Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/Japanese Macrons

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Preliminary Questions[edit]

Hi, I will be your mediator for this case. Please remember that we are here to work toward a consensus for the content dispute. This is not a place for anything but rational discussion. Be forewarned that incivility, personal attacks, etc... do not belong here and will not be tolerated. That said, I have some initial questions. pschemp | talk 16:35, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Naming convention proposals[edit]

1. For the sake of clarity on my part, please list below all the options your group is considering for the naming convention. Remember I have no background in Japanese, so keep it simple, yet clear.

Hello, and thanks for taking this case. As an attempt to explain what is going on, the following was proposed for as a change to the Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles) (the text is copied from here):

So, going with all the discussion above in "Macrons in titles" and in "Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style for Japan-related articles/UTF-8 conversion," I'm proposing a change in the Romanisation section of MOS:JP as follows (changes marked in bold red):
Wikipedia uses the Hepburn romanisation because it is generally accepted by scholars and it gives a fair indication of Japanese pronunciation to the intended audience of English speakers. People who care about other romanization systems are knowledgeable enough to look after themselves.
Take care with these points:
  1. Long o and u are written with macrons as ō ū respectively.
    (If you are having difficulty typing these characters with your IME, remember that you can now also click on the special characters below the Wikipedia edit box. You can also enter the HTML entity ō for ō, and ū for ū.)
  2. は, ヘ and を as particles are written wa, e, and o respectively.
  3. Syllabic n ん is generally written n (see below).
  4. Syllabic n ん is written n' when followed by a vowel or y but not when followed by another n.
Article titles should also use macrons and omit apostrophes after syllabic n, except in cases where the macronless spelling is in common usage in English-speaking countries (e.g., Tokyo, Osaka, Sumo and Shinto, instead of Tōkyō, Ōsaka, Sumō and Shintō). "Common usage" includes unconventional romanizations by licensees (e.g., Devil Hunter Yohko and Tenjho Tenge). Where macrons are used in the title, an appropriate redirect using the macronless spelling should also be created, which points to the actual title (e.g., Tessho Genda pointing to Tesshō Genda).
The original version of Hepburn used m when syllabic n ん is followed by b, m, or p. While generally deprecated, this is still allowed in titles for cases where the official romanisation continues to use m (examples: Asahi Shimbun, Namba Station). Use Google to check popularity if in doubt, and create a redirect from n version.

Long O and U can be written as ō/ū, o/u, oh/uh, ho/hu, ô/û and oo/uu. Note that the first two pairings are the most common in use, though the middle two pairs are occasionally used by publishers (Tenjho Tenge), tradition (Noh), or personal preference (Apolo Anton Ohno). Hope this helps to explain. If not, I hope someone else can clarify a bit more.--み使い Mitsukai 17:33, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Ok. that is one side. What does the other side want? pschemp | talk 18:19, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
It should be noted that the actual implementation was slightly different than what is above due to suggestions made during the final discussions before implementation. The differences aren't significant, however, being mostly wording clarifications and such. --日本穣 00:34, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for picking up the case Pschemp. Basically a few of us disagree with the removal this part of the MOS (which existed until this edit):
However, article titles must use short vowels and omit apostrophes after syllabic n
since macrons are difficult to enter and proper use of apostrophes cannot be expected
from people not familiar with Japanese.
Specifically the "article titles must use short vowels" part. There have been loads of different arguments on both sides (admittedly, many of them quite un-useful, such as "macrons are ugly", or even "macrons make it seem more foreign"), but my basic arguments (and I believe I represent the majority on my side here) are:
  • It's not realistic to assume that readers will be able to input macrons on their keyboards. That means that all articles with macrons in their titles must have redirects from their non-macroned versions, or else there's no way for a reader to find the page without following links. If you take a look at an example of a list of Japanese names, List of seiyū (which, by the way, doesn't have a redirect from List of seiyu), you can see that most of the names that would require one or more redirects to properly handle the standard writings of the name (for example, the disambig page for the surname Itō has a few required redirects, Ito, Itoh, and the page itself, Itō) actually don't.

    Responsible editors, of course, are putting in the proper redirects but 90% of pages are created without any redirects at all. A glance at the seiyu page and I can see Yousuke Akimoto, Ichiro Nagai, Yuichi Nagashima, and Yuko Nagashima that lack redirects to or from their standard romanized names Yōsuke Akimoto, Ichirō Nagai, Yūichi Nagashima, and Yūko Nagashima. Out of all the names I can see on my screen at the top of that page, only 1 of 10 names requiring macrons are properly disambiguated for the 2 most standard spelling cases: hepburn with full macrons, and hepburn with short vowels. Most of those pages do, in fact, have other redirects, but because most editors don't really know about standards spellings and all that, they seem to have missed out some of the links that are most important.

