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There was a similar topic recently on China and I was confused trying to tag my Japanese question so I figured this could be helpful.

Presently, Japan-classed tags include , , , and . I would have wanted to tag my question (relating both to the Restoration in a narrow sense and to later internal politics in a broader one) as "meiji-period" or "meiji-japan" but these tags do not exist. Neither do comparable options for the Taisho, Showa, or Heisei -- yet, a tag exists for which is a very specific time limitation (1868 to 1871 if we count the abolishment of the domain system as its end) but at least some of the questions actually span the later Meiji period (1868–1912).

Is this simply because of a dearth of questions? If so, could a policy still be determined such that questions -- when they appear -- can have the most informative tagging from the get-go?

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  • I am strongly opposed to all of the "shogunate-japan" proposals which are ahistorical and misleading. There has been three shogunates in Japan spanning most of 1185 to 1868, so it would be counter-intuitive to use it for only the last shogunate. – Semaphore May 28 at 10:06
  • That is correct; though at least in the first the Shogun's influence declined very fast. That's not a good argument though, and I've edited the below to be more accurate. – gktscrk May 28 at 10:43
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We should tag by common historical conventions.

I believe standard periodisations would make the tagging system more intuitive to use. Given the relative lack of questions, I suggest not subdividing too finely. Moreover, we should make liberal use of synonyms to tie together the various names of each period. Thus:

  1. : ???-~600s, the Jōmon, Yayoi, and Kofun periods of the Yamato tribal kingdom
  2. : ~600s-1185, the Asuka, Nara, and Heian periods of centralised imperial state
  3. / : 1185-1467, the Kamakura and Muromachi feudal Samurai rule
  4. / : 1467-1603, covering both the Sengoku Jidai proper and the Azuchi–Momoyama period, because this is an era of heightened interest
  5. / / / / : 1603-1868
  6. / / : 1868-1945
  7. / : 1945-???

for general questions that span multiple eras or have unclear time frame.

NB: Items with more than one name listed are meant to be synonymised.


We can also merge 6 & 7 into one tag, but I feel that division would better conform with the standard break between modern and contemporary history, not to mention the significance of the pre/post war divide to Japan.

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  • I feel a better name would be require for post-Restoration pre-1945 than "pre-war" as that Japan went through numerous wars. A specific search for "pre-war Japan" on Wiki took me to the Russo-Japanese War, but Google knows what you mean (as hopefully would most people). What's your opinion on "imperial-japan"? – gktscrk May 28 at 10:49
  • @gktscrk I was thinking "modern-japan" to be the main one, but "imperial-japan" would work well too. "pre-war-japan" is mostly a Japanese usage. – Semaphore May 28 at 10:51
  • Fair enough! I like it -- my last gripe is that the "tokugawa" and "edo" names don't reflect "japan". If someone was searching for "japan" in the tags, would they find these only using that keyword if "early-modern-japan" was a synonym for "tokugawa-period"? Or would the more anachronistic "tokugawa-japan" and "edo-japan" make for a better tag -- even though the names are "wrong"? – gktscrk May 28 at 11:24
  • @gktscrk They do show up on the tags page, and will work if searched as a tag (i.e. [dark-ages] returns [middle ages] tagged results), but not if searched as plain text. That could be a problem. I originally though to use "edo-period" as the main tag because it has by far the most Google results for me (3.7mil); "early-modern-japan" is second with 360k, perhaps that would work better? We should also add "tokugwa-japan" and "edo-japan" to the synonyms list. – Semaphore May 28 at 11:54
  • Yep! If they are all synonyms it should be fine (and clear). – gktscrk May 28 at 12:12
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    I'd think the general "Japan" tag would be more appropriate in instances where the era isn't known, the question spans eras, or the tag is being used geographically. Making it synonymous with modern Japan seems an odd choice. – T.E.D. May 28 at 14:55
  • @T.E.D. Good point, especially the multiple era cases. gktscrk: Huh, I never knew that was the intent! I have no real opinions one way or the other on using the tags this way, though I suspect some users would consider that redundant. – Semaphore May 28 at 19:30
  • @Semaphore: Haha; fair enough -- maybe that was not the intent... I am not sure in that case. – gktscrk May 31 at 4:48
  • @Semaphore: I guess that's a separate topic in any case as it's bigger than just japan or any other country given many have changed their name/dynasty/area over time. This here should just focus on the specific question I asked; I've deleted my comment from above as well. – gktscrk Jun 3 at 15:46
  • @Semaphore: Can we consider this the "present solution" as arrived at by the community at this point now? – gktscrk Jun 4 at 9:38
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    @gktscrk Yup, I would say so. – Semaphore Jun 4 at 9:52
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No more Japan tags

We should simplify the present tags to:

Aside: Questions under should be verified that they actually belong there instead of one of the other options.

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  • imperial-germany, germany and nazi-germany all exist. Is there a reason to differentiate pre and post-war Germany, but not pre and post-war Japan, despite Japan going through as great a cultural shift? – Gort the Robot Jun 8 at 0:03
  • No, there isn't (in my mind). I originally added several different answers, but I prefer Semaphore's solution. – gktscrk Jun 8 at 4:42
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As an additional point relating to Japan, I noticed that both (2q) and (4q, of which only one is about the First Sino-Japanese Wars; the others about the Second) exist right now.

I propose both of these are deleted as they are too specific to be of use.

PS. If @Semaphore's Japan system from above is adopted, all of these will fall under the .

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