Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Romanization

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Multiple romanizations?

This discussion was moved here from Wikipedia talk: naming conventions (Japanese) and elsewhere

For the page, I added that the Kunrei and Nippon-shiki of a word should be in parenthenses after the Hepburn word in the opening paragraph. WhisperToMe 05:13, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I think it is rather cluttering. Is it really imporant to show every possible spellings for each Japan-related article? I expect readers are more interested in the content than names. Besides, most people don't know well (including me) about a difference in romanization methods. I would say,
Anglicized name (kanji; romaji) is enough. Those ones like Hagi. -- Taku 05:19, Mar 29, 2004 (UTC)
I completely agree, it's cluttering. WhisperToMe, it looks like you're on a minor rampage in this area (for example, Chuo-ku), and while we appreciate your enthusiasm, it really isn't necessary. - - Paul Richter 04:53, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. It's best to stick to Hepburn because it gives the best indication of pronunciation to English speakers. People who care about the other kinds of rōmaji know enough to work it out for themselves. I removed some of the more annoying examples of multiple rōmaji and heavily edited Wikipedia:Manual of Style for Japan-related articlesGdr 18:59, 2004-03-30

If you look at articles on Chinese names, E.G. Beijing, multiple romanizations exist, so they are all listed.

Although alternate Japanese romanizations are not as common, they are still there. Therefore, I changed the policy regarding Japanese naming conventions. WhisperToMe 23:26, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Chinese is a very different matter from Japanese. Wade-Giles romanizations were in use for a long time in English, for example Mao Tse-Tung. The change to pinyin was a newsworthy event; I still remember when the BBC switched over from Peking to Beijing. So it does make sense in Chinese articles to give multiple romanizations when both have been in common use in English.
But Japanese words have almost all been adopted into English with a single spelling (not usually based on any system). When there have been multiple spellings in common use then it makes sense to list them, for example Nippon, Nihon and Japan all deserve a mention, as do Tokio and Tokyo. But you never see Tookyoo, Toukyou, Tôkyô in English except in the context of Japanese textbooks. Gdr, 09:43 2004-04-01

I don't see what the problem is by including alternate romanizations in Japanese articles. WhisperToMe 23:56, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

What's the added value? Kunrei is almost never used by non-Japanese, and Nipponshiki is almost never used by anybody. 99.9% of the time Hepburn is sufficient to figure out the kana. IMHO it just adds clutter to the article. Jpatokal 00:42, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Just a reminder - its common practice to include alternate spellings of names, e.g. Kabul. Even if they are seldom used, they still should be used. It is not about figuring out the kana - It is about informing people on other ways names can be spelled. I would never have known that Huzi in Nippon-shiki is also Fuji in Hepburn.

Even then, Wikipedia would still sticking to Hepburn, as Hepburn names are ALWAYS used as title names, and throughout the body. However, the articles should still have information on what the names are under different romanization systems when they are different from the Hepburn. WhisperToMe 00:50, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

WTM, it's common practice to include common alternate spellings in English, and I think your example Kabul's "Käbool" is pretty borderline...
However, I note that according to your user bio you don't actually speak Japanese, and you've made several edits (notably the "Ousaka" case) that seem to back this up. How many people are there on this planet who recognize "Huzi" but not "Fuji"? Did you know that Nipponsiki has been obsolete since the 1800s? Jpatokal 01:27, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I concur with everyone else on this issue. Stop cramming articles with useless information. Anyone who calls Mount Fuji "Huzisan" is smoking some very potent ganja. Hepburn is more or less standard nowadays: we don't need to be including alternate romanizations unless they're very common. ("Oosaka" might be such a case. "Tookyoo" is definitely not.) -- Sekicho 01:36, Apr 1, 2004 (UTC)

Jpatokal, Nipponshiki was invented in the late 1800's, after Hepburn did. Instead of it being "outdated", it just didn't catch on.

For some reason, "Hukuoka" is used commonly on the internet. Hukuoka is JSL, Nippon-shiki, and Kunrei, as is "Huzi".

Fukuoka - 1,480,000 Hukuoka - 15,000

But as they aren't common, they should not be in the lead paragraph, and shouldn't be in every single article.

WhisperToMe 08:12, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Google counts:
fujisan 100,000+ huzisan 173
Osaka 440,000 Oosaka 30,000 Ousaka 4,500 Ôsaka 3,900 &#332saka 494
Tokyo 15,600,000 Tôkyô 15,800 Toukyou 13,300 Tōkyō 1,970 Tookyoo 786.

Who is the readership and how is are multiple romanizations useful to them? The readership of en.wikipedia.org is primarily English speakers who neither know nor care about the different systems of Japanese romanization. The point of giving rōmaji is to indicate the Japanese pronunciation when it isn't obvious from the English spelling. — Gdr 09:17 2004-04-01

I supposedly know Japanese, having a degree in it (don't ask me to translate anything, I'm out of practice), and I would agree that we don't need every single possible transliteration. Only the most common ones should be included. Fujisan, yes. Huzisan, no. I have never, ever seen this, not in any textbook I used, nor ever spoken in class. I don't even see why "Tookyoo" should be included; yes, it is an accurate transliteration, but it's simply not used much. However, I CAN see a better case for Tookyoo than for Huzisan. Same deal for "Hirosima" - Unnecessary. Yes, I know some romanizations use "si" instead of "shi" and I hate them. ;) Interesting, most of the google results I see for Hirosima are foreign language, and thus, not relevant for the English language wikipedia. --Golbez 08:21, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Golbez, Kunrei is used in Japanese textbooks. But since you never saw it in a textbook, you must not be from Japan. WhisperToMe 08:31, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I have an entire stack of Japanese high school textbooks on my bookshelf. I have never seen a single Kunrei romanization in any of them. In fact, during the entire time I lived in Japan, I only recall seeing Kunrei once or twice. 99 percent of romanized Japanese is Hepburn, and most of the remainder is used in a non-English context. I'm sure that anyone else who has actually lived in Japan can corroborate this claim. WhisperToMe, stop acting like an expert in this field. You aren't and it's beginning to show. -- Sekicho 14:23, Apr 3, 2004 (UTC)
The article Kunrei-shiki says... "It is the system officially sanctioned by the Japanese ministry of education, although it is much less widespread in use than Hepburn romanization, and is mostly used within Japanese schools."

