Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Japanese Emperors

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Names of modern Japanese emperors

There have (long long) been debates over the names of the latest 4 emperors: Akihito, Hirohito, Taisho Emperor and Meiji Emperor. Before proceeding with individual matters, I think we should agree at least:

  1. The names of the four should be exception - Names like Akihito and Hirohito are personal names while Taisho and Meiji are era names. The rest of emperors were given neither personal names or era names. Hence, using the uniform name format for the four would be misleading. Not mention to names like Emperor Heisei of Japan are never in use and incorrect.
  2. In wikipedia we do not name articles to ensure respect; this is why we have an article George W. Bush while no reasonable person call him simply that name. This time cannot be different.

-- Taku 23:23, August 3, 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. There should be different standards between the emperors of old Japan and modern Japan. 青い(Aoi) 01:02, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Agree only that there should be a different standard for the current emperor. There is no reason for Emperors Meiji, Taisho and Showa to be any different from the 121 emperors who preceded them. Their names are Meiji Tenno, Taisho Tenno and Showa Tenno. They are exclusively referred to by these names in Japanese, whether in dictionaries, encyclopedias, text, newspaper articles, television broadcasts, ordinary conversation, etc. So Meiji, Taisho and Showa are both era names and the actual names (posthumous) of the emperors. The posthumous name given to someone (including Showa Tenno, or Empress Kojun, etc.) is referred to in Japanese as tsuigo (??), and if you check the definition, for example in Daijirin, it says ?????????????????????(i.e. a name bestowed upon someone after their death to reflect their virtue and achievements while alive.) The only thing "unique" about these 3 emperors is that the era name remained the same during their entire reign and the decision was made to bestow the name of the era during which they reigned as their posthumous name. It was a system change and nothing more. But how they got their posthumous name or where it comes from has no bearing on the fact that their name is now as I described above. The current emperor is a bit more problematic. His name currently is Akihito (as far as I know) though he is referred to only by a title. I would be open to leaving his article named Akihito, although I prefer Emperor Akihito since this is what is widely used in Japan. I understand there is a convention against titles in article names (and in this case tenno is merely a title, not part of his name), but just for the sake of consistency I would be inclined to using Emperor Akihito of Japan for the current emperor.
So, since these are in fact their names, I think it leaves us with 2 options. 1) Just use their romanized name (i.e. Meiji Tenno), but I think this is far from the convention, or 2) use a partial translation of their name, since half of it is also a Japanese word with meaning, almost universally translated as "emperor." This gives us 2 further options of "Meiji Emperor" or "Emperor Meiji." Even though the word "emperor" comes second in the Japanese name, I think the convention is to refer to them as Emperor X. For example, check page 12 of the introduction to Volume 1 of The Cambridge History of Japan (sorry I don't have volume 6 yet.) Meiji Tenno is referred to as Emperor Meiji. It is certainly the convention for every emperor that preceded him in everything I can recall ever seeing.
By the way, I partially disagree with what Taku says above. The emperors before Meiji were given personal names (Prince X, or X ??, etc.) and they have tsuigo given to them after their death (with a few exceptions like Emperor Godaigo who chose his own posthumous name because he idealized the time of Emperor Daigo).-Jefu 03:46, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
I understand your concern, however, it is against general Wikipedia naming conventions to use titles when referring to monarchs. This is why the article about the Queen of the UK is at Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom rather than Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Exactly why the previous Japanese emperors use the format "Emperor X of Japan" is a mystery to me, but then again, European naming conventions aren't applied to eastern biographies. I would actually favor changing the names of all the articles on Japanese emperors to simply their era names, i.e., simply "Meiji." This is how the Encyclopædia Britannica lists Emperors, and it makes sense because the "of Japan" is unnecessary and titles aren't used in the naming of articles for monarchs. However, in the case of Hirohito, an exception might be necessary to comply with the rule of thumb on naming articles on non-European/non-Western people: using the name most commonly used in English. While it might be disrespectful, barely anyone who speaks English natively knows the Showa Emperor under that name (Hirohito is obviously more common; Google shows 28,100 results for "Showa emperor" compared to 98,100 results for "Emperor Hirohito"). 青い(Aoi) 04:43, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
But what I'm trying to say is the convention doesn't necessarily apply in this case because the word emperor is actually part of their name. They have all been posthumously named Exmperor X. And while I understand your point about Hirohito, I don't see any reason to break from consistency just because the world happens to have known his previous name and is familiar with it. That's what a redirect is for. As long as people can find him, that's all that matters. I do however agree that the "of Japan" is unnecessary. I'm not quite as animated about that. But just naming the emperors Godaigo, Temmu, Meiji, etc. isn't only odd, I think it is simply wrong because it isn't their name. As far as I know this is quite a different custom from British monarchy, etc. Elizabeth II was never actually named (and won't be named posthumously) Queen Elizabeth II. -Jefu 07:37, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
Okay, that's a very compelling argument, so I'm dropping my opposition to renaming Hirohito to "Showa Emperor" or whatever, as long as the name is consistent with whatever naming convention is adopted for the emperors Meiji and Taisho. In addition, I've also thought about it and realized that using the form "Meiji Emperor" would help solve the disambiguation problem between the emperors and their eras. Plus, since consistency within specific topics is important in Wikipedia, you are probably right that Hirohito shouldn't be excepted, especially since the use of the name "Showa Emperor" is technically more accurate than Hirohito. As long as sufficient redirects are created/maintained, I'll be willing to compromise. BTW, I'd favor the use of the form "X Emperor" as opposed to "Emperor X" since the latter suggests the employment of titles rather than, as you say, simply the proper use of their posthumous name. Thank you, 青い(Aoi) 21:47, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Like you Jefu, I tend to favor consistency in naming and indeed it is often the case; for example, we have Hiroshima, Hiroshima (which understandably some people think is ugly), as every city article follows the format of "{city}, {prefecture}". I think I see your argument (that the naming scheme is essentially the same for the three (Meiji to Showa), but at the same time, it is true that Meiji Emperor, especially in terms of naming, really does differ from the past emperors. I know very little on this issue, but there seems to be a difference between Okurina and Tsuigo. By reading ja:????, Meiji, as in Meiji Tenno, is both the era name and tsuigo but not technically okurina; the past emperors like Ichijo Emperor are okurina but not tsuigo, as I understand. (See also ja:?) Though I don't have relevant books in my desk at this moment, I believe someone should be able to verify this. Or we can ask in Japanese wikipedia.