    Until now, though, hepburn titles with short vowels have been standard, and as you can see, most of the articles on that page are written with short vowels (though not everyone has been following the Mos). Thus, if a reader (who may or may not understand macrons) was looking for an article on a Japanese person that they thought might have a small page, they could just type in their non-macroned name (which, though I'm not using it as an argument, is the most common way Japanese people write their names on paper) and they'd have the best chance to actually find the article, or a redirect.

    If the page had been originally created with a macroned title, and no redirects (an example: Yo Yoshimura doesn't find Yō Yoshimura, and it doesn't even come up in the search). I can speak Japanese, can type in Japanese, but since I don't know the 5 digit code for "ō", and I don't know if his name is actually spelled with a long or a short vowel, I can't get at his article without being given a link to it on some list.

    Nobody is arguing about the inclusion of macrons in the actual articles themselves; I personally disagree with using short vowels in the actual article content, because the macrons are more correct and I don't believe seeing macrons makes reading romanized Japanese much more difficult.

    I have other, smaller arguments as well, but I'll leave it at this for now. Hope it's not too confusing, I'm in a little of a rush. [NOTE: A few of the redlinks I used in my examples above have now, as expected, been created, but I have kept them red to illustrate my point.]  freshgavinΓΛĿЌ  00:47, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Things that all are in agreement with currently[edit]

2. Next, If there is anything you all agree on, please list that.

I believe (though it's never been discussed, so I may be incorrect on this), that we agree on the following:
  • No use of "oo/uu", as it is rare; it also tends to look odd to the average person unfamiliar with this style of romanization. In cases for these, they would always be used as redirects.
  • No use of "ô/û", as it is also rare; publishers have used these before, but it is noted by many that it is not correct use of Long O and U in Japanese. In cases for these, they would always be used as redirects.
  • Usage of "oh/uh" or "ho/hu" if it has already entered the English language in that manner. (Noh, Apolo Anton Ohno, Tenjho Tenge)
  • Usage of "o/u" if it has already entered the English language in that manner (Tokyo, Osaka)--み使い Mitsukai 17:37, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
This appears correct to me. (^_^) --日本穣 00:35, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, I don't necessarily agree with all of that, being a bit of a prescriptivist, but as WP:NC(CN) dictates, I'll comply. ;) —Nightstallion (?) 10:17, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

For what it's worth, the "ô/û" long-vowel romanization is the French way to do things; I've seen it used on many French websites about Japanese topics. We should also mention the "ou" method for long O. This is used in many, many articles currently: Houkou, Houou, Umibouzu, etc. I believe that all sides are in agreement that the romanization we use for article titles should be either Hepburn with macrons or Hepburn without macrons. No "ou", "oo", "ô", etc. is even under consideration as a viable alternative. — BrianSmithson 01:10, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

I think the French Wikipedia has been converting circumflexes to macrons, but I don't know what French-language web sites generally do. As for "no" ou, oo, etc. the next section has some circumstances in which those methods have advocates, even within the Hepburn system. An example is Hiroo, which has its o's in different kanji. Fg2 03:36, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I noticed that this had been discussed already after I saved the page. :) I have no problem with treating special cases as special cases. — BrianSmithson 04:36, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Additional usage for consideration[edit]

What's the status of 'ou', which can also be shortened to 'ō'? -William McDuff 22:36, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Whoops, forgot to mention that one, thanks for catching it. Probably the same as oo/uu, I'd guess, as we'd end up with "Toukyou" and such.--み使い Mitsukai 23:27, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, for the purposes here, "long o" refers to both "oo" and "ou". --日本穣 23:39, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
There are various situations in which "ou" occurs, including (1) in the on'yomi of a single kanji, e.g. とう (to.u) in 東大 (toudai); (2) in the inflected ending of a verb, e.g. あらそう (争う, araso(u)); (3) in the on'yomi of adjacent kanji, e.g. ぼう (暮雨, bo.u); (4) in irregular readings, e.g. おうめ (青梅, o.ume); (5) in the kun'yomi of a single kanji, e.g. おおう (覆う, oo(u)); (6) inflected endings of adjectives, e.g. おはよう; (7) in the kun'yomi of adjacent words, e.g. あおうめ (ao ume, the regular reading of 青梅). There are also various uses of "uu" including many of the same cases. A further issue is katakana words that use the vowel-lengthener symbol (ー), e.g. ローン (ro.o.n, loan), and this issue extends to the other vowels "a," "i," and "e" in words like apaato (アパート), biiru (ビール), and imeeji (イメージ). Vowels can also appear in adjacent words of foreign origin, such as rōpuuē (ロープ ウェー), or "ropeway". We treat many of these uses differently within articles (which is not the subject of this mediation), so this mediation on the subject of macrons in article titles might consider whether or not to make distinctions among these uses. Fg2 01:27, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
It should be based on pronunciation, not on kana orthography. Thus 暮雨 is bo-u (or is that bou?), 覆う is ou, 争う is arasou, あおうめ should be ao-ume. Where the pronunciation is that of a long vowel, use the macron. The problem is with the Japanese kana usage, not with the romanisation.
Bathrobe 10:33, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
The only exception I've seen consistently is where the "o" and "u" are part of the pronunciation for two different kanji in the same word. For example, "Kakinouchi" in Narumi Kakinouchi uses 垣野内, the kanji being "kaki·no·uchi", and therefore the macronned "o" is not used as that would be an incorrect pronunciation. --日本穣 17:40, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
"As for "no" ou, oo, etc. the next section has some circumstances in which those methods have advocates, even within the Hepburn system." This somewhat misrepresents the question. Hepburn has never stipulated that 追う should be spelt ō or 暮雨 should be spelt bō. The correct Hepburn spellings are ou and bo-u (or perhaps bou) respectively. (And 豪雨 is gōu or gō-u, not gou-u). There has never been any doubt on this. The place name 広尾 is a possible exception. The difficulty here is that there is obviously a feeling that it should be separated into two elements (広 and 尾) etymologically. It is spelt Hiro-o on bus stops and subway stations because of this. The same problem would arise if you had a name ending in の尾. I can't think of any actual examples, but something like 犬の尾 would become inu-no-o under this conception. But this is not the same as saying that some people advocate spelling o-o instead of ō.
Bathrobe 01:19, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Statement from Pschemp[edit]

