Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Archive 7

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{{Nihongo}} vs. {{Japanese}}

I think there is a way for you to have your cake and eat it too, within the bounds of the current style agreement -- move all the opening information to the {japanese} template, E.g.
This way we keep the universality/encyclopedic aspect of Hepburn transliteration, but include the kana to clarify the spelling for those who need it. The opening of the article would then look like:
Junichiro Koizumi (born January 8, 1942), is the current Prime Minister of Japan.
This de-clutters the article text, which is positive: one drawback is that the template can collide with other infoboxes and images. Seann 07:22, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I think I prefer the {{nihongo}} template over the {{japanese}} template because the text is kept all together and, to me, it looks neater that way than having it all in a separate box that (as you say) will get in the way of other pics or infoboxes that may be on a page. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 17:36, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, I'm curious who the people are who feel macrons are the norm in scholarly research--as a postdoc researcher, I encounter macrons in the minority of cases, generally when Japanese is being compared to other languages, and then in papers authored overseas more than those written in Japan or America. Even in these papers, it is generally the case that people use either the MOE styel (ou) or the IPA itself. When you type in an IME, of course, you use the same system the government of Japan (Ministry of Education and others) have officially adopted--the non-macron system. Few papers from Japan itself violate this norm, and certainly it's in very few texts (as opposed to research papers, where it's clearly the minority but not uncommon). Delegating it as "anime talk" is being overly dismissive--the vast majority of American universities use textbooks without the macron system. When you become a grad student, you don't magically switch to macron usage.
It seems it was decided to abandon the official/accepted system long ago, though--although some people seem to think that the "official" wayH of doing it is "non-standard"--and although I feel it's harder for learners, I am posting this more as a query for why some people here seem to be so convinced it's the norm. (By harder for learners, people who are interested in Japan often take Japanese classes. When they look up articles here, it's just a bit tough to get used to the different style.)

On macrons

One more pet peeve--as the original poster noted, macron usage is occasionally confusing even to intermediate level learners. Hiroomi (広臣) and Hiroumi (広海) are two different names, and neither are using the dipthong (only the first o belongs to the first character). It's irritating to see those changed to the macroned o by people; I'm fairly certain the intention was to only use the macron text where it's a long "o", not in these cases, but it doesn't stop the know-it-all beginners with their red (or should I say invisible) pen from "correcting" it. LactoseTI 05:09, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Adding kana in form of ruby characters would be nice. Hepburn is allegedly the standard in English-language texts (though the previous poster disagrees), but kana is the standard in Japanese text (especially in ruby form for those unable to read all kanjis) as well as some Japanese-English dictionaries. It would pretty much avoid all the confusion except for the problem of people not copying macrons when using the words elsewhere, but that can't be avoided without discarding Hepburn, which seems unlikely given its popularity here. The argument that kanji and kana convey pretty much the same information is ridiculous, as there are much more English-speaking people who can read kana than there are those who can read kanji. There is much more overlap with roomaji (no I'm not going to hunt-and-peck that macron-o from the list below, thanks). However, given proper browsers ruby does not take much space, it gives exact information and there is never any doubt which way of writing it is correct. Current Wikipedia romanization tries to represent pronounciation or common usage and thus fails on both counts, so having kana also does add more information. 02:15, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
I didn't disagree that Hepburn is the standard; I disagree with the statements to the effect that Hepburn _with macrons_ is standard. While many books use macrons, they are generally not books about the Japanese language (scholarly or for the undergrad) and either written overseas or have some other "quirk" to them. Very, very few students of Japanese language in the US learn macrons at all. While they use Hepburn, they learn "ou" instead of any macron. I know offhand of no major US universities that _don't_, in fact, use the non-macroned version in their language programs (language learning or academic language study). This is reflected in the textbooks and papers produced by both the Ministry of Education in Japan as well as those produced by US universities (Stanford, Harvard, etc.) In addition, no major newspaper, magazine, or other publication transliterates Japanese names or words with macrons on a regular basis. I'm curious from where this rather quirky idea came. LactoseTI 18:16, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
From Hepburn's mind probably. Although they were originally circumflexes [Spahn & Hadamitzky, 2006]. My theory is that quirky US keyboards weren't able to easily type these, while they are easy to type on European keyboards. Among scholars the simpler macron has become favourite - perhaps because the macron is in linguistic circles the standard symbol for long vowel. I can only asume that these people are smart enough to configure their computer to handle them easily (not that much trouble actually), but anyway, this appears to be the system favoured by scholars. Meanwhile, Americans still can't type either due to their quirky keyboards, while in France the use of macrons is still popular. Or perhaps people just tend to get used to things - who knows. Waapuro is a whole different thing, for entering Japanese in an IME and it differs from both systems. Shinobu 21:55, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
If it came from Hepburn's mind, he didn't write about it, not in his original editions at least (which I have) (although as you noted, he suggested circumflexes, he formalized the system with ou instead). It clearly is not the favorite among scholars, at least those in the English speaking world. What's more, I guess the Japanese can't figure it out, either, because as noted elsewhere on this site, the Ministry of Education rarely publishes books that use it. One reason scholars rarely use this form is the very reason you mention--it is too easy to confuse it with a long vowel (NEVER!! in linguistic circles). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Komdori (talkcontribs) 16:15, 30 May 2006 UTC.
Wikipedia serves a much wider community than just linguists. Scholars in many other fields, such as history, routinely use macrons or macronless vowels. Fg2 20:47, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I try to preemptively prevent less knowledgeable editors from changing words such as Hiroomi (広臣) and Hiroumi (広海) by placing HTML comments right next to them indicating why they shouldn't be changed. So far, this has worked in all cases. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:46, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Romanization of katakana English words

I'm wondering if the MoS should be updated to more clearly discourage the literal romanization of English words from katakana. For instance, in this edit, what is the purpose of the ゴールデン イーグルズ romanization to Gōruden Īgurusu? (Not to pick on that particular edit, but it is the most recent one that I've seen). The current wording of MoS is Give the romanization for any name or term written in kanji or kana when the Japanese pronunciation is different from the English pronunciation.