In any rate, like Aoi, now I basically agree to leave this issue to you, as it is clearly to me and others that you are knowledgeable on this issue. (My speciality is math and comp science, so I am not an expert on this at all :)

-- Taku 01:14, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

There seems to be a problem with using just one name. Akihito is a name that is used in Japan, it would be like naming an article for the queen of the U.K. "Elizabeth". There are multiple articles in Wikipedia with persons having that name. The article for Empress Michiko is also not titled "Michiko". Therefore I would plead for consistency. It makes sense to use "Taisho Emperor" and "Meiji Emperor", the logical continuation would be "Showa Emperor", with Hirohito leading to a redirect to it. In the case of Akihito, again this is just a japanese personal name. I would propose either Emperor Akihito of Japan, making it consistent with the articles on previous japanese emperors, or something similar like just Emperor Akihito. In Japan, they are known as "Showa tenno", "Meiji tenno", etc.. but referring to "Showa" has another meaning, and the term "Hirohito" is not used. GryffindorFlag of Austria (state).svg 12:13, August 10, 2005 (UTC)

So a number of people have expressed various opinions on the topic. It seems that there aren't any objections to renaming the most recent 4 emperor articles and the only issue is what to name them exactly. This is my proposal:

  1. The emperors prior to the current emperor should all follow the format "Emperor X" since technically that is their posthumous name and not just a title. Some have expressed the opinion that it should be "X Emperor", and although I understand the reasoning behind that choice of format, in my experience this is just very non-standard. I don't think any reputable publications I have ever seen, including the Japan Times or The Cambridge History of Japan, use this format for the Japanese emperors. My first impression upon seeing "X Emperor" (when I saw the current title for Emperor Meiji's article, for example) was that it was a translation of "X Tenno" by a non-native speaker of English who is merely following the word order of the Japanese, and who doesn't understand that it sounds somewhat rather odd to a native speaker.
  2. I think the article for the current emperor should be "Akihito of Japan". This is consistent in that the only name he currently has is "Akihito" and it is consistent with the Wikipedia style of naming monarchs using the name of the monarch and the country (like "Elizabeth II of Great Britain") but not the title. When Emperor Akihito passes away he (and his article) will be renamed "Emperor Heisei" and the current crown prince's article will be come "Naruhito of Japan" (and perhaps Aiko's article will become "Aiko, Crown Princess of Japan"...) -Jefu 11:12, August 11, 2005 (UTC)
It sounds good. But then if you drop the "of Japan" part away, what is the difference between ruling empresses and consorts? We would end up having Empress Suiko as well as Empress Michiko? I would suggest we keep the current "Emperor (Empress) X of Japan" format, which otherwise would involve a huge logistical undertaking to move everything, and name consorts simply as "Empress X" Ex: Empress Kojun. Would this proposal be satisfactory to everyone? GryffindorFlag of Austria (state).svg 14:38, August 11, 2005 (UTC)
Your suggestion sounds good to me Jefu. "of Japan" doesn't bother me. It is consistent with European kings and queens, and although slightly redundant, it isn't wrong or confusing (Gryffindor has a good point there).
Emperor Meiji of Japan, Emperor Taisho of Japan, Emperor Showa of Japan and Akihito of Japan sound good to me. I'm very much a proponent of getting rid of "Hirohito" as the article title. If most academic publications and the Japanese themselves use the above, then why should Wikipedia stick to "the most popular name"? An encyclopedia's aim is to educate, not to be urbandictionary JeroenHoek 18:20, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

They do not need "of Japan", none of them. The territorial designation is (for European and muslim monarchs) just because so many of their countries use same first names. Whereas Japanese first names are not easily ambiguate with names in any other country. "of Japan" is thus redundant. Akihito is just fine, without a title, without a territorial designation. Hirohito is so well known in English, compared to Showa, that he should continue under Hirohito. Taisho is nowadays so little known that it is almist same what is his name, Yoshihito has been used. Mutsuhito is almost as familiar as name as is Meiji - he is the only one whose posthumous name has gained wider familiarity. Above, someone tried to say that the order od words would be wrong. Not in my opinion, not necessarily. Think Meiji as "adjective", as an attribute, and Emperor as the noun. Thus there could be "Meiji Emperor", in sense of "the Emperor of the Meiji era" - similarly as there is "the queen of French revolution". Re those older ones, "of Japan" just is redundant there too. If someone would make the work, they could be taken away. I oppose territorial designation "of Japan" re each of all those. I oppose title and territorial designation to Akihito and Hirohito. I oppose the unnecessary move to use "Showa". I am ready to accept the use "Meiji Emperor", though I would approve alternatively Mutsuhito. Arrigo 18:05, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm not particularly happy with the Wikipedia article naming policies (at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)) but as long as those are the policies, we should stick to them.
Naming the article on Hirohito anything but "Hirohito" (with a possible variant of "Emperor Hirohito") completely contravenes these policies. He is universally referred to as Hirohito in English - see e.g. Herbert P. Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (2000), which refers to him throughout as "Hirohito", with one or two uses of "Emperor Hirohito" at the start (and please note that Bix is a major scholar). In the dust-jacket blurbs, the director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard refers to him as "Hirohito". (I suppose I could go find some of Reischauer's own books and see, but I don't feel like walking upstairs to get them; in any case, it would be pointless, because IIRC Reischauer died before Hirohito, so would have had no possible opportunity to call him Showa).
Similarly, one almost never sees "Mutsuhito" in English-language works (I didn't know that name at all for many years, in fact); he is almost universally referred to as "Emperor Meiji". Use of "Meiji" alone would be inappropriate, as Meiji should be a disambiguation page (for "Meiji era", "Meiji restoration", etc).
Yes, this isn't consistent. So what? We don't have all articles on Western people at "John Q. Loser", either: some are at "John Loser", some are at "Johnny Loser" (check out Bill Clinton), some are at "J. Q. Loser", etc, etc. Whatever they are best known as, generally.
And as for "Emperor X" versus "X Emperor", sorry, but this is the English Wikipedia, not the Japanese Wikipedia, so we use English language order, i.e. "Emperor X". E.g. Bix uses "Emperor Meiji". Noel (talk) 14:09, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

I completely agree with Noel here (Although I think that "the Meiji Emperor" is more commonly used than "Emperor Meiji"). Having Hirohito listed as Showa is just a violation of a number of wikipedia naming policies. john k 00:35, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

Which naming policies does it violate? The naming policy on monarchs clearly says that Eastern monarchs are exceptions. And did you follow the discussion above where I explain that his name is not Hirohito? That it was posthumously changed to Showa Tenno (Emperor Showa)? -Jefu 07:06, August 13, 2005 (UTC)
It contravenes our basic policies on using common English names. Name changes are not necessarily relevant to this at all. For instance, we have Malcolm X at Malcolm X, not El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. Frankly, the question of whether "Hirohito" is disrespectful or not strikes me as irrelevant. Hirohito is not a person who deserves some special measure of respect, even if it is acceptable for Wikipedia to give it to those who are. - Nat Krause 08:22, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
Jefu, "Use common names" is a bedrock principle of wikipedia. Obviously there are some instances where we don't exactly use the most common form, and there are other instances where we elaborate special rules because it is unclear what the most common form is. But we should not depart from "use most common name" without very good reason. john k 15:35, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with respect, it has to do with an understanding of how the names of Japanese emperors work. The fact that his name has changed to a name that is *exclusively* used in Japan (and that includes, for example, English language publications in Japan such as the Japan Times), and is beginning to be used more and more often outside of Japan, seems to me to be a "very good reason" for changing the article and use a redirect for people who search using Hirohito. Can we at least agree that Taisho Emperor and Meiji Emperor should be changed to the format of the other emperors, Emperor Meiji of Japan and Emperor Taisho of Japan? -Jefu 00:15, August 14, 2005 (UTC)
I don't have a major problem with those last two, and I also don't mind moving Hirohito to some form of "Emperor Hirohito". But he's still by far better known in the West as Hirohito. Noel (talk) 01:59, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

