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

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Interpretation of "Use names as how they are known in English"

A naming dispute in Talk:InuYasha sprung over a name of a sword in the show.

The English versions of the show and manga use "Tetsusaiga" and google hits show that is most common among English speakers, but "Tessaiga", while not as common, is properly romanized Hepburn.

Should the statement refer to ALL Japanese names used in English, or just those appearing in dictionaries? WhisperToMe 05:26, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

As I said in Talk:InuYasha, I think the statement only refers to words that are so well-known in English that one can find them in an English dictionary. For example, "Kimono" or "Tokyo," both of which can be found in Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. In fact, all the examples given in the Manual of Style (Mount Fuji, Tokyo, Jiu Jitsu, and shogi) are in that dictionary, which seems to indicate that that was the intent of the statement. [[User:JoshG|Josh | Talk]] 05:54, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)

Either could be correct (this is not a romanization issue). I am not familiar with Inuyasha, but Tetsusaiga is (てつさいが) and Tessaiga is (てっさいが) ... check the original and you should have your answer. CES 20:53, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

In other words, both spellings are correct in romanization? If so, we should go with Tetsusaiga hands down, as the Viz versions of InuYasha use that spelling. WhisperToMe 22:09, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The kanji of Tetsusaiga is 鉄砕牙 WhisperToMe 22:12, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The small tsu is different from the large tsu. Which romanization is correct would depend on how the name is pronounced. Either could be derived from those kanji. Sekicho 22:17, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)
That "Tessaiga" is correct is not the issue. Everyone agrees that that is the correct reading. (If not see this website, or look up 鉄砕牙 in WWWJDIC.) What is in question is whether or not the correct reading should be used, even though the incorrect one "Tetsusaiga" is probably more well-known as a result of mistranslation in the English-language manga. [[User:JoshG|Josh | Talk]] 22:26, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)
This post gives me the impression that it's controversial :\ WhisperToMe 22:30, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Maybe you are right that it is controversial, although those posts are from 2003. In any case, I listened to one of my InuYasha DVDs to see for myself, but it is too subtle of a difference for me to distinguish. If anyone else wants to do so, however, they can listen to an audio clip from it that I put on my website.
Whatever the correct pronounciation, however, the question of which one we will use remains. [[User:JoshG|Josh | Talk]] 00:38, Oct 19, 2004 (UTC)
If the correct pronunciation cannot be determined in any way, even by watchin' the uncut InuYasha, then both "Tetsusaiga" and "Tessaiga" would be deemed as "proper" spellings. The decision between those two then would easily fall to Tetsusaiga because of a higher google hit count. WhisperToMe 02:30, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It sounded like Tessaiga to me (although I'm not a native Japanese speaker) and Google and Yahoo Japan came up with about twice as many hits for hiragana Tessaiga than Tetsusaiga (of course the vast majority of sites use kanji, so that's inconclusive). However, if Tetsusaiga is the common form in English and what the official translation is, it seems like Tetsusaiga should be used, whether it is 'correct' or not, for the same reason we have the "Mazda" car company instead of the 'correct' "Matsuda". It would probably be good to note the controversy over spelling/pronunciation in the article. CES 12:04, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I posted a message on the Japanese Wikipedia with the audio clip, since presumably they would be able to tell which reading is correct better than me. So far, people there seem to think that "Tessaiga" is the correct name. As for the rule we were discussing, ("...An English word or name with a Japanese origin should be used in its English form...") it seems like you are saying that we should apply it to all words, even those that cannot be found in a dictionary. Is that correct? [[User:JoshG|Josh | Talk]] 23:40, Oct 19, 2004 (UTC)
I'm sure I'll get nailed with some exception that I hadn't thought of, but yeah "common English usage" is a rule that works 99% of the time in Wikipedia. What a word's "common usage" is frequently becomes the center of debate, and I am not a fan of using search engine results as the primary indicator (although in this case there is also a "official" translation). That being said, I don't think a word has to be in a dictionary to fall under the rule, assuming a common usage can be agreed upon. Personally I think it's a shame that a seemingly mistaken transliteration like 鉄砕牙 as Tetsusaiga should become rule ... but Wikipedia's role is to be descriptive rather than proscriptive. But like I said, if possible I'd recommend discussing the controversy somewhere relevant in the article, and people can make their own personal usage decisions. But that is just one man's humble opinion! =) CES 00:09, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I can see what you mean, although the prescriptive grammarian within me wants to say otherwise. If others agree that that is a valid conclusion, then we should add something to that effect to the section of the Manual of Style that explains the rule. That way, it will be clearer. Actually, even if others do not agree, clarification to that effect would be good as well. [[User:JoshG|Josh | Talk]] 00:57, Oct 20, 2004 (UTC)

Tessaiga/Tetsusaiga, re-visited

Hi all, I believe it is time to restart this topic.