My proposal is Give the romanization for any name or term written in kanji or kana when the Japanese pronunciation is different from the English pronunciation. For English words written in katakana as part of a longer title or word, the English word should be used instead of the literal romanization. I'm sure that there is an unless . . . case, where the Japanese romanization is useful; but I can't think of one, and the fastest way to discover something like that is usually to post a note here saying that no exceptions exist. (^.^)

Comments? Neier 13:59, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

One usefull aspect of providing the Hepburn romanization with such a term is to indicate the pronounciation in Japanese. Often English in katakana sounds quite unlike the word in English proper. Of course, as with kanji compounds, the preferred usage would be:
Golden Eagles (ゴールデン・イーグルズ, Gōruden Īguruzu)
Doesn't look to bad, does it? JeroenHoek 19:22, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that the English Wikipedia is the place to be teaching Japanese pronunciation of English words to English speakers. It seems to me that the demographic of people who 1) care about the Japanese pronunciation of English words; AND 2) understand the Japanese romanization vowel rules enough to make sense of the romazniation; AND 3) cannot read katakana; is fairly small.
We're also (in this case) forgetting that a macroned Ī is not allowed, per the current MoS (just Ō and Ū); but that's beside the point.
At any rate, if it is for pronunciation purposes, why isn't the International Phonetic Alphabet used, instead of romanization? For people unfamiliar with Japanese (which would include most anyone who couldn't read the katakana in the first place), a globally standardized alphabet would seem to be better. As an example, with romaji (and no understanding of Japanese vowel rules, which covers a vast majority of WP readers), it is possible that the romanized Karaoke would be mispronounced as /kɛɪraoki/, which is better than the common /kɛɪrioki/, but still not correct (/kaɽaoke/).
Actually, reflecting on this for a bit, I'm starting to wonder why we include romanization for any words, as opposed to the IPA. That is probably a very contentious topic, and one that I'll likely regret broaching... Neier 00:55, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Macronned versions of letters other than o and u are allowed (and commonly used, especially when dealing with katakana versions of words). There's nothing in the WP:MOS-JA that forbids it; it's just not specifically addressed. There's no need to put in a list of things that you can do as the list would get completely unmaintainable. I agree with JeroenHoek that "{{nihongo|Golden Eagles|ゴールデン・イーグルズ|Gōruden Īguruzu}}" is perfectly acceptable.--日本穣 03:32, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Hepburn is used for the same reason other transliteration systems are used, for Russian words for example. Most languages that use characters beyond basic latin with all posible diacretics have some form of widely accepted transliteration system. You are right that IPA is exactly what you need when pronounciation is the only concern, but when you are writing an article on, for example, Buddhism you want to be able to refer to various concepts (Indian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.) using characters that can be at least somewhat read by anyone (even if they don't know how to interpret the diacretics). JeroenHoek 10:45, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
The pronunciation of English katakana words is the whole point of my question. If the only reason to have romanization of English katakana words is to aid pronunciation (as Japanese speakers would pronunciate), and if IPA is useful (and, possibly the accepted standard) for prounciation, then why clutter things with another pronunciation scheme which is highly targeted to people with familiarity with Japanese? I have no trouble with using the Japanese romaji as transliterations of Japanese words. What I meant above was related to the template and its use as a pronunciation guide, not as for all Japanese words in the articles. Neier 14:28, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
How widespread is IPA? Fg2 11:58, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't know that. A lot of the 和英/英和 dictionaries for native Japanese speakers seem to use it, which is how I first came across it, actually. My friends were somewhat puzzled that I didn't know what the symbols meant. I can ask some of my teacher friends if they use it in their classes, or I'm guessing there are some people here with experience which could also be useful as data points. Neier 14:31, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
On the one hand, IPA is pretty standard as these things go. On the other hand, having to input /ɰɑtɑʃi/ (or is it /ɰɑtɑɕi/?) instead of watashi is kind of silly. And putting something _into_ IPA is often tricky unless you're a trained linguist (and many people have to add things they can't even pronounce). And on top of that, in the specific case of English words in katakana, I suspect that the vast majority of readers either will already know, more or less, how a Japanese speaker will pronounce the words, or will simply not care. I vote for the English word in this case, if at all possible. IPA should (and does) take pride of place in the Japanese phonology article, but that's almost certainly the only place we really need it.
Also, I maintain that anyone who can look at karaoke and say carry-okie is beyond the help of a brief gloss. --Aponar Kestrel (talk) 11:37, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
"We're also (in this case) forgetting that a macroned Ī is not allowed, per the current MoS (just Ō and Ū)" - for hiragana, yes, but the MOS actually clearly states that for the romanization of katakana all long vowels should be macroned. Shiroi Hane 01:13, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Macronned Ī is allowed. It's just not specifically addressed. A macronned "i" is generally only used for katakana words with a long "i" in them. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 23:12, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
I personally think IPA is way too complicated. From what I've seen at the IPA article it looks like there must be hundreds of IPA characters. Perhaps users should be able to choose their own preferred pronunciation guide as is done with the date system. I'm sure all the people who have taken the time to learn IPA think its great and would prefer it for use in articles. Jecowa 19:30, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
I do not know IPA, and my computer does not display it properly. Can you list the English-speaking communities that use IPA? In any case, the best way to convey pronunciation is by an audio file. IPA and other systems of conveying pronunciation (including macrons) are only advantageous for print materials, but by official policy, Wikipedia is not paper. Fg2 00:15, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Format for naming the aristocracy