For Meiji and Taisho, I think it would be useful if somebody could find various reputable historical works on Japan in this period, and see what term they use. I feel fairly certain that I've normally seen "Meiji Emperor," at least (Taisho rarely shows up, in general), but this isn't incredibly important. As to Hirohito, this is how he is known. Google turns up more than three times as many hits for "+Hirohito +Emperor" than it does for "+Showa +Emperor". Furthermore, I have read a number of historical works that mention Hirohito, and they all call him Hirohito. On google news, which should compile only modern media references, there are 296 hits for Hirohito, and only 33 hits for Showa +Emperor (a company called Showa Denko brings the number of hits for just "Showa" too high to count, but all hits for Hirohito seem to be to the Emperor). Lookin at major papers for lexis-nexis in the past six months, there are 48 hits for a search on "Hirohito" and only 23 for "Showa," and the latter includes many references to Showa Denko, or to the Showa Era, or to other things than calling Hirohito Showa. john k 02:12, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm dropping my request to rename Hirohito. I understand the argument that this is how he continues to be most widely known in the West. I've made some minor edits to the article that I think clarifies the points that were of concern to me.
As for Meiji and Taisho, I really think the current titles (and I know they are used in the wild as well) just sound like really bad translations to me and I have most often seen them both referred to as "Emperor Meiji" and "Emperor Taisho". Unfortunately virtually all of my historical sources are in Japanese, but here are a couple:
  1. [Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World by Donald Keene] (Follow the link and read the inside jacket and first chapter.)
  2. The Cambridge History of Japan: Volume 1, Ancient Japan, by Delmer M. Brown, Department of History, University of California, Berkeley. Although this book is about Ancient Japan (and by the way uses the format "Emperor X" for the emperors of the time), Professor Brown refers to "Emperor Meiji" in the Introduction to this volume. Unfortunately I don't have the two most recent volumes of this series which would have references to Emperor Meiji and Emperor Taisho, but I'll bet money that these volumes have all adopted the exact same format. -Jefu 04:51, August 17, 2005 (UTC)
Will Durant also refers to Emperor Meiji. Not that he's a great source on Japanese history, but that's all I have in front of me. I'm going to withdraw any objection to renaming the Meiji and Taisho articles. Having three different standards for Japanese emperors is a bit silly. john k 05:04, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
Regarding the order of words, "Emperor Individualname" or "Individualname Emperor", I favor the latter, for several reasons, one of which however is that IMO we should not begin headings with titles but they should begin with something individual, if that can be arranged - and here it can be arranged (other alternative is to leave the whole title out from the heading). When putting articles in alphabetic order, if all those begin with "Emperor", they all clump under "E". I understand there are several different things named e.g Ichijo, thus disambiguation is the ground to have Ichijo Emperor or Ichijo (emperor), of which I favor the first, but some strict disambiguationists may favor the latter. I concur to the view that Tenno is a part of the known name of the monarch in question, and therefore I refrain from requesting "Emperor" to be dropped altogether. 19:56, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
Alphabetization isn't a problem. That's what bars are for in categories, e.g. [[Category:Japanese Emperors|Ichijo]] Nik42 16:46, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

At least I agree that for those 100+ ancient monarchs, the "of Japan" is redundant. It does not add any disambiguation, as no other country uses same first names/reign names/whatever those individual names precisely are. Redundancies basically should not be in headings - all such can be explained in the text of the article. I request that the "of Japan" is allowed to get rid of (perhaps sooner or later some editors find time and effort to go through that heap of articles). Wikipedia style for Westerners refers "to preemptively disambiguate all monarchs by appending the country to their name", is intended to European and Muslim monarchs as there several countries share same first names. The WP Naming Convention in question states clearly that those are NOT guidelines for Eastern civilizations. Already the "pre-emptive" and "disambiguation" says it: it is used for civilizations where it presumably helps to disambiguate. It IS intended to prevent confusion. I believe sooner or later editors will take "of Japan" away from the said hundred headings. 19:56, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Your reasoning makes good sense to me, and I would be happy to drop the "of Japan" in all the article titles. Noel (talk) 02:39, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
I concur. john k 03:09, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
I agree as well. -Jefu 05:13, August 18, 2005 (UTC)

So if I can try to summarize (so that I can add this to the actual Manual of Style):

  1. Emperor article titles will be in the format "Emperor X" for all of the emperors from Emperor Jimmu through Emperor Meiji.
I do not agree with that contention. Arrigo 17:20, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
This does not give you the unilateral right to move the articles to whatever you decree to be the proper title, especially after the issue has been debated at length here by others and after I already spent a great deal of time moving an article (and fixing all of its double redirects, which you apparently don't seem to concern yourself with at all.) Nobody has even suggested, much less agreed, that the female emperor articles should be named "X Tenno" of that the others should be "X Emperor." -Jefu 23:20, August 18, 2005 (UTC)
I would be willing to move all the articles to the "Emperor X" format, but I can't, since those pages are already taken (as redirects). If an administrator could delete those pages, I could then start the process of moving them Nik42 01:23, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
I already began the process and moved the first 15 plus the empresses (and made move requests for those that were already taken). However, we're going to first have to deal with User:Arrigo who has apparently decided unilaterally that the empress articles should all be named "X Tenno" (and then did a half-assed job of moving them without bothering to remove double-redirects.) -Jefu 04:20, August 19, 2005 (UTC)
  1. The rule regarding preemtively adding "of Japan" will not be adopted for Japanese emperors (and the current article titles will be moved by some generous soul with lots of free time...)
  2. Emperor Showa's article will remain entitled "Hirohito" because he is overwhelmingly known by that name in the west and we can address the actual name issue by having a proper redirect and explaining it clearly in the article (which I have already done.)
  3. The current emperor's article will remain entitled "Akihito" for the same reason.

Does this make sense? -Jefu 05:24, August 18, 2005 (UTC)

It sounds okay to me. I have two questions, though: 1) What about the article on the Taisho Emperor, and 2) will the form "Empress X" be used for reigning empresses? 青い(Aoi) 10:27, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Oops, I already "decided" that reigning empresses will be "X Tenno", as they were formally "female emperors", and "empress" is more reserved as translation to certain other titles such as chugu and kogo. Arrigo 10:56, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

To respond to Aoi, I meant to say Emperor Jimmu through Emperor Taisho. The only exceptions would be Emperor Showa and the current emperor. To respond to Aoi and Arrigo, I don't think it makes sense to rename only the females as "X Tenno". Far better to keep them as "Empress X" since the English "Emperor" is obviously reserved for males. As for what to do with the wives of the emperors, I think they only recently began being referred to as empresses. For the official wives (i.e. Kogo, etc.) of all the past emperors, I think they should be referred to in text as consorts (and the articles should just have their names like Soga no Kitashihime. For non-official wives, they should be referred to as concubines. The most recent wives (other than the current empress) whose posthumous titles are "X Kogo", I think they should be "Empress X", just like Empress Kojun and Empress Shoken. The current empress is titled Empress Michiko of Japan, but since this is a title, I think it should be moved to just Michiko without the "of Japan". -Jefu 11:14, August 18, 2005 (UTC)

