Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Name table

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I see, can a table name which consist of Kanji, Kana and Romaji be implented? (Below) It is better for users to know how to write their names.

Junichiro Koizumi
Junichiro Koizumi
Japanese name
Kanji小泉 純一郎
Hiraganaこいずみ じゅんいちろう
RomajiKoizumi Jun'ichirō

(post is by User:Chan Han Xiang)

  • Why would a table be better? This version of the Junichiro Koizumi page already had most of that information, except for a hiragana rendering. In any case, is a hiragana rendering really needed? Japanese names are normally written in kanji, and hiragana do not make a good pronounciation guide for most of our readers, who do not know Japanese. Josh 06:20, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)
  • I agree that kana shouldn't be added unless there is something unusual that couldn't be predicted from the romaji. They actually nice to see if you can read them, but they really take up unnecessary space. Kappa 08:54, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedians, please be aware that this table is based on the Korean pattern of Table of names. By looking at a Korean table of names, both the Hiragana and the Hanja are considered as second scripts. From the Korean point of view, if the inventor wants to add the Hanja rendering, likewise the Kana/Hiragana rendering should be added, as it is common to see Hiragana renderings of most Japanese personalites in the Japanese wikipedia. Since they are ethnically Japanese people, having a Table of names with the Kanji, Kana and the Romaji rendering is recommended, likewise for a Korean personality, where his Hangul, Hanja, Revised-Romanization and McCune Reischauer renderings are added (See below). If anyone of you disagree, with this table of names for a Japanese personality which include the Hiragana, this is equivalent to the fact that a Korean personality should not have a Table of names with the Hanja rendering, which is currently widespread all over the Korean personalities in Wikipedia.

A good and common example is this:

Jang Nara
Jang Nara
Korean Name
Revised RomanizationJang Na Ra
McCune-ReischauerCh'ang Na Ra

I don't think the convention in writing Korean articles has anything to do with this issue. -- Taku 16:39, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)

  • Well the Korean convention is a useful analogy at least, and wiki-wide consistency would be a Good Thing. The difference between hanja and hiragana is that you can't predict the hanja from anything else, but hiragana can be worked out from romaji. On the other hand, it would certainly be very inconvenient for someone who needed the hiragana for some reason but didn't know how to type them. I'm not sure how many users would be in that situation, but I'm changing my opinion to neutral for the moment. Kappa 16:56, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • I don't see why hiragana is needed if the person does not go by a hiragana name when it is written. I distinctly remember that some JPOP stars did, but it usually involved Japanese translations of European names, like えりか and えみり. Mike H 04:30, Dec 5, 2004 (UTC)
  • I agree with Kappa ... I don't know much about Korean but I assume it's pretty difficult to guess the hanja from just hangul, but it's pretty easy to get the hiragana if you have the romaji. Especially since the kanji's there too. I can't think of a time when you'd want the hiragana of a name over the kanji or romanization, but if someone really needs to know the hiragana of someone, go to the Japanese language page equivalent and it's the first thing in parentheses: 小泉 純一郎 (こいずみ じゅんいちろう、1942年1月8日 - ) I like the idea of a name table, but let's keep it short and simple. CES 13:48, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • CES, what about those who do only know Hiragana and not Romaji? Consider this good point. This applies to Japanese speakers of the begineer stage.

On the other hand, repling to Kappa, Kappa is wrong from the sense that the person can work out certain Korean names, though not all, from Hanja to Hangul. Likewise, the Romaji is equal to the Revised Romanization and the McCune-Reischauher, so if the person who implented this Korean table of names up with all these, why not the Japanese as well? Think about it. It is just a matter of giving knowledge to a newbie, like all encyclopedias should do.

