In an effort to achieve a certain rule and uniformity in the spelling of Japanese terms, various problems arise.
In Japanese there is no upper and lower case. There are kanji (word-picture characters), hiragana and katakana (two syllable scripts).
For many Japanese terms there are no short literal translations into English and such terms often have to be translated by an explanatory subordinate clause. For this reason it is also very important to learn the meaning of Japanese technical terms.
Most Japanese words and names are not to be found in the Duden, i.e. there is, with a few exceptions, no fixed English spelling. We have therefore decided to put all Japanese words and names in italics. Taifun, for example, can be found in the Duden. However, this is an "germanization". The Japanese word is called “tai-fu" (literally big wind). Kamakura or Mino cannot be found in the Duden, and even under Kyoto only "Kyoto Protocol" is given.
All Japanese names and terms are written here in the headings or at the beginning of sentences in upper case or with capital letters. In the continuous text, Japanese proper names, city names, times and periods are set with capital letters at the beginning.
Samurai is listed as a term in the Duden, but we have decided to put the word in italics for the sake of uniformity. Terms like Ningen-Kokuho (living national treasure) or Bunka-cho (Ministry of Culture) as well as Juyo Bunkazai (important inalienable cultural asset in the lower rank of a national treasure) start with capital letters. Please understand that in many cases the spelling is determined more by the feeling for language than by clear rules, which unfortunately are also not officially formulated.