My opinion is in favor of "X Emperor". That is the afaik more usual usage in English. 08:28, 19 August 2005 (UTC) Moreover, I remind that there have been pieces of this same discussion in other talk pages, of articles, and some other editors here have also expressed that they prefer "X Emperor" - the following diff presents editor John Kenney's opinion in those certain articles:

Also Nik, regarding Meiji, has written: ".... In Meiji Tenno, Meiji is an adjective rather than a name, since it's simply the name of the era that corresponded with his reign.... Nik42 02:39, 13 August 2005 (UTC)". I concur with the idea of adjective. 08:28, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

This is simply flat out and utterly incorrect. Anyone with even a passing understanding of Japanese understands that the "Meiji" of "Meiji Tenno" is not an adjective. Adjectives are not joined to the nouns they modify in Japanese by simply putting them in front of the noun.
No or na are not always needed for adjectives. For example, "British English" is igirisu eigo, not igirisu no' eigo. The Americas are Amerika tairiku, not Amerika no tairiku, and so on. Still, I'm in favor of "Emperor Meiji", for consistency's sake Nik42 16:46, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Your examples actually strengthen my point. You point out instances where nouns are joined together without a connector. Sure, there are lots of examples of this in Japanese "Meiji Ishin", "Furansu Kakumei", etc. And low and behold, they're all proper names of things, not simply adjectives modifying nouns. Similarly if you wanted to express the Meiji emperor (i.e. using Meiji as a noun modifier to mean the person who was emperor during the Meiji period) you would use a "no" connector to do so (although it would be Meiji jidai no tenno). "Meiji Tenno" has no connector between the two nouns precisely because it is a proper name. In fact, it is his only name since it was changed after his death. Meiji is not being used as an adjective in Japanese or in English. -Jefu 04:06, August 21, 2005 (UTC)
If it were intended as an adjective (or more properly a noun modifier) it would have to be "Meiji no Tenno". That kind of phrase doesn't exist in Japanese. Even if you did mean to say the Tenno from the Meiji era it would be "Meiji jidai no Tenno". And the other problem with this "adjective" theory is it is only the three emperors from Meiji through Showa were named using the names of the eras they presided over (this rule has now been codified into Japanese law.) The emperors prior to Meiji were given names posthumously that often (usually) had nothing to do with the often multiple eras over which they ruled (the modern rule of one emperor one era is also new since Emperor Meiji.)
Right. And that's what I pointed out in the rest of my comment, which was left out of that quote. That for the Emperors preceding Meiji, they were posthumous names Nik42 16:46, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
No, for all the emperors preceding the current emperor, they are posthumous names, including Emperor Meiji, Emperor Taisho and Emperor Showa. It was just the system of assigning posthumous names and choosing nengo that changed. -Jefu 04:06, August 21, 2005 (UTC)
Just to note - for the Chinese emperors who were named using the names of the era they presided over (that is, the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties) the "Name Emperor" format is in wide use. "Meiji Emperor" is in analogy to Qianlong Emperor, and so forth. Clearly, we shouldn't use "Name Emperor" for pre-Meiji emperors. I think that probably, we should just stick with the same format throughout, but there is a reason for it. john k 13:56, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Furthermore, as I also describe at length above, "Meiji Tenno" is his name. His actual name. It was changed posthumously to "Meiji Tenno". It wasn't left as "Mutsuhito," it isn't just "Meiji" and it isn't just "Tenno". It is "Meiji Tenno", full stop. This is true for all of the emperors prior to the current one. We have decided to leave Hirohito as is because he is so widely known by that name and not Emperor Showa, at least outside of Japan. And the current emperor isn't yet renamed Heisei Tenno and won't be until he dies. Instead I edited the contents of the Hirohito article to address the points that I had an issue with. I also provide a couple of very reputable sources above that refer to the emperors as "Emperor X". Personally this is all I have ever seen in English, save for a few sites on the Internet, many of which I think are simply misunderstood translations that stiltingly maintain the word order of the Japanese name and thus become very unnatural phrases in English. -Jefu 08:59, August 19, 2005 (UTC)

This is great. We have a discussion going on here, that was basically headed in the direction of naming the Emperors, certainly prior to Meiji, and probably including Meiji and Taisho as well, as "Emperor X". Then we have User:Arrigo who has unilaterally decided to rename the articles "X Tenno" and then we have who has unilaterally decided to rename them all "X Emperor". So now we have emperor articles with names that are all over the map and edit histories in the names we were agreeing on that means we are going to need an editor or admin to actually come in and move them for us. I'm beginning to wonder if my efforts at joining Wikipedia and contributing to the articles about Japanese history is going to be very short lived... -Jefu 09:22, August 19, 2005 (UTC)

You wrote that the right name is Meiji Tenno, and apparently the similar to all other emperors. I would be happy to settle that form, Meiji Tenno, and X Tenno. Is it possible, or have others ruled it totally out? However, if it is not to be X Tenno, then I would prefer X Emperor, as I already stated. (As some have complained about double redirects, I try to go through some articles and make the newer links there, as I already did in some Fujiwara articles.) Why are you Jefu not endorsing "X Tenno"? 10:02, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Okay, I stopped in at the huge Maruzen near Tokyo station this evening and checked a number of books about Japanese history written in English. I looked through about ten books in total. Every single one of them (with the exception of Reischauer's old book) uses the format "Emperor X" when referring to the emperors, including Emperor Meiji. Reischauer was the only one who referred to them only by "Kammu" or "Temmu". Even the huge tome by Donald Keene about Emperor Meiji referred to him throughout as Emperor Meiji (and his father as Emperor Komyo. This is, quite simply, how they are overwhelmingly referred to in English. I've never even heard of phrases like "X Emperor" until beginning participation in Wikipedia. I truly hope this settles the issue and that User:Arrigo and will stop making unilateral changes to these articles without convincing a majority of people participating in this discussion that their way is correct. Everyone else participating in this discussion (so far as I can tell) agrees that the titles should be "Emperor X" or "Empress X". -Jefu 11:36, August 19, 2005 (UTC)

And to respond to's question, I don't support naming them "X Tenno" because Tenno is a Japanese word, not an English word. No reference I have ever seen or read uses "X Tenno" and I suspect none ever will (including Wikipedia.) -Jefu 11:39, August 19, 2005 (UTC)