Wikipedia is not a Japanese textbook. Hepburn is far and away the most popular Japanese romanization, so others are not needed (this has been debated oh so extensively before...), and hiragana are unnecessary since romaji are provided. "Romaji (kanji)" gives all necessary information in 5% of the space of a table. Jpatokal 15:04, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Well it sounds like Romaji don't give enough information to a certain group of people (those who know kana but not Romaji, but still use an english wikipedia). I just wonder how large that group is. Kappa 15:47, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Umm... nonexistent? You must be able to read romaji to be able to read English. Jpatokal 03:07, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
May I revert Chan Han Xiang's changes now? WhisperToMe 01:25, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Please. Jpatokal 06:56, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • All your debates come down to one conclusion. If there is no Korean romanization systems, this equals to no romaji. Hanja=Kana, the second script. Hangul=Kanji, the first script. Should there be no Kana in the Japanese table of names, there should be no Hanja in the Korean Table of names.

Look further into one more step. How can one assume that Romaji is equal to Kana? Yes, it gives the pronouncation, not the writing. If one is interested to know how to write that Japanese individual's name in Kana, which is just as important as Hanja

  • Kana is not as important as Hanja. Japanese names are nearly always written in kanji and almost never in kana. Korean names are often written in both hanja and hangul. Jpatokal 06:56, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

, and you remove it, then where is the point putting up the very useful entire Japanese table of names? Wikipedians, I urge you to vote now, and the vote must have a good reason, whether to put up the Kana or not. Those who vote no, means that the Hanja should not be put up as well, in which nearly every Korean individual uses this table of names stated above. Thank You. User:Chan Han Xiang

  • Korean is not the same language as Japanese, and what is considered "relevant" to an English speaker is not the same in either language. And no, "Kana" votes have nothing to do with "Hanja" votes. WhisperToMe 05:50, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • Agreed. Jpatokal 06:56, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • All right. Let's look at the other way round. Just imagine, Hangul, like Kanji, is the principle script of the Koreans. So it is advised to put it up. Hanja, on the other hand, like Kana, is considered as the second script of the Koreans. By looking in this point, it seems strange and sort of unfair that the fact that Koreans have their Hangul and Hanja, the only two scripts of the Koreans, while the Japanese, who also have two scripts; the Kanji and Kana, and not displaying up the Kana while only displaying the Kanji script.
    • Second thing. Do you assume that everybody can know the Kanji by only knowing the Romaji? If someone, say a rural Japanese man, who do not know all the equvalence of meanings between the Kana and the Romaji, as the Romaji is brought by these Europeans, not by the Japanese themselves, so do you think the rural Japanese can understand? These are the critical facts you have to consider by only putting up the Kanji and Romaji without the Kana. We have to settle this matter fast.
I would assume a rural Japanese person would be looking in the Japanese Wikipedia, not the English one. I would certainly hope the Japanese Wikipedia would include Kana, but this is not the Japanese Wikipedia. Noel (talk) 22:26, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • We have a charts of kana at Hepburn. People who don't know Japanese will not need kana, as names tend to be written in either kanji or kanji and kana. Those who know Japanese will know it already. WhisperToMe 05:03, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • What about those curious wikipedians who don't know Japanese but want to know their Kana and yet they don't know that there is one? This group is considerably large in the English Wikipedia, including me. Not all are Japanese here. Furthermore, what about Japanese-Americans like Mike Shinoda? A mixture of Katakana and Hiragana is needed and your table only provides Hiragana. Furthermore, refering their Kana names from the table would prove to be very, very, troublesome, as people would have to go one round just to search it. Thus, like Hanja, even though it has a Hangul-Hanja table for a few words, like Hanja, it is better to put up Kana. Displaying valid information in a encyclopedic manner is much, much better like this. Wikipedia, is a centre for information, and saying this means that you are holding back some information on Japanese names, unlike its Korean counterpart. Wikipedians, I tell you, the benefit for releasing the Kana is just as beneficial as Hanja. I hope all of you get what I mean.User:Chan Han Xiang


I think this argument could continue ad infinitum (ad nauseam?) so why don't we have a vote. First we need to decide what to vote on ... seems like the main things are:

  • Should there be a Name Table?
  • What should it have:
    • Kanji?
    • Hiragana?
    • Katakana?
    • Romaji?

