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Names of Japanese authors

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message 1: by G.G. (new)

G.G. | 207 comments I wonder if I might trouble a librarian to fix the order of a few Japanese authors' names please. All of the names below are ordered mistakenly on my shelves by given name instead of family name.
1. Kaneko Fumiko: Kaneko the family name, Fumiko is the given name.
2. Hiratsuka Raicho: Raicho is the pen name that functions as a given name, Hiratsuka the family name.
3. Yoshida Mitsuru: Yoshida is the family name, Mitsuru the given name.
4. Ooka Shohei: Ooka is the family name, Shohei the given name.
5. Natsume Soseki: Natsume is the family name, Soseki the pen name that functions as a given name.
Many thanks in advance for your help!
Gaye


message 2: by Sandi (new)

Sandi At least for the last one, wikipedia disagrees with you. Maybe because it is a pen name?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natsume_...


message 3: by G.G. (new)

G.G. | 207 comments Not quite sure what you're suggesting here: Natsume is the family name, right? But on my shelves, this author gets put under S for Soseki, which is his pen name that functions as a given name, just like Mori Ogai, where Mori is the family name and Ogai the pen name that functions as a given name. Mori Ogai is correctly ordered under M for Mori, so why not N for Natsume Soseki too?!


message 4: by Sandi (new)

Sandi I wasn't suggesting anything. I merely stated that while English wikipedia switches the names of the first four authors around, as you want it changed, Natsume Soseki seems to be known in the western world by his Japanese name order. Just look at the book covers of the English translations of his books:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

I don't pretend to be an expert in Japanese names though, so I'm leaving this for another librarian to have a look at.


message 5: by Emy (last edited Nov 21, 2013 08:43AM) (new)

Emy (emypt) | 5029 comments GR puts Japanese authors in the form Surname Firstname (without commas) in English IF the author has works translated into a Western script language. Authors who natively write in a non-Western script should also have their name written in their script as a Secondary Author (i.e. NOT in the same field).

E.g.

Kokoro would have both Natsume Sōseki AND 夏目 漱石

GR developers are aware of issues with filing for some authors, but as yet there is nothing available to set "sort as" for Authors. This is also a problem for authors like Ursula Le Guin (files under G) and hispanic authors who use doubled surnames, and it is an area that there is a will to work on, it just hasn't happened yet.


message 6: by G.G. (new)

G.G. | 207 comments Sandi wrote: "I wasn't suggesting anything. I merely stated that while English wikipedia switches the names of the first four authors around, as you want it changed, Natsume Soseki seems to be known in the weste..."
Yes, you're quite right, Natsume Soseki is indeed known, quite correctly, as Natsume Soseki in both English and Japanese. My point is that all of the authors whose names I listed have been translated into English and should be sorted by their surnames--as are other Japanese authors such as Murakami (surname) Haruki (given name) and Yoshimoto (surname) Banana (now there's a pen name for you!). I'm grateful for Emy's explanation, but don't quite understand how the inconsistency has come about!


message 7: by Michael (last edited Nov 22, 2013 12:58PM) (new)

Michael (mwelser) | 193 comments Emy wrote: "GR puts Japanese authors in the form Surname Firstname (without commas) in English IF the author has works translated into a Western script language. Authors who natively write in a non-Western script should also have their name written in their script as a Secondary Author (i.e. NOT in the same field)."

Emy, could you please point to the location where this rule is derived from?

All the entries for Japanese authors for which I have catalogued books so far (Akutagawa, Edogawa, Endo, Furui, Inoue, Kawabata, Kirishima) follow the "Western style" in the form "Doe, John" WITH commas...

And frankly, I was quite happy with that.

@G.G.: I think you have a point. But inconsistencies always creep in, with so many people involved (and no clear rules for at least some of the "finer" problems). Should be repaired, though. Could be repaired quite easily, even.

PS: I have given up on GR's sorting quite a while ago and rely for my "important" shelves on "sort by position" only (which is a major maintenance pain, of course)


message 8: by G.G. (new)

G.G. | 207 comments Michael wrote: "Emy wrote: "GR puts Japanese authors in the form Surname Firstname (without commas) in English IF the author has works translated into a Western script language. Authors who natively write in a non..."
Thank you for your observations! As you say, it's no wonder that there are inconsistencies given the participatory nature of GR. I hope that those with greater technological skills than I have will step up to sort things out. I'm certainly not ready to move to "sort by position" only, a major maintenance pain indeed!


message 9: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Michael wrote: "All the entries for Japanese authors for which I have catalogued books so far (Akutagawa, Edogawa, Endo, Furui, Inoue, Kawabata, Kirishima) follow the "Western style" in the form "Doe, John" WITH commas..."