Do whatever you want with the modern Emperors. But for the historical Emperors, I strongly suggest we stick to the current format of "Emperor X of Japan". Yes, I have seen references to "the Showa Emperor" and "the Meiji Emperor", but these are titles, not names, referring more to the era in which they ruled than the emperors themselves. It'd be like naming an article "Elizabethan Queen", "Victorian Queen" or "Edwardian King" because those are the periods during which they ruled.
* We should keep the "Emperor" in front, because I don't think the average user will understand what they're looking at if we drop it. How is the article title "Kotoku of Japan" or "Tenji of Japan" any different from "Cuisine of Japan" or "Art of Japan"? If I saw an article called "Ramesuan of Ayutthaya" or "Ramesuan of Thailand" instead of "King Ramesuan of Thailand", I'd be confused too. Japanese emperors, particularly the older (pre-modern) ones, are not as well-known as Richard II, Louis XIV, or Charles V, and we cannot assume that their names will be recognizable enough or distinctive enough with the "Emperor" dropped.
* We should keep the "of Japan" at the end because, again, the Japanese emperors are not as recognizable and well-known as some of the European monarchs. The average user does not know the difference between the sound or appearance of names in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or any number of other languages. If it were just a name, "Go-Toba" or "Emperor Bidatsu", I think plenty of people would be confused. Take a look at the following names: Minh Tông, Worawongsathirat, Qiwam ud-Dawlah Togrül. Can you honestly tell me that you know which country these people ruled over without looking them up? To be honest, I don't see why we don't put "King" or "Queen" in the article titles of the European monarchs. You'd think there'd be more to separate "William II of England" from "William of Orange" or "William Shakespeare." If I lived in London, could I make an article about myself called "William of England"? He's a frickin' King! You'd think his title should be there. LordAmeth 12:30, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
That argument doesn't make sense. Where would you see the name "Go-Toba" or "Emperor Go-Toba" in a context that doesn't make it clear that he's a Japanese Emperor? In some random listing of names? A Japanese Emperor would be linked to in an article about Japanese history, or, in some cases, about the history of some other nation which was impacted in some way by Japan (e.g., pre-WW2 Korean history) Nik42 16:46, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

Dear Ameth, this is encyclopedia. The information about the subject is written in the text of the article. The heading should be kept short and simple. The heading should not try to include explanations of the subject, rather the heading should be easily accessible. Accessibility means also that the "average reader" should not need to know in advance whether the subject is fish or fowl, monarch or cleric, thai or englishman. All that is explained there under the heading, i.e in the text. Please try to learn more how an encyclopedia works. Could you kindly check several printed encyclopedias and report whether there is some full titulary in headings, or is that left to be narrated in the text. 13:04, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Okay, you're right, there's no need to explain the topic in the title. Nevertheless, there is no need to be attacking people. I have a BA in History from a very good school, and soon I'll be going on to a Master's. I know how encyclopedias work. So, I guess we could drop "of Japan." But I stand by my assertion that we should go with "Emperor X" or at worst just the name "X". Putting Emperor afterwards, as that one user did unilaterally, just sounds wrong to my mind. As I said before, "Meiji Emperor" or "Showa Emperor" sounds too much like "Elizabethan Queen" or "Edwardian King" - you're naming the monarch after the period in which they ruled, which was in turn named after the monarch to begin with. Whatever we come up with, I hope there's a consensus relatively quickly and painlessly. LordAmeth 13:22, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
The plain "first name" has of course been appealing to me, but already some time ago I considered that there are often several things similarly named in Japanese culture. Therefore I have accepted the need of "Emperor" (or "Tenno") here in these headings. 14:01, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Actually, the eras were not named after the Emperor. They were named by the Emperors, but then teh Emperors were named posthumously after the Emperor. It would be more analagous to calling FDR "The New Deal President" Nik42 16:46, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

So there is one more opinion in favor of "Emperor X". User:Arrigo and (who someone has suggested to me actually may be the same person...) will you agree to stop unilaterally changing the titles to a format that nobody else supports? -Jefu 13:38, August 19, 2005 (UTC)

Actually, the important thing to me is to find time to go through the heap and drop the "of Japan". And that also means that I and/or others would go through all linked material and put straighter links there, too (though it is not necessary to do instantaneously). I still favor "X Emperor", and I hope discussion continues of it. I have understood there has been other support for that form too. Regarding the links I have been doing in Fujiwara articles, the better to be done, and it actually is not so dangerous because double redirect is tolerable, compared to triple etc. It just should be done when time allows - I at least do not have limitless time... 13:48, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

I think that one of the problems with "X Emperor" of "Emperor X" maybe the loose translation of the Japanese title into the English word Emperor which in can have several different meanings in English anyway. Perhaps someone who is fluent in both languages can comment on this.
I have commented ad nauseum on this point. First of all, it isn't just a title. It is part of their posthumous name. Be that as it may, people have always translated Tenno into "Emperor" (or "Empress" for the historical Tenno who have been women). One of the English books I saw today in the bookstore decided to refer to the emperor as "Heavenly Sovereign" as a more direct translation. But I'm guessing we can all agree that that is just a silly example of some author trying to be unique and make his mark (and I saw about 9 or 10 other reputable books that all use "Emperor"). -Jefu 14:40, August 19, 2005 (UTC)
"They do not need "of Japan", none of them. The territorial designation is (for European and muslim monarchs) just because so many of their countries use same first names." I disagree the countries are not included for this reason. Many of the names are unique particularly if one includes their common names (Eg William the Conqueror) and Gustavus Adolphus or use their native language names. Including the territory in the name also:
  • aids in technical computer searches. If the "of Japan" is included then a search can be done to pull up all the people who have had this title. Emperor of Japan What links to Emperor of Japan (I Not sure this is correct syntax but the point is made)
  • There is also a legal requirement in the form that to be recognised as a reigning monarch (in modern parlance a head of state), one has to be monarch of an internationally recognised state which has an internationally recognised (territorial) existence. This helps to sort out those of reigning monarchs from pretenders and no one is disputing that the Japanese Emperor is emperor of the nation, country and state of Japan. So including the term of Japan is no more incorrect than including the term "of the United Kingdom" in Betty's title. BTW the technical legal argument of not using the modern parlance can go much further: the "British Armed Forces" are not the "British armed forces" they are "Armed Forces of the Crown", ie Betty's own personal armed forces (nukes and all), not those of the nations which make up of Britain. But if one goes too far down that medieval line of reasoning the titles of articles would be very obscure and difficult to find unless one was a constitutional lawyer. It is easier to keep to the modern short hand for these things, therefore I think that this is another reason that "of Japan" should be tacked onto all the articles about Japanese Emperors. --Philip Baird Shearer 13:58, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Legal requirement by whom? The Japanese emperor is not the head of state, first of all. And I don't follow how the stream of conscious rambling above about Britain is "another reason that 'of Japan' should be tacked onto all the articles about Japanese emperors. And many of the emperors in question weren't even emperors of "Japan." The term Nippon didn't come into use until Emperor Temmu's time, and even then his domain included only part of what is today considered Japan. -Jefu 14:40, August 19, 2005 (UTC)
The Japanese emperor is not the head of state Well the US state department thinks that he is "Head of State--Emperor Akihito". [1] so does Betty [2]. Philip Baird Shearer 15:26, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
The Japanese constitution thinks he is not, at least not in any meaningful sense. [3] He has absolutely no power to do anything without the advice and approval of the cabinet. What those sources are referring to is the notion of him being head of state in a purely ceremonial sense (i.e. in his function as the "symbol" of the State from Article 1.) . -Jefu 15:46, August 19, 2005 (UTC)
To be head of state one does not have to he a dictator. A symbolic head of state is still head of state. The nation state that the Emperor is head of is Japan so I think the articles should be styled "Emperor xx of Japan". As for your point that earlier emperors weren't even emperors of "Japan." Then what were they emperor of? Philip Baird Shearer 16:21, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Yamato Nik42 16:46, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Most European monarchs have no power to do anything without the advice and approval of the cabinet, and yet are still considered heads of state. Presidents of parliamentary republics frequently have no meaningful powers, either, but are certainly considered heads of state. The King of Sweden, as a specific instance, has absolutely no governmental powers of any kind whatsoever, but is still the head of state. By definition, the monarch of a country is its head of state. john k 16:38, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

