Wiktionary:About Old Japanese

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link={{{imglink}}} This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.

Old Japanese (code ojp) is the oldest attested Japonic language, considered to cover written material from the oldest inscriptions made in Japan (e.g. the Inariyama Sword) up to the end of the Nara period in 794 CE.


Old Japanese entries should be covered using original orthography, never normalized or modernized spellings. The lemmatized spelling should be the most common or standard one, if possible, and other spellings should be listed under 'Alternative forms'. Such alternative forms can include wordplay and other unusual forms marked as such, but the lemmatized form should always be normal man'yōgana.


Romanization should follow the scheme used in Old Japanese#Syllables, rather than any attempt to match Hepburn romanization used for Japanese. The A/B vowels should be indicated with subscripts, as i1/i2, e1/e2, and o1/o2.


The phonology of Old Japanese is too uncertain to allow for entries to have a section for pronunciation.


The Man'yōshū records some poems from the Azuma dialect. Terms from these poems should be marked with the context label (Eastern Old Japanese). There are also chronolectal concerns, including in orthography, which can be addressed by using {{defdate}}.


Several quotation templates exist for the major works of Old Japanese. These include {{RQ:Man'yōshū}}, {{RQ:Kojiki}}, and {{RQ:Nihon Shoki}}.

Middle Japanese[edit]

Middle Japanese, including what is usually referred to as Classical Japanese, is considered to comprise everything from the Heian period onward, and should not be entered as Old Japanese. Currently, there is no clear consensus on how to handle these entries, so by default, they are encompassed by the L2 header Japanese.