So... what happened? WhisperToMe 05:10, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)

No, I'm not. Are you? And is that relevant? Now, I don't mind you wasting your time making countless redirects, apart from it cluttering up "recent changes", or even wasting your time adding alternate romanizations to every single Japanese page. Your time, not mine. I'm just offering my two cents in saying that I think a good portion of these changes are, in fact, a waste of time. But, again, your time, and it's not like the namespace will ever be needed for "Tyuuoo-ku, Tookyoo" will be used for anything but this redirect. However, I must challenge the wisdom of one minor page needing... eleven redirects, most of them not major spellings. --Golbez 08:36, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I'm an American. Believe me, Golbez, I redirect uncommon/various spellings all the time. Just look at Umm al-Qaiwain and Qin Shi Huangdi. WhisperToMe 08:39, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I'm American too. That's a lot of redirects. Your time, not mine, and perhaps the redirects are necessary. But, when you start putting the stuff into the actual articles, then it gets a little iffy. Why don't you list all the possible transliterations of Umm al-Qaiwain on its page, like you do for Osaka? --Golbez 08:44, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I might get to that sometime. It was done for Muammar al-Qaddafi. WhisperToMe 08:47, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I think putting multiple romanizations on articles is needless. And I don't see why WhisperToMe do. As a native Japanese speaker, I don't know what kind of info English speakers want. I care a bit the fact that romanized forms don't distinguish おお from おう so that one cannot technically reconstruct original Japanese spellings from them. But apparently, WhisperToMe doesn't care about it.

Kunreishiki and Nihonshiki are rarely used. And I think they are the systems to romanize Japanese as Japanese whereas Hepburn romanizes Japanese words as part of English. They are needless for English Wikipedia, and I think putting Hiragana or Katakana would be better than putting them although I don't support eigher. --Nanshu 04:05, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I've seen both used occasionally on Wikipedia. See: Sin-Itiro_Tomonaga, Shin Takahashi and http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Chiba_prefecture&diff=766352&oldid=766351 - There is "kisaradu" (Kisarazu in Hepburn) in there, which may have been a mistake. - As for the previous two, if you want proof that I did not originally add the Kunrei, check the edit histories.
There was even a guest who wanted Hepburn completely thrown out (Talk:Romaji) - But I don't agree with that. :) WhisperToMe 05:07, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Sin-Itiro's a weird case, but that's how he spells his own name so we can't really argue with that. Shin Takahashi, on the other hand, looks like Hepburn to me? At any rate, your redirects are pointless, but they at least they don't get in the way of the content. Messes like this, on the other hand, do:

Shintaro Abe (Hepburn) (Or Abe Shintarō, as per Japanese naming order, Japanese: 安部 晋太郎, April 29, 1924 - May 15, 1991) was a Japanese politician. His name is sometimes romanized as Abe Sintarô (Nippon-shiki/Kunrei) or as Abe Sintaroo (JSL).

This is ridiculous! Two words of content ("Japanese politician") and twenty-five about naming! I've reverted this back to:

Shintaro Abe (安部 晋太郎 Abe Shintarō), April 29, 1924 - May 15, 1991) was a Japanese politician.

And, since WhisperToMe is obviously unwilling to listen to the majority opinion, I encourage all others to follow me in reverting leading paragraphs back into readability. Jpatokal 06:31, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I'm going to have to agree with this. A balance between content and description of the term must be made in these cases. The extra information should only be supplied as needed. It was not needed here.
I also have a related question: Yes, we have Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California -- but do we really need Osaka, Osaka and Kyoto, Kyoto? London's main page does not say London, England, and for a non-capitol city, Munich does not say Munich, Bavaria. Osaka and Kyoto don't need disambiguation beyond city vs prefecture, and this is handled in the opening paragraphs. So why not make Osaka and Kyoto the main pages for these cities? --Golbez 06:50, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I've thought about this for awhile, and I've decided that perhaps I should only have the Hepburn and Kunrei listed.

Woohoo! Progress! Thank you for listening -- seriously. Jpatokal 12:54, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

But the whole "If you list them all in the title, it gets in the way of the content" concept is ridiculous. Look at the Chinese articles... Examples: Taipei, Hu Jintao, Mao Zedong WhisperToMe 12:31, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Chinese is a lot tougher than Japanese, because eg. in the case of Taipei, you have not only the "standard" pinyin/simplified characters, but also the Wade-Giles system and traditional charaters actually used on Taiwan, and the local Taiwanese dialect which is radically different from Mandarin -- and they manage to squeeze all this into 6 words anyway. Whereas in Japan you have one official type of kanji (Joyo), one popular romanization (Hepburn) and one official dialect (hyojungo) -- and you need 25 words! And while I was at it, I cleaned up Hu Jintao a little. =) Jpatokal 12:54, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Also, WhisperToMe, those are major pages, with many paragraphs of content. Also, there are only two naming systems mentioned, and both are "official". It's not an issue for a 2:25 ratio of content:naming information. Mao has to have multiple historical names because naming systems have changed since he became notable. Also, I'm not going to count words, but I'm pretty sure there's still a better ratio than 2:25. --Golbez 13:33, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Another weird thing is that the Pinyin way to say Taipei (Taibei) is only used by the Communist party of China - Almost everyone everyone else uses the Wade-Giles way to say it. As for why I placed the alternates in a separate sentence instead of, say, in the 1st sentence, many here felt it was cluttering that way too.

I've thought of a little compromise. How about that I post the Kunrei-shiki/Monbusho/ISO 3602, but not the Nippon-shiki nor the JSL? WhisperToMe 13:02, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Can you give an example of a page using only this compromise? --Golbez 13:33, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Shin Takahashi. Or perhaps like this http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Shin_Takahashi&oldid=3117435. WhisperToMe 13:43, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

This is still pointless; do you realize that Google pulls up a grand total of five (5) cites for "syôzyo", out of which 2 are your own Wikipedia edit, 1 teaches Kunrei, and 1 is in Italian! But if you must, then at least call it Kunrei, not "ISO 3602". Some Japanese might actually recognize the word "Kunrei", while only the most hardcore pasty-faced geeks know ISO numbers by heart. (And me, I prefer 8859-15.) Jpatokal 16:14, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)
And oh, WTM, you've actually been inputting wrong information in your articles: eg. "shōjo" is "syôzyo" in Nippon-siki, not "syôdyo" (しょうぢょ) as you claimed. But of course you can't tell the difference between じょ (jo/zyo/zyo) and ぢょ (jo/zyo/dyo)... Why, oh why, do you persist in this crusade when you don't even know the language in question? Jpatokal 16:28, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)
If you are wondering, I got it from this: http://antares7.prettyodango.net/articles/romanization/

WhisperToMe 16:32, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Oh, and btw, most people don't bother typing circumflexes or macrons, so its a bit more fair to search for "Syozyo", which returns 115 google hits. This romanization is probably incorrect, but "Syouzyo" returns 262 hits. WhisperToMe 17:02, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Another egregious example:

Junichiro Koizumi (Hepburn) (Japanese: 小泉 純一郎, Kunrei-shiki: Zyun-itiro Koizumi) (born January 8, 1942) is a Japanese politician and the current Prime Minister. The alternative Hepburn spellings include Zyunichiro Koizumi, Jun'ichiro Koizumi, and other notations with reversed order.

