Variant request: Japanese modified Hepburn

Doug Ewell doug at
Tue Sep 1 14:48:43 CEST 2009

I have no objection to this proposal on its own, and agree that the 
Prefix field should be "ja-Latn" instead of "ja", based on the precedent 
we set when registering 'pinyin' and 'wadegile'.  Frank, who has not 
posted here before, would not have known about the big debate we went 
through at that time.

Naturally, I also agree with the mechanical detail that 'hepburn' as the 
Description field needs to be all lowercase.

I gathered from Frank's request that he does want to distinguish Hepburn 
from other Japanese romanization schemes, so that his particular needs 
are not met by "ja-Latn" (though this might be sufficient for others, 
just as "zh-Latn" might be sufficient for some).

I don't get the sense that it would serve Frank's needs to register 
separate subtags for traditional vs. revised vs. modified Hepburn.  If 
someone has a concrete need for that, I suggest we consider second-level 
variants to capture that level of detail, so that "ja-Latn-hepburn" 
would still be available.

If others feel it is necessary to register subtags for the other 
Japanese romanization schemes (kunrei-shiki and nihon-shiki), then they 
can propose those subtags and we can discuss them in parallel with 
Frank's request.  I don't think registering 'hepburn' necessarily 
implies that content labeled "ja-Latn" must be in a different 
romanization, or that we are "favoring" one romanization or implicitly 
declaring one to be the "default," and I'm concerned that our efforts to 
tile the plane of possible language variations (here and elsewhere) 
might become excessive.  I'm also concerned about making the requester 
feel that we are interrogating him about issues that are not his 

Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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