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Status: This page describes an active style guideline proposal and is not official.

Proposal number: RFC-288
Champion: foolip
Current status: In development

Status: This is an official style guideline.

Japanese Language, Japanese Script (Kanji/Kana)

The Japanese script doesn't have any inherent capitalization. Characters should be used as-is; with kanji, hiragana, or katakana characters as used in the original titles.

Although the Japanese script has no capitalization, it is very common for Japanese titles to contain words in other scripts. Japanese artists have a tendency to choose capitalization and punctuation for aesthetic reasons; and to be very consistant regarding case over all releases. For this reason, words in the latin script on a Japanese release should be in the same case as on the album art (or other available sources, such as official discography or record label pages), and not be normalized.

Japanese Language, Latin Script (Transliteration)

The most common romanization method used in Musicbrainz is Revised Hepburn, however existing usage is not consistant. In particular, the indication of long vowels varies; the macron variants (ō and ū) are rarely used.

The capitalization style used on transliterated (romanized) Japanese releases is designed to resemble the title-casing style used for English releases. In particular:

  • Every word should have the first letter capitalized, except:
    • Particles (1-2 mora long): wa, ga, o, ni, de, e, to, mo, ka, ya, kara, made, yo, ne, etc. Particles on Wikipedia
    • Any words written using latin characters in the original title should maintain the same capitalization as originally used.
    • In certain cases, Japanese words may be written in katakana for emphasis. A common way to indicate this in transliterations is to use ALL CAPS.

Some additional notes about transliterations:

  • Word splitting in Japanese transliterations is not an exact science, particularly in the cases of compound words or verbs with auxiliary helpers.
  • Honourifics should be attached to a preceeding name with a dash, and be written in lowercase: Sakura-chan, Yamada-san.
  • For borrowed words (gairaigo), which are usually written in katakana, it is common to use the spelling of the word in the original language, rather than a transliteration of the Japanese pronunciation. Note that these words are not always originally English! An example is プラチナ, which comes from the spanish Platina.