The only Google hits for "Zyun-itiro Koizumi" or "Zyunichiro Koizumi" were copies of this page. Gdr 09:13, 2004 Apr 13 (UTC)

I just want to voice my opinion. I think in general any romanization information about the title of the article is irrelevant except some exceptions such as two romanized names are equaly used or traditional names are common but is not in line with the modern system. An example is Taoism and Daoism. The article needs to address both names in this case.
But aside from those particular cases, I don't see how relevant mentioning different romanized names. I believe if you see one name like Jyunichiro Koizumi, then you can figure out a different romanized name. It seems few Japanese have enough knowledge about the different across romanization schemes and they don't care which system they are using, except legal stuff like passports. This is like initiating an article in the way: internationalization (internationalisation) is bahabah. Everyone knows two spells are the same.

-- Taku 15:17, Apr 13, 2004 (UTC)

Sometimes, people can get confused by alternate spellings. Some of my classmates didn't know that "Akhilleus" was an alt. spelling of Achilles. Therefore, they got confused when they read the Robert Fitzgerald version of "The Odyssey".

Anyways, yes, Junichiro Koizumi seems to be almost exclusively spelled in his Hepburn form on the net. Yet Kunrei is used somewhat for other stuff:

  • Hanafuda: 8140
  • Hanahuda: 238
  • Inuyasha: 1,020,000
  • Inuyasya: 5,160
  • "Inu Yasha": 320,000
  • "Inu Yasya": 101
  • Fukuoka: 1,520,000
  • Hukuoka: 15,100

WhisperToMe - too lazy to sign in... 19:21, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, so this is why I said there are some exceptions. But obviously this doesn't mean every article needs to mention different romanized names. There is actually no issue. If people use different spellings, then it is necessary to list them all. Also, I think Fukuoka and Hukuoka are the same thing as -zation and -sation, not need to list both two. Can we agree now? -- Taku 19:53, Apr 13, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I agree with you. WhisperToMe 22:17, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Maybe I should have clarified my opinion. I think that tons of redirects are enough and that tiresome info on each article is needless. And I think that romanization variants mainly come from Japanese ignorance on romanization. For Japanese, romanized names are "ad hoc" ones. They are not "right" names because the Latin alphabet is not the official writting system for Japanese. --Nanshu 02:49, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

By the way, look at the Esperanto article of Junichiro Koizumi. WhisperToMe 04:09, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

And this is relevant to the English Wikipedia how? Also, "I know my edits make articles butt-ugly and confusing, but lookie lookie, this paragraph written by somebody else is butt-ugly and confusing too" really isn't the best tactic to convince us why you need to stick Kunrei in every single article. Especially when in this case the para in question is a word-for-word translation of your own edits! Jpatokal 05:52, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Again, sometimes Kunrei-shiki is used in the English language. And sometimes, those alternate spellings can confuse the hell out of people. However low sometimes is, sometimes can be enough. Can't we go by what Taku said above? WhisperToMe 23:21, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I have no idea which romanization is popular or not. I doubt there is even one which is considered a standard. Perhaps Nanshu is right; Japanese is not completely aware of rigid romanization systems after all. A particularly problem is commerce. Some companies use non-standard romanized product names for the sake of sounds or whatever reasons. Again, actually this is not an issue unique to Japanese articles. As always the case is in wikipedia, if there are alternative spellings, then the article needs to mention them somehow. I believe some old text book of Japanese history has a mention of a name Ota Nobunaga. Obviously, it is referring to Oda Nobunaga. But the simple fact some people use that spelling so the article should mention it somehow. The article title must be one that is popular or official, but it doesn't necessarily mean less popular names need to be neglected.
To clarify my opinion, on the other hand, there is no need to list spellings that are very similar and can be deducded from one another, just as it is unnecessary every time you say internationalization is spelling also as internationalisation.
I am still confused what is an issue really?

-- Taku 00:19, Apr 15, 2004 (UTC)

Links to Hepburn and Japanese

Is it really necessary to have a link to Hepburn from every page that uses this style of romanization? It is necessary to have a link to Japanese next to every word written in Japanese? For example, is this:

In Japanese, rōmaji (Hepburn) (Japanese: ローマ字 "Roman characters") broadly refers to the Roman alphabet.

really better than this?

In Japanese, rōmaji (ローマ字 "Roman characters") broadly refers to the Roman alphabet.

The former seems to have a lot of unnecessary duplication. It would be nice if we could agree a consensus here. Gdr 15:35, 2004 Apr 3 (UTC)

It's been driving me mad that some user keeps placing a link to Japanese language in front of every word given in Japanese in articles on Japanese things. It's so unnecessary! It's obvious, for example, in the article on Osaka, a Japanese city, that 大阪 is Japanese for Osaka! Exploding Boy 08:13, May 11, 2004 (UTC)
"Some user" is WhisperToMe (see discussion above). It doesn't look as though he has any support, so I think you can safely take out his redundant "Japanese:" whenever it annoys you. Gdr 10:39, 2004 May 11 (UTC)

Yosh. Exploding Boy 11:14, May 11, 2004 (UTC)

Speaking of Whisper to me

(see also above) This user is going around modifiying all sorts of Japan(ese) pages with a bunch of frankly useless information and horrid looking links. S/He's also created a mass of redirect pages using every possible romanization and misspelling for even things that have long-agreed-upon spellings in English. What's the deal and how can we stop it? Exploding Boy 02:52, May 19, 2004 (UTC)

See above. There has already been some dicussion about it. And frankly, the redirects are okay. WhisperToMe 03:08, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

I think it's time for us to settle on some standard regarding the very first sentence of the article. Personally, I really don't care if the article has things like jp links or kanji linked to kanji article. But appararently, we have conflicts so why don't we have some time to have consensus. Because this issue is about a style not the content of the article, the agreement, once we reached, is absolute and all we need.
Since I believe a sytle is something of personal preference, I listed some possiblities below. Please state which one you prefer or say your thoughts. I don't think the voting is needed right now. Also, please don't be too picky about details like whether to capitalize English phrases of literal meaning.

(I am very tired today so if my English is broken or my thoughs don't make sense or whatever, I'm sorry.)