This is probably pretty self-evident, however in order to avoid conflict in future, I would like to codify rules regarding the naming of members of the imperial family and the nobility kizoku. My proposal is that members are not referred to by their personal names, but by the title they carry as given by the kunaicho. It should therefore be "(Title)+(Titular name or house)". It is therefore "Prince Chichibu" and not "Prince Yasuhito" or "Prince Yasuhito of Japan" or even "Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu" etc. If someone is from an imperial house, it should be "(Title)+(Titular name) of (House)". Therefore it is "Princess Tomohito of Mikasa". After death, the member stays with the titular name, they do not revert to maiden form. If there are multiple members of the same house, it should be "Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi" and "Prince Kuni Taka", however that can be debated if wanted. Is the format "Prince Kuniyoshi Kuni" allowed? not sure, but we can talk about that.

Problem with Empress-consorts (kogo). It is Empress Go-Sakuramachi (Go-Sakuramachi Tenno), but in order to avoid confusion with other empresses, it should be "Empress Michiko of Japan". Same thing applies to other empress-consort, who should be "Empress Temei of Japan", etc.... Japanese Empress-consorts do not revert to their maiden name after their passing but are listed under their titular name.

ok, that's it, I wonder what you all think about this. Gryffindor 14:05, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone have any comments to make? I would like to hear some comments first, domou. Gryffindor 08:55, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

my second proposal is: Japanese nobility (kazoku) is listed with their titles. The format is "{title}, {last name}, {first name}". Examples: Prince Konoe Fumimaro, Marquis Kido Koichi, etc. Pre-Meiji historical nobility is listed with the title. Examples: Prince Shōtoku, Prince Narinaga, Prince Morinaga, etc. If a title is not translatable, such as from the kuge, it can be left in the original. Examples: Murasaki Shikibu, Senhime, etc.

Using kanji with links to other articles

I could've sworn there was some style guideline stating that if an article existed, then links to it shouldn't include the kanji since it would be found on that article's page. For example, we should use "All Nippon Airways" instead of "All Nippon Airways (全日本空輸株式会社, Zen-nippon Kūyu Kabushiki-gaisha)" or "All Nippon Airways (全日本空輸株式会社)" since the kanji are found (and should be found) on that article's page. Does anyone know where this is? ˑˑˑ Talk to Nihonjoε 17:45, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't know of a guideline, but I would support it. I've removed lots of kanji for that reason, writing "only a link away" in the edit summary. We don't need kanji in a link to an article having the kanji in the opening line. Fg2 21:42, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I remember reading it somewhere, and it seems like it was somewhere on a MOS page (or similar page). I don't remember the wording, though, so I can't really search for it without reading a million pages. (^_^;; ˑˑˑ Talk to Nihonjoε 23:03, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it has ever been codified. Here is the last place I can remember commenting about it. Neier 23:42, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, that's what I remember. Thanks for the link. (^_^) ˑˑˑ Talk to Nihonjoε 00:10, 6 May 2006 (UTC)


I propose that we include the following statement in the Japanese terms section of the WP:MOS-JA. This is based on text originally proposed by Fg2 at the link provided by Neier, above:

In a narrative article, provide the Japanese script for the article subject when first introducing it. Do not provide the Japanese for subsequent instances of the article subject. Also, do not provide the Japanese for any Japanese term that is linked to an article containing the Japanese for that term. If the linked article does not contain the Japanese, please add it to the linked article.

Thoughts? Should we provide an example? ˑˑˑ Talk to Nihonjoε 00:10, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

I think it would be clearer if we said "In a narrative article, provide the Japanese script for the subject of that article when first introducing it (ideally in the first line of the article). ... ." Also, what would you think about adding "When Japanese terms do not link to articles, before adding the Japanese, consider carefully whether or not the Japanese script adds to the English article. If the term does not have an article in either the English or the Japanese Wikipedia, it might not be worthwhile adding the Japanese script." We might also clarify that lists, glossaries etc. are not narrative articles. Fg2 00:27, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, so something like this:
In a narrative article, provide the Japanese script for the subject of that article when first introducing it (ideally in the first line of the article). Do not provide the Japanese for subsequent instances of the article subject. Also, do not provide the Japanese for any Japanese term that is linked to an article containing the Japanese for that term. If the linked article does not contain the Japanese, please add it to the linked article. When Japanese terms do not link to articles, before adding the Japanese, consider carefully whether or not the Japanese script adds to the English article. If the term does not have an article in either the English or the Japanese Wikipedia, it might not be worthwhile adding the Japanese script.
One thing I've done in order to help people if I know an English article doesn't exist, but a Japanese on does is to put the kanji/kana for the Japanese WP article title in comments (< !--Kanji here -- >) next to the term so it can be easily found in the future. ˑˑˑ Talk to Nihonjoε 00:39, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that internal comment sounds very helpful. Fg2 10:11, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

