. I think that if I were an "ultra-correctionist" then that would bother me. So, I guess I'm only an infra-correctionist.  ;-) Besides, the MoS for text in the article is already to macron-ize everything. This vote is just for the titles of articles.
However, the "what links here" for crème brûlée is quite intimidating (8 alternative spelling redirects). For each macron'd article, we would need several redirects all pointing to the same place, to work around people like me who can never remember if Kyoto has one long vowel or two. This thought is continued in a new comment below.
And, keying in macrons is not difficult. On my computer, I just change to Unicode mode (like switching between English, Katakana, Kanji, etc), and press alt-A o to get the ō. It likely varies between OS's, but it may surprise you how easy it can be. Neier 13:32, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Among other things, requiring macrons as a standard in the title would seem to bring a bit more consistency to articles (where, the hypothetical article name is Ito, but throughout the article he is referred to as Itō per the existing MoS about macrons in article text). Along with it, comes a subtle reinforcing of the existing policy, which tends to be ignored. Neier 23:56, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

This is basically what I'm trying to accomplish here: consistency. As I mentioned before, I wasn't the first one to begin using macrons in titles. In fact, it's far more widespread than just the few articles on which I've implemented it. I guess I'm just becoming a target for freshgavin's vehement anti-title-macron stance (regardless of what you say, freshgavin, the way you are acting here indicates you are vehemently against this idea). We need this to be decided and put into the MOS:JP so we can finally quit wasting time on this trivial guideline and spend our time more productively in actually making Wikipedia more comprehensive and in-depth. --nihon 07:11, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I was wondering how Google may index our articles with macron titles (will Itō be found by people typing in Ito?) After spending way too much time trying to come up with a definite conclusion, the best I can offer is that "Fudonosawa Station" at Google finds the redirect to Fudōnosawa Station, despite the fact that there are no links to the non-macron version of Fudonosawa (and history of the articles that link to the macron version show that no link to this non-macron version existed (although, links to Fudounosawa Station existed at some point)). Fudonosawa Station existed as a page for about twenty minutes in April, before being moved to Fudounosawa Station. So, however Google found that page, it is either a miracle or a mystery. Neier 13:32, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I shall attempt to not get myself embroiled in the current debate/discussion. Instead, I shall simply express my opinion and then extricate myself and hope (with crossed fingers) that things turn out alright. My opinion, as I have stated many times before, is thus: I never saw macrons before coming to Wikipedia, and was initially against them. I was always taught to use "oo" or "ou" or the like (not "oh") to spell out double-vowels in romaji. As for Wiki policy, I do not care if we use macrons or not, but please please please do not allow it to become policy for macrons to simply be dropped, without the vowel being spelled out. Ningyo and ningyou are not the same word, just as Ito and Itou are not the same name (person). I certainly do not mind the dropping of these things in terms of common English usage (e.g. Kyoto, sumo, shinto), just as I prefer Curacao and coup d'etat over the accented versions. But for the majority of topics, those less commonly used in everyday English contexts, macrons or fully spelled out romaji should be used. LordAmeth 18:50, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Again, a single mention of Ningyo (人形 ningyō, lit. "person shape") or Ningyo (人魚 ningyo, lit. "person fish") in the first line of the article will suffice. All this talk about macrons in the title is silly. I believe the Japanese people don't care for macrons anyways, other than romaji use. It's only us English speakers placing too much importance on the macrons.
But sorry for giving you a hard time. The Vietnamese articles already use strange characters anyways, as in Thích Quảng Đức (Thich Quang Duc) or Nguyễn (Nguyen) or Chữ nôm (chu nom). So do as you please. Who knows? A bunch of Wikipideans may change the usage of macrons in the English language. It's OK to use the macrons for LOCAL Japanese words... Just be careful not to override international/English usage if it exists. For example, please don't change Yuka Sato to Yūka Satō.--Endroit 21:46, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I just noticed that the Kōhaku Uta Gassen article somehow already has a macron. Neither kōhaku nor kohaku utagassen seem to redirect properly like it should. You have to come up with some kind of a systematic approach to this, or it could be a nightmare.--Endroit 01:11, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, see, this is where all of us as editors come in: if you see an article that should have a redirect for a common misspelling or alternate romanization, then you should create one. Simply telling us that they don't exist and should, accomplishes nothing other than causing other editors to wonder why it was brought up without being handled. As it is, I've now created those redirects and added a {{Distinguish}} link at the top of Kohaku (Inu Yasha) (which is where Kohaku redirects). --nihon 01:26, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I brought it up in this manner, because I wanted to show how people typically forget links where there's macron(s) in multi-word titles. I believe it is the responsibility of the person who originally put the macron in the title in the first place. The same problem occurs for Hawaiian macrons. For example Mākaha does not redirect to Mākaha, Hawai'i like it should. It happens all the time. You should at least remind people somewhere. Or have some kind of a systematic approach to this. Otherwise, implementing Japanese macrons in the titles will turn out to be just as sloppy as in the Hawaiian macrons. (You should be thanking me for pointing this out).--Endroit 01:49, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you. I think, however, that no matter how we word it some editors will forget to do it. The same forgetfulness occurs frequently with Japanese names as well (putting in the SN-GN redirect to the GN-SN entry, etc.) This is an important point, and all we can do, as more experienced editors, is help them out when we see it. (^_^) --nihon 02:30, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Sorry for being blunt, but that's just the way I am. I know all the great work you guys do. So whatever you all decide, I will support it in the end. Thank you and keep up the great work.--Endroit 02:41, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