Thank you all. I've looked at all the information and reasonings. I believe that the main issue is whether the actual article content is located at the title using macrons or the macronless titles. Furthermore, I see a willingness to work together that leads me to believe that if this main issue can be solved, that the editors involved are capable of sorting out the remaining details amicably and without a RfM.

Some things I have noted:

  1. Regardless of the article title, a redirect to the other will need to be put in place.
  2. The exact same amount of work is required for either option.
  3. Ultimately, both versions of the title will exist and be useful. The only thing to be decided is where the content goes.

So, let’s talk about this. How do you think an agreement can be reached? (Discuss below) pschemp | talk 06:03, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

(P.S. Could someone let me know on my talk page how to set Firefox so I can see the Kanji rather than (????). I think it would be helpful as some people involved have characters in their sigs. I currently have UTF-8 selected for the character encoding. Thank You. pschemp | talk 06:03, 13 March 2006 (UTC))

You need to have one or more Japanese fonts installed in order for the UTF-8 encoding to display the correct characters. Which OS do you use? Windows (which version)? Mac OS (which version)? Linux (which distro and version)? --日本穣 06:53, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
XP.pschemp | talk 06:54, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Go to Start > Control Panel > Regional and Language Options > Languages > Supplemental language support, and check the "Install files for East Asian languages." You will need your XP install disc(s) to complete the installation. --日本穣 17:50, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I got it working. pschemp | talk 02:08, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Suggestions for reaching consensus about article content placement (macron or macronless issue only)[edit]

Ok. Since not one of you has answered my question, and you have gotten off topic (We are not talking about Chinese), I am going to try to clarify what I was asking:

  1. If we can work out where the text of the article goes, can you work together to fix the rest of the details?
  2. I want to hear suggestions for a PROCESS to come to agreement for where the main text goes, macron title or no. I do not want to hear arguments either for or against, and I remind you I will not make a decision on content issues. I want you to brainstorm a process for the solution for this ONE issue first. Do not go off onto other details please. pschemp | talk 02:06, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm confused as to what you are looking for. Everyone is in basic agreement that macrons are fine in the body of an article. The only real disagreement is whether or not they should be used in the article titles. What do you mean by "where the text of the article goes"? --日本穣 02:22, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
I think he means, "Does it go under the macronned title or the macronless title?" The other would be a redirect.
Bathrobe 02:30, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes that's it. I see the basic issue as whether the article is located at the macronned title or the macronless title. And yes, the other would be a redirect. Just a note, there are thousands of article naming conventions that require redirects to help with searching. Its not a hard thing to do, it just takes some time. Redirects are useful and expected for this kind of thing. Now, let's think of some ways to come to an agreement :) pschemp | talk 02:48, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, I would think that since we're all in agreement on the macrons in the article, we're capable of working together. As for a process, I think we would actually have to get together (form a WikiProject or something) and actually go through all the pages and decide on criteria as to whether or not it would matter. For example, if I had to give a criteria, I would say that maybe the pop culture ones aren't as important to have macros in the title, as they pass into English faster (people are more likely to enculturate Dojinshi into English faster than the Kokusho Sōmokuroku). There are other examples, but that's the only compromise I can think of, and even still, it would take consensus to agree on "borderline" pages. --み使い Mitsukai 03:25, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
I think we are already in general agreement that names or words that have been integrated into English already should use the macronless version for the title (e.g. we use Sumo instead of Sumō)—that's already a part of WP:MOS-JA. I don't know if we would need to form an entire Wikiproject to do it, but I wouldn't be opposed to one (I'd even support it and participate in it). I think there does need to be a group of dedicated editors willing to hunt down the articles and make the changes. It would require finding the articles, changing the content of the articles to reflect the MOS-JA, and then fixing all the links to the articles so they don't go through multiple redirects. If someone had a bot, the last bit would be fairly easy if we programmed it to "find X and replace it with Y." It would certainly be easier than doing that manually. Perhaps another bot could be programmed to hunt around for articles with macrons in the titles and place a link to them on a particular page. We could also have another page (or text file) containing a list of article it should ignore. Just some brainstorming about how this could be done. I do agree with Pschemp that having to use redirects for this should not be as big an issue as it seems to be as "Redirects are useful and expected for this kind of thing." --日本穣 04:20, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

