Skip to main content
University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Japan Studies

Romanization & Word Division

Romanization and Word Division

UT Libraries (and about all the libraries in North America) follow Library of Congress Japanese Romanization and Word Division rules. Use these rules when searching the Japanese records with roman searches and in Inter-library Service (ILS) requests.

Romanization rule (Modified Hepburn):

Simple romanization table (Courtesy of University of Illinois Asian Library)

Special rules for long vowels & short “っ”(促音):

1. Long vowels:

Do not add additonal “う” (u) or “お” (o) for the long vowels.
Example: 東京 とうきょう. Romanize: Tōkyō, not Tookyoo, nor Toukyou. When searching in UT catalog and in OCLC, simply enter “tokyo”, without the diacritic mark macron.

The diacritic mark macron (a horizontal bar on top of a vowel) is used to represent a long vowel in catalogs. It is recommended that you use macron when you make an ILS request. Examples: 東京 とうきょう → Tōkyō

Macron is not required in searching in roman. Examples: 東京 とうきょう → Tokyo

2. Short っ

Insert a duplicate consonant to represent short “っ” (促音) with some exceptions with “っち”. Example:  学校 がっこう  →  Gakko

Word division: General rule: romanize in phrases

Examples: 文学 → Bungaku, 日本人 → Nihonjin,  社会的 → Shakaiteki

For detail of romanization and word division rules, see Library of Congress Japanese romanization rules (p. 4-16)

Romanization and word division exercises:

  1. 日本外交史
  2. 日本人とアメリカ人
  3. 平安時代の仏教
  4. 昭和期の美術
  5. 第二次世界大戦
  6. キリスト教
  7. 明治キリスト教会形成の社会史
  8. 勞働組合法
  9. 労働組合法案
  10. 敎育史に関する文献目錄並に解題

To search in roman

  1. nihon gaiko shi
  2. nihonjin to amerikajin
  3. Heian jidai no bukkyo
  4. showaki no bijutsu
  5. dainiji sekai taisen
  6. kirisutokyo
  7. meiji Kirisuto kyokai keisei no shakaishi
  8. rodo kumiaiho
  9. rodo kumiai hoan
  10. kyoikushi ni kansuru bunken mokuroku narabini kaidai

To input kanji and kana (retain “u” or “o” for long vowels):

  1. nihon gaikou shi
  2. nihonjin to amerikajin
  3. heian jidai no bukkyou
  4. shouwaki no bijutsu
  5. dainiji sekai taisen
  6. kirisutokyou
  7. meiji Kirisuto kyoukai keisei no shakaishi
  8. roudou kumiaihou
  9. roudou kumiai houan
  10. kyouikushi ni kansuru bunken mokuroku narabini kaidai

NOTE: When in doubt, try various forms

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.