The article Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles has a section, Use other languages sparingly, which states "English title terms with foreign origin can encode the native spelling and put it in parentheses. See, for example, I Ching (易經 pinyin yì jīng) or Sophocles (Σοφοκλης). The native text is useful for researchers to precisely identify ambiguous spelling, especially for tonal languages that do not transliterate well into the Roman alphabet. Foreign terms within the article body do not need native text if they can be specified as title terms in separate articles." (Emphasis added.) Fg2 10:27, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

In whatever note we adopt, I like the idea to explicitly point to WP:1SP that Fg2 mentioned. I think we still need to go beyond that note (to eliminate the kanji for multiple occurences of the same word, and also to strengthen the wording about linked words from do not need native text in the guide to should not have native text in our MoS, since that seems to be the prevailing opinion here). As for the wording of the note, I'd like to add:
In the context of a list of words, Japanese characters can be added even if the list contains links to other articles. For example, kanji for each train station of a particular railway line, a list of Japanese eras, or Akira Kurosawa movies. In these cases, pronunciation guides via the {{nihongo}} template are not necessary – especially if the pronunciation is available in the linked article.
And, yes, I know that Kurosawa's movies don't have show kanji in his article; but I'm of the opinion that they should. Neier 11:36, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. I'm using the word "narrative" to distinguish an article written using complete sentences organized into paragraphs from one written using bullet items organized into lists. Likewise, to distinguish a section in sentence/paragraph form from a section in list form within the same article. Glossaries, like lists, would naturally include Japanese text. Fg2 11:46, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Tables, too, are seldom what I would call "narrative" (although I can think of an exception or two). Fg2 11:48, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Today I found something in "Chicago Manual of Style" (15th edition). They stated that although it's now feasible to put in other scripts (they discussed mainly Chinese and Japanese), inclusion is most often in bibliographies and glossaries. As I mentioned above, some sections of articles function as glossaries. See Japanese tea ceremony#Equipment for an example. Outside of special circumstances such as glossaries, I continue to think that we should minimize Japanese script. (Allowing, and encouraging, inclusion of Japanese for the article title.) It was in Chicago, a page or so after the section on Hepburn, as I recall. Fg2 12:03, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Links to other languages

This isn't directly related and maybe has been talked about before--but that initial instance of Japanese text seems to be a great place to make an interlanguage link like, Junichiro Koizumi (小泉純一郎). Is it going too far to recommend linking to the Japanese language article on that link? Just a thought. Komdori 00:26, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Just to clarify, I meant in the article where the Japanese text appears (ie in the article on Koizumi, not in all links linking to it). Komdori 00:42, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think we should do that necessarily. I think if the person has a page, the interwiki link should be used normally rather than as a link within the body of the article. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 00:46, 13 May 2006 (UTC)


So, are there any objections to adding the following paragraph to the WP:MOS-JA?

In a narrative article, provide the Japanese script for the subject of that article when first introducing it (ideally in the first line of the article). Do not provide the Japanese for subsequent instances of the article subject. (How about "Do not repeat the Japanese for that term in the article." Fg2 07:57, 6 June 2006 (UTC)) Also, do not provide the Japanese for any Japanese term that is linked to an article containing the Japanese for that term. If the linked article does not contain the Japanese, please add it to the linked article. When Japanese terms do not link to articles, before adding the Japanese, consider carefully whether or not the Japanese script adds to the English article.

I removed the last line from the last instance above as I think the last line (If the term does not have an article in either the English or the Japanese Wikipedia, it might not be worthwhile adding the Japanese script.) as I don't think it really adds anything important to the guideline, and it makes the paragraph unecessarily long. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 23:25, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Not an objection, but this is very closely related to the a bunch of discussions about the level of simplicity in articles. For example, Latin is a synthetic inflectional language vs. Latin is a synthetic inflectional language (meaning it has a high morpheme-per-word ratio and words inflect based on the grammatical phase). In some cases (like the one just mentioned) giving explanations overbloat articles and make them difficult to understand, but in simpler cases like ...the rishiki, or sumo athlete,... it's not so benificial to force the user to follow every link for a definition. Of course, that doesn't really relate to kanji, but I just thought I'd mention that as well.

I can think of some rarish cases where it is useful to provide the Kanji, especially in a narrative section: Dai Itō was given nicknamed Tōdai because of his association with Tokyo University, which is commonly known as Tōdai (東大), and the similarities with his name (although the tō in Itō is spelled with a different kanji, 藤). I think I'm a little tired. I'll come back a little bit later to see if my post made any sense.  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  06:14, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

No doubt, there will be exceptions. But I think a clear statement is a good thing, and I think we have a good, clear statement. Fg2 07:57, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
My explanation was a bit retarded. I've no objections.  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  03:01, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Use of {{nihongo}}

The way I've been applying the nihongo template is that I use it for the occurance of a kanji or kana word in an article and for any other words I do it manually using brakets and italics etc, my main reasoning being that the help link is only needed the once and that the more templates on a page surely the more load on the server. I've seen articles recently where ever single japanese word has had the template applied. Which is best/correct? Shiroi Hane 01:19, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