You forget Gustav Adolf of Mecklenburg and Gustav Adolf of Stolberg, at least. Please believe, when persons better acquainted with medieval and era of absolutism histories are saying that certain cultures have countries that basically share same first names. (And, of course, if a nation-specific first name can be found, as is Zbigniew of Poland, imo the territorial designation can be dropped - but many will say that as almost all his fellow monarchs of Poland have it, for consistency poor Zbigniew also gets it.) However, Philip, believe those who had written in the Manual that Eastern civilizations are an exception. 14:08, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

If I did not know better, I would think that an IP address was trying to patronise me, but perhaps it is just a language problem between Finnish and English[4]. Thanks for pointing out to me that you know my what I am forgetting better than I know myself and for stating "when persons better acquainted with medieval...". I was not forgetting other people who could be termed Gustavus Adolphus (see Talk:Gustavus Adolphus how about Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden? The point I was making is that in the words of the English football chant "There is only one insert name of favourite player" it does not matter that others could use that title in English only one man is commonly known as William the Conqueror, Gustavus Adolphus, Peter the Great. A more contentious one is William of Orange... however all of them reside under names of ordinal and country. I see no reason for not doing this with Japanese Emperors. For the reasons I gave above. Philip Baird Shearer 15:14, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Of course no one is patronizing you, Philip. Actually, no one ever would even dream of getting you to heed such. Or, if someone would, it obviously remains a dream. My deepest apologies that you had even got an idea that you are being patronized - that's entirely non-intentional. And though you do not necessarily always know better, it is self-evident already from your above comment that you know when you are not patronized, and also you certainly know what you have not forgotten. Well, regarding your question about Gustav VI Adolf, the territorial designation "of Sweden" does not help to disambiguate between him and Gustavus Adolphus, who actually was Gustav II Adolf of Sweden, the guy apparently the first with that precise name combination (I would not insinuate that you have forgotten from whom HE got those two names, you know) after whom several others got their names, including apparently his centuries-later collateral relative Gustav VI Adolf. In that case, we usually disambiguate using ordinals, "II" and "VI", as actually is the original reason for existence of those ordinals anyway, you know. The territorial designation, on the other hand, helps to disambiguate between identically-named personages of different teritories, such as Mecklenburg, Sweden and Stolberg. And that brings us back to Japanese monarchs, as those first names have not very often been in use in any other country. I may have forgotten something, but I think I can swear that there has never been e.g Ichijo II of Sweden 08:45, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
As we clearly have here some new company, let's begin from the beginnings. Emperor of Japan is an expedient Western construct of a hereditary officer who mostly has a deeply ingrained position in Japanese society and civilization, without any necessary role in government. Actually, Japanese governments are in position that they need to live with Tenno - as Italian government has Pope within the practical borders of Italy. We conventionally regard that officer as a monarch, in approximately same sense as Caliph and Pope and Stadtholder of the Netherlands have been regarded as monarchs. In most (if all) periods, that monarch has had at least some official role in the government of Japan - we should perhaps say that governments have utilized the influence of Tenno. Up to rather recent centuries, Japan did not include several remoter regions of what is now regarded as its territory. The name Nippon came into use only many many centuries after the start of bigger monarchy. Centralized government was known just approx from Prince Shotoku's time. Tenno was more like revered embodiment of divinities or something like that rather than the official head of an official government. Japan has always had it easy to let ambitious lords have power, as it has not been inherently contrary to the Tenno's position. Parliamentary government today continues similar coexistence with Tenno as did various shoguns, regents, warlords, guardians etc. It is a distortion to call that monarch straightforwardly as Emperor. Rather, he has been always Tenno. Something so specific that in Europe, similar constructs get their own name (such as Pope, Fuhrer). Tennos came into being when their sphere of influence was apparently only wide of some provinces - not all Japan, not even all Honshu. If you check carefully, historically the titles of Tenno in Japanese have never included any territorial designation of Japan. The position is a territory-independent phenomenon - Tenno is Tenno, even if he has followers only in one province, and basically it is not important to that position even if Japan would rule all Eastern Asia. "Of Japan" is something that is only an import of non-knowledgeable who want to make similarities with Europe or whatever. Thus, they actually are not monarchs OF JAPAN - rather, they are monarchs of independent position without territory. And Jefu is correct in stating that earlier Tennos were not even of JAPAN in the sense of having influence in all Japan. Arrigo 16:56, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
None of this changes the fact that Tenno is not an English word, and has almost univerally been translated into English as "Emperor." -Jefu 17:10, August 19, 2005 (UTC)
Tongue-in-cheek: Well, why is it then listed here under List of English words of Japanese origin.. 20:16, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Arrigo, even within Europe the actual powers of the various "Emperors" were at wild variance. Not only that, even with a single country the actual powers of the Emperor varied over time! Everyone understands that, and doesn't expect to understand what actual power an "emperor" had without studying the particular country in more detail.
I cannot claim to understand why some names for positiions in some languages were adopted into English (Pope, Tsar, Shogun), and others were not (Furst, Kniaz, Tenno). However, the point remains that Tenno is not a word which which 99.9 % of English-speaking readers will have any familiarity, and to use it in an article title is, frankly, simply ludicrous. Noel (talk) 18:37, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for admitting that there are things in this you do not understand. Actually, although the real powers of European emperors varied somewhat, they all were more or less understood as rather similar. The tradition started by Romans dictated quite much of the content to the concept in Europe. See the article about emperor. However, East-Asian monarchs were products of totally different tradition(s) and similarities with Europe's are much smaller (actually, the only similarity basically is that both are "mighty" monarchs). It is not so self-evident that the translation "Emperor" should be accepted determinative in this naming. Of course we know that it is the usual translation, but we know that it is just a translation, contrary to emperors in different European countries who somehow share the same essence, there it is not just a translation but the perpetuation of the original concept of Roman emperor. Btw, have you checked the List of English words of Japanese origin.. Arrigo 11:33, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for admitting that there are things in this you do not understand. - I don't know if this is a result of you having an imperfect command of English (and so not understanding my I cannot claim to understand why some names for positiions in some languages were adopted into English ... and others were not), or whether you thought you were being funny, or what. Whatever your reason, this comment was annoying and not at all helpful.
To return to the issue, the point of my comment was that nobody (including you) knows why some words were taken up, and others were not. English doesn't have an Academy Francaise that controls the language.
And anyone can edit List of English words of Japanese origin, to add whatever they want. The fact remains that "Tenno" is not a recognized word in English. E.g. my 1970 Webster's New World Dictionary, a massive tome of 1600 oversize small-print pages, does not include it. I refuse to waste the time to look in others. Noel (talk) 20:43, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