As InuYasha's anime version gets more popular, people will start noticing that what is represented on wikipedia is actually not what they hear on Television or the fan-stubbed versions.

As discussed way above, the views from the current wiki community (at least the editors involved in Japan related articles) are mixed, and a definite conclusion was not reached.

Last week I had a brief discussion with User: JoshG, it started after I reverted User: WhisperToMe's edits of changing Tessaiga into Tetsusaiga on Sesshomaru's page.

My reasons for restarting this topic was that, Tetsusaiga sounds nothing like Tessaiga, and the fact that Viz acknowledges this problem, but only sticked to the oringinal translation to stay consistent. Wikipedia, as an encyclopedia, should strive to stay both consistent AND correct.

Personally, I think as far as pronouciation of the word goes, Tessaiga will be the accepted word. However, currently every page that have a Tessaiga also has a Tetsusaiga in brackets or vice versa, and I think it is a good idea that we get rid of the contents in brackets altogether and use only Tessaiga.

Your comments are greatly requested and appreciated. LG-犬夜叉 07:48, Feb 26, 2005 (UTC)

Problem is, "Tetsusaiga" is correct in that the English-language versions of the anime use it. It may have been a translation goof but Viz decided not to fix it. Also we already acknowledge that "Tessaiga" is the correct romanization. WhisperToMe 07:57, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yes, that's correct. However I am proposing that wiki use Tessaiga instead of Tetsusaiga, and only mention Tetsusaiga on the page about the sword itself. Right now there are more Tetsusaiga than Tessaiga, and this could lead to confusion. LG-犬夜叉 08:05, Feb 26, 2005 (UTC)
I agree. The current state of mixed usages on every page seems cluttered and may be confusing to some readers, and if we are going to be consistant (as an encyclopedia should), we might as well use the correct romanization. Of course, the different usages should be discussed in the sword's article, which should be linked at least once from every article that discusses it anyway. Josh 08:33, Feb 26, 2005 (UTC)

To be honest, I am torn with this one. I remember I voted to keep this "Tetsusaiga" before due to its use in the "Official Translation", but I am amenable to the use of "Tessaiga" as well because it is the proper transliteration. If anything, I believe it is important that any new objects/characters that come after this point be using the proper transliterations (e.g. Dakki), but I really am not sure about whether to use romanized or "Viz" translations. I surmise that it is much better to err on the side of the proper romanization, but this is not hard and fast. -- EmperorBMA|話す 09:10, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • One more note, you may want to visit the result of this decision upon Ryukotsusei if it is still using that spelling. -- EmperorBMA|話す 09:12, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
well, i just spent the last 40 minutes notifying 15 people about this...I hope they have something to say. LG-犬夜叉 09:45, Feb 26, 2005 (UTC)
  • With you all the way. My feeling was always that the whole purpose of Romanizing Japanese was so that it would be clearer, not more difficult. -Litefantastic 17:34, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • We should go "Tetsusaiga" all the way then if there actually is mixed usage I am unaware of. It appears someone is reverting changes to the English name and I didn't find out about the reverts. However, if it simply refers to (correctly Tessaiga) strings in InuYasha articles, then I am for that. WhisperToMe 17:44, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Well, I was the one who did it. I was not aware of the discussion earlier. However, it was rather inconclusive and only involved 3 participants.