I'd have to say I prefer your method: not because of server load (which may or may not be significant, depending on the caching scheme), but because more than one help link on a page probably isn't really necessary. --Aponar Kestrel (talk) 09:23, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
This is closely related to the discussion above, where some people (including me) are saying not to put kanji in articles. Exceptions are, of course, the article title and important terms that do not have articles on English Wikipedia but should. I really think that if we say "xxx is in [[Tokyo]]]" we should not give the kanji for Tokyo, and likewise "Murakami Naninani (村上何々) is the head of the [[Ministry of Foobar]]" we should not give the kanji for Ministry of Foobar, whether with or without the nihongo template. As I've written in several edits, when removing such kanji, the Japanese is only a click away. There's no need to put it into an article that links to one where the Japanese is (and should be). Fg2 10:30, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I am somewhat leery of stating outright that kanji should be used as rarely as possible: this will lead to people blindly removing kanji from articles even where their presence is helpful or outright necessary, in the mistaken belief that this is an improvement, "because the style page says so." However, I fully agree that there is neither need nor reason to provide kanji for any linkable term. --Aponar Kestrel (talk) 11:04, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Can you think of a better wording for the advice? Or can we avoid the problem you mention simply by advising people not to add kanji unnecessarily, while savvy editors do the removing? Or is there another way to prevent this? I agree that willy-nilly removal of kanji (and kana) is something to avoid. Fg2 11:40, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I guess my view is a little polarised since my field of editing in Japane-related articles is resticted to Anime articles which are generally self contained and most kanji text is unique to that article (e.g. lists of character names). For a list of cast or crew however, as long as a page exists for that person, there is no need to state their name in Kanji since it will already be stated on the linked article. Even if an article doesn't exist for that person, rather than stating the kanji on the referring page it's probably best to create an entry on Wikipedia:Requested articles/Japan and state the Kanji there. Shiroi Hane 12:38, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Hapax legomena do tend to turn up occasionally, yes. In other contexts, however, when you want to include the kanji, this is usually because you want to talk about the kanji (e.g., to explain a pun), and so I expect use of {{nihongo}} wouldn't make for the most natural phrasing. I'd rarely use it outside the opening sentence, on the theory that if a brief gloss suffices, the kanji probably aren't that interesting in this context. --Aponar Kestrel (talk) 02:22, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I would word it something like: "Think carefully about whether inclusion of kanji actually improves the article." --Aponar Kestrel (talk) 02:22, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Would you agree to add that "Often, for terms other than the title of the article, it does not."? Fg2 02:48, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, I'd strike "of the article". --Aponar Kestrel (talk) 04:34, 7 May 2006 (UTC)


Under this category the last sentence says "following the standards above" which would seem to indicate that the psuedonym should be "given name" then "family name" for modern figures. I do not think this is necessarily appropriate and it is better for the conventional used format of the psuedonym to be used. For example sumo wrestlers are always refered to with family name first and all wrestler articles follow the family name first format to my knowledge. I request and believe received clarification on this in a previous talk page discussion [[1]] but the manual no longer seems to be consistent with my understanding on this. Nashikawa 00:20, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I disagree; well written journalistic articles about sumo actually generally just use the last name since that's what's displayed in the bout, but that doesn't mean last names should be printed first. If the article prints both names, they follow standard convention--which is to switch the names 'round to English style when writing and English article. As I posted in Asashoryu's talk page, I don't see how a user should know this exception in Wikipedia. The solution for cases where it doesn't make sense is to simply make a note in the article that they are often refered to with their entire name in traditional Japanese order (for the few authors/comedians where it matters) and say they are known simply by their last name in sumo. It's not the wrong way on their passports... LactoseTI 03:31, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

In their passports they use their real, legal names I would expect, not their ring names. So this is irrelevent to this discussion. Perhaps I spent too long in Japan, but I have found the common usage, even amongst English speakers to be Akebono Taro for example, rather than Taro Akebono. This is much more easily solved through redirects, and I would argue as ring names for sumo wrestlers are in essence a pre meiji tradition that we should retain the surname first. Based on what you propose historical figuere such as Tanikaze will still follow the old system and I think that this for someone following different links on the sport would be even more confusing.Nashikawa 21:59, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Nashikawa. I've never seen or heard a sumo wrestler referred to by GN-SN. It is always either SN-GN or just SN (just SN is quite common, too, as there are not generally two wrestlers with the same name, at least not two living wrestlers, anyway). I also think the current Pseudonyms section covers this already with the first sentence:
In the case of an actor, athlete, author, artist or other individual who is more well known under a pseudonym, use the pseudonym as the article title, and note the additional names they may use (e.g., birth name, other pseudonyms), following the standards above.
So, I don't think any change needs to be made since sumo wrestlers would be considered athletes. The only change I think that needs to be made is to indicate that if that pseudonym is a SN-GN, that's the order in which it should be used in article titles and bodies. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:36, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
In their Japanese passports, if they become naturalized, the unwed sumo wrestlers always use their ring name as their name (married ones often take their wife's last name and their Sumo GN, NOT their surname)--that's why I brought it up. Akebono or Konishiki are good examples.
It's REALLY rare for a news article to use a sumo full name when writing in English, they almost always (99.9% of the time) use the surname portion when speaking about the wrestler, as you said. Try a google news search. If you do spot an ENGLISH LANGUAGE article, they usually have the names in the English, not Japanese order--at least, they treat it the same as any other Japanese name. I think it is confusing when there you've got Daisuke Shiga and Tochiasuma Daisuke being the same person. If you're talking about articles written from Japanese sources, I've never seen him called Daisuke Shiga, either, although that's his legal name--they always call him Shiga Daisuke.
I agree it sounds really odd to hear it "backwards," but after living in Japan, doesn't it strike you as equally odd to hear Yoshimoto Banana referred to as Banana Yoshimoto? Or Koizumi Junichiro referred to as Junichiro Koizumi? It does to me... but think of it from a 6th grader who's writing a report standpoint; how are they to know which articles have it right and which have it wrong--I saw a good example in the Asashoryu talk page--try to get the article right about "Koizumi meets Asashoryu" based on Wikipedia article titles...
If this change passes, it's almost essential to go through every case where this occurs and mark it as an "exception" to the rule. And why do people think of them as pseudonymns? They are "reborn" with these names to _replace_ their old names--they are not really pseudonymns at all. Even their parents and wives routinely call them by their SUMO GN when you see them being interviewed togetherLactoseTI 05:13, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm not convinced that a shikona is a surname. It occupies the position of a surname, but it's not hereditary, does not indicate the family to which the wrestler belongs, changes on retirement etc. So, do we treat it as a surname or as something else? Fg2 05:43, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