It was my understanding that the Japanese themselves considered their Tennos to be equivalent to Chinese Emperors (although they did not use the same term for the Chinese Emperors). As such, the usage of "Emperor" is not simply a western improvization. It is one based on the already established usage of "Emperor" as a translation of the Chinese "Huangdi." I suppose we can object to the latter translation as well, but then we are reaching the point of absurdity. john k 20:00, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

I am not thinking of the total invalidity of the translation/usage. Rather, I think Tenno as a part of the name. Well, we have an elsewhere accepted possibility that the name of the person is sufficient without any titles if it is not ambiguation-prone. And the first monarch has originally, years ago, come to my knowledge originally as Jimmu Tenno. As a name. Now, also here I hear (from Jefu) that it is his full (though posthumous) name. Jefu says that his name basically is not Jimmu, it is Jimmu Tenno. I agree. Now, as apparently no other thing is Jimmu Tenno than the late monarch, no title is needed to the heading (Tenno is sufficient disambiguation). Voilá, we can have him as Jimmu Tenno and nothing more is needed. Certainly not Emperor Jimmu Tenno. And it is his name. And he is more or less known by that full name, also in some English literature. Other monarchs after him: I presume that the same applies. At least Jefu has said so. And I have read some literature where at least some of them are mentioned as X Tenno. Anyway, they are not so well known in English-speaking world that readers would get catatonic if seeing "X Tenno" in use as the name. 20:11, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Sigh. Please go read Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English). It doesn't matter what their names are in Japanese, because this is the English Wikipedia. The term "Tenno" is simply not used in books in English (see Jefu's post above - I stopped in at the huge Maruzen near Tokyo station this evening and checked a number of books about Japanese history written in English. I looked through about ten books in total. Every single one of them .. uses the format "Emperor X" when referring to the emperors). I can confirm this from my extremely extensive library of books on Japanese topics - about 1,000 volumes. End of discussion.. Noel (talk) 20:43, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
While I'm still not too thrilled about using "Emperor" in the name of these articles, it's a lot better than using "Tenno." The rule of thumb for naming articles about Eastern civilizations' royal families (according to Wikipedia's naming conventions) is to use the name most commonly used in English, and the form "X Emperor" or "Emperor X" (or Empress X) is much common than "X Tenno," so if one of those forms would have to be used in naming articles, I'd much rather see the word "Emperor" in the title as opposed to "Tenno." 青い(Aoi) 06:03, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
I think the concept behind using "Emperor X" (as opposed to simply "X"), when we normally don't include the title in Western monarchs, is that is the closest English can get to "X Tenno", which is the proper Japanese name. Contrast this with Western formal usage, where Elizabeth II's full title is something like (don't have the energy to look it up, but this gives you the idea) "Elizabeth II, by the grace of God Queen of England, Wales, Scotand and her other possessions" - i.e. she's not "Queen Elizabeth II" in her full, formal title. Noel (talk) 19:57, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

I don't know if people participating in this discussion realize this, but and User:Arrigo, who unless proven otherwise I believe may be the same person, has been unilaterally changing and moving the articles to "X Emperor" and "X Tenno" even as we continue to discuss the issue here (with what I believe to be a consensus of naming them "Emperor X"). I count at least 25 to 30 articles that have been moved over the past couple of days. And he hasn't even been bothering to fix double redirects. If anyone in this discussion is an admin or sysop, is there anything that can be done to prevent this kind of behavior? -Jefu 01:00, August 20, 2005 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Requests for comment (WP:RFC) section Comment about individual users.

Rather than simply referring the matter to RfC, it would be good if an admin would go through and move the pages back to where they were. In most cases, Arrigo has changed the redirects (creating new double redirects in the process), making it impossible for non-sysops to move them back. - Nat Krause 03:45, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
On reflection I an neutral on whether the title Emperor is included in the name of the article if "of Japan" is tagged on the end. I read that Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles) says "These conventions do not apply to eastern civilizations. See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (China-related articles), Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles)." But that is what we are debating here. AFAICT the rules for naming European monarch's articles would work reasonably well for Japan, providing the name used for naming the Emperor is agreed upon and whether when speaking English "Emperor" is part of the name or a title. If no two or more have ever been known by the same name then the ordinal issue dose not arise. If the format "Emperor xx of Japan" or xx "of Japan" is not used in articles then redirects can take care of that. It is not as if Queen Beatrix or other European monarchs are usually described under their full article titles names in other articles.
I can see that a number if people object to "of Japan" in the page name, could they please explain why they do? --Philip Baird Shearer 10:30, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
It's unnecessary. Things like Charles II of England are needed because other European monarchs exist with that name (and for consistency's sake, even those that are unique follow the pattern). No other nation's emperors or kings or other rulers shared names with the Japanese Emperors Nik42 16:46, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

Proposal by Jefu

Names of Emperors: For Japanese emperors prior to Emperor Hirohito, including emperors from both the northern and southern courts during the Nanboku-cho Era, use the form [[Emperor {name}]], which is a partial translation of their posthumous name. Note that the word Emperor is an integral part of the name and not merely a title, so it should be capitalized and the article the should not appear before it. It is also acceptable to refer to a Japanese emperor using only the {name} portion of their name, so long as the first appearance of the name uses the above format.

For Emperor Hirohito, although he too has been posthumously named Emperor Shōwa, it is also acceptable to refer to him as Emperor Hirohito, or just Hirohito, as that is the name by which he continues to be most widely known in the West. Similarly the current emperor may be referred to as Emperor Akihito, or just Akihito. Note that it is incorrect to refer to Emperor Akihito as Emperor Heisei, as he will not be renamed Emperor Heisei until after his death.

Dear Jefu, you have not made proper explication of what to do with headngs and how to use in texts. The above proposition is even confusing in that regard. Arrigo 13:57, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
I think it is quite clear on all the important stuff. I certainly agree with Jefu on most of it. I'm not quite sure about the Northern Ashikaga ones, though. If it were a western monarch, I would definitely prefer titling the article by the name alone, i.e. Kogon, Go-En'yu, etc. - Nat Krause 10:31, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Other formulations

Very preliminary:

Names of modern emperors:

Article headings: Akihito, Hirohito, Taisho Emperor and Meiji Emperor. Their official wives: Empress Michiko, Empress Nagako, Empress Teimei and Empress Shoken.

Use in text and in references: For Emperor Hirohito, although he has been posthumously named Emperor Shōwa (which can be used in appropriate places), it is also acceptable to refer to him as Emperor Hirohito, or just Hirohito, as that is the name by which he continues to be most widely known in English-speaking usage.

Similarly the current emperor may be referred to as Emperor Akihito, or just Akihito. Note that it is incorrect to refer to Emperor Akihito as Emperor Heisei, as he will not be renamed Emperor Heisei until after his death.

For modern Japanese emperors prior to Emperor Hirohito, use appropriately the forms [[{name} Tenno]], [[Emperor {name}]] and [[{name} Emperor]], which is a partial translation of their posthumous name, or Emperor Mutsuhito, Emperor Yoshihito. Note that the word Emperor is an integral part of the name and not merely a title, so it should be capitalized and the article the should not appear before it. It is also acceptable to refer to a Japanese emperor using only the {name} portion of their name, so long as the first appearance of the name uses the above format.