Personally I'm starting to think a Name Table would be more trouble than it's worth. It would be nice to reach a consensus on name ORDER before worrying about a name TABLE. CES 14:57, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I just found out about this discussion on IRC, so I've put up a voting section below and voiced my opinions. —Tkinias 20:30, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Name Table

Should there be a name table?

Vote tally: 1/8

  1. Can be used to dispel confusion about family/given name and include distracting facts like "usually written in kana but these are the kanji" which don't belong in the first sentence. Kappa 17:30, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  1. Does not seem necessary, and other articles giving many names (e.g., Gdańsk) do not need it. —Tkinias 20:30, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. Superfluous. --Korath会話 21:35, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. Takes too much space. Noel (talk)
  4. Name tables only work if something has a Japanese and a Chinese name, or a Japanese and a Korean name. As this pertains to "Japanese-only" articles, then there is no need for a table. WhisperToMe 02:01, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  5. I agree, it's superfluous CES 03:23, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  6. Only when abso-bloody-lutely necessary, which is very rarely. --Golbez 04:08, Dec 20, 2004 (UTC)
  7. Oppose. Jpatokal 07:13, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  8. Oppose [[User:GK|gK ¿?]] 08:33, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    • Objection Point: Saying this it is better to display nothing. No name tables, scattered areas of brackets, looks worse. See the state of Paul Kariya. Messy! Then why the author of Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Korean) point out to Korean name tables? The matter of material Organization! Using the Japanese model of this Korean model!---> Template:Koreanname Wake up, Boys, it is time to come to common sense! Otherwise, wikipedia will seem useless like having being a crippled chap, having organization on one side and messiness on the other. Let you all reflect, I don't know. 8 vs 1, I give up. Putting up seems very dull and boring. --->小泉 純一郎 Koizumi Jun'ichirō, born January 8, 1942) is a Japanese.... Worse. Better not to even have it up.User:Chan Han Xiang
1. You are breaking the page. 2. The Paul Kariya article looks just fine. 2. The Korean and Japanese naming conventions are totally separate. WhisperToMe 17:37, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The use of parentheses is very common in Wikipedia articles about people and things other than Korean or Japanese, for example Russian, Arabic, and Bulgarian people and topics. It works fine. —Tkinias 20:41, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Should kanji be given for all names?

Vote tally: 8/0

  1. Of course, but in parens at the article start (like is done for almost all other languages). —Tkinias 20:30, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. Of course, following the manual of style - WhisperToMe 20:34, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. Yes, of course. --Korath会話 21:35, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  4. Yes, in parentheses (if known - of course, someone else can always add it later). Noel (talk)
  5. Yes CES 03:23, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  6. Hai. --Golbez 04:08, Dec 20, 2004 (UTC)
  7. Me too. Jpatokal 07:13, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  8. Support. [[User:GK|gK ¿?]] 08:33, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Should romaji be given for all names?

Vote tally: 8/0

  1. Since common anglicization does not provide enough information to pronounce correctly, formal romaji should be given in parens after the kanji. —Tkinias 20:30, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. Yes, romaji should be there. WhisperToMe 20:41, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. Yes, to accomodate browsers that cannot display kana. --Korath会話 21:35, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  4. Yes (can also give Japanese name order, in name written in Western alphabet [i.e. readable for those who cannot read Japanese], for those articles where the name order is given in Western order in the title). Noel (talk)
  5. Yes, romaji serves as the best pronunciation guide for most English speakers CES 03:23, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  6. Hai. --Golbez 04:08, Dec 20, 2004 (UTC)
  7. Me too. Jpatokal 07:13, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  8. Support. Use Hepburn, unless the person has chosen a different transliteration (which a few authors have done), or use the most common transliteration for fictional characters (where manga and anime translations too often use non-standard transliterations). Include explanations when non-Hepburn transliterations are used. [[User:GK|gK ¿?]] 08:33, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Should kana be given for all names?