When registering Akebono's children they had the option of having the last name Akebono since it's his surname on his family registry--it is his family and didn't change on retirement. You could argue that's because they are foreigners, but then what will the rule be--for non-foreign Sumo wrestlers it's one order and for foreign ones it's the way other Japanese names are? I assume this is why places like Wikipedia France list them with it being at the end, as well as when you see paintings or photos at museums in Japan they are surname last.
As an aside, keep in mind about 50% of wrestlers just use a sumo-style last name, and keep their real given name, which just adds to the confusion.LactoseTI 06:21, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't know about Akebono's personal circumstances, but I believe that there are incentives for foreign wrestlers to take Japanese citizenship, and when they do, they assume a Japanese name. Since the foreign wrestler does not already have a Japanese name, he might select the shikona as his new legal name. Do wrestlers who are born as Japanese citizens legally change their names? Fg2 06:46, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Some want Japanese citizenship to manage a stable or whatnot, others scorn it (Asashoryu), others just want to stay in Japan even though they divorce themselves from the sumo world completely (Konishiki, the children's entertainer). Maybe someone else knows if non-foreigners legally change their name, but it's clear that at the very least foreign wrestlers have as their "real" name their shikona. There are many foreign wrestlers now, especially among the higher levels (makeuchi, etc.), and thus their relevance in an encylcopedia grows even more. It seems, to me, their name should be treated in a way that a married woman changes her name, not like a pseudonymn--for all intents and purposes it seems that's how it acts in society--wresters are referred to as SN-san on TV, etc. I agree it sounds odd to Japanese/people living in Japan to hear Japanese names reversed ever--but it makes sense to avoid confusion--that's why we put Japanese names in Wikipedia in GN-SN order to begin with. I doubt that you will ever find an English language Japanese newspaper article which has sumo names in reverse order from the rest of the populace. Either all people in the article will be SN-GN (both sumo and non-sumo Japanese people) or they will all be GN-SN. Sumo wrestlers will usually go by just SN, but since it seems we don't want that as the article title. Since everyone else treats them like Japanese names, why should it be different here? Komdori 16:25, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I have never read a real English publication that mentioned a rishiki's GN (first introductions aside). Also keep in mind that English language Japanese newspapers are aimed at a generally living-in-Japan-and-not-completely-stupid-about-things-Japanese audience, and so there is much more room to Japanize everything.  freshgavinΓΛĿЌ  18:42, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Freshgavin--you're right, I think, about English publications and their lack of usage of GN's. Since the association regulates the shikona, it is not really ambiguous by using only the SN (for active members, not counting the recylcing of ring names that occurs, too). My point was that regardless of the publication, whether in Japan or out, there will be consistency among how they handle all people's names--if they use both names, they will not be in reversed order from each other. As a note to Nishikawa's observation that historical sumo wrestlers would have a different order because of the policy--that's true for any long lasting thing in Japanese figures in Wikipedia; the first prime ministers were born pre-Meiji, so their names should be SN-GN by the policy, with the majority being GN-SN. Komdori 19:03, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I should say that my use of Akebono was perhaps unfortunate as it clouds the issue of ring vs legal name. The majority of wrestlers are Japanese and we write articles on them using their ring names, and I think we should base our arguments on that rather than any issue of it subsequently becoming a legal name in a minority of cases. Personally I think Sumo is essentially based in a pre meiji tradition in many (if not most) regards, and sumo names are part of this. Also for most wrestler's virtually no one knows the GN part (It took me a bit of digging to find the GN for the current Tochiazuma's father, who also had a Tochiazuma ring name for example in editing that article). I would argue that starting the article with the "SN" is therefore appropriate on this line also. I agree if the status quo is maintained then clearly some sort of disclaimer is needed. Nashikawa 20:08, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
