Style / Language / Japanese

Status: This is an official style guideline.

Japanese Domestic Releases

The Japanese script doesn't have any inherent capitalization. For releases originating in Japan, 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 consistent 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 if other available sources, such as official discography or record label pages, are consistent; not normalized according to English or other capitalization standards.

Transliteration into Latin Script

There are several methods to transliterate Japanese into the Latin script. If an official transliteration is available (endorsed by the artist or their record label), it should be used. For a summary of the most common transliteration method used for user-submitted transliterations on MusicBrainz, see Transliteration Standard Japanese.

The capitalization style used on transliterated (romanized) Japanese releases is designed to resemble the title-casing style used for English releases. Although official Japanese standards differ, these guidelines reflect the most common style for romanized titles used by English-speakers on the Internet. In particular:

  • Any honourifics or suffixes to a proper noun should be in lowercase.
  • 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.
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