See Capitalization (Word List) below for capitalization or non-capitalization of specific terms.

Titles and Titles of office

  1. Japan Harvest uses sentence case for article titles. Therefore only the first word and proper nouns have initial capitals.
  2. Titles that immediately precede a personal name, such as civil, military, religious, and professional titles, are capitalized. They are not generally capitalized if they come after a person’s name or if there is a “the” before the title. (see http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/capitalization/capitalization-of-job-titles.html).

e.g. General McArthur, Reverend Sasaki

Note: with titles that are abbreviations or contractions, AmE and BrE follow different rules. See sections on abbreviations and contractions. 

e.g. Mr./Mrs. (AmE), Mr/Mrs (BrE)

3. Titles used after a personal name, alone, or in place of a name should be in lower case, with rare exceptions. (Japanese status- or position-identifying suffixes should be treated as separate, capitalized words. See Romanization of Japanese terms > Names, Personal – suffixes)

e.g. the emperor; the president; Mr. Koizumi, the former prime minister; Sasaki-san, Sasaki Sensei.

4. Titles in institutions other than church and state are not regularly capitalized.

e.g. the president of JEMA, the managing editor of Japan Harvest, chairman of the board


Kinship names

1. A kinship name is in lowercase when it is not followed by a given name.

e.g. his father, my brothers and sisters, Uncle Bryan, Aunt Jan/Aunty Jan (BrE), Ford is my mother’s maiden name, Ask Dad to give you a bite of his.

2. Capitalize a kinship name in direct address or when you substitute the term for a personal name.

e.g. Don’t go near the water, Son. Did you sell your house yet, Auntie? Cheryl and Cindy are his youngest aunts.

Political divisions

Capitalize words designating political divisions of the world, a country, state, city, and similar entities when they follow the name or when they are an accepted or official part of the name.

e.g. Roman Empire, but the empire; Washington State, but the state of Washington


  1. Capitalize names of organizations and institutions when they are set out in full. Don’t capitalize the small function words linking the words (prepositions, articles, conjunctions) unless they are at the beginning.

e.g. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Korean Missionary Association in Japan

2. Don’t capitalize words denoting political or organizational systems or offices unless they are part of a proper noun

e.g. democracy, party, mission

Geographical Locations or Proper Names

  1. Geographical names and designations are capitalized whenever they appear in full. Special buildings and public structures are also capitalized when they are written in full. Small functional, linking words are not capitalized.

e.g. Snowy Mountains, Chiba Ken, Tokyo Tower, Statue of Liberty, Aomori Prefecture,  Tohoku Prefecture

2. Compass directions are capitalized when abbreviated, but lower case when written in full.

e.g. S, SW, SSW; south, southwest, south-southwest.

3. Unique historical events and periods are capitalized if they are the standard designation.

e.g. the Bronze Age; the Reformation; an industrial revolution, but the Industrial Revolution; a gold rush, but the California Gold Rush of 1849.


  1. The four seasons are lowercase unless they are personified.

e.g. We welcomed the arrival of spring; Then Winter—with her icy blasts—subsided.

2. Capitalize the names of religious holidays and seasons.

3. Capitalize secular holidays and other specially designated days.

Religious Terms

  1. Proper nouns and titles: Capitalize if used as a proper noun or title. Don’t capitalize if used generically (other gods) or adjectivally (the gospel writers).

e.g. God; Adonai; the Savior; the writers of the Gospels, but the gospel writers.

2. Divine pronouns:  Japan Harvest prefers as a general practice not to capitalize divine pronouns, but will allow writers to capitalize divine pronouns if that is their personal conviction. However, our editors retain the right to edit for consistency and context. (For an extensive discussion on both the history of divine pronoun capitalization in English and on current considerations relating to that practice, see The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style. Neither Hebrew nor Greek distinguishes between capital and lowercase letters the way English does, so a particular position cannot be supported from the biblical languages.)

Note: Most publishers of copyrighted Bible translations in English will not grant permission to quote if the deity-pronoun style is to be changed. If deity pronouns must be capitalized in a Bible quote, current possible copyrighted options are the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), the New American Standard Bible (NASB), and the New King James Version (NKJV).

3. Specific places in Scripture are normally capitalized, however, heaven, hell, and, hades are to be in lower case.

4. For guidance in the standard capitalization of religious terms, Japan Harvest editors will refer to The Little Style Guide to Great Christian Writing and Publishing and The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, which each give long lists of religious terms.