Uhm, there's a reason why that seemingly inconclusive discussion stopped. If you read the manual of style: "The en:Wikipedia is an English language encyclopedia. An English loan word or place name with a Japanese origin should be used in its most commonly used English form in the body of an article, even if it is pronounced or spelled differently from the properly romanized Japanese: use Mount Fuji, Tokyo, jiu jitsu, shogi, instead of Fujisan, Tōkyō, jūjutsu, shōgi. Give the romanized Japanese form in the opening paragraph if it differs from the English form (see below)." -

the san in Fujisan means mountain, so you'd have a san after every Japanese mountain, that is just a convention in their language, as is in English the word mount appears before each individual peaks. Tokyo, really if you were to add the accents on top of the o and have Tōkyō, people will still read it as Tokyo because they don't know Japanese accents. As for the other two examples you provided, I don't know anything about them.
I'm just saying that due to the complexity of romanizing Oriental languages into English, it's impossible to have one rule to govern all possible cases. LG-犬夜叉 01:07, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)

Come to think of it, I'm not sure if this vote can count because of that clause in the manual of style. WhisperToMe 00:51, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Well, if it's the policy, then I guess it may not count. However, I do question the popularity of Tetsusaiga over Tessaiga. LG-犬夜叉 01:02, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)
Wow you are not going to believe what I found out by searching Tessaiga on Yahoo.
This first link out of 17,2000 gives you an exact copy of the contents of Tetsusaiga found on Wikipedia. -___-
There are 33,600 returns for Tetsusaiga, though this proves little as most are from fan sites that haven't been updated in a while. More to come later. LG-犬夜叉 01:18, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)

I'll add google hits as another piece of evidence:

Also, I made a thread on Animerica ( to get Viz editors to help clear this up. WhisperToMe 05:42, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Not all of the fansites that use "Tetsusaiga" haven't been updated in awhile. The TV version of InuYasha is very popular in the United States and many Anglophones copy off of the usage of "Tetsusaiga" in the TV series. The manga also uses "Tetsusaiga". WhisperToMe 01:55, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Be it against the general wiki policy or not, I think it's more important to stay consistent and clear rather than clumsy. Currently the format is that both names appear on the same pages with mostly Tessaiga noted as the correct romanization in brackets. I believe it is tedious and unprofessional to have that noted on every page.
Let's just go ahead with the votes and see what happens. LG-犬夜叉 02:58, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)

I am not familiar with the English language manga or anime of Inuyasha, could someone confirm for me that the manga uses the spelling "Tetsusaiga" and that the anime pronounces it "Tetsusaiga" (ie are they consistent with each other at least, even if not with the original Japanese?). That will help me in my voting. CES 19:41, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yes, both the English-language manga and anime use "Tetsusaiga". WhisperToMe 23:06, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Thanks CES 23:33, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Since you were asking whether "the anime pronouncese it "Tetsusaiga" ", I can assure you that they pronounce it exactly like how the original Jap version does: Tes-sai-ga, aka Tessaiga. LG-犬夜叉 00:34, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)
  • Hmm, I personally think the EN anime pronounces it as teTsaiga, with the u as silent. I could be wrong, though. WhisperToMe 02:58, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Proposal, restated

I would like to restate this proposal and have a vote on it. It would be best if each vote can be justified with some reasoning as to why you support that vote.

  • Proposal: The usages of the two forms of spelling for the sword from the anime InuYasha appears simultaneously on most pages involving the sword, which could very well lead to confusion and have readers wonder why sometime one is used and not the other. For the purpose of clarification, consistency and correction, a policy should be reached so that wiki remains consistent in its publications. LG-犬夜叉 00:15, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)

Votes in favor of Tetsusaiga

This vote is for dropping the usage of Tessaiga and only mention it on the page about the sword.

  1. WhisperToMe 00:42, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC) - We should be descriptive, not proscriptive. Anglophones will be most familiar with "Tetsusaiga" and will expect to see "Tetsusaiga". And as for "correctness", it is correct that the English version uses that name. Viz decided not to correct the romanization "error".
  2. I think this is a case where we should go by common English usage, even though it is an incorrect translation of a Japanese word. I don't like it much, but if both the English manga and anime use "Tetsusaiga" then it seems as if Wikipedia is not in a position to change that and should describe rather than prescribe the spelling in use. CES 23:33, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Votes in favor of Tessaiga

This vote is for dropping the usage of Tetsusaiga and only mention it on the page about the sword.