It'll take quite some time to go through each and every Japan-related article and hold a vote on whether it should have a macron-less or a macroned title. We should establish fixed criteria now for most of them, and hold votes on the few borderline cases that remain later on. —Nightstallion (?) 10:48, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree that one principle or the other should be adopted. To have variable policies would only lead to inconsistency, confusion, and uncertainty in implementation. Bathrobe 17:41, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

If we go by what's currently in the WP:MOS-JA, then we'll have our criteria: if the word is commonly accepted in English without macrons (e.g. Tokyo, Sumo), then we create the title without them. Otherwise, the title will use them. It's simple, and I think simple is best so there's no confusion. (^_^) --日本穣 19:55, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
We'll have to determine what the standard for "commonly accepted in English" is, though. Sumo and Tokyo are easy. But what about words that are widely used by anime/manga fans but not the public at large? For example, dōjin/dojin/doujin. Perhaps inclusion in a standard English-language dictionary could be the criterion? — BrianSmithson 05:03, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
By dictionary, I'm assuming you mean a print edition, like Webster, OED or another? Those two are the biggies, but if it was in, say, Encarta, would that work? I'd be hesitant about online dictionaries, but print/CDROM versions are the "set in stone" proof of entering English in some manner. There is also the matter of which English. If it's entered (to make a ridiculous example) in Belizian English but not AE, BE, CE, or ANZE, would that count?--み使い Mitsukai 07:37, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, print or CD-ROM dictionary. Online might be okay too as long as it's the online version of something that has a print version. accesses the American Heritage Dictionary, for example. As for varieties of English, as long as it's an anglophone country I wouldn't have a problem with it. That would make Cameroonian English or Belizean English perfectly fine (note that that would be Cameroonian English but not Cameroonian Pidgin English and Belizean English and not Belizean Kriol language). But finding a print dictionary for any words that have been adopted into those varieties would be a problem. Though, as you said, they're sort of ridiculous examples, as I doubt they'll adopt a Japanese word when Commonwealth or North American speakers haven't. — BrianSmithson 16:17, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
By the way, there is a list of Japanese loanwords in Hawaii, but I think we should ignore that list.--Endroit 17:25, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
Please DO use the List of English words of Japanese origin also, as we have already actively checked all words on that list against OED, OAD, Merriam-Webster Online, and AHD. This list is not, by any means, complete though.--Endroit 17:59, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
As for a Japanese person's names, if that person is known only in Japan, macrons may be used. While Yuka Sato was young and entered local Japanese figure skating competition only, Yūka Satō would have been OK. But once she entered any international competition, the macrons would have to be dropped, as in Yuka Sato. So for people's names, I think the criteria would be whether the person is (was ever) known outside of Japan.
--Endroit 17:25, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

So, since nothing's been posted here for about 10 days now, should we come to a decision? --日本穣 18:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes absolutely, lets draft a resolution proposal. pschemp | talk 20:48, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, I was on a wiki-break for the past few days due to illness, but I really don't have much more to add in any case, so I agree that we can move to a resolution.--み使い Mitsukai 20:54, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Aye. —Nightstallion (?) Seen this already? 11:24, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Resolution Proposal[edit]

Proposal from Nihonjoe See below[edit]

Okay, first a list of things about which we agree already:

  • Macrons should be used in article body text.
  • If the word in question is in general use in the English-speaking world in a non-macronned form, the non-macronned form should be used in the title and body text.
  • In all cases, redirects should be put in place for the form(s) not used in the title to make sure people can easily find (or link to) the article no matter which form of the word they use.
  • We should use List of English words of Japanese origin as well as generally-accepted print and online dictionaries to determine if a word is "generally accepted" in English.

Based on pschemp's comments about redirects ("Just a note, there are thousands of article naming conventions that require redirects to help with searching. Its not a hard thing to do, it just takes some time. Redirects are useful and expected for this kind of thing."), whether or not someone can easily type the macronned article title should not be an issue. Therefore, can we agree to go with the WP:MOS-JA as currently written with respect to macronned titles?