With commas? There should never be commas in the author field. What do you mean?


message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael (mwelser) | 193 comments Sorry, I was getting carried away... You enter "John Doe" for the author, you get "Doe, John" in the list. No commas in the author itself. Never.

I still try to figure out what Emy meant in #5 above...


message 11: by Sandi (new)

Sandi I'm not sure what Emy meant either. I'd assume that a transliteration of a Japanese (or any originally non-Latin script) name would be put in the author field the same way it appears on the book cover.


message 12: by G.G. (last edited Nov 23, 2013 07:12PM) (new)

G.G. | 207 comments Sandi wrote: "I'm not sure what Emy meant either. I'd assume that a transliteration of a Japanese (or any originally non-Latin script) name would be put in the author field the same way it appears on the book co..."
If you take a look at the publisher's web page for a book by one of the authors on my list, you'll see the problem:
http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-23...
The publisher lists the author's name in Western order (Raicho Hiratsuka), but the cover of the book itself gives her name in Japanese order (Hiratsuka Raicho). What is one to do?!


message 13: by Michael (new)

Michael (mwelser) | 193 comments G.G. wrote: "What is one to do?"

Normally, a librarian would edit the author, changing the name from "Doe John" to "John Doe" (after having made sure that there would not be any collision with possible John Does already around).

That would change globally the presentation and the sort order in the shelves.


message 14: by G.G. (new)

G.G. | 207 comments Michael wrote: "G.G. wrote: "What is one to do?"

Normally, a librarian would edit the author, changing the name from "Doe John" to "John Doe" (after having made sure that there would not be any collision with pos..."

Agreed! And thus my initial request. I don't think I'm empowered to make the changes though--isn't that sort of fixing reserved for super librarians?


message 15: by Sandi (new)

Sandi Any librarian can fix an author's name if it's wrong. However, I'm still not convinced that Natsume Soseki needs a change, since his name wouldn't match with his bookcovers anymore. (I keep mentioning N.S. because he's the only one of those five I'm vaguely familiar with.)

Maybe Rivka could have a look at the list in the first post?


message 16: by Michael (last edited Nov 24, 2013 03:41AM) (new)

Michael (mwelser) | 193 comments OK, this boils down to:

1) Do we register author names always strictly as given on the cover, without any interpretation of the semantics, so "John Doe1" on cover 1 will be entered as "John Doe1" (and hence sorted under "D") while "Doe2 John" from cover 2 will be entered as "Doe2 John" (and, consequently sorted und "J") - as is claimed be Emy [if I finally understand what she meant]

or

2) Do we allow for an interpretation of the meaning of an author's name, which would then result in entering "Doe2 John" from above as "John Doe2", with all the happy consequences for lists and sort order - as is requested by G.G.

My position (and that is only mine, of course) is that we should follow 2).

<rationale>

GR (as in "the software of") by itself already interprets author names when you enter the name of an author. GR does not provide multiple name attributes (i.e. one field for given name/first name, one field for middle initials, one field field for family name/surname).

GR has only one name field. Therefore the software has to cleverly guess ("parse") the contents and will decide that the last word (identified by a preceding space, if any - and/or some more clever guessing) is bound to be the sort key, and by implication the surname/family name by which Westerners tend to sort.

That keeping in mind, one hast to reverse the input order for author names coming from cultures where the common name presentation is "Doe John" - regardless of the order shown on the cover.

And this has worked fine for the majority of Japanese authors so far registered in GR (again, refer to the entries for e.g. Akutagawa, Edogawa, Endo, Furui, Inoue, Kawabata, Kirishima, Murakami)

Just a thought expirement: Would you consider a separate GR entry for "Miller Henry" if some (imaginary) editor was to publish "Tropic of Cancer" with "MILLER Henry" on the cover?

</rationale>


message 17: by Emy (last edited Nov 24, 2013 07:55AM) (new)

Emy (emypt) | 5029 comments The answer to both Michael's statements is Yes and No. A non-culturally egocentric viewpoint means that we establish a form of the author's name closest to their native form OR preferred form. This also goes for Alphabets, which are only transliterated if the author also writes in that script - a Korean author, for example, that only writes in Korean and Chinese would probably NOT have an Latinised form of his name on GR.