A theoretical question for you, Nihonjoe. If you were to create an article that had nothing link to it (it was an orphaned article, possibly because it was of an obscure topic) and you were not to use any redirects (either because you were lazy, or you didn't know, or you just didn't think of it; not important), which article title would you use, given that the hepburn romanization of the title included macrons?   freshgavin TALK    03:14, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I have a feeling that no matter what answer I give, you will find something wrong with my answer (as that seems to be your tack this last little bit). If I was brand new, it would depend on what other articles I'd seen. If I'd seen other articles using macrons, I'd likely use them. If not, I might not use them unless I figured out how the edit box with all the extended Latin characters worked. Then again, if I'd seen that title with macrons before, I might try to figuure out how to make the article that way. As I explained above in my conversation with Endroit, "some editors will forget to do it", and it's up to those of us who do know the system to try to catch these mistakes. There are plenty of people here willing to help others when they see something needing to be fixed.
No matter which method we go with, we'll need to create redirects for other ways of romanizing, whether it's macrons, "zu" versus "dzu" or "du", or any number of other possible romanization strangeness. For most Japanese articles, there will have to be at least 1-2 redirects (and possibly more) for other possible article titles by which someone might search. That's just the way it is when you are romanizing information from a language that generally doesn't use romanization (the percentage of romanization, when compared to kana and kanji, is really quite low in everyday use in Japan). We're just going to have to accept that multiple redirects for each article (in general) is going to be the status quo for Japan-related articles on Wikipedia.
Either way, we're going to have to come to some sort of decision here and set it into the MOS:JP so that future editors can focus on making the actual content of Wikipedia better instead of spending time nitpicking of relatively minor details such as macrons and naame order. I just want this discussion to be finished and a decision reached so we can all go back to what we enjoy most: working on Japan-related articles. (^_^) --nihon 04:34, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not deliberately trying to find something to rail at you about, but rather I'm trying to show you the way I'm thinking, in hopes that you might see the logic in it. I agree that it's never benificial to have an article without any redirects on a Japanese topic (even with the most simple words, like sushi, there needs to be at least one) but I'm trying to make a point that if there was only one article, and for some reason no redirects were made to it, it is illogical to create the only copy using redirects. Think of it from the perspective of 2 users, theUser and newUser. newUser hears something from someone about miscMäćřōņēđTopic and wants to find some information about the topic. theUser also hears something about it and wants to check it out for himself. newUser doesn't know how to spell miscMäćřōņēđTopic with all the macrons, so he does what he knows best and tries miscMacronedTopic. theUser has all the skillz and he knows all about macrons so he doesn't even search for miscMäćřōņēđTopic, he inputs it directly into the address bar. If theUser is mistaken, and miscMäćřōņēđTopic isn't located at miscMäćřōņēđTopic, he will do what he knows is second best and searches for miscMacronedTopic. If newUser is mistaken and there is no page at miscMacronedTopic, he goes into convulsions, exchanges the picture of Hitler's face with that of a giant cartoon penis, and eventually complains at the Wikipedia:Reference desk. Obviously this situation shouldn't happen regardless because we're aiming for redirects to solve that problem, but my point is that you're a) forcing newUser to go through a redirect when he shouldn't need to, b) catering for all theUsers who are smart enough to navigate by themselves without your help anyways, and c) not thinking outside the realm of Japanese interest, and instead into the realm of psychological concequences of seeing a penis instead of Hitler's face. What is with your determination to depend on redirects anyways? The less a redirect is used, the better, which is why there are bots picking up on double-redirects, and useless things like that.
