Skip to Main Content

East Asian Studies

Special CJK Rules

Some citation notes from the East Asian Studies Dept at UAlberta (directed at MA theses but good for undergrad too)

In general, consult The Chicago Manual of Style OR other style manual preferred in the student's field.

  • Chicago chapter 11: Foreign languages.
    • Overview and Titles and Other Proper Names: sections 11.1 - 11.8
    • Languages usually transliterated: sections 11.91 - 11.95 
    • Chinese and Japanese: sections 11.102 - 11.110
    • Also try searching Chinese, Japanese, Korean

"Primary sources" also includes materials in the target language, whether Chinese, Japanese, or Korean (i.e. in addition to the usual definitions of primary source)

In the body of text: 

  • When transliterated Chinese, Japanese, and/or Korean words or expressions appear in the thesis and are not commonly known, the original characters and English translation must be provided in parentheses in the text the first time the word or expression is mentioned.
    • Examples:
      • sazanami (漣, waves, ripples).
      • dazibao (大字报, big character poster)
  • For all people mentioned, include years of birth and death (where possible)
  • For textual sources: the first mention should include the date of composition and an English translation of the title.
  • Chinese or Japanese order: surname first - unless the named person lives and works outside Japan or China


  • Your choice of endnotes or footnotes - just be consistent. 
  • CJK language sources should include original characters AND alphabetical transliteration (romanization or pinyin) for author, title, and publisher. For romanization guidelines, see The Chicago Manual of Style 
  • Translation into English of the title is required. 
    • Examples: 
      • Shigeo Kitayama北山茂夫. Kakinomoto no Hitomaro ron柿本人麻呂論 (A Study of Kakinomoto no Hitomaro). Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten 岩波書店, 1983.
      • Liu Xiaogan 刘笑敢 ed. Zhuangzi Zhexue ji Qi Yanbian, Xiuding Ban 庄子哲学及其演变 (修订版) (The Philosophy of Zhuangzi and its Evolution, Revised Edition). Beijing: Zhongguo Renmin Daxue Chubanshe 中国人民大学出版社, 2010.