I just added a tag (to be understood in the wider sense of "民俗学").

It came to me while posting this, but I think there are already questions that touch on similar topics, like: How are 化け物, 妖怪, 幽霊, etc. related to each other? and more, I would expect, in the future (between traditional folklore and folklore perpetuated through manga, we should have our share of demon/ghosts questions).

Generally, I think we could do with a few more "theme" tags. We have a very complete set of "linguistics" tags to describe all grammatical and technical language aspects of a question, but much fewer tags to represent broad theme categories (such as or ). Ideally, most questions should fit in one such category (in addition to their grammatical tagging)...

  1. Any objection to either of the above?

  2. Suggestions for good, broad, category tags that could be preemptively added?


A few clarifications on SE tagging policies and the above proposal:

  • Tagging questions with themes that are not in themselves exclusive to the Japanese language (e.g. "culture" or "food" or "folklore"...) does not affect the established rules on what is on-topic: questions must be primarily on the Japanese language and its usage (not on unrelated aspects of culture). But obviously, most questions dealing with vocabulary or nuances will also belong under a "cultural" theme. I feel tagging this aspect would be beneficial to everybody (you may, for example, be a student of Japanese interested in aspects of the language having to do with food, or mythology etc).

  • It is an established convention about tags on SE, that they are implicitly always specific to the context of the site. For example means "Japanese grammar" on JLU, whereas it would be "German grammar" on GLU. As such, always keep in mind when considering a new tag suggestion that its "Japanese language and usage" context is always implied: is to be seen as "Japanese language and/for/in folklore".

1 Answer 1


I'm for a folklore tag as long as the question is still on topic. My biggest concern is off-topic questions popping up if we have such a tag.

EDIT: There was an incorrect link pointing to a question about noses in the original question. (mentioning this here just so people don't get lost in the comments)

  • Oops! Wrong copy-paste. I fixed the link, thanks for pointing it out. I understand your concern, but keep in mind that any category tag (which is not a linguistics term) is necessarily gonna be bordering on "cultural"... I don't see this being a problem, as long as the question itself is on Japanese...
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 1:07
  • Also, food for thought: the (corrected) link I posted above was already tagged with... "culture"... ;-) (replaced it by "folklore" for the time being)...
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 1:09
  • 1
    the hana question is more about idioms(probably not the right term here) and set phrases and that's why I am ok with it. Any question that should have a culture tag really needs to be sure that the culture aspect isn't the primary focus of the question. My concern is that you have a folklore tag and all of a sudden people think it is ok to ask any folklore question. As far as the word "folklore" i think "mythology" might be more appropriate. Folklore gives me images of people square-dancing around a fire and seems a little vague. Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 1:24
  • @Mark: as I said: the nose question was a typo which had nothing to do with folklore, indeed (see the new link above)... I understand what you are saying, but you will agree that the very same line of reasoning could be used to rule out all non-linguistics/language tags. And we wouldn't be better off for it. Regarding mythology vs. folklore: I think the proper taxonomic term is folklore (which includes mythology) but I'm very open to debate on that... My guide was the accepted translation of the word 民俗学, which is what such a tag would cover exactly.
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 1:46
  • @dave: sorry misread "link posted above" as the old hana link and not the new bakemono link. Yes you bring up a good point that any non-linguistic tag, if taken as the primary tag (though such a concept doesn't exist on SE), would be out of context. I would like to talk about japanese culture as much as the next guide, but like many others, believe that culture topics should not be on this site. Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 2:38
  • @mark ... and we are totally on the same page here. This tagging proposal doesn't in any way imply greater flexibility on accepted topics. This is set. It doesn't take away from the fact that nearly all vocabulary/nuance questions do have a theme (whether it be "culture" in general, or a specific sub-domain of culture). One thing to keep in mind about tags is that their JLU context is always implied. That is, you should imagine there is a "japanese-language-and-..." in front of any tag used on JLU.
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 2:43
  • @mark: updated my question to clarify some of the general SE policies on tagging.
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 2:51
  • @dave: hehe sorry about that. Thanx for the update on the question. Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 4:32
  • @mark: you may want to update your answer as well: the first paragraph will be a bit obscure for newly arrived readers...
    – Dave
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 4:48

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