Second, there is no ambiguity with romanization in Wikipedia. It is fully, well defined, and 90% followed. There are no justifyable cases of dzu and du making it into articles, because both of those are incorrect representations of the Hepburn zu. Redirects are there to guide the misguided ones who might not have noticed yet that du is not correct, and is not in line with our naming standards. I wan't to find a solution as much as you do; I've been arguing about this for almost a year now.   freshgavin TALK    06:04, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Try Thích Quảng Đức, you see a picture of a burning monk! Anyways, all the REDIRECTs should have been created by the person who put the "macrons" in the title in the first place. If (heaven forbid) the editor had forgotten to REDIRECT from Thich Quang Duc, the newUser complains to one of us experienced editors.
Then one of us basically click "What links here" on the left to see. Then we go through a "list of REDIRECTs to create" (to be prepared by Nihonjoe & friends) to create and/or fix the REDIRECT(s) that are missing. Is that OK with everyone? Nihonjoe, we need to make such a list.
Try Kōhaku Uta Gassen for a real Japanese example, I just went over that one with Nihonjoe, acting as if I were the newUser...well sort of. (see above)--Endroit 07:10, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Couldn't that be something which can be proceduralized and assigned to a Bot? With rules like Change ō to "o", "ou", "oh", and make sure all combinations of redirects exist. (disclaimer: Not a Bot programmer). It might not be able to trawl the wikipedia for all articles with non-ASCII characters, because the ō might be used for "oo" in other (non-Japanese) instances... so, it would need a list of Japan-related articles to work from. Neier 08:07, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
This could very easily be programmed into a bot as it's simple search, copy title and create redirect. I haven't every programmed a bot here, but I've done some other similar things using other programs, and it shouldn't be too difficult. Maybe have it watch the New Japan-related articles page as that get's a majority of new Japan-related articles posted on it eventually. It could just search through whichever pages are listed on that template, discounting any user pages, and create redirects as appropriate. --nihon 09:06, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I will still need to see the manual list (even if you create the bot). Then I would be able to suggest additions, such as the kōhaku case and other "multi-word titles" cases you may have missed. Besides, I don't think any bot can automatically handle all such "multi-word" cases.--Endroit 09:41, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
The list of articles, or the list of macron substitutions? For the article list, it would be dynamic. The "macron police" could agree on a tag to put in the comments which would make a macron-ified (existing article) easy to spot. Or, the move logs can be monitored, or new article logs, etc. (which have category tags under Category:Japan) That's not a challenge that probably hasn't been dealt with before for any number of causes.
For the list of macron substitutions, it seems fairly straightforward for Japanese (easier than the Æ or Vietmanese examples, because we just deal with u, o, and maybe the apostrophe). The ou and oh romanizations I mentioned above are not needed. So, Yūrakuchō would need three redirects: Yurakucho, Yurakuchō, and Yūrakucho. Other cases (like Yuurakuchou) fall outside the realm of this discussion because they are essentially misspellings, and have nothing to do with whether the article title is macron'd or not.
Multi-word titles are nothing special, once you break the title down into macron'd glyphs and non-macron'd glyphs. Spaces are just non-macron'd glyphs like A B C. And, that's why the mixed spelling (like Yurakuchō) would be required of the bot. Neier 14:13, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Multi-word titles still require a minimal human intervention, because a bot cannot automatically determine whether to redirect Yūrakuchō to Yūrakuchō Station or not. On the other hand, if a human editor decides to redirect Yurakucho to Yūrakuchō Station, he would typically forget the former, in which case a bot may automatically pick that up.--Endroit 15:59, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I doubt they'd give bot status to a bot that did that, it would quadruple the number of redirects (for Japanese articles) in many areas where they aren't needed (nobody would try spelling 小泉一郎 as Ichiroh Koidumi). Redirects don't really need making by bots, they are generally created when necessary.   freshgavin TALK    23:46, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