For monarchs prior to Meiji Era, no full convention has been determined. Use their recognized name that is widely known. Territorial designation is unnecessary.

Those who were merely contested pretenders, no endorsement of their titles should be given. Such should be explained in the text using NPOV.


Titles to Nanboku-cho era monarchs are entirely a different discussion. Wikipedia policy states that we are not to endorse any pretensions or claims. You know, NPOV. If someone has not been a fully recognized, an uncontested emperor, that title should not be used in the heading. The situation is to be explaimed in the article text, where various POV's are reported. One of the solutions is to use just the name of the person in question as heading in such cases. Arrigo 11:13, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

I know I sound like a broken record, but it isn't a title. These emperors too have been posthumously named "X Tenno" or "Emperor X" and are referred by that name without exception. Adding "rival emperor" to the Northern Court emperors and not the Southern Court emperors (as you did, without consulting anyone) is taking sides. Calling all of them by their name and nothing more, then explaining the situation in the article (as is the case currently, or will be soon) is the NPOV mandated by Wikipedia policy.
Thank you, o broken record. I say that basically names cannot be translated. Partially nor wholly. Yes, if those are treated as names for pretenders, you know, such a name cannot be translated. If it is translated into something that is a title, then that is POV. We should check more carefully, was Tenno a recognized part of names of those pretenders. If it is, then based on recognized name, the heading could be "X Tenno". If it is not part of the recognized name, then they will probably be X (rival emperor). Arrigo 13:44, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Are Empress Consorts named according to these ideas, or what? There has been someone who has added "dowager" to many empress' headings. On one hand, it is somewhat correct, as those posthumous names usually were granted when they already were widows. On the other hand, dowager is anyway redundant, as it can be explaimed in the article text, and the heading could be correct also without it. Arrigo 11:17, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

We haven't really discussed the issue in any detail, and I haven't given it that much thought. I think probably the consorts and concubines for everyone prior to Emperor Meiji should just be referred to in the article titles by their name, and in the text as concubines or consorts as the case may be. The most recent four are generally referred to as empresses in the titles and articles, if they have been given a posthumous name that includes such an appellation. In any event, I'm open to suggestions regarding this and whatever we come up with can be added to the above policy. -Jefu 13:22, August 23, 2005 (UTC)

Posthumous name: This aspect needs some more maturing. If a monarch was not known by such name contemporaneously, it might be a mistake to use it. This point makes it impossible yet to draw rapid conclusions what should be the headings for pre-Meiji monarchs. Arrigo 11:15, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

This has been discussed way beyond the 5 days mandated by Wikipedia and you are the only person who opposes it. -Jefu 13:22, August 23, 2005 (UTC)

How many people actually realized that they were discussing of a decision of earlier monarchs, particularly when the rubric of the thread said "modern emperors", and when often those earlier ones were just thrown into as examples, or something. Actually, many discussants had already left before earlier emperors came. And, there is no 5-day system at least to push a contested decision when policy is in question. Votes on small things (such as one individual deletion) are a different issue than making policy. Btw, have you now erased your preposterous ukaz from the policy page. Arrigo 13:35, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

I think the format Emperor X of Japan is fine until the present emperors. Consorts can be named Empress X. The discussion is going to drag in the end. Also Arrigo please stop moving the articles on royalty all over the place. Your moves are unwarranted, so please stop it. GryffindorFlag of Austria (state).svg 15:10, August 25, 2005 (UTC)

Final resolution

Let me see if I understand where we are - the previous discussion has been fast and furious! With the exception of Arrigo and, we all seem to have agreed on using just plain "Emperor X" and "Empress X"? (And maybe PBS too, I can't tell from his comments!) Is that accurate? Noel (talk) 13:38, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

That's my understanding as well (and if Arrigo and are the same person, that's only one against.) My understanding of PBS's stance is that he is the only one in favor of adding "of Japan" to the end of the title. I'm not hugely animated about it, but I would prefer to leave it off. I just don't see a need for it. I think the burden of proof is on him as to why it should be in there. The reason it is a general rule in the naming of monarchs is because it serves as a disambiguation tool. You don't need to disambiguate with Japanese monarchs, and the general rule clearly provides for an exception for Eastern monarchs, (which is precisely what we are trying to hammer out here.) -Jefu 13:43, August 20, 2005 (UTC)
Roman emperors are under page names in Wikipedia without title or estate, so I have no strong position on Japanese emperors for either title or estate. However I think from an access/finding point of view and consistency with page names on Wikipedia about other modern monarchies, eg Mswati III of Swaziland to take a none Eurpean example, it helps if "of Japan" is included in the page name. But as they can also be found through List of Emperors of Japan and category:Japanese emperors I appreciate this is not a strong argument for including them particularly as redirects can do the same job. Philip Baird Shearer 19:39, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Yes, we will definitely have the full set of "Emperor X of Japan" redirects (and "X", "X of Japan", "X Tenno", "X Tenno", etc to boot :-). Noel (talk) 19:43, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

The project page now has a suggested first attempt at a policy on naming Japanese emperors that I think reflects the consensus (notwithstanding the lone objections of Arrigo/ and with a couple of style suggestions that I think basically follow. Please let me know what you think. -Jefu 22:09, August 22, 2005 (UTC)

No, I do not accept, for example I cannot accept the way you have added your text to policy page as if it is a policy already accepted - at the same time you are asking here whether to accept it. And, the wording has not been here and is even now not here, to be formulated. There are of course things written in your proposed formulation which should be otherwise. I reject it. Arrigo 06:42, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

I added the text on the policy page as a proposal to discuss. If you are interested in discussing it, please give us your comments. All you have done so far is unilaterally move articles to where you think they should be, despite a consensus here, delete my proposed policy, and write things like "I do not accept" and "I reject it" without proposing any actual suggestions or alternatives. As I read all of the comments above (and jnc agrees), a consensus has been reached regarding the use of "Emperor X" for emperors prior to Emperor Showa, as opposed to the other alternatives that have been proposed. Within that framework, if you have suggestions regarding my proposed policy on the project page, let's hear them. -Jefu 10:03, August 23, 2005 (UTC)

Your allegation eg "write things like "I do not accept" and "I reject it" without proposing any actual suggestions or alternatives" is of course a misrepresentation. Were I to make a not "assume good faith", it could be suspected as your tactic - and it could be suspected that you know it as misrepresntation. I have presented alternatives and reasons to be taken into account, as you see above. hen, you simply do not add some "proposal" to the policy page and put it to discussion at the same time. If you desire to present a worded proposal, you write bit here, not to the policy. Now readers may have an erroneous understanding that the thing that reads in the policy page, is not under discussion, but it is already fully accepted policy. I thought you are a lawyer, but you seem not to grasp the difference between proposal in parliament and an enacted, published statute (did I make an analogy sufficiently easy to you to understand?). As you apparently need help in such things, I will copy the proposed textpiece below, though in no way subscribing to it. You should remove it from the policy page - otherwise you are alleging that it already is in force. The purview of the above duscussion has been "Names of modern Japanese emperors" and I believe it is not correct to draw any decision outside of that purview. The proposals, if accepted, are thus applicable to modern emperors. Arrigo 11:08, 23 August 2005 (UTC)