Three points:
Sorting on shelves is a different issue from Author on book record. Author on book record may not sort the way someone wishes, but needs to be accurate.
We DO create some level of authority control, usually an "established form". Wikipedia is a common choice, but also frequency of usage.
Who are we to say that Kaneko Fumiko should write her name Fumiko Kaneko because that is the way we feel it should be written, regardless of her opinions on her own name.

Examples
-A- I have a book by Kaneko Fumiko (or any author who doesn't natively write in my alphabet):

1. Kaneko Fumiko is the form on the cover, and all versions on GR in my alphabet use that form. Kaneko Fumiko
2. Kaneko Fumiko is the form on the cover, but all other covers on GR in my alphabet have Fumiko Kaneko. EITHER Fumiko Kaneko OR also list Kaneko Fumiko afterwards, adding a Librarian note and a See also.
3. Kaneko Fumiko is the transliterated form of the name on Worldcat, the work is in Japanese, but none of the works are translated into a language using that script. 金子 文子
4. Kaneko Fumiko is the transliterated form of the name on Worldcat, the work is in Japanese, and works are translated into a language using that script (some or all). Kaneko Fumiko AND 金子 文子

-B- I have a book by John Smith

1. John Smith is the form on the cover, and all versions on GR in my alphabet use that form. John Smith
2. Smith John is the form on the cover, but all/the majority other covers on GR in my alphabet have John Smith. John Smith, unless #5 comes into play.
3. Джон Смит is on the cover, the work is in Russian (or another script) but John Smith originally wrote using this alphabet. John Smith AND Джон Смит (allows combining with other editions but retains the cover form)
4. John Smiht is the form on the book, but all/the majority other covers on GR in my alphabet have John Smith. John Smith, unless #5 comes into play.
5. Smith John is the form on the book, and the form that the author always preferred. Smith John, with John Smith as appropriate on works published with the name written inaccurately (publishers aren't perfect!).

When considering, it's also good to bear in mind the source of the name - and OCR-scan of a book is likely to contain many errors, which should have been fixed. These I would have no compunction over 'fixing' because it will render a book more likely to be able to be found.

Regardless, sorting is an extra. Personally if it mattered to me that my Family-name-first authors were filing contrary to how I wished to see it, I would add an extra shelf for those authors, and fix it to sort by "forename", which would work in practice.

Ideal world - a form of entry that permits designation of sorting, but in the absence of that we don't put an author in the form that we think it should be, just for sorting.

TLDR: Natsume Sōseki (etc.) are the forms we should use for now, regardless of sorting.

Example of how to enter authors in more than one alphabet:



message 18: by Michael (new)

Michael (mwelser) | 193 comments Emy wrote: "The answer to both Michael's statements is Yes and No. A non-culturally egocentric viewpoint means that we establish a form of the author's name closest to their native form OR preferred form. This..."

Just some observations:

0) OK, I put sorting aside.

1) The problem at hand is not difference in alphabet, of course you can (and should) add 夏目 漱石 for Natsume Sōseki

1a) Practicability. I tried that approach repeatedly with two Dostoyevskies - until I was tired of having the cyrilic one killed thrice over.

2) GR's name field implies structure. By entering "Henry Miller" and "Natsume Sōseki" into that same field, one obfuscates the implied semantics of the name. Surname gets mixed together with given name and vice versa. And there is no mechanism in GR where you can record which meaning a name has, which culture it belongs to.

3) "Who are we to say that Kaneko Fumiko should write her name Fumiko Kaneko because that is the way we feel it should be written, regardless of her opinions on her own name." That point is moot. We are not telling anybody anything, we are just trying to register data (in a least ambiguous way).

4) Consistency 1. Are you willing to change back all Japanese authors which have been entered "John Doe"-style?

5) Wikipedia is no authority whatsoever. Anybody can go ahead change any entry anytime. Furthermore, Wikipedia is inconsistent across languages (compare the English entry for Akutagawa with the German one)

6) Some translated Western editions of Japanese literature show the name of the author "John Doe"-style, some "Doe John"-style, some at least capitalize the surname... I can give examples of all four variants. Maybe English editions favour one variant over the others.