You're right that the foreigners are in the minority in terms of sheer number of wresters in Japanese stables (which includes a plethora of middle schoolers and beyond), but they are not such a super-minority when it comes to "interesting" wrestlers. Of the top ranked wrestlers, the only yokozuna is foreign as are two of the five ozeki (Kotooshu, Hakuho), that's 50% of the top 6 being foreign. They all use the names this way. What's more, it's a common criticism that all the people "moving up" in Sumo are foreign--that's who gets articles written about them.
The point is a "ring name" is not a pseudonymn, but in fact a "real name", much as any of the professional calligraphers or masters of the tea ceremony, etc. take Buddhist names to symbolize their "birth" at the time when they master something. Sure, you can argue that the idea of taking a new name is an old tradition, but it's also a pre-Meiji tradition to name all Japanese people SN-GN. Even though they still do that today, Wikipedia lists it in the English order.
Tochiazuma's father having a ring name ending in Tochiazuma is a perfect reason why surname should be last, not first--in that case, the surname even followed family connections as any other surname would, it clearly isn't just a moniker meant to be read as a single name. Looking at Tochiazuma's entry now, it clearly isn't completely "right": "Tochiazuma Daisuke (栃東大裕, Tochiazuma Daisuke?) is a professional sumo wrestler. He was born Shiga Daisuke..." The second instance should (clearly) be Daisuke Shiga.
One potential compromize that I think might work would be to list him as "Tochiazuma, Daisuke," which I think would capture the fact that it's both last name first as well as the fact that it's "Tochiazuma" we're talking about, and simply clarify which one we mean.
I still think adopting a GN-SN blanket policy for people born post-Meiji is the easiest way of doing it, if it's already assumed we won't pick either SN-GN or GN-SN for everyone from Japan. His father poses even worse problems--should his article be Tamanoi Tomoyori or Tomoyori Tamanoi? Neither is the name he was born with, but neither was a ring name of a sumo wrestler--his ring name was Tochiazuma. Komdori 20:34, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Regarding the father I think he is Tochiazuma Toyomori (assuming SN-GN style...) with a redirect, otherwise things become terminally confused. Most former wrestlers are best known by their ring name. E.g. we still edit the Konishiki Yasokichi page, not his legal name or his stage name of KONISHIKI. Similarly the few former yokozuna who have pages all use their ring name -- not their elder name or legal name (if they have left the association). This would ultimately mean using the legal name for all retired and deceased wrestlers which in my view would be undesirable. This is however a rather technical discussion/separate issue and perhaps a distraction from the current SN-GN or GN-SN debate. It needs a separate section on this talk page (or elsewhere) to resolve a view. Nashikawa 21:16, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
On the other points raised above, I fully accept that foreign wrestlers are more likely to get a page listing than Japanese ones on average, but it is still a minority. I would argue that as wikipedia expands foreign wrestlers will become more of a minority, and in any case we should do something that works for all, including the current majority, even if it is not a huge majority. I agree re that real Japanese names should be given as Daisuke Shiga and should be changed accordingly, even if I dont agree about the ringname. I am happy with Tochiazuma, Daisuke etc if that is the consensus view here. Nashikawa 21:25, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
You're right on the issue of what name to list--the articles should clearly be under the ring names. I would also propose the articles are moved as they change ring names (sometimes even they can't keep track of what their current names are--that's what the helpers are for ^_^) and have their old names changed into redirects.
You might also be right that the order of elder names, etc. might belong in a different discussion (although I think it is relevant to the "pseudonymn" section). I agree we need a thing that works for every wrestler, although my point was since the foreign wrestlers are significant in number, their situation should be considered carefully. Instead of picking something which might make sense for even the majority, it should fit with everyone. In their case, all (the dozens) of them generally have legal names which match their ring names. If we don't at least have that comma, I think sentences like, "Kotooshu Katsunori, has the legal Japanese name Katsunori Kotooshu (though they write it in Kotooshu Katsunori)." are awfully odd.
Regarding inheriting of names, take a look at Takanohana Kenshi ("born Hanada Mitsuru"), his son Takanohana Kenshi ("born Hanada Mitsuru") and grandsons Wakanohana Masaru ("born January 20, 1971 as Masaru Hanada (花田 勝 Hanada Masaru)") and Takanohana Koji ("born August 12, 1972 as Koji Hanada (花田 光司 Hanada Kōji)"). The Hanada surname is inherited. And, both grandsons changed their shikona a couple of times during their wrestling careers. Fg2 21:44, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposal (sumo names)