I think if we work together to find articles that don't have proper redirects, and then make sure they have them, we can make this work. To help out, I've created a sub-page to WikiProject Japan: Redirect requests. Pages needing redirects can be listed here using the format on the page, and any interested editor can then take care of them. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 06:24, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

This sounds like a good and reasonable proposal to me. CES 12:57, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Sounds workable and fair enough.--み使い Mitsukai 12:21, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Aye. —Nightstallion (?) Seen this already? 04:37, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Works for me. — BrianSmithson 03:00, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
note: we need everyone who was named in the rfm to comment so the rfm can be closed. I'm going to post a note requesting a look here on everyone's talk page who hasn't commented yet. pschemp | talk 17:21, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I will agree to this proposal, but not without first expressing a dissenting view.
First, I believe that there are still plenty of computers around that don't show Unicode characters very well. These users will suffer from the universal adoption of macrons in Japanese as well as diacritics in many languages.
Secondly, if there are two extremes in representing foreign words and names -- aggressive anglicisation, or strong adherence to the original language -- I personally believe that we are going too far in one direction. Wikipedia as a whole seems unable to shake free from the logical progression that leads to this (if French is written with diacritics, all languages should be; if one word uses diacritics, all words in the article should; if all words in the article should, so should the title.) Since no one can come up with a boundary where we can say "Enough!", we end up going to the logical extreme. It appears that even Chinese is now to be written with tone markings (Hàn dynasty, etc.). I really think it should be possible to be more discreet in the use of diacritics without going the whole hog.
At any rate, since macrons are supposed to be used throughout all articles (except for anglicised words), then there aren't really any grounds for opposing their use in titles, so I'll go along with this consensus.
I would like to emphasise, however, that having adopted these rules, there is a pressing need to unify usage throughout Wikipedia. This means a determined and concerted effort to fix up cases where macrons haven't been used -- the illicit 'ou's as well as the unmacronned o's. It's a big job, but unless the rules can be enforced properly, we shouldn't be introducing rules like this.
Bathrobe 08:44, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Endroit's Requests[edit]

I share some of the same concerns as Bathrobe above. However, after seeing "crème brûlée" in many English dictionaries, and after hearing that "Māori" made it into New Zealand English WITH the macron, I have decided not to look back. And so I agree with the spirit of Nihonjoe's Proposal. However, I request that the following amendments and additions be made:

(addendums removed)

Comment from your mediator - All, again I feel you are getting off on tangents with the addendums. I'd like to request that for the purpose of this case, we stick to the original proposal and make a decision. After that, you are free to deal with details such as those addressed in the addendums on the policy page. I feel confident that those details can be worked out by this group, however, we are here to decide the main issue first and foremost. For this reason, I have removed the addendum data from the page so as not to distract from the goal. Please feel free to read it in the history and move it to the policy page once a decision has been made. Thank you. pschemp | talk 18:30, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree to Nihonjoe's first 3 proposals. I agree to the 4th proposal as well, except for the part about the List of English words of Japanese origin. The List of English words of Japanese origin should only be used as a secondary source, because it is a wiki, and open to any unexpected changes. And so, I will agree on the above proposals, on the condition that we discuss this and other issues I had (removed by Pschemp for now), before we close mediation. Thanks.--Endroit 19:07, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
It's really annoying to have one's comments DELETED from a page like this. A message would have sufficed without deleting others' comments (a cardinal Wiki sin in my opinion). I'm done with this moderation; good luck, all. — BrianSmithson 19:49, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Your comments were not deleted, they were temporarily removed for the sake of clear focus on a resolution. Sorry if that was not clear. Nothing on wikipedia is ever really gone and anyone who wants can read the history. As the mediator it is my right to take whatever action I feel neccessary. Your action has rendered the entire case uncloseable so I would urge you to reconsider. To that end, as a show of good will, I will put them in a section below. pschemp | talk 20:06, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I did not know that the mediation would be unclosable if someone decided to say to hell with the whole thing. In order to prevent this outcome, I'll stick around. And whlie I understand that article histories are available, I strongly, strongly disagree with removing comments from discussions such as these. Strike them through if you must, but, please, never remove them. — BrianSmithson 21:14, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I understand your reasons, but you can see that since I re-added them this group has gone off on tangents again, as I feared. My actions were only to prevent this, from happening, hopefully the group can stay focused up here. pschemp | talk 00:16, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Endroit, this mediation is for the decision of where the main articles go. You can either agree or disagree, but it is not the place to hash out the rest of the myriad of details. That is for the policy talk once the dispute on article titles is settled. Mediation is not designed to resolve all the little details, it is designed to give you a starting point to work together from as intelligent editors. You may bring up your secondary source suggestion as a condition, but the discussion of all those other issues is not the point of the mediation, nor is it an acceptable condition on your agreement. However, an acceptable condition would be that you would like the issues to be discussed after the main issue is agreed on, on the policy talk. I think everyone involved here realizes that there will be many, many details to hash out, but if you don't find a starting point, it will never get done. Please consider this carefully. pschemp | talk 20:00, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I strongly urge Pschemp & Briansmithson to reconsider. I only ask you two to allow me to discuss my issues here later. Others can respond, ignore, or disagree, and that would be fine. We are in this mediation together because we failed to discuss these issues before. It would be a great dis-service to NOT discuss these issues again. I think the important thing is for us to understand each others' points of view. We are not necessarily disagreeing with each other. Thank you very much.--Endroit 20:18, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Endroit, I'm not saying you can't discuss. I'm requesting that we come to consensus on this one main issue FIRST, and then you can discuss the rest later. We need a starting point, otherwise nothing will ever get solved by this mediation. One step at a time is how you fix a large issue like this. The bogging down in details is why it has dragged on so long already. pschemp | talk 00:12, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Proposal #2 from Nihonjoe[edit]