Vote tally: 1/8

  1. Helpful to people who know kana better than romaji, especially those from third countries (neither English speaking nor Japanese speaking). Also many Japanese, especially "idols", pop stars, etc use unusual kana in their name, e.g. wo instead of o, or katakana when hiragana would be expected. If the kana aren't included, the reader won't be sure that the regular spelling is correct. Kappa 17:27, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  1. Seems superfluous if romaji are given. —Tkinias 20:30, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. Redundant in both English and Japanese if formal romaji are given. --Korath会話 21:35, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. Western, plus kanji, plus romaji is already getting clunky. Noel (talk)
  4. Wikipedia is not a foreign language dictionary ... if you want to learn kana there are much better resources out there! CES 03:23, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  5. Agreed with above. --Golbez 04:08, Dec 20, 2004 (UTC)
  6. Reasons above. WhisperToMe 04:14, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  7. Me too. Jpatokal 07:13, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  8. Oppose. Use kana only in those situations where they are normally used (Westerners who have become Japanese citizens, for example, will often have their name in kana). [[User:GK|gK ¿?]] 08:33, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Then why have a name table on Korean names? Plus having Hanja column as well? Better tear down the nonsense of having name tables anyway, tearing down Japanese name-tables, better to tear down name tables, everything! everything! No Kanji, no romaji, no McCune Reischauer, Revised Romanization, Hangul and Hanja! Rubbish in that sense!
    • Chan, just vote in favor if you disagree =/ - And don't go tearin' down Korean name tables if this vote goes against your favor, or an admin might block you from editing temporairly. WhisperToMe 17:19, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • I missed this entire debate. Here's a good resource for hiragana: the Japanese Wikipedia. There, they give the names in kanji, and provide hiragana as a pronunciation guide and as a search tool for people who don't know the kanji. That's important, because if a Japanese person hears the name, he or she knows the kana, but there might be dozens of possibilities for the kanji, so knowing kana isn't enough to get the article title correct. A search is necessary. There's no such need for users of the English WP where the article titles are in romaji. So no point in putting hiragana along with kanji in the articles. Fg2 10:14, Feb 19, 2005 (UTC)

From the "inventor" of Korean name tables

Well, I've been away from Wikipedia for a very long time. It was interesting to discover this debate over name tables. As the person who introduced them on the Korea-related articles—and I'll admit they have a few detractors—let me say I'm somewhat flattered that the idea was raised of adding them to Japan-related articles. Nevertheless, the need and justification for them on the Korea articles is somewhat more pronounced than is the case for the Japan articles.

Korean has competing romanization systems—of which the Revised and McCune-Reischauer Romanizations are but two—because the complexity of the Korean sound system has not yet led to one system's having a broad consensus among users the way Hepburn has for Japanese. As both systems are in widespread use both on and off the Internet, they both merit inclusion. And because of the sound changes in Korean consonants, it's hard to extrapolate from either the Revised or McCune-Reischauer systems to Hangul, so the Hangul is necessary as well. On top of that, it's impossible to extrapolate from Hangul to Hanja, because there may be dozens of Hanja that have exactly the same pronunciation. With two different romanizations plus Hangul and Hanja—and in many cases an English or irreguarly spelled version of the article title to boot—many articles degenerated into long lists of stuff in parentheses. The tables were an attempt to clean up the appearance of such articles by putting all that stuff into neat, tidy boxes.

In the Japanese case, if only the Romaji and Kanji are necessary for most articles—since you reached a broad agreement that kana are generally not required—there isn't the same pressing need to keep things simple. So thanks, Chan Han Xiang, for trying to advance the idea, but at the same time, I can understand the reluctance of everyone else (apparently) not to adopt them.

Writing from wikiretirement, -Sewing - talk 03:12, 31 May 2005 (UTC)