List items are initial-capped (oreilly.com)


Capitalization of titles of publications and creative works varies from publication to publication. Japan Harvest will capitalize all the nouns and adjectives.

Capitalization (Word List)

For religious terms, our primary reference is The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, 4th edition (Hudson). For quick reference to terms that seem to come up repeatedly, see below. To suggest terms to add to this list, contact the japanharvest.org website administrator.

gospel (Gospel only when referring to one of the four Gospels or “the Gospels” as a group)
internet (CMOS, 2017; AP Stylebook, 2016)


a.     Use to introduce a list or draw attention to information that follows.

e.g. Education options missionary parents have in Japan include: public school, home school, and international school.

Use lowercase even when a complete sentence follows the colon.

Exception: When introducing a formal quotation, slogan, or motto, capitalize after the colon.

b.     Use to precede block quotations (which usually are introduced by full sentences).

In his book Cross-cultural Servanthood, Duane Elmer interviewed the local people where missionaries were serving:

I asked many of them one question: What could missionaries do to more effectively minister the gospel of Christ in your culture? Many said that they valued the missionary presence and love they felt from them. But many said, with hesitation but conviction, “Missionaries could more effectively minister the gospel of Christ if they did not think they were so superior to us” . . . Superiority cloaked in the desire to serve is still superiority. It’s not our words that count, but the perceptions of the local people who watch our lives and sense our attitudes.

c.     Use between numbers in time. (AmE only—see section on time)

d.     Use chapter and verse in Scripture references.

e.g. 3:15 p.m. (US) and Matthew 5:13.


a.    Use when listing items in text, when separating clauses, or when it is necessary to express a short pause in a sentence.

b.    Use pairs of commas (or dashes) in mid-sentence, if desired, in place of parentheses/round brackets.

c.    Use between the last two items in a list of three or more items to minimize misreading. (Known as the serial comma, Harvard comma, or Oxford comma.) Watch out for mismatched items, which can create confusion even with the serial comma.

e.g. In her travels she went to Yokohama, Kyoto, and Nara.

d.    Use after the date in US-style dates.

e.g. March 21, 1970.

e.    Use to separate a direct quotation from the rest of the sentence by commas between the words and the quotation marks prior to the quotation, and at the end of the quotation (within quotation marks).

e.g. “Meet me at the station,” she ordered.  He shouted back, “I’m not going to meet you anywhere.”

Exceptions: Do not set off with commas if a quotation is

woven into the syntax of a sentence, 

e.g. If you don’t watch for non-verbal cues, you won’t recognize when a spoken “Yes” means “No.”

• or the entire quotation is used as though it were a noun,

e.g. Carey had high expectations for his missionary career, adopting “expect great things of God, attempt great things for God” as his motto.

f.    Use for numbers greater than 999, but with no spaces within the number.

e.g. 1,200 and 1,200,000.

g.    If already in use, use semicolons to separate items.

e.g. In her travels she visited Japanese castles in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara; she ate sushi in Sendai; and skied in Hokkaido.

h.    Unnecessary after e.g., but used before e.g. if in running text.

e.g. She liked most Japanese food, e.g. sushi and noodles.

i.    Commas are unnecessary before etc. unless the sentence might otherwise be misconstrued.


Conferences, Seminars, etc. 

See Names (Associations, Conferences, Seminars, etc.)



1. Contractions are shortened forms of single words from which the middle is omitted, e. g. Mr., Dr., as opposed to those in which the end is omitted, e.g. Prof., Rev. Commonwealth style tends not to use a full stop when letters are omitted from the middle of a word, e.g. Mr and Dr

2. Contractions are also telescoped phrases such as don’t, I’ll, there’s we’ve. In all such cases, the apostrophe marks the place where a letter or letters have been omitted.


  1. Follow general number rules for currency, regards using numerals or spelling out.

e.g. Five dollars


2. Substitute the words million and billion for zeros but spell out round numbers in thousands.

e.g. $6 million           10 thousand dollars

3. Currencies of the world. Specify which currency you are using. Check here for accuracy:http://www.xe.com/symbols.php

e.g. JPY (Japanese yen//A$/), EUR (European Eurp/€).

  1. One billion equals one thousand million (some places it used to be one million million). But it is safer to spell it out rather than assume.