Okay, first a list of things about which we agree already:

  • Macrons should be used in article body text.
  • If the word in question is in general or local use in any major English dialect in a non-macronned form, the non-macronned form should be used in the title and body text.
  • In all cases, redirects should be put in place for the form(s) not used in the title to make sure people can easily find (or link to) the article no matter which form of the word they use.
  • We should use generally-accepted print and online dictionaries to determine if a word is "generally accepted" in any of the major English dialects. List of English words of Japanese origin can be used as a secondary source, but should always be verified as above.

Based on pschemp's comments about redirects ("Just a note, there are thousands of article naming conventions that require redirects to help with searching. Its not a hard thing to do, it just takes some time. Redirects are useful and expected for this kind of thing."), whether or not someone can easily type the macronned article title should not be an issue. Therefore, can we agree to go with the WP:MOS-JA as currently written with respect to macronned titles?

I think if we work together to find articles that don't have proper redirects, and then make sure they have them, we can make this work. To help out, I've created a sub-page to WikiProject Japan: Redirect requests. Pages needing redirects can be listed here using the format on the page, and any interested editor can then take care of them. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 22:46, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Agreed. Looks good, thanks Nihonjoe.--Endroit 22:51, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I'll go ahead and support this, although I'm uncomfortable with the insistence on "major" English dialects. If English is a primary language for a group of people, I don't see what's wrong with putting that dialect on equal footing with generally recognized forms. (Just looking out for the Cameroonians, Singaporians, etc.) — BrianSmithson 01:15, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I've already agreed. I can see a lot of problems implementating this in the field, but the general principle seems acceptable. And agreement in principle is what pschemp is asking for. — Bathrobe 01:37, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

We still need Freshgavin, Mitsukai, Neier, CES, and Nightstallion to sign off on this before we can put the issue behind us and move on to actual work on the site. pschemp, will you ask them to pop in and give their "yea" or "nay" so we can determine if we need to do anything else? Thanks. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 16:14, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Everyone who was originally part of this mediation has responded to this proposal now. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 04:51, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree with Nihonjoe's proposal. Comments below. Neier 23:57, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Most everyone who has commented was already pro-macron, and I was waiting to see if Freshgavin or Fg2 had a counter-proposal.
I still have three main concerns regarding the redirects, which I think are relevant to this discussion. One is the google factor. I set up an experiment a long time ago to test things. User:Neier/MācrōnName is linked from my user page, and also redirected from the unmacron'd version, and there are no links to the unmacron'd version anywhere (and never were). Google still finds "macronname" if you search for it. I don't know how the redirect would be ranked by them for more popular terms, though.Neier 23:57, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
As long as Google still finds the correct page, I don't think this is or should be an issue. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 01:26, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
The second concern is that if we begin moving pages to their macron'd titles, then we already know that we should make suitable redirects. But, other editors who notice the pages being moved might be inclined to move pages on their own without the rest of the groundwork. It's already addressed in the MOS, but, my guess is that there will be some number of changes by people who haven't read the "rules". I don't know how to deal with this, other than checking the "what links here" for each Macron title we run across, and ensuring that all is well.
When I've moved articles, I've been trying to help people know about it by putting "per WP:MOS-JA" in the edit summary in the hopes people will click on it to see what it is. --日本穣 Nihonjoe
Great idea. I think I'll follow that, if/when I start the renaming. Neier 03:43, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Finally, Categorization. If we put macrons in titles the MoS needs to be updated to require the category: links to use the unmacron'd version for sorting purposes. Ōme needs to be listed between Ombudsman and Omiyage. Not after Zebra, which is where the unicode Ō would normally be placed.Neier 23:57, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I definitely agree with this. How's this? Feel free to reword it if you can come up with a better way of putting it. I had some difficulty with wording. (^_^) --日本穣 Nihonjoe 01:26, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I just added a reference to Wikipedia:Categorization#Category_sorting where it is covered in broader terms. Neier 03:43, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
That's a great addition. Thanks! (^_^) --日本穣 Nihonjoe 03:49, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree that the above is workable and feasible, so it's got my support.--み使い Mitsukai 12:40, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Since this mediation doesn't (won't? can't?) defer from any of my previous discussions on the issue, I have no choice but to fall back and agree. I apologize for my long absense, if anybody was actually waiting for me to comment.  freshgavinΓΛĿЌ  00:41, 17 April 2006 (UTC)