7) Consistency 2. I see a lot of duplicate entries already for most Japanese authors. E.g., at this moment, there are 80 works for Natsume Sōseki and 11 for Soseki Natsume (which should be merged of course)

I am most concerned over the last point. One way or the other, we are loosing the common view of the work of an author, starting from a single identity.

TLDR: Do as you wish. I can always sort on position. But preserve a single authorship.

Anyway, I have still some books left to register and rate, and do some librarian's work in domains where I cannot possibly step on someone's toes... :-)


message 19: by Michael (new)

Michael (mwelser) | 193 comments BTW, according to the Library of Congress (which serves very often as the arbitrator), "Natsume, Sōseki" (as in "Doe, John") is the established form.

That would imply that the GR entry should be changed to "Sōseki Natsume".

OK, I disappear now behind some books...


message 20: by Helmut (new)

Helmut (schlimmerdurst) | 43 comments If GR really wants to be an international site, differing naming conventions should be observed. On GR, this works fine, only sorting is an issue - but then, if I as a software developer told my customers to adapt their data so my sorting algorithms work correctly, they would laugh at me. Algorithms and infrastructure should be adapted to work with the real-world data, not vice versa.

I would strongly oppose a reordering of surname-given-name representation of authors. I agree to the "single authorship" proposition, but that should be the "accepted" form, not the Western view on naming.


message 21: by Michael (new)

Michael (mwelser) | 193 comments Helmut wrote: "If GR really wants to be an international site, differing naming conventions should be observed. On GR, this works fine, only sorting is an issue - but then, if I as a software developer told my cu..."

If you want to observe different naming conventions (just in the sense of surname/given-name, letting the alphabet issues aside), then even less users will understand the rules (which are not documented anyway in sufficient clarity) any longer and registered authors will vary even more than they do already.

In the current situation, we have some [Japanese] authors registered surname/given-name and some others given-name/surname, with plenty of copies using the respective inverse order and in need to be merged. Consistency would dictate that only one order prevails. In the end, nothing will happen.

Side note 1: Does GR "really want to be an international site"? Hmmmm.

Side note 2: I, as yet another software developer, have completely given up on commenting on the obvious design flaws imminent in the GR data model. I went humbly back to "take it or leave it". Life's too short...


message 22: by Michael (last edited Nov 25, 2013 04:03AM) (new)

Michael (mwelser) | 193 comments Proposal:

"The latinized entry in GR for an author of non-Latin-based provenance should correspond to the form as used in the Library of Congress."

Could you live with that? Is there anybody from GR? Cait, Rivka where are you?


message 23: by Emy (new)

Emy (emypt) | 5029 comments Re #22 - Nope: LC rules are based on different issues and their disambiguation rules would conflict with those of GR. LC can set it's principles as MARC is a more complex data entry model than GR allows (and rightly so since you don't get training to enter records!). MARC basically sets the author field twice, which GR doesn't - once in the 100 and once in the 245, which allows for an Indexed form and a non-indexed "sic" form. In the absence of such a schema, GR uses "Established form", precedent and authorial preference.

Dostoevsky et al. are an ongoing battle, but one I am willing to continue with.

Re 4 & 7, yes - post them in the relevant forum posts and we all fix them. It's an ongoing task, but necessary as imports are not perfect, nor are humans. When fixing please check whether each edition should have two or more versions of the name as well :)


message 24: by Michael (new)

Michael (mwelser) | 193 comments Emy wrote: "Re #22 - Nope"

OK, fair enough. And what IS the rule, then?

E.g., would the currently existent entry for "Ryūnosuke Akutagawa" be correct or would it need to be inverted to "Akutagawa Ryūnosuke"?


message 25: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42044 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Cait, Rivka where are you?"

Cait is not an employee, although she is one of our oldest and most experienced superlibrarians.

I think Emy (also a superlibrarian) is doing just fine.


message 26: by Hruotland (new)

Hruotland | 20 comments I have a question related to this. For example Tsukiji Nao, currently ey has got two Japanese GR profiles, 尚 月地, with a space, and 尚月地, no space.

So, yeah, the books with those two authors should get the primary author set to Tsukiji Nao, so the editions can be combined with the translated versions.

But i guess the two Japanese profiles should be joined, but to which version? With or without space?


message 27: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42044 comments Mod
Which is standard in Japanese?


message 28: by Michael (new)

Michael (mwelser) | 193 comments With space.


message 29: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42044 comments Mod
Then merge the two Japanese profiles into the one with the space. And maybe leave a Librarian Note on the resulting profile explaining.


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