  1. Tessaiga sounds exactly like how the word is actually pronounced; It is the correct romanization after they realize the mistake; LG-犬夜叉 00:25, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)
  2. Fully agree with LegolasGreenleaf. No point in propagating mistakes. Cohen the Bavarian 00:36, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  3. I agree with the previous comments. Although last time I could not tell, I am now sure that "Tessaiga" sounds more like how the word is pronounced. Josh 04:28, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)
  4. It's the correct Hepburn romanization and they unambiguously say "Tessaiga" on the show. Any confusion users might have can be fixed with a redirect and a brief explanation in the Tessaiga article. I don't think there's a need to use anything other than "Tessaiga" in other articles, it would just clutter things up and the context will make what's being talked about painfully obvious to anyone used to "Tetsusaiga" (and they can just click on the link to the main article). DopefishJustin (・∀・) 01:14, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)
    • Do you mean the Japanese show or the English show? WhisperToMe 03:16, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  5. Go for the correct Hepburn. The amount of digital ink spilled over this nonexistent object is just mindboggling... Jpatokal 03:11, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • But the English language-show and manga related pages clearly say "Tetsusaiga". Despite the fact it was a translation error, Viz kept on using it. Isn't EN supposed to use the most common form of a name even if it is known in Japan as something different? WhisperToMe 03:21, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • You're first going to have to convince me that there is such a thing as a English-language "common form" for an overgrown butterknife in an obscure kids' cartoon. The exception is intended for the kind of enshrined spelling you can find in dictionaries, eg. typhoon for 台風 taifū. Jpatokal 14:59, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
        • As if we never debate obscure things here on Wikipedia =) I thought the same thing as you at first, but the problem is that we are making the type of dictionary that things are enshrined in (at least until they're edited out!). Although this is a relatively limited example, there are some valid points being debated that will have an impact on future issues: how "valid" is an official translation in determining accuracy, when does a translation trump the original work in terms of importance to the English language, not to mention the good ol' question of what exactly is "common usage". CES 16:14, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
          • IMHO all your arguments simply tilt the equation further in favor of Hepburn. Why should we propagate somebody else's typo? And I would hardly canonize work contracted out to another company as "official". Jpatokal 06:21, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
            • That other company (Viz) is 50% owned by Shogakukan, and in addition to that, ShoPro is going to merge with Viz, and ShoPro (who has the master license for the InuYasha anime) is an organ of Shogakukan. US manga publishers frequently work with the Japanese companies on U.S. distribution. That, and if Viz was really concerned about the spelling, they would have changed it from "Tetsusaiga" to "Tessaiga" long ago. The reason the "Tetsusaiga" spelling should be propogated is because it is "the spelling" in all official English-language versions of InuYasha. Therefore, that spelling would be best as a general reference for the English-language audience. WhisperToMe 06:47, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Since one user mentioned that it is rather difficult to choose, I suppose this vote is legit.


  1. I chose the second option, but the first use of "Tessaiga" in an article should have a short explanation in parentesis. Reub2000 03:20, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Vote results

The original vote question didn't specify a closing time (d'oh), but it's been running for a week now and the results are pretty clear: 5 for "Tessaiga", 1 for "Tessaiga (Tetsusaiga)" and 2 for "Tetsusaiga". So Tessaiga it is.

As a corollary more important that this particular word, I'd like add the following disclaimer to the end of the aforementioned policy: Japanese words and concepts not adopted into English as loanwords should use the Hepburn form as outlined below. Jpatokal 13:04, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