As all the parties have now commented and agreed to support proposal #2, I consider this issue resolved. The JA-MOS for this will be followed as written, and I encourage discussion of any other details and issues to take place on the page for that project. Certainly this is not the end of the work needed on your project, but I feel the rest can be dealt with without mediation. I would like to sincerely thank all involved for being willing to find a common ground since I realize that compromise can often be painful. I am very impressed with the level of cooperation and civil negotiation that this large group has shown, it is difficult to get two people to agree often, and I think this speaks well of the group and the future of the work on the JA-MOS. Thank you for your patience with me and good luck in the future. pschemp | talk 05:13, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

OK, I will assume that this mediation is now closed.
Let me add that for general issues (other than Japanese), take a look at the proposed guideline Wikipedia:Naming conventions (standard letters with diacritics), which still seems to be open for discussion.
Also, there is a similar discussion going on for the Chinese-MOS in Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese)#Titles of articles to include tone marks?.
Other than that, let's continue discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles). Thanks everyone!--Endroit 19:27, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

removed addendums and comments[edit]

;Requested Amendment to Nihonjoe's #2: If the word in question is in general use in the English-speaking world in a non-macronned form, the non-macronned form should be used in the title and body text. This shall include local usages in British English (BrE), American English (AmE), Canadian English (CaE), Australian English (AuE), and New Zealand English.
Resolved as per "Proposal #2 from Nihonjoe" above--Endroit 16:31, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

;Requested Amendment to Nihonjoe's #4: We should use Oxford English Dictionary (OED), Oxford American Dictionary (OAD), Merriam-Websters Online (M-W) (, Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, or American Heritage Dictionary (AHD) ( to determine if a word is "generally accepted" in English. Wikipedia's List of English words of Japanese origin may also be used as a secondary source of the above. If there is no dictionary entry, but the word occurs in English texts (outside Japan) with any regularity, it may be considered on a case-by-case basis and by discretion and common sense on the part of the editor.
Resolved as per "Proposal #2 from Nihonjoe" above--Endroit 16:31, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Addition #1

The macron rules are for "long U" (Ū ū) and "long O" (Ō ō) only. For "long A", "aa" may be used. For "long E", "ei" may be used. For "long I", "ii" may be used.

Covered by WP:MOS-JA now. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 17:47, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Addition #2

Names of companies, product names, trade names, and names of organizations should honor the current spelling used officially by that party. For example, use Kodansha rather than Kōdansha, Doshisha University rather than Dōshisha University. If the entity no longer exists, use the most recently used format or (if available) look it up in any of the above dictionaries.

This is something new, and worthy of mention on the Japan MoS page -- but not here. Neier 23:42, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Covered by WP:MOS-JA now. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 17:47, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Addition #3

Names of contemporary persons should follow the macron usage / spelling in the following order of preference:
1. Follow any official trade name if available in English/Latin alphabet
2. Use a dictionary entry from any of the above dictionaries, if available
3. Use the name publicly used on behalf of the person in the English-speaking world. For athletes, consult, etc.
4. Use the name publicly used on behalf of the person in any other popular Latin-alphabet-using-language (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, and Dutch, or variations).
5. If none of the above is available, use the macronned form.

Covered by WP:MOS-JA now. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 17:47, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Addition #4

If there is no usage in the English-speaking world (or in any other Latin-alphabet-using-language), macrons should be used. However, exceptions will be made if there are objections. For example Fueki Yuko is popular in Korea (and maybe Japan to a lesser extent), and so Fueki Yūko will be more appropriate. However, if the Korean editors object, Fueki Yuko may be agreed upon in the future.

Covered by WP:MOS-JA now because of the section above. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 17:47, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Other comments #1

I would like to see some kind of a rule for modern manga, anime, and otaku usages in the English language. I understand that Nihonjoe and others are more familiar in that area.

Covered by WP:MOS-JA now ("fictional"). --日本穣 Nihonjoe 17:47, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Other comments #2

Someone should specify a rule for names of non-contemporary persons as well, in a similar fashion. Likewise for place names. If nobody else does, I will.

Covered by WP:MOS-JA now ("historical"). --日本穣 Nihonjoe 17:47, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Other comments #3

I am in no way perfect. Please make corrections / changes / additions to my suggested rules above, as you see necessary. Thanks everyone!

