Last-modified: Mar 5, 2000
Subject: (7.0) Japanese Information Processing
Last update: <11/95
Look back to the bibliography section of this FAQ, and note a book by Ken
Lunde. It's a good start to answering many questions in this area. The
sci.lang.japan FAQ (URL listed elsewhere in this document) is also a good
Subject: (7.1) How to get Internet access in Japan
Last update: <11/95
Because the status of Internet service providers (ISP) change quite
rapidly, I will not attempt to maintain a list as I have done in the
past. These URLs do maintain current listings of ISPs in Japan:
Japanese Internet Providers FAQ, maintained by Jesse Casman
(firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
ISP providers in Japan list, by Taki Naruto (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Includes links to many other sources.
Another ISP list, maintained by Bon-Chan (email@example.com).
Subject: (7.2) E-Mail address for xxx in Japan
Last update: 3/2000
One of the most frequent asked questions (FAQ) in this group has been:
"Does anybody know the e-mail address to xxx in Japan?"
While there's no foolproof way, oftentimes you can guess an email address
from the recipient's affiliation. The translation from affiliation to
email domain can be made with the help of the standard list of active
domains in Japan. As an example, to contact someone at Akita University,
you might try
where "loginname" is something reasonable like the person's last name,
their first initial followed by last name, etc. If that doesn't work
and you know the person is in, say, the CS department, you might try
A list of active domains is also available for anonymous FTP from
<ftp://ftp.cs.arizona.edu/japan/email.domains>. THIS CAN
BE VERY USEFUL if you're trying to guess at an address.
Another service you may want to try out is Netfind. Netfind tries to
locate a host and login name based on the name and the location of the
person. Telnet to bruno.cs.colorado.edu, login as netfind, and follow
While there aren't all that many posters from Japan, if you find a poster
at a probable site, you may want to email the person and ask for help. Of
course, this may or may not bring about anything.
If all else fails, sending a query to the loginname "postmaster" at
that site will usually elicit a response. Do not abuse this option,
as postmasters tend to be very overworked sysadmins.
Subject: (7.3) How can I read or write Japanese on my computer?
Last update: 4/97
Note: This section is not meant to be an exhaustive guide. For more
comprehensive treatments of this topic, see
This question is broken down into three subsections, Macintosh, IBM
(PC and compatibles), and Unix. Unix means mostly X-windows software.
Reading Japanese on a computer requires a terminal emulator or text
editor program that 1) handles the two byte character set(s) which are
used for transmitting kanji electronically; and 2) Displays the text
in a readable form, at least one kanji font is generally required.
Writing Japanese requires an input system, which may or may not be
built in to a text editor. The input system takes keyboard input,
usually romaji, converts to kana, and then converts words or phrases
An article from Ken Lunde which describes character encoding and other
aspects of Japanese language on computers is available at several FTP
There are several FTP sites which carry Japanese related software. Try
one near you first before trying one on the other side of an ocean.
Lots of stuff for all platforms
A few MS-DOS utilities
Japanese related programs for PCs
a few MS-DOS utilities
lots of good stuff
A few MS-DOS and Mac utilities
many language references including kanjidic and edict
Mirrors: ftp.cc.monash.edu.au as well as other things
lots of stuff
Subject: (7.3.1) Japanese on the Macintosh
Last update: 1/99
Parts due to Ken Matsuda (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Good news! The latest release of Mac OS as of this writing, Mac OS
9.0, comes with the Japanese Language Kit (along with other Language
Kits), which is all you need to read and write Japanese. Mac OS X
reportedly will also come with complete internationalization as well.
If you are stuck with earlier releases of Mac OS, you will have to
purchase the Japanese Language Kit separately, or buy an earlier
version of Japanese localized Mac OS (called "KanjiTalk" in its
Apple claims that the Japanese Language Kit (JLK) will run on System
7.1 or later. It has true type Kanji fonts, an input conversion system
and dictionary, and sold for US$139.00 at the Apple Store
<http://store.apple.com/> at one point.
There is gomTalk, which takes a U.S. system 7.0 or so and a 6.n
version of Kanji talk and produces a Japanese system 7. Don't expect
true type fonts, or any support. More details not available here.