In defense of the Macron.... I just witnessed the most passionate, convincing, linguistically sound, and legitimate defense of the use of macrons in the English Wikipedia, at Talk:Māori language. That's enough to change my vote here to "neutral." What happened was, somebody proposed to move Māori language to Maori language (without the macron), and all the New Zealand users rose up to oppose the move.
And so it's official: We know that the macron had officially entered the English language from the Māori language via New Zealand English. The Māori influence in New Zealand may be hard to understand for people living outside of Polynesia, but obviously the macron is sacret to them. And the status of New Zealand English is significant enough to call it a major dialect of English. (Hawaiian English and Japanese romaji are not considered significant in the English language, even if their macron-usage is extensive.)
We must however, caution that the Japanese people themselves do NOT use macrons in English writing. Their passports do NOT use macrons for their names. The Japanese depend mostly on Kanji to disambiguate between words, but never rely on macrons. And so I still oppose macron usage in Japanese person's names and any other Japanese words or names already known in English, but shall remain neutral for other usages.
PS: Some comments I see above such as "I just want this discussion to be finished" leaves much to be desired. We still need to discuss further on Neier's proposal above, regarding "the list of macron substitutions."--Endroit 09:56, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

First, I need to apologize for moving a few pages today from macronless form to macron form. I didn't realize this issue was still being debated. But I'm voting to support this change. This seems to have at least de facto acceptance in a wide variety of areas outside of Japanese articles. See for example Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English)/Archive 3#Proposal and straw poll regarding place names with diacritical marks. Thus, the article is located at Yaoundé and not Yaounde. The fact that people don't have non-standard characters on their keyboards doesn't matter; redirects are cheap. My main reason for supporting this is that those who know better care about these things. I'm one of the few editors who does any work on articles related to Cameroon, and I want those articles to reflect the spellings used in the scholarly publications I use as sources. I feel the same about Japanese articles. You can argue that that's elitist, but if all of the books I read on Japanese history and culture use the macrons, so should we. No need to annoy dedicated Japan scholars who might do some really good work around here (not lumping myself in with the scholars, mind you!) — BrianSmithson 15:54, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Another argument against macrons. Using Internet Explorer (maybe other browsers too) try to directly link to the edit page of any article with macroned characters in the article title (e.g.ō&action=edit). This is a considerable bane for edit bots/scripts (e.g. the popular AutoWikiBrowser which of most are not programmed to handle non-standard characters (it increases the code size enourmously).   freshgavin TALK    05:54, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Not handling any characters besides [a-zA-Z] is a serious design flaw of the software. A character on Wikipedia is any valid unicode codepoint, not just the few letters you can fit into one byte. If anything, this would be an argument for diacretics. JeroenHoek 13:08, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Freshgavin, what happens when you try to enter in a domain name like http://雇用.jp (or other examples from Internationalized domain name ). Neier 14:04, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Of course a domain like that doesn't work either. I'm just implying that enforcing macrons introduces a level of complexity that can be avoided. I don't see how this consists as an argument for diacretics; though maybe an argument to improve the system for inputting and interpreting non ASCII characters.   freshgavin TALK    00:43, 13 February 2006 (UTC)


Based on the discussion and voting above, it appears that, with a few semantic disagreements, the majority of editors who have participated in this discussion are of the opinion that:

  1. As macrons and other diacritic marks are commonly used for titles on articles about other language subjects, using macrons in Japanese article titles is acceptable and even desirable in many cases.
  2. If the subject in question is commonly known in English in macronless form, the article title should reflect that (e.g., Tokyo, Osaka, Sumo and Shinto, instead of Tōkyō, Ōsaka, Sumō and Shintō).
  3. A redirect should always be created pointing from the macronless title to the title using the macron (or vice-versa, in the case of #2 above).

Therefore, I have made the proposed changes to the MOS:JA. --nihon 03:54, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm putting in a request for arbitration request for assistance at AMA (as a precursor to RFA) to validate this vote. Since macrons is not an issue limited to Japanese pages, I feel that this issue needs to be checked officially. Wikipedia:AMA Requests for Assistance.   freshgavin TALK    04:27, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
That's fine. Keep in mind, however, that this MOS applies only to Japanese pages. As many, many other English-languages articles on Wikipedia about topics in other langauges use macrons and various other diacritics, this MOS change is hardly groundbreaking. If anything, it's bringing the Japanese articles more in line with how the rest of the English Wikipedia is working. --nihon 21:48, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Well that's in itself an issue to think about isn't it? There's no reason a policy like this should stand alone for Japanese pages. As far as this issue is concerned, there is no consistancy across the board, so I'd hardly say this "brings it in line".   freshgavin TALK    02:11, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Considering pages such as Māori, Champs-Élysées, Niccolò Machiavelli or even Sesamstraße.. We are finally bringing the Japan related pages in line with the rest. Don't forget that it has not been that long since Wikipedia converted to UTF-8 and the use of such a wide characterset in titles became a possibility. On a side note, I could reach all of the above mentioned articles without using any characters but a-zA-Z and "space". JeroenHoek 13:06, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Freshgavin: If you do list it for RFA/AMA or whatever, please put a link here so any interested parties can participate in the discussion. --nihon 01:00, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