-- Taku 09:09, May 19, 2004 (UTC)

If you don't see one you like, just add it

Regarding the content of the parenthesis

  • Ōsaka (大阪市 -shi; lit. big slope)
  • Ōsaka (大阪市 Osaka-shi; lit. big slope)

Regarding links to Japanese language

  • Ōsaka (大阪市 -shi; lit. big slope)

Regarding romanization information

  • Ōsaka (大阪市 Oosaka in Nippon-shiki)
We already have a style; see sections 2, 3, and 4 of the Wikipedia:Manual of Style for Japan-related articles. That makes it clear that when the Japanese pronunciation is significantly different from the English, then the article should start:
English (kanji rōmaji) …
so in this case I think it would start
Osaka (大阪市 Ōsaka-shi) …
I don't see anything wrong with adding the literal meaning. Gdr 09:27, 2004 May 19 (UTC)
Agree fully with Gdr (and as usual disagree with WhisperToMe). Jpatokal 14:26, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

I'm fine with adding the meaning, if it's warranted (doubtful when it comes to most city names, however), but what I have a problem with is adding every possible romanization and several misspellings both in the articles and in the form of redirect pages, particularly in cases (such as, for example, Tokyo) where the Japanese word has a standard English spelling. I also don't see any reasonable point in adding a link to Japanese language (as in "Osaka (Japanese: 大阪 Osaka"). Exploding Boy 14:41, May 19, 2004 (UTC)

I think that the Kunrei-shiki can be left in, but the Nippon-shiki and JSL should be left out. - Kunrei-shiki is used more often than the other two, and some names are rendered more often in Kunrei-shiki than in Hepburn.

Even style is not an excuse to leave out the "Japanese language" link. Here's how this can be accomplished.

Osaka (大阪市 Ōsaka-shi) …

The Japanese here links to the "Japanese language" article. I learned this trick after seeing some Korean-related articles. WhisperToMe 22:34, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

Personally, I still don't like it. It should be clearly obvious to even a complete moron that the words in parentheses in the above type of situation are Japanese. Why would they be any other language? Intuitively 大阪&#24066 should redirect to the Japanese article on Osaka. Exploding Boy 00:21, May 20, 2004 (UTC)

Look at Rome, Hu Jintao, Mexico City, and several other articles. This is common practice, like it or not. WhisperToMe 00:26, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

You're again citing bad precedents without saying why they should be imitated! Jpatokal 14:26, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

And regarding 大阪&#24066, this is what I am really doing: [[Japanese language|大阪&#24066]]. The actual Kanji cannot turn out into an article.

This is a trick I learned from the Korean articles. WhisperToMe 01:00, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

Also, what do you guys think of this...

" Mount Fuji (富士山, Fuji-san, Huzi-san)"

'''Mount Fuji''' ([[Japanese language|富士山]], '''[[Hepburn|Fuji-san]]''', '''[[Kunrei-shiki|Huzi-san]]''')

I like how compact it is. WhisperToMe 01:15, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

I think it's ridiculous. Mt. Fuji has never been called "Mt. Huzi." Adding that romanization, which is out of date, never used, and unofficial, is unnecessary and redundant. You seem not to be reading what people are writing in response to your posts. Exploding Boy 06:38, May 20, 2004 (UTC)
And I fully agree with Explo on this. Jpatokal 14:26, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

On top of which it's cluttered, confusing and misleading, and linking the kanji for "fuji-san" to the English article "Japanese language" is counterintuitive. Exploding Boy 15:01, May 20, 2004 (UTC)

Please, WhisperToMe, take a hint and redirect your energies elsewhere. -- Sekicho 17:15, May 20, 2004 (UTC)

"Mt. Fuji has never been called "Mt. Huzi."" Untrue. Mt. Huzi (no parenthanses) gets 197 google hits. If you want me to change my position, don't say untrue things. To win with me, you have to be precise (I.E. you probably meant that it isn't often called "Mt. Huzi") - Also, from experience, One should list even rare alternate spellings because they can confuse people. (E.G. Some people do not know that Akhilleus is Achilles!) - Even though "Akhilleus" isn't too common, it was used for Robert Fitzgerald's version of "the Odyssey", and it confused kids in my class.

Sekicho, I already got a hint, if you had looked upwards to previous discussions. I will firmly stand here unless I find evidence that convinces me that my position is not a good idea. After looking at Exploding boy's "quote", I am only reaffirmed. WhisperToMe 20:22, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

You seem to be deliberately missing the point. Random articles on Japanese topics are not the place to put information about old and largely unused systems of romanization. Spelling Fuji as Huzi is inappropriate because at best it's an academic exercise, that is, what you're really saying is it's also possible to romanize it as Huzi. But in fact this is not standard: the standard English spelling and Japanese romanization is Fuji, and including the spelling "Huzi" in the page misleadingly implies that both are standard. They are not. These alternate romanizations belong on their own appropriate pages (Romanization, Kunreishiki, Nipponshiki, etc), not as a confusing, misleading addition to unrelated topics.
By your rationale, following English rules of pronunciation and spelling, I could spell your name as "Wispah too mea," "Whisspuh two mee," or any number of other variants. I could spell mine as "Ecksplowding Buoy." It's even possible, in the wacky world of misromanizations, to spell Junichiro Koizumi as "Zyunitiroh Koidumi," but since that's not in fact how he chooses to spell his own name, it's still wrong (completely aside from the fact that that romanization combines several differing systems). They may be technically correct, but they are still wrong.
Your assertion of whatever number of Google hits is irrelevant. There is plenty of misinformation on the internet. If you took a look at many of those sites, you'd find that plenty of them are either academic, are pointing out the spelling as an archaisim, or are denouncing the use of this outdated form.
On top of that, the fact that you are the only user among those who write on Japanese topics who supports your point of view should tell you something. You are creating dozens of unnecessary and often ridiculous redirect pages (Ohosaka???), adding redundant and confusing information to pages, and generally becoming a nuisance. Exploding Boy 01:14, May 21, 2004 (UTC)
Exploding boy, Japanese is a bit different from English, 1.

2: "Spelling Fuji as Huzi is inappropriate because at best it's an academic exercise, that is, what you're really saying is it's also possible to romanize it as Huzi. " Untrue. Kunrei-shiki did not become ISO 3602 for nothing! Kunrei-shiki is hardly used outside of Japan, but the International Organisation for Standardisation made it a standardized romanization for Japanese anyways.

3: There is no excuse not to make a redirect from uncommon spellings, ever!

Want proof? I made an article on matrushka dolls, but Stan Shebs already made one on it under the spellings "matryoshka doll" - I didn't know this, and that article only linked to one article. So he redirected my article to his, and I proceeded to link all known spellings of "matryoshka doll" to the said article.

There is a reason why I do this. I do this so that double articles cannot be made.

Another case in point: Laayoune and El Aaiun were once separate articles, although they both are the same city.