Once a Japanese OS is installed, you can run many applications on
a U.S. Mac and use Japanese input to create Japanese text. However,
many U.S. applications make assumptions about single byte characters,
so you will be disappointed. You can use the following:
-ASLEdit an english/kanji text editor, simple terminal emulator
-NinjaTerm terminal emulator
-ActiveTalk cheap(3800 yen) commercial terminal emulator
-NCSA Telnet-J Japanese-compatible port of the freeware Telnet client
-MacBlue Telnet Chinese, Korean and Japanese-capable telnet client
(allegedly operates without JLK, but I have not found
the right supporting files to make Japanese work--ed.)
Absolutely hideous user interface.
-Netscape 1.1N and later all support Japanese.
-NewsWatcher-J Japanese localization of John Norstad's NewsWatcher.
-ClarisWorks/AppleWorks: Integrated office suite.
Version 4.0 is the last available Japanese-localized version;
however, AppleWorks 5.0 *does* support WorldScript II and let you
use Japanese in its documents. Decent word processor, lightweight
spreadsheet functions, toy database, etc.
[wordprocessing and text editing]
-Nisus Writer: This is a neat program. Its interface is unique, and
some people may find it awkward at first. Nonetheless, it
is a well-thought-out program. One problem that I heard is
that it slows down when you work on large documents. This may
have to do with the fact that Nisus saves documents in text
files, and all formatting information is stored in the resource
fork. Current version: 5.x. 4.x is available as freeware from
-WordPerfect 3.1: It works very well with Japanese. 3.0 had some
bugs: Japanese subtitles and footnotes were problematic. However,
these problems are fixed in the current version: 3.5. Currently
languishing in Corel's hands.
-Edit 7: The author of the freeware claims that he is attempting to
create a multi-lingual text editor. This software is not complete
yet, but you can select a text string, and drag & drop it for
pasting and deleting. I find this feature useful.
-Lotus 1-2-3: You can paste Japanese characters in the cells. Someone
told me that you can do the same thing with MS Excel, but I don't
know for sure. In any case, since Excel is the only commercial spreadsheet
still under development for the Mac, you may have to settle for buying
the Japanese version of Excel, which can be expensive.
-Also see AppleWorks, above.
-4th Dimension: I heard that the international edition of 4th Dimension
is WorldScript-savvy. I have not seen this myself. Unfortunately,
FileMaker Pro does not work with Japanese Language Kit. (However,
you *can* get a Japanese localized version of FileMaker Pro.)
-Astound: Astound accepts Japanese characters without much trouble.
Persuasion does not.
-MacFlow: This is a chart drawing tool, and it accepts Japanese characters
without much trouble. DeltaGraph3 does not.
-StorySpace: This hypertext tool accepts Japanese characters without
-FullContact 2.0: This contact manager does accept Japanese characters
in some fields, but I have not used the product extensively, and
I cannot say much about this.
Microsoft and probably others produce Japanese versions of their
software, but for various reasons, aren't sold in the U.S. You can
bring them back from Japan. Much commercial software in Japan is very
expensive. (Prepare to pay double US rates.)
Many programs that won't work correctly for creating text do fine when
reading only. Most U.S. word processing programs fit this category.
You may need to select all text in your document and change it to a
font that contains kanji - look for font names like "Kyoto" or "Osaka".
Subject: (7.3.2) Japanese on MS-DOS and Windows
Last update: 10/98
The easiest way to get Japanese on Windows is to buy a Japanese
version of Windows 98 or NT, and run all-Japanese applications. :-)
For those who want to retrofit Japanese onto a non-Japanese Windows
environment, there is Fabian van-de-l'Isle <email@example.com>'s
extremely useful FAQ, posted under the subject
Japanisation FAQ for computers running Western windows [FAQ]
to soc.culture.japan, soc.culture.japan.moderated, and sci.lang.japan
approximately once a month. (It may eventually make its way into the
RTFM archives. In the meantime, use DejaNews to find a copy if there
isn't one on your news server.)
In addition, the following two pages may be useful in setting up a
Windows machine for Japanese:
Subject: (7.3.3) Japanese on Unix, X-windows
Last update: 1/99
by Masataka KASEGAWA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Note (1/99): This section is growing increasingly out of date, and the
I find updating this material a daunting task. It will be done
eventually, but for now, I will merely note that the least painful way
to get Japanese on a Unix system is probably to install a
Japanese-localized Linux (or possibly FreeBSD) system on a PC. Good
Japanese distributions include Vine (http://vine.flatout.org/), Laser5
(http://www.laser5.co.jp/), Kondara MNU/Linux
(http://www.kondara.org/), and TurboLinux
[General] You cannot usually display kanji on the console of an UNIX
machine. So when you need to read or write Japanese on an UNIX machine,
you usually get into the environment of X-window system.