No problem. I may have to go to RfA anyways because AMA seems quite inactive.  freshgavinΓΛĿЌ  03:47, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I have listed it on RfA. I didn't make a statement but instead explained the current situation. If you would like to make a personal statement before the case is picked up, you can do so here: Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration#Current requests.  freshgavinΓΛĿЌ  00:03, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Erk. Now, what do we do? It looks like the arbs don't want to touch this one. I think the precedent they are citing to have us work it out ourselves is Wikipedia:Manual of Style#National varieties of English. Some highlights, which I think are directly applicable here (if you start with the premise that macron'd English is an alternative spelling):
  • Each article should have uniform spelling and not a haphazard mix of different spellings
  • If the spelling appears in an article name, you should make a redirect page to accommodate the other variant
  • If an article is predominantly written in one type of English, aim to conform to that type rather than provoking conflict by changing to another
  • consider following the spelling style preferred by the first major contributor
  • Finally, There are many more productive and enjoyable ways to participate than worrying and fighting about which version of English to use on any particular page
That looks like a couple of bullet points for "status quo" (or, in other words, not changing the MoS on just a majority vote), but also a couple of bullets for consistency between the title and article content. So, are we any better off than when we started? Neier 14:16, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

The result of the vote was clear, the macron policy is in line with pages on other foreign-language subjects, and to paraphrase above, there are many more productive and enjoyable ways to participate than worrying and fighting about which version of romanized Japanese to use on any particular page. I agree that polls aren't perfect, but given that we've discussed, we've voted, and we have a clear (13-4-1) result ... I for one would be in favor of keeping the macrons and moving on to something else. CES 14:35, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm obviously not too happy about the ARBs response, especially given the fact that the comment "status quo" is quite ambiguous; enough so to give sideA the impression that the MoS should be restored to its original, and sideB the impression that nothing should be done at all. I am with-holding my comments for the time being. This was never a vote discussion, the vote won a majority more than a year ago. This is about the structure of WP.  freshgavinΓΛĿЌ  15:13, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
Looks like the next step is mediation. Keep you posted.  freshgavinΓΛĿЌ  00:37, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Japanese name order voting

If you are interested, please come and vote on Japanese name order on Wikipedia. It's an important style question that needs to be finally answered, and your opinion matters!

The voting is open through Sunday night (February 12th, Mountain Time), after which the MoS:JP will be updated accordingly. Thanks! (^_^) --nihon 07:18, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Voting has ended.

Short addition on titles

I added a note about redirects in the "titles" section. A lot of the current Emperor So-and-So articles do not have appropariate redirects from the name without "Emperor" in front of it. At the time of this writing, for example, Yōmei does not redirect to Emperor Yōmei. I apologize if I've overstepped my bounds, but I felt it was an important point to make.

Also, a lot of the sub-emperor people have their names included in the article title. For example, Prince Shotoku. Something should probably be added to the section about emperors that these titles should (or should not) be part of the article title. — BrianSmithson 12:42, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

If the emperor is dead, then the article should be under the "Emperor So-and-so" title and a redirect or disambiguation link should be in place for the title without "Emperor." Feel free to go through and set those up. --nihon 19:22, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Request for Mediation

Some required processes for RmF, of course regarding the macrons issue. All vocal users are encouraged to participate. Follow the links!  freshgavinΓΛĿЌ  00:44, 20 February 2006 (UTC) {{RFMF}}

Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Japanese Macrons --日本穣 06:27, 13 March 2006 (UTC)


Under this section on the main page, the first point says:

  1. Long o and u are written with macrons as ō and ū respectively. If you have difficulty typing these characters with your IME, you can now click on the special characters below the Wikipedia edit box. You can also enter the HTML entity &#333; for ō, and &#363; for ū.