Other comments #4

Some dictionaries above are not freely available to all editors. In particular, they are Oxford English Dictionary (OED), Oxford American Dictionary (OAD), and Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. There should be a general Wikipedia project page (separated from the Japanese macron issue) where a user requests somebody to look up dictionary entries. I volunteer to look up Webster's, because I have access to it now. I don't know who can manage looking up the Oxford dictionaries, though. --Endroit 17:09, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree with most of your addenda, but I'm uncomfortable specifying which varieties of English are acceptable and which dictionaries we must use. It seems overly prescriptive. If someone can establish in a credible, say, Nigerian dictionary that a certain Japanese word has entered common usage in Nigerian English (though probably not Nigerian Pidgin English), I don't see why that should be held in lower esteem than Canadian or Australian usage. — BrianSmithson 18:23, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Concur with Brian's statement. Singaporean English (though not Singlish) seems to have been left out, and that's likely to enculturate Japanese faster than Nigerian English.--み使い Mitsukai 20:17, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I just wanted to make sure LOCAL USAGE of all the major English dialects were specifically mentioned. I agree that we should be careful not to exclude Nigerian English, Singaporean English, etc., and the wording should be changed to reflect that.
As for the dictionaries, these were the dictionaries used in the List of English words of Japanese origin. But again, we should be careful not to exclude any valid ones, as I'm sure there are many valid New Zealand English dictionaries, Singaporean English dictionaries, etc.--Endroit 20:37, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

You know, "We should use List of English words of Japanese origin as well as generally-accepted print and online dictionaries to determine if a word is "generally accepted" in English" covers all of the suggestions people have listed above. The same goes for "If the word in question is in general use in the English-speaking world in a non-macronned form, the non-macronned form should be used in the title and body text" seems pretty clear and covers all of the objections/clarifications/etc., that have been suggested. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 21:32, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

I disagree that Nihonjoe's wording covers everything.
There IS a difference between "general use in the English-speaking world" and "local use in any major English dialect", and I still insist on including both. (We can omit the details though).
Also, regarding the dictionary thing, somebody just added Karoshi to the List of English words of Japanese origin. Karoshi (Karōshi) may or may not be a valid English word, but how do you prevent a bogus entry from falsely determinining our macron usage criterion? I believe List of English words of Japanese origin should be allowed only as a secondary source, subject to verification by a primary dictionary source. And I believe we need to specify which dictionaries may be acceptable (without excluding any valid dictionaries).--Endroit 21:50, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
However, I will agree with Nihonjoe's proposal if Nihonjoe specifically clarifies that the List of English words of Japanese origin is to be used as a secondary source only.--Endroit 22:19, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I rewrote the proposal. Can we all play happily now? --日本穣 Nihonjoe 22:47, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
These amendments are not the point we are debating. The rules for whether or not to macron a word in general are already decided. Common-use English is excepted from the macronization already. Naming order for "famous" Japanese people whose names should be listed in first-last order, but aren't, is decided. Macrons for long U and O are accepted (the status of long I is debatable; but, it is not debatable in a mediation about whether to include macronizations in article titles). All that this mediation is for is whether the current rules extend to cover the article titles. I haven't checked the history to see if these are the exact comments tha the mediator deleted already, but if so, then I agree strongly with her and applaud her for trying to keep our focus on the exact issue. Neier 23:42, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
yes, this is all it, copied exactly. p.s. I'm a she. :) pschemp | talk 00:10, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Does everybody really believe that this mediation is only about a yes/no question?... "whether the current rules extend to cover the article titles"? Is that really the only issue? Weren't there other points that still needed to be clarified?
I believe that there are 2 big issues still remaining:
1. Clarification of the criteria, on how to determine when to use macrons. (The existing criteria are woefully inadequate).
2. Clarification of the procedures, on how to create redirects from macronned and un-macronned aliases to the main article. (We only agreed on a project page with no details).
Please spell out what the remaining issues really are, then call me again if you're ready to discuss them further. Otherwise, don't waste your time (and other people's times).--Endroit 09:48, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
The only real issue here is whether to use macrons in the title. Period. Nothing else has anything to do with this mediation and can be discussed on the WP:MOS-JA talk page. We already agree that they should be used in the body, so the only issue at stake here is use in titles of articles. Let's just get this issue resolved and we can discuss any other issues or clarifications later. --日本穣 Nihonjoe 16:10, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Please consider pschemp's position. She has taken on the difficult and thankless task of mediating a contentious issue. She has been trying to narrow the issues down to something that everyone can agree on and prevent them from ballooning out of control. OK, perhaps she is missing something in her effort to keep it on the straight and narrow. But the least we can do is try to be civil.
Endroit, if you feel that pschemp is over-simplifying, make your concerns known and see if the other parties agree with you. pschemp has got us to the point where people most people seem agreed in principle. If people feel that the issue you raise needs to be addressed, then that can be the next step.
Bathrobe 10:01, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
I think you're right. We should keep these things simple so that we can close the mediation. And I thank Pschemp for putting up with all the complicated details. However at this point, I think the key to closing this mediation rests on Freshgavin and Neier, who have yet to comment on either one of Nihonjoe's proposals. Freshgavin, by the way, is the one who started this mediation.
Also, if anybody feels there are any issues that still need to be discussed, I think everybody should agree to move that discussion back to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles). I'll leave it up to the rest of you to decide what to discuss further here in this mediation, and/or in the MOS talk page. My position is neutral on this issue (believe it or not), and I don't care to impose any of my thoughts any further. Thanks, everyone.
--Endroit 16:31, 7 April 2006 (UTC)