The standard X-windows distribution, Release 4? or later, contains kanji
fonts, but some PC-based packages do not include them or include bogus
one because their size is large and they are rarely used. It is
explained later how to check whether your machine has Japanese fonts
But if you use an UNIX machine as a 'Japanese server', which means that
the machine just serves japanese utilities mentioned below, then you
don't need the X-window system. Instead, you must connect to an UNIX
machine from your Japanese terminal (PC or Mac) with a modem or direct
connection via serial port.
You don't have to get Japanese locale on your UNIX OS. In fact,
many administrators of SunOS 4.x machines in Japan hate JLE
(Japanese Language Environment? Extension?) kit, which presents
your machine Japanese locale, so they won't install JLE.
(The followings are just for users who are interested in locale)
It is recommended that X is compiled with option -DX_LOCALE
if you need Japanese localization on X. Remark that you can read and
write Japanese on X which is compiled without this option. This option
overload setlocale() function.
[PC-UNIX] In recent years, many commercial or free UNIX like OSs on PC
are available. One of the most popular OS is Linux. In Slackware, there
is a package named JE (Japanese Extension) which include almost all
Japanese softwares that you usually need.
Others, especially those who like BSD UNIX, prefer NetBSD, FreeBSD or
BSD/OS. There is no package like JE, but still some useful packages
like mule and wnn are available, (at least on FreeBSD). Under the port
directory of FreeBSD-current there is the directory named japanese
in which you can find many sources of Japanese utilities for FreeBSD.
Japanese version of BSD/OS offers Japanese environment but I don't
know how to get it from outside of Japan.
[How to Read and/or Write Japanese texts on UNIX machines]
There is two methods in order to read and/or write Japanese on UNIX
machines. One is to create whole Japanese environment on an UNIX
machine, and the other is to access UNIX machines from a Japanese
The difference between the methods are just whether you need Japanese
input system on UNIX or not. It is usually very complicated 'server'
program (see below) so you might hesitate to install it on the
machines if you are not root.
Anyway, if you like to use Japanese input system on PC or Mac to write
Japanese on UNIX, then you can use your PC or Mac just as a Japanese
terminal for UNIX machines. You don't need any Japanese input system
on UNIX machines. Of course you need programs which understand Japanese
such as NEmacs, mule, XEmacs (20.0 or later) or jvi on the UNIX machines.
See also [Connection to UNIX from PC or Mac].
[Japanese Fonts on X window system] You need at least one Japanese
font to read or write Japanese on X. You can check with xlsfonts
command whether your X server has Japanese fonts or not:
% xlsfonts | grep jisx0208
If you get some output like
then your machine does have Japanese fonts (The name of fonts,
especially 0208, might be changed in future release).
If you can not have any output, then it means that either your system
does not have any Japanese fonts or your font-path is wrong. Consult
an expert of X window system at hand.
[Japanese Terminal on X window system]
Look in the contrib area of your copy of X-window system. You can see
kterm or mterm(terminal program). Kterm is the most popular terminal
program in Japan. Don't forget to install application default
(resource) file named KTerm.ad or your kterm will behave the same as
[Japanese input system on UNIX]
The most common Japanese input system in UNIX is probably Wnn. Its
latest version is 4.2 and it is the final version as freeware. Wnn
consortium is going to be dissolved in 1995. Wnn 6 and later become
commercial products. There already exists not only sample version of
Wnn6, which is a freeware, but also the product for solaris 2.x.
In order to compile Wnn 4.2, you need X window system environment.
Moreover, you need the source tree of X if you are under X11R5. If you
are under X11R6, you don't need the source tree.
Another common Japanese input system is Canna. Canna 3.2 is included
in contrib of X11R6 but you need a patch in order to compile it under
X11R6 (but don't need under X11R5). In order to compile Canna, you
Need imake of X11R5 or later, but don't need any library of X. [Editor's
note: 3.2p2 appears to compile under X11R6.x without additional patches.
YMMV. -SY 10/12/98]
In any case, Japanese input system is designed as server-client
system, which means that many people can access via LAN, so it is
recommended for you to be able to become root. But, if you can not
become root, don't worry. The whole input system works just for you :-)
and will work fine except that any other user can not use the system.