You are saying untrue things. WhisperToMe 01:57, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

"Matrushka" is not Japanese. "Laayoune" is not Japanese. As far as I'm concerned, you can add all the redirects you like since at least they don't get in anyone's way -- but I do strongly object to putting any unnecessary crap into the first paragraph of content.
Time for a Gedankenexperiment. Let's say somebody honestly doesn't know that 富士山 is usually rendered "Fuji" in English, so they type "Huzi" into the search box and are promptly redirected to "Fuji". My questions are:
  • The hypothetical user's page will automatically now say "Fuji (redirected from Huzi)" up top. Is there any need to repeat that yes, Fuji can also be called Huzi in the article?
  • For everybody else -- 99.99% approaching on 100% -- is that fact that Fuji can be spelled "Huzi" really more important than that it's Japan's tallest mountain and regarded as sacred?
Jpatokal 04:52, 21 May 2004 (UTC)


  1. Actually, the standard romanization is modified Hepburn. The correct romanization of 富士(山) is Fuji (-san) because that is how it is spelled in English and romanized by the Japanese. The correct romanization is not Huzi, though Huzi is theoretically (stress that, theoretically) possible. Let me repeat that: Huzi-san is not a correct romanization of 富士山. However, just because a spelling is theoretically possible does not make it correct, as demonstrated (and, clearly, misunderstood by you) above.
  1. There is a major difference between "uncommon" and "incorrect" spellings. Ohosaka is not even close to being correct. In fact, it's so far from the right spelling and romanization (any system) and so difficult to mistype that it's impossible to imagine anyone ever making that mistake.
  1. It's not necessary to create redirect pages to prevent double articles. Double articles get discovered immediately, and anyone wanting to start an article on a Japanese topic is going to be familiar with the different systems of romanization.

Exploding Boy 05:31, May 21, 2004 (UTC)

1. Depends on the user's perception. For some, they may recognize "Fuji" as a proper spelling along with "Huzi". For others, they may recognize it as incorrect. I do not know the exact "percentages" of each group, but I guess that of this, most would fall under the first group.
2. In the case of Japanese articles, to directly answer your question, no. But I think there may be some merit including it in the article, as that Westerner may read a paper or document in English in Japan that uses Kunrei-shiki, and can get confused over the "really different" names.

Recently in the Korean articles, the "Revised Romanization" for some South Koreans and North Koreans were placed in the articles, despite that they are seldom used (the names often used, e.g. Kim Jong-il, usually do not correspond to any system)

Another question - Can't there be a way to include the Kunrei-shiki in the article, but at the same time, keep a nice, clean format? Perhaps experimenting with the "formats" could do that. Also, borrowing tricks from the Korean and Chinese articles regarding "links" can do. Also, we would have to address articles like Sin-Itiro Tomonaga and Nissin, which have the Kunrei-shiki as more well known than the Hepburn. WhisperToMe 05:42, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

As for your post, Exploding Boy...

1. "Huzi" is correct under the Kunrei-shiki romanization system, but not the Hepburn system. This a matter of different romanization systems being used. The Japanese government and ISO prefer the Kunrei-shiki system, but many government organs in Japan continue to use the Hepburn.

"Ohosaka" would be like "Kim Jong-Il" except it is sparsely used, ever. 102 Google hits (though at least two are wikipedia hits, making at most 100 non-wikipedia hits) suggest that a small few do make this mistake. But I'm going to delete it anyway.

Do double articles ALWAYS get discovered immediately? No. This is why "Laayoune" and "El Aaiun" hung around as separate articles for awhile. (Remember that many statements with always, never, etc in them are false)

WhisperToMe 05:42, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

Ohosaka is nothing like Kim Jong-il. Kim Jong-il is a standard spelling; Ohosaka is at best a deliberate misspelling. Exploding Boy 16:22, May 21, 2004 (UTC)
Believe it or not, Kim Dae-jung and many other Korean names are NOT in any standardized spelling - It doesn't conform to any romanization from Korean to English. Nethertheless, it is used more often than the "standard" names. WhisperToMe 22:44, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
Fine. But the Kunrei/Nipponsiki/JSL romanizations you are so keen on are not used more often than Hepburn! Jpatokal 10:21, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
That is correct. As a matter of fact, I have already dropped trying to put JSL and Nippon-shiki into articles. WhisperToMe 20:24, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
Another thing - "Ninzya" was used in: Samurai#Evolution of samurai culture during feudal-era Japan - And I did not add the word in either. WhisperToMe 07:02, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
And today I saw a sign advertising "Shisyamo" in a Japanese restaurant. Your point is? Jpatokal 10:21, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
That on Wikipedia, Kunrei-shiki is occasionally used. And a few times is enough. I don't understand how you can miss my point this easily. WhisperToMe 20:24, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

Whisper to me, please stop adding this ridiculous misinformation to articles. 芸者 is geisha, not geisya. 忍者 is ninja, not ninzya. 新宿 is Shinjuku, not Sinzyuku. 富士山 is Mt. Fuji, not Mt. Huzi. You have no support for your position. Add all the info you want to the relevant romanization pages, start a discussion on the appropriate pages, and in the meantime, stop reverting the other articles. Exploding Boy 12:20, May 22, 2004 (UTC)

  • 1. Again, Hepburn, while the most commonly used romanization system, isn't the only one. Kunrei-shiki is sanctioned by both the International Organisation for Standardisation and the Japanese Government.
  • 2. Have you looked at Takuya Murata's posts above, perhaps?
  • 3. I will add discussions on the pages anyways.

WhisperToMe 16:18, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

I have seen his posts; they seem to be in disagreement with you. Exploding Boy 00:25, May 23, 2004 (UTC)

What he is saying that Kunrei-shiki can be noted in the articles if they are "very different" from the Hepburn. WhisperToMe 00:59, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Where, pray tell, does he say that?!? Here's what you appear to be referring to:
I think in general any romanization information about the title of the article is irrelevant except some exceptions such as two romanized names are equaly used or traditional names are common but is not in line with the modern system. --Taku
So alternate romanizations are OK if equally used or common, but not if merely "very different". Jpatokal 01:59, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

...and especially not if just a random mishmash of romanization systems. Exploding Boy 02:04, May 23, 2004 (UTC)

Look at the edit history for Junichiro Koizumi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Junichiro_Koizumi&action=history

"TakuyaMurata (cleanup the first sentence; I don't think they are significantly different to be considered as being alternative spellings)"

WhisperToMe 02:36, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Let me get this straight: Taku removes your multiple romanizations and you take this as an endorsement of your ideas!? What brand of crack are you smoking, and where can I get some? Jpatokal 02:59, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
Not so much that it happened in the first place than the rationale. Read the text. WhisperToMe 03:18, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
One other thing - I would very much like you guys to join #ja.wikipedia on irc.freenode.net to discuss this. I would rather discuss this live. In addition, others who haven't posted here inhabit the channel. WhisperToMe 03:39, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
There are people who inhabit #ja.wikipedia who don't post here? Isn't that kind of silly? I thought the buck stopped with what was published here on wikipedia? In any case, I don't feel like installing an IRC client just so I can talk about kunrei-shiki. -- Tlotoxl 04:02, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Fukuoka vs. Hukuoka - you were disingenuous in listing this 'alternate' romanization as as having 15,000 google hits, WhisperToMe. Sure, ti has 15,000 hits for 'hukuoka' - but virtually every single one of them is on a Japanese language page. Search for English-language pages, and you only get around 1,500 hits, and still most of those are Japanese. Of those that aren't in Japanese, most (from a cursory inspection) seem to me to be on sites where the authors spoke English as a second language. I live in Fukuoka, but have never seen it written Hukuoka. -- Tlotoxl 03:58, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

They do post on Wikipedia. They just didn't know this debate was happening.

