Using Japanese language on your computer

You can display Nihongo, or Japanese, on your computer in some ways. With appropriate software, you can type and edit Japanese as well (i.e. no specific hardware required). This page provides some (relatively historical) information to help in handling Japanese.

Softwares that help Japanese handling

Note that the latest OSs such as Windows 98/2000/XP and MacOS 8/9/X should have the built-in functionality to provide world wide language support (e.g., install all Japanese supports with English version of Windows 2000, and set 'default language' to Japanese). Please consult your manual or ask a computer shop.

DOS/Windows and Japanese

  • Microsoft Global IME - by launching any language version of Word 2000, Internet Explorer 5.01 or greater, or Outlook Express then selecting Global IME 5.02 from the taskbar, you can write the language you choose. And you can input Chinese, Japanese, and Korean text into supported applications.
  • UnionWay provides AsianSuite, a suite of multilingual Windows applications which run on any of Microsoft Windows products and supports for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language on Windows. It also has a multilingual P2P software.
  • NJSTAR from Australia provides CJK Viewer and Word Processors - NJWIN is a "plugin" software designed to enable normal windows programs to display and print CJK characters under the standard English and Western Windows environment. Also, Japanese Word Processor for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP.
  • TWINBRIDGE - its CJK Partner allows Enable you to display, edit and print Chinese, Japanese or Korean documents, supporting most internal codes including Unicode for CJK characters. Japanese font download also available.
  • Basis Technology's RJ (Read Japanese!) is a Windows program that helps you read and understand Japanese. Simply click on characters and words to instantaneously view their pronunciation, meaning, and much more information.
  • The Monash Nihongo ftp Archive provides very rich resources to use Japanese language, though some technical knowledge may required.
  • KDPlus by Jan Stumpel is an improved version of the KD kanji driver program by Izumi Ohzawa. KDPLUS can be used to obtain Japanese character display, and allow Japanese character input, in many text-mode programs for MS-DOS (historical).
  • NeocorTech's Tsunami MT Version 6.0 English to Japanese translator provides both a Japanese Kanji and Kana text editor/FEP, a machine translator, and cross-platform compatibility (NeocorTech was acquired by speech and language technology leader Lernout & Hauspie, which went bankrupt in 2001. So who knows about Tsunami today ?).

Via Web (any system)

General Information on Japanese processing

To display Japanese with:

Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer

* Menu names may be different according to the browser version If you have Japanese system installed on your computer, things are qute simple.

  1. Pull down "Options" menu from the menubar (or "View" menu if you use version 4)
  2. Select Japanese (Auto-Detect) from submenu of Document Encoding (or Character Set or Font)
  3. If necessary, save your options (or "Set default")

or if you prefer Lynx

  • Obtain your copy of Lynx from, for example, Now Win95 version is available.
  • Open configuration file (i.e. Lynx.cfg)
  • Find CHRACTER_SET option and set it to Japanese (SJIS)
  • Run Lynx. If still has a problem, check Option and set CJK mode ON

Disclaimer: I am not able to choose one of above products to recommend you, because I have not tested all of them (and, even if I did, I already have Japanese systems so it's impossible to check their Japanese capability). Please visit each site and judge by yourself. Also see my disclaimer page.