No, it's 5-2-1, unless that "Other" vote is disqualified. WhisperToMe 18:31, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • Oh I didn't know a vote was supposed to have a time limit...ya that should have made more sense. HOwever I also notified more than 15 people about this, and about half haven't had any wiki activity for certain amount of times.
  • that Other vote is basically for Tessaiga.
  • I think it's pretty clear how the public opinion is on this issue: drop the mistakenly translated version and use the correct one. However that other vote has a good point as to include a short note at the FIRST mention of the sword and subsequently use a consistent form.
  • So can I assume that this is settled and we are going to go with Tessaiga? LG-犬夜叉 22:59, Mar 5, 2005 (UTC)
  • If we go with the "who is for which dominant spelling" logic, Tessaiga would win, but how that spelling would be handled would have to go in a runoff, because the "Tessaiga, no mention of Tetsusaiga except in the article" has a 62% piece of the entire poll pie, which is less than 66% (2/3). If we go with the "whichever options have the most votes" logic, it would be a runoff between "Tetsusaiga" and "Tessaiga", both with "no mention of the other spelling". WhisperToMe 23:17, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Why do you insist on some error? Read too much of those manga? I haven't read any english verions of ANY jap mangas and honestly, I don't look forward to reading them either.
Anyways, I have a perfect example to "convince" you, if that will ever happen:
  • check out Middle-earth, and noticed how it is spelt: Middle-earth, not Middle Earth, nor Middle-Earth, two forms of a few which are used by many, MANY casual fans and popular media instead of the correct one by it's author.
So ya, they did not go with the most popular spelling, but the correct spelling. This is not about popularity, but the accuracy and credibility of the information shown on wiki. LG-犬夜叉 04:46, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)
Since this is English, "Middle-earth" is the way to go. If there are any languages which have official productions where it is spelt "Middle earth", "Middle earth" is the way to go in those languages. Just because it is different from the original doesn't invalidate the spelling, even if it originally came by mistake. Tetsusaiga is accurate in relation to the English version (which is sanctioned by the company that produces InuYasha in Japan). Tessaiga is accurate in relation to the Japanese version (and therefore Tetsusaiga would be incorrect when talking about the Japanese version). In other words: both are "correct" (Tetsusaiga "correct" in the English version, and Tessaiga "correct" in the Japanese version). Tessaiga is more relevant to the languages that have adaptations that use "Tessaiga", and Tetsusaiga is more relevant to English. WhisperToMe 06:09, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Middle Earth, Middle-earth, and Middle-Earth are just variations on capatalization on hyphenization, and pronounced the same. Tetsuaiga and Tessaiga are pronounced diffrently. Reub2000 07:05, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
P.S. When watching InuYasha, I was watching a fansubs, and some of them used the correct "Tessaiga". Why does the english article even have to be about the American version?
Look at the Pokemon articles to get an idea of why many people use English names when writing about Japanese series. The U.S. version is most relevant to the English Wikipedia, much like how the French version would be most relevant to the French Wikipedia, and so on forth. One can pick and choose if multiple versions or translations exist for a series (Cardcaptor Sakura/Cardcaptors), (Tokyo Mew Mew/Mew Mew Power). Also, there are times when previous English adaptations of a series are deemed "not relevant" to the English-speaking audience (as people are not using the dub names anymore). For instance, Sailor Moon uses the Japanese names. (All of the English versions appear to be out of print anyways) WhisperToMe 07:13, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Whispy, give up. The vote is over, you lost. Deal with it. Jpatokal 11:14, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, he didn't exactly answer how we are going to deal with the results (see above - that one vote muddled the results), and another person (not me) continued the little debate, so I decided to answer. :) WhisperToMe 16:37, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Anyways, some people on #wikipedia are proposing that "tetsusaiga" should be put in a footnote in every article. WhisperToMe 16:44, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The wiki is about correctness of information, so by all means, correct the spelling error but make good mention on 'Tessaiga' of 'Tetsusaiga' and include a redirect for searchers to find it. Even so, the 'first' mention in the main inuyasha page with both is a good comprimise and should fill the need all around. -- Dbroadwell 17:00, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Compromise: Tessaiga (asa; Tetsusaiga)

Googling for Tetsusaiga yields about 18,300 results and for Tessaiga about 8,690 results. Some compromise is necessary despite the clarity of the last vote, which did contain irregularities in votes and execution.

How about this; To make sure the english searchers (who may be mistaken but don't know it) find Inuyasha solidly on searching for Tetsusaiga;

  1. The Tessaiga page should cover the Etymology of both terms.
  2. The Inuyasha page should have { Tessaiga (asa; Tetsusaiga) } for it's first mention.
  3. Lastly a merge and redirect from Tetsusaiga to Tessaiga.

Further page inclusion of A(asa; B) past that (to my POV) a exercise in redundancy, let the computers do the work.

Is this an acceptable compromise? -- Dbroadwell 17:48, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • It sounds good to me. Josh 20:29, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • Actually for the voting, as soon as i read that 'Other' vote, it appeared to me as the best solution, credit should be given to Tetsusaiga even tho it has been mistranslated.
  • Adding a footnote sounds good too, this could reduce the amount of parenthesis used on wiki pages, especially where the subject is from another language background.
  • Other than that, I think we can go ahead with the changes. LG-犬夜叉 00:03, Mar 7, 2005 (UTC)
  • I'll go with that. WhisperToMe 00:18, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Make it a footnote instead of parentheses, and I'm all for it. Jpatokal 02:43, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm glad it seems to have worked itself out enough for a comprimise to be reached. -- Dbroadwell 15:06, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)