Also, Kunrei-shiki is mostly used within Japan, and is used by the ISO. The Japanese government only started using Kunrei-shiki in 1994, and many organs of that government still use Hepburn. I did find a list of names related to a pollution report using mostly Kunrei that was made by the Japanese government. That one uses "Hukuoka", and was found with an English-language "Hukuoka" search. WhisperToMe 04:30, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Are you serious - the Japanese government is in the process of switching from Hepburn to Kunrei-shiki? Egads, they're insane... reminds me of Lafcadio Hearne's writings about cultural jujutsu. I thought the government wanted people to be learning English? IMO, increasing the usage of kunrei-shiki only makes that harder.
WTM, my boy, you're spouting patent nonsense again: the two kunrei (Cabinet Ordinance) proclaiming Japan's official romanization system -- hence the name, you see -- date from September 21, 1937 and December 29, 1954. It says something that despite 67 years of effort (!) Hepburn remains firmly entrenched as the official standard of institutions like the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Jpatokal 13:53, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
The reason why I cited 1994 was because Modified Hepburn was abolished by the government (de jure, apparently) on that year. WhisperToMe 23:15, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
Abolished? Can you provide a cite for this rather preposterous claim? Jpatokal 04:40, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia article on Hepburn. WhisperToMe 05:12, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
A "fact" added there by the esteemed Mr. 218.228.102.59 on 21 May, it appears. Removed until somebody can back that up. Jpatokal 07:32, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Anyway, back to 'Hukuoka', I'm sure there are some English language documents that use 'Hukuoka'. Quite frankly, I think this is a translation error (hardly unusual in Japan), but considering that 'Hukuoka' shows up in English documents at rate of less than 0.2% that 'Fukuoka' does, I don't think there is much case for littering the first line of the encyclopedia with this unusual romanization. If 'Fukuoka' formally announces that it will be forthwith known as 'Hukuoka', then, well, that will be another story. -- Tlotoxl 05:06, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

The Japanese government had declared that Kunrei-shiki was its official romanization system, as did the ISO. But road signs and passports still use Hepburn. The Kunrei tends to show up in the Japanese school systems.

Also, some anon wanted WP to switch completely to Kunrei-shiki. See: Talk:Romaji - That I do not agree with. WhisperToMe 05:09, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, you're certainly prompt about replying! :) I've only seen kunrei-shiki widely used in Kansai (which almost made me not want to move there... yeah, I really hate kunrei-shiki). In any case, even if the Japanese government considers kunrei-shiki to be its official romanization system, that doesn't mean that proper names should be written in kunrei-shiki when writing in English; kunrei-shiki essential makes romaji a Japanese alphabet, whereas Hepburn transliterates Japanese into English. Unless a proper name is better known (or at least well known) by its kunrei-shiki counterpart, I think we should stick with Hepburn only. -- Tlotoxl 05:16, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
I wasn't planning on changing the entire system - All I wanted to do was for a few articles, was to list the "Kunrei-shiki" "version" in the first sentence so that people would know that if they saw the kunrei, that it meant the same thing as the hepburn. WhisperToMe 05:20, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
I see that now, and I agree with your intentions. In the case of 'Hukuoka', though, I really don't think that anyone is going to be confused. Honest, nobody ever calls Fukuoka 'Hukuoka', notwithstanding obscure websites turned up by google. Anyway, I feel much calmer having taked this over now :). Still hate kunrei-shiki, though. -- Tlotoxl 05:27, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
As for which ones, one is that I think all of the prefectures that this applies to should have them as they are already listed in Wikipedia anyway by their Kunrei-shiki names (See: ISO 3166-2:JP) WhisperToMe 05:31, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
That's a good point. It makes sense to use it for Fukuoka Pref., but I still think that it's really unnecessary for Fukuoka City. Maybe I'm just being obstinate, though. -- Tlotoxl 05:50, 23 May 2004 (UTC)
If you wish, perhaps a poll can decide for Fukuoka city. WhisperToMe 05:58, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Um, kunreishiki is not the "official" romanization system in Japan. In fact, in all the time I've been in Japan I have never once seen a romanized Japanese word given in any other system than Hepburn or modified Hepburn. Kids do -- or did; this is becoming rather rare these days -- learn Nippon-shiki in elementary school, but when they officially begin learning English, in junior high, they learn Hepburn. All official signs (street signs, warnings, notices, etc) are romanized in Hepburn or, increasingly, modified Hepburn. JR, and all the other transportation systems (buses, subways, other train systems, aeroplanes, etc) use Hepburn or modified Hepburn. Signs and notices in city offices and police stations use Hepburn or modified Hepburn. Signs at shrines, temples and attractions use Hepburn or modified Hepburn. Newspapers and TV use Hepburn or modified Hepburn. Cities and prefectures use Hepburn or modified Hepburn. Official tourism information put out by the government uses Hepburn or modified Hepburn, as do all guidebooks, local and foreign, on Japan. Students of Japanese as a foreign language invariably learn Hepburn or modified Hepburn; most students do not learn kunreishiki or Nipponshiki at all, unlike students of Chinese who must learn both Wade-Giles and Pin-yin. The vast, overwhelming majority of Japanese people use Hepburn or modified Hepburn in romanizing their personal names. Are you noticing a pattern here? Exploding Boy 14:13, May 23, 2004 (UTC)

"Um, kunreishiki is not the "official" romanization system in Japan."

It says so in the Romaji article. "Kunrei-shiki is a modified Nihon-shiki with a touch of Hepburn; it is the official romanization system of the Japanese government (although many government agencies use Hepburn) and is taught in Japanese schools." Again, many government organs use Hepburn (e.g. passports, road signs), so the Kunrei-shiki ends up in the educational system. WhisperToMe 15:27, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Okay, WhisperToMe, since you're obviously such an expert on this, would you care to name five places where Kunrei-shiki can be found in daily use, excepting your own writeups? -- Sekicho 15:38, May 23, 2004 (UTC)

What constitutes as a "place"? Countries? Cities? Regions? Prefectures? Institutions? Japan is the only country where Kunrei-shiki is in extensive use. Kunrei-shiki is used within schools in Japan. Within Japan, according to Tlotoxl, the Kansai region has heavy use of Kunrei-shiki. This constitutes the cities of Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto. So, that's five places, but many are within one another. As Tlotoxl pointed out, Kunrei is used within Japan for Japanese, but Hepburn is used when foreigners are involved.