I propose an addition to this rule to deprecate the use of ô and û, instead favoring consistency and always using ō and ū, respectively. The changed rule would read something like this:

  1. Long o and u are always written with macrons as ō and ū respectively. The use of ô and û is deprecated, and ō and ū should always be used instead. If you have difficulty typing these characters with your IME, you can now click on the special characters below the Wikipedia edit box. You can also enter the HTML entity &#333; for ō, and &#363; for ū.

Comments? --nihon 19:19, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, the use of HTML entities is also deprecated now that Wikipedia uses UTF-8, in fact, robots are gardening Wikipedia by automatically replacing entities by the characters themselves. There seems to be no need to keep that last line in the MoS:JP. JeroenHoek 19:26, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Even if clicking on the characters in the edit box doesn't work, a person can copy and paste them. --nihon 19:34, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Concur. Leaving that last part in will only add to any confusion already present.--み使い Mitsukai 19:39, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

So, any comments on the addition? (^_^) --nihon 19:45, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Of course, the addition is quite alright. :) JeroenHoek 20:09, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Indeed it does. ^_^--み使い Mitsukai 23:45, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree. —Nightstallion (?) 11:50, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Agree.  freshgavinΓΛĿЌ  13:04, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Kudara no Konikishi (百済王)

Now I am planning to make some articles related to the Korea-originated Japanese clan, Kudara no Konikishi (百済王) and I am wondering how do I decide the title of the article for the members, for example, 百済王敬福 (Kudara no Konikishi Kyofuku). In the other articles, Kabanes such as Omi or Muraji are not included their names. In Kyofuku's case, Konikishi is Kabane so the title of the article should be Kudara no Kyofuku. It sounds adequit but my concern is that the title of the article in the Japanese version is ja:百済王敬福... Some comments? --Corruptresearcher 22:31, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I suggest doing a Google search and seeing which is used more often in English. --日本 22:39, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
They are quite rarely known in the English world... "Kudara Konikishi Shun'tetsu" had one hit [1] while "Kudara Shun'tetsu" got two [2]. "Kudara Kyofuku" is not known [[3]]. --Corruptresearcher 23:25, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
In that case, I would go with the title used by the Japanese article: Kudara no Konikishi Kyōfuku. --日本穣 23:40, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and I would also put in a couple redirects using other "common" titles. --日本穣 23:41, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Names revisited

I came here as a result of looking at moving a sumo related bio which only had a wrestlers surname. Given that Sumo wrestlers are almost exclusively known by their ring "surname", that we can assume that the rule re first name first followed by family name is reversed for these cases, even for those born post Meiji. This matches with current practice as far as I can see... Nashikawa 22:54, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for any confusion. I've clarified the MOS-JA to say the following about stage names:
In the case of stage names (e.g., actors, sumo wrestlers), use the stage name as the article title, and note the additional names they may use (e.g., birth name, other stage names).
Hope that helps. (^_^) --日本穣 00:00, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks very much Nashikawa 22:37, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Now that you mention stage names, would somebody take a look at the List of Japanese comedians, which I rewrote about a month ago.
I had to translate a huge number of names, probably 90% of them which were stage names, and in a few cases I had to take liberties in translating them. Can you spot any objections, inconsistancies? There are comments in the wiki-code, if you find a problem please leave it on the talk page : ).  freshgavinΓΛĿЌ  04:39, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
It's an enormous task, and difficult. Something would be lost in reversing the order of, for example, Hino Yojin (whose stage name has the same pronunciation as the slogan "beware of fire"): it doesn't make it as Yojin Hino. Likewise, Edogawa Rampo (the pen-name of an author) was chosen to resemble the Japanese pronunciation of the American author Edgar Allan Poe (Edogaaarampo), a fact that's lost in reversing it. The same goes for Tani Kei, whose took that name intentionally in imitation of Danny Kaye. So I think there's a need for a little slack in a few names. In most cases, of course, it makes little difference. After reading through your list, I got a good sense of the reasoning behind it, and it looks pretty consistent, although I didn't do any more than spot-checking. Fg2 05:21, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
I think it would work to use the name in the order specified in the MOS-JA as the title, then have an explanatory sentence or two explaining the name and its significance. Yes, it's a lot of work, but won't things be nice once it's done? I've alphabetized quite a few really large lists here, so I understand what you are talking about. (^_^) --日本穣 08:04, 24 February 2006 (UTC)


I reorganized and clarified things a bit on the main page. --日本穣 00:38, 23 February 2006 (UTC)