I propose the following for how to handle Sumo wrestler names here on English Wikipedia:

The title of an article about a sumo wrestler should be the wrestler's ringname followed by the year of birth in parentheses (e.g. Takanoha (1950), Wakanoha (1971)). Within article bodies, they should be referenced by their ringname alone, or by their ringname and year of birth in parentheses if required for disambiguation.

How does that sound? It's simple and should keep people from getting confused. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:58, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Interesting idea, although personally I prefer the comma approach.... Nashikawa 22:03, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I think it's a good way to keep things unambiguous among different wrestlers with similar ring names. Nihonjoe--are you proposing this as a response to the above discussion or is this something else? If it is in response to the above, are you suggesting using only the surname portion of their ring name for an article title? It seems agreed upon that it is most common in media (print or otherwise) to only referred to them with this part of their ring name, reflecting the rather unambiguous nature of a sumo name (with the exception mentioned in this proposal). The article itself could tell the reader the extra tidbit of information of the "given name" portion. If you're talking about something else I apologize.

This idea is good, but if you are going to switch to just the surname portion, why add the year unless it has been used multiple times? Komdori 22:12, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

This proposal is in response to the above discussion. I decided to include the year as part of it because there are somewhat regular occurances of repeatedly using a ringname (though I don't know of any that have been used simultaneously with both wrestlers competing). This way the birth year is always there, thereby eliminating any possible confusion (unless, for some bizarre reason, there are two wrestlers born in the same year that receive the same ringname; the likelihood of this happening is about as good as being struck by a moon of Jupiter while walking down the street). ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:41, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Thinking about this further how about the SN with the given name in brackets eg: Akebono (Taro) probably for all -- there are occasional complications to non sumo -- see Kaio for example. Nashikawa 22:22, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I like the date idea, the comma idea a bit less. It might be nicer without the year unless there is a collision. The only problem with the brackets, which actually looks probably the nicest, is the issue of whether or not some people might think it's a last name. Hmm... would it be terrible to skip using the year and just using the ring surname until a collision occurs (and then using the year)? In that case, the article could be updated to have the year. In the majority of cases collisions don't occur, and when they do it seems they are usually among already established, regularly colliding names (so we would already have the year bit for them). If you're worried about updating referencing articles, it should be very obvious from the context, and if not the supporting articles could be fixed just by searching for them. LactoseTI 00:53, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
And for Kaio where we hit some other sort of non sumo article, we assume collision and use brackets item anyway (even though it is not a collision between wrestlers)....? I guess if we are going down this line we should define a starting sentence for every biographical sumo article, along the lines of:
* Takanohana, full ring name Kōji Takanohana, born August 121972 as Koji Hanada (花田 光司 Hanada Kōji)) is a former sumo wrestler.
This should make sure that it is a coherent start. It looks as though we are not going to end up with the current style for all the exisiting sumo bios.... It this is the case is there a way to make a group request for a number of pages. What worries me is that we come to a conclusion here, and then start a move request for all the pages (I count 27 from the "Sumo wrestlers" category) and then we have this debate all over again -- there are only a few of us in this debate at the moment compared to the numbers who fairly regularly update some of those pages. Nashikawa 20:00, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, I think it's a good idea--both the plain name and the brackets where needed (about titling with a wrestlers' main name and collision resolution with years regardless of whether it is another sumo wrestler or word). We can make a group redirect request and have it directed here for talk, or if it's decided that this discussion is comprehensive enough I suppose we could just move them. I know that Asashoryu's page is being pointed here, and although many may update the pages we probably have a representative sample of people who actually care about it. Either way, I think this is a pretty well thought out compromise and I believe (and hope) everyone will be able to live with it. Komdori 05:55, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Can someone else do the group page request as I am not sure how to do it. I am not sure we have sufficient here for a consensus (four for the proposal and six overall I reckon). Also this will get anyone interested here before a final decision. There are a number of options that have been proposed which are (apologies for ommission)
  1. Ring surname (year of birth where necessary) Probably favoured by current majority
  2. Ring surname (year of birth always)
  3. Ring surname (given name where necessary)
  4. Ring surname (given name always)
  5. Ring surname given name -- the status quo, conforms to pre meji stnadard
  6. Ring surname, given name -- the comma approach
  7. Ring given name surname -- conforms to post meiji standard.
Can I suggest we go for a redirect to any of these for the group redirect, probably option 1 above and ask people either simply to vote for their favourite, or rank them in prefered order. Based on this hopefully we'll have a clear winner. Nashikawa 23:04, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

What about ring name followed (only when necessary) by generation number as a Roman numeral, e.g. Wakanohana III? A disambiguation page, with only the shikona, can link to the generations. Fg2 06:54, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

The trouble with that is that the generation number is not unique, as it is often used for Yokozuna in one way and for others in another. For example Takanohana Koji was the first Yokozuna with the name and hence is often listed as Takanohana, but of course his father was Takanohana, which would then make him Takanohana II. Similarly we would end up with the Konishiki article going to a 19th century yokozuna and the one most people arguablely would be interested in would be Konishiki II. Due to these different uses in different situation I would not regard this as a good solution, although where others have had the name the article should of course make that clear in some way. Nashikawa 22:16, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
This is why I proposed the "Wakanoha (1971)" format, as it would pretty much eliminate all of the possible conflicts brought up above. I would make one addition to my proposal, though: a disambiguation page should be made for any grouping of three or more wrestlers using the same name. Ideally, it would be found at "Wrestler name" so that anyone searching for just that would find it and easily locate the specific wrestler they were seeking. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 23:02, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

How about using the name plus the year they started using the name? This would put them in order, rather than having an older wrestler who used the name second first in the list.

Sumo Wrestlers (not names)

Thinking about the elder name issue earlier my suggestion is as follows for biographical articles in this area:

  • The article is moved if an active wrestler changes his name, with a redirect from his former name.
  • When he retires from the ringhis ring name (in whatever format we agree above) becomes the archival name and his elder name is dealt with by a redirect. (with the various potential options someone might use catered for)
  • Redirects are used for legal names.
  • For well known elder names on their own, if things in this area develop this far, we use disambiguition.

The above would mean that there would not be biographical articles on using sumo elder names as all elders are former wrestlers, which usually they are better known as -- e.g. Chiyonofuji is better known than Kokonoe.Nashikawa 22:34, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree. This would have the effect of having the article eventually settling with the last active ring name, which is probably going to be both the time he was most successful and best known as a a wrestler. I suppose there are exceptions to that (maybe someone changing their name on their way down the ranks), but nonetheless I think this would be a good overall policy.

The only issue I can think of is not for run-of-the-mill elders, but some stable masters who wind up being known better by their post-wrestling name. Sadogatake, for example, shows up in the news constantly talking about Kotooshu. Even in this case, though, a simple redirect would take you to Kotonowaka, and I don't see a problem with that, especially since it has the nice effect of keeping things simple and clean. Komdori 23:23, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Its funny you should mention this case but when I got to Sadogatake I immediately thought of the former Sadogatake, who was Kotonowaka's shisho (trainer) rather than the current Sadogatake... I clearly have been out of Japan too long.... Nashikawa 21:53, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Heheh, I think people will be thinking of him as Sadogatake for a long time :) I was disappointed that he just missed getting "official credit" for Kotooshu because of his retirement. I suppose it can't be such a "simple" redirect after all (in that case)... Komdori 21:31, 15 May 2006 (UTC)