If you are meaning on Wikipedia, there is another article which uses Kunrei-shiki: ISO 3166-2:JP - It does so as Kunrei is the ISO's system, and that is an ISO related article. WhisperToMe 17:35, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

The claim that kunreishiki is in "extensive use" in Japan appears, from my personal experience, to be completely untrue. Some older people here still use Nipponshiki/kunreishiki romanizations for some things (notably not usually for names of places, but rather for everyday things like tea (tya instead of cha)), but I have never, ever seen any word on any official document, sign, etc, romanized in any system other than Hepburn or modified Hepburn in Japan (I'll ask some Japanese friends about their passports). Children here learn Hepburn in school. Much older people still occasionally use kunrei/nipponshiki for their personal names, but younger people do not. And I just came back from a 5-day trip to Kansai (Hiroshima, Kyoto and Osaka), and everything there, including street signs, tourist information, transit signs, is all in Hepburn. Sorry, but none of your claims is backed up at least by my experience studying, living, working and traveling within Japan. Exploding Boy 22:14, May 23, 2004 (UTC)

The reason why younger people are choosing Hepburn over Kunrei is because they feel more comfortable with the system through their studies of the English language. As for the signs and tourist information, I think the reason those are in Hepburn is that foriegners rely on them. The Kunrei-shiki seems to be used internally.

Also, this link shows how the two systems (Hepburn and Kunrei) seem to conflict: http://www.cic.sfu.ca/tqj/JapaneseStudy/romaji.html

That site says that most documents written for foriegners are required to be in Hepburn. WhisperToMe 23:22, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

You're either missing the point or ignoring it. The reason why younger people choose Hepburn is because that's what they learn in school, in other words, because that's the official curriculum handed down from MEXT (the Japanese ministry of education). Another reason, related to the item below, is that the spelling and pronunciation of systems other than Hepburn are counterintuitive to people familiar with English.
The whole reason for romanization is so that non-speakers of Japanese can represent, pronounce and understand Japanese names (and, to a much lesser extent, other Japanese words). Japanese people have no need to represent their language in another writing system; they already have three of their own. In other words, there is no reason at all for a Japanese company, or the government, to use romaji "internally," as you put it.
If, as you claim, kunrei was the "official" system of romanization in Japan, then one would expect to encounter it frequently and to encounter Hepburn infrequently. The reverse is in fact true with the added difference that kunrei and Nipponshiki are actually very rarely seen. One would further expect that children would be required to learn kunrei in schools; they are not: they learn Hepburn.
If kunrei was the official romanization system, then they'd use it on all official documents, signs, etc. People cannot just invent their own spelling for things. Imagine if the NY subway system spelt Chelsea as Tsyelsee. It would not be allowed, would it? In the same way, transportation systems, road signs, etc in Japan cannot just invent spellings. That's why, for example, one can take a train to Fukushima but not Hukusima, or one can ride the roller coaster at Fujikyu Highland and not Huzikyu Highland.
If kunrei was the official system then no Japanese as a foreign language program or academic worth his or her salt would use anything but. In fact, kunrei and Nipponshiki are not used at all in JFL programs or by scholars of Japan(ese) and Japanese topics. In fact, the overwhelming majority of JFL programs don't even discuss other romanization systems at all, let alone have the students learn them.
I have serious doubts about the ISO designating kunrei as the official romanization system of Japan, and not only for the above reasons. The last I heard they had requested that Japan designate one system as official, but so far nothing had been done. In any case, when it happens I seriously doubt it'll be anything other than Hepburn (more likely it'll be modified Hepburn) if only because switching to kunrei would entail massive expenses changing untold numbers of signs and official documents none of which are written in kunrei.
Re: your question about passports, I haven't had a chance to ask anyone yet, but I have remembered that Japanese people must themselves provide a romanization of their personal name for use on their passport.
One more thing about the "different" romanization systems in Kanto and Kansai: Kansai tends to use Hepburn (not kunreishiki) while Kanto uses modified Hepburn; thus, in Kyoto one can visit 先斗町 (Pontocho), while in Yokohama you can go to 桜木町 (Sakuragichō).
Lastly, regarding the link you provided, you obviously didn't read it very thoroughly. It contradicts more than a few things you've said, and it was also written in 1998 (going on 7 years ago), and several of the things it predicted or gave as fact, for example the changing of the names Mitsui and Mistubishi to Mitui and Mitubisi respectively, have not occurred or are untrue.
Exploding Boy 00:09, May 24, 2004 (UTC)

1. Wait a second. Isn't the ministry of Education the "Monbusho", and isn't Kunrei-shiki the system it is pushing? The Wikipedia articles say that Kunrei-shiki is the Ministry of Education's system.

2. You fail to recognize the difference between de jure and de facto. De Jure, Kunrei-shiki is the government's system, but it ends up that Hepburn is used so commonly that it tends to be de facto.

I would like to show me the things that it contradicts, specifically.

WhisperToMe 00:20, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Monbusho (sometimes written as mombusho) is short for 文部科学省, or monbukagakushou, which is the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, abbreviated as MEXT. They decide the national curriculum, which is taught at all elementary, junior high and high schools throughout the country. Part of that curriculum is Hepburn romanization system, known in Japan as ヘボン式, or hebonshiki. It's rather clear, judging from the nonsense you're posting, that you don't know what you're talking about. The above evidence contrary to your opinion is ample and varied, and includes first-hand knowledge; you have thus far managed not only to demonstrate nothing in your favour, but in fact to contradict yourself both in your sources and statements. Exploding Boy 03:08, May 24, 2004 (UTC)
How am I contradicting myself? Why is this nonsense? You haven't cited any examples. Let's not be subjective. Let's be objective. WhisperToMe 03:33, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

I have pointed out several contradictions and several examples of why what you're posting is nonsense. Several other users have done so as well. You should be more than able to figure it out. You are the only user who supports your point of view, and yet you persist in creating dozens of new pages and edits each day that go against what the rest of us are saying. It's time to stop this absurdity. Exploding Boy 03:38, May 24, 2004 (UTC)

I see why people are opposing it, per se, but I am not seeing any alleged contradictions other than this one.

"Within Japan, according to Tlotoxl, the Kansai region has heavy use of Kunrei-shiki." (notice the bold)

So, it is a contradiction of Tlotoxl's account and yours. I frankly don't know who is right.

Tlotoxl was mistaken and Explo is right. JR East (=Tokyo) uses modified Hepburn ("Nihonbashi", "Gunma") while JR West (=Kansai) uses old-skool Hepburn ("Nihombashi", "Namba"). The difference is minor and doesn't apply to much beyond place names; and rest assured, neither region will ever use "Nihonbasi" on a sign.
And yet again, WTM, you can't tell who is right because you don't know Japanese! Jpatokal 04:40, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
No, because I never went to Japan. I don't need to know Japanese to tell the difference between Hepburn and Kunrei (thanks to the conversion chart on Wikipedia) - I have never been outside of North America. WhisperToMe 04:49, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
But as the cases of "Ohsaka" (sic) and "syodyo" (sic) have demonstrated, merely being able to read a chart doesn't mean you can actually produce the correct romaji, and you trust the content you read blindly (at least if it supports your view) because you have no personal knowledge. My mind still boggles at how, as an self-admittedly illiterate high school student, you can self-assuredly contradict every other Wikipedian contributing to this discussion, most of whom are fluent in Japanese and intimately familiar with the country and its language... Jpatokal 07:32, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

You probably don't quite get what I mean. I mean that Kunrei-shiki is used somewhat often - quite often (don't know the exact range), but does this mean that Hepburn cannot be used often on the same token? Hardly.

English-language Google searches have on multiple occasions revealed that your "quite often" is around 0.1% of returned results, most of these miscategorized Japanese at that...! Jpatokal 07:32, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Also, just because Hepburn is used a lot in Japanese society doesn't mean that the government has to have that as their official "romaji" - Besides, I am not pulling this out of my ass. I am repeating what has been said on articles on Wikipedia.

No, I am not the only person with this view. I am the only person with the said view that seems to be posting here, however.

Again, I will not stop fighting for this as this is my view and I am doing what I think is right. If you have looked at my edit summary, after Geisha, I have not added any more Kunrei to any articles.

Granted, I do not want to put the Kunrei in every single article known on man! I only want to put it in a few articles.

Also, you are, as far as I know, alone in your view about the redirects as a whole (Others who disagree with me in putting the Kunrei in the actual article do see it okay to make redirects from Kunrei to Hepburn). WhisperToMe 03:51, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

I never expected to get quoted in this discussion on use of kunrei-shiki in kansai. I don't think I ever wrote that kunrei-shiki was heavily used in kansai - only that it was more heavily used there. I don't know if it was JR or Kintetetsu or what, but after having lived in Kanagawa for 10 months and never noticed a sign in kunrei-shiki, I saw numerous train stops and signs in Kansai that used kunrei-shiki. This is just anecdotal, of course. -- Tlotoxl 05:08, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
From the diction of the post, I thought that it was actually used heavily in Kansai. ("I've only seen kunrei-shiki widely used in Kansai (which almost made me not want to move there...") My mistake, then. WhisperToMe 05:12, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

The problem with using Wikipedia articles, and articles online, as a source is that, frankly, the information contained in them is not always correct. Sometimes it's just a question of interpreting them properly, and sometimes it's a result of people promoting a point of view based on imprecise or non-existent knowledge, which is exactly what is going on here. I object less to the redirects than to the extra romanizations in the articles, but many of the redirects are also pointless, misleading or plain misromanized. Wikipedia is not paper, but that still doesn't mean we should waste space with redirects no-one will ever use. Exploding Boy 15:19, May 24, 2004 (UTC)

Basta! WTM, please stop this nonsense. Yes, kunreishiki does exist and has official recognition but it is not commonly used as the evidence has shown. Anybody who wants to get into the details of romanization can read the respective articles. So please stop cluttering up the articles with this stuff. I think the redirecting is a waste of time but it is less problematic than adding all these alternate romaji readings to the articles. Mdchachi|Talk 19:58, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
Even if things aren't commonly used, sometimes they still get listed. For instance, see Kabul. No, this is not Japanese, but still...

Mdchachi, if you think redirecting is a waste of time... well... see Samurai and "Search" for "Ninzya". Just because it ain't common doesn't mean it's not used at all. WhisperToMe 00:30, 25 May 2004 (UTC)

Linking to Japanese language

What's our policy on putting a link to Japanese language in the first paragraph of any Japan-related article {eg: Geisha ([[Japanese language|芸者]] geisha)}?

Whisper to me seems to think it's essential, and he cites various city names and articles on things whose names are in foreign languages as precedent. I'm suspicious on two counts, firstly that he himself has apparently gone on an editing spree on such pages (type any Japanese topic or major European capital into the search box and Whisper to me's name comes up in the edit history), and secondly because many of the pages he cites are China-related, and there you're dealing with Wade-Giles and Pin-Yin.

My other objection is that it's counterintuitive to have, for example, 芸者 redirect to an English article on Japanese language -- one would expect it to link to the Japanese Wikipedia article on geisha. Exploding Boy 23:31, May 25, 2004 (UTC)

I can see where you are coming from on the "link" thing - but the link would appear green if linking to the Japanese wikipedia, as it is another server.

Also, to verify what I am saying, one should look at all of my edits and see what I added. (This applies to European cities) - Or one could look at the article right before my first edit.

E.G.

WhisperToMe, 23:48, 25 May 2004 (UTC)

I agree that it's counterintuitive. What is the standard in other languages? (I mean agreed-upon standard, not examples of entries where it is done one way or another). Mdchachi|Talk 20:32, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
I don't know if there are any Manual of style articles that talk about standards set for each language. WhisperToMe 20:58, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
I have listed this debate on RFC. WhisperToMe 04:19, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
My opinion is that linking is unnecessary when the article clearly establishes a Japanese context ("Samurai (侍) were the warrior class in feudal Japan", "Kyoto (京都) was the historical capital of Japan"...). I think linking would be a good idea when it isn't obvious that the subject was originally Japanese (say, for some random Pokémon character), in which case spelling out the full word "Japanese: " would be best. If the reader can guess the language from a kanji link (which I also find counterintuitive), then it's probably too obvious to need a link. DopefishJustin (・∀・) 15:53, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Agree. Exploding Boy 01:06, Jun 18, 2004 (UTC)

Macrons in titles? (Now that we're using UTF-8...)

I've been spotting a couple of instances where users are renaming articles to include macrons (jōyō kanji, rōmaji). While the current Manual of Style states no macrons, that was probably written before Wikipedia switched to UTF8 with MediaWiki 1.5β, before doing such a thing was even possible. However, I still think the reasoning behind sticking with hepburn and no diacritics hold. —Tokek 03:09, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I'm sorry, I didn't notice the no macrons policy until after I'd moved jōyō kanji. There's already a discussion of this subject at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style for Japan-related articles#English Wikipedia is now UTF-8 - they don't seem to have reached any consensus, so I haven't made any effort to move it back.
My personal feeling, though, is that if Hepburn including macrons is the preferred use within articles, it should be used for article titles now that this is possible. The objections in the MoS concern difficulties in entering and understanding diacritics on the part of readers - this is a reasonable concern, but can be dealt with through redirects. This being the case, I don't see any reason why there should be any difference in the romanization of words in the body of an article and in its title. Butsuri 13:03, July 24, 2005 (UTC)