[Front End for Japanese input system]
Japanese input system usually offers a very primitive front end such
as uum, canuum. So I think that few Japanese people use it. Many
Japanese people prefer Nemacs and/or Mule, which are extension of GNU
Emacs. The final version of Nemacs is 3.3.2, which is based on Emacs
18.55, which means Nemacs is not supported any more. Mule, whose
latest version is 2.2.2, is based on Emacs 19.28 (the announcement of
new Mule version is going to be posted to soc.culture.japan). Mule is
very huge program but its compilation is easier than that of nemacs, I
think. Make sure that japanese server is running before you start
Nemacs or Mule. [Editor's note: Mule has been integrated into Emacs
20.x and XEmacs 20.x, so you no longer need to download Mule
separately. You will have to flip a compile-time switch to enable
Japanese, though; precompiled binaries--particularly the one that
comes with Red Hat Linux-- usually won't support Japanese out of the
Some people like kinput2, which is a front end under X window system.
In paticular, if you prefer vi rather than emacs, then you should use
kinput2. Kterm supports kinput2 protocol, so you can input Japanese
on command line of kterm with kinput2. Kinput2 is also in contrib of
X11R. There are some Japanese vi-clones: jstevie, jelvis, jvim
and so on. That is, you can edit Japanese articles with the
combination of X+kterm+jvi+kinput2+(japanese input system).
Kinput2 is used for some drawing tools (idraw, tgif) to make them
input Japanese on I18N X-window system.
Some editors (not only mule, emacs but also some vi-clone) support
Japanese input system with Wnn or Canna. If you use only such editor,
then you don't need kinput2. But kinput2 is very convinient under
X, so I recommend to install it.
Remark that you must have at least one kind of Japanese input system
before the compilation of a front end program.
[Easy Japanese input system on mule or NEmacs]
In spite of the description above, there is a Japanese input system
named SKK, which doesn't need any server. SKK is available only on
NEmacs, Mule, Demacs. It will be enough for those who like to input
Japanese kanji one by one. Its latest version is 8.6 (as of May 29, 1995).
You can get information about SKK on WWW:
When you archie SKK, try with the keyword 'skk' (skk/8.6 might hit).
[Japanese Editors and Viewers]
As mentioned previous paragraph, there are many Japanese editors on
UNIX. I'm not sure but almost all editors on UNIX has Japanese
localization. The following list shows only some of them.
vi-like editors (jvi): jstevie, jelvis, jvim
(Extension of Emacs) Mule, NEmacs
(Restriction of Emacs) ng, kemacs, micro-emacs
The viewer 'less' has also Japanese localization whose latest version
is 2.3.7. It is offered as a patch for original less and its name is
less-237-iso2022-patch* or so.
[Kanji code] In UNIX machines, there are three major kinds of kanji
code: JIS, SJIS, EUC. JIS coding system, whose formal name is
iso-2022-jp, use only 7 bits so it is used for Internet news and mail
while SJIS (MS Kanji) is standard for PC and Mac. But it seems that
the standard of UNIX in Japan is EUC.
(In JIS coding system, there are some special escape sequences which
distinguish US-ASCII environment and that of kanji)
There are some kinds of kanji-code-converters, one of which is nkf
(Network Kanji Filter). Since Mule and NEmacs convert kanji-code of
input files to suitable one, so you don't care about kanji code if
you use only Mule and/or NEmacs (with correct settings).
[Japanese Mail and News on UNIX]
The easiest way is to install mule and use RMAIL and GNUS on mule for
Mail and News respectively. For settings, read Mule.FAQ, which is
distributed with mule.
If you like to read Japanese on mail and news with the same tool as
you are using now, such as MH, tin, rn or so, then you must get
Japanese localization of the tool and install it because original
tools can not understand escape sequences for JIS kanji-code, which is
used on Internet. The names of Japanese localization for MH and tin
are mh-6.8.3-JP* (mh_version-patch_level-JP) and ktin1.5-1.22*
The above method is complete one to read mail and news. But there are
some 'incomplete' methods to read news:
1) For trn, try option '-j'.
2) For tin, use a Japanese viewer or editor as a filter. Just 'more'
In both cases, you might be in trouble that your console become
confused on command line (all characters, including prompt, become
kanji)--a condition known as "moji-bake." The solutions are as follows:
a) If you are on kterm, then press [ctrl]+[middle mouse bottom]
to pop up the menu of vt options and select 'Do full reset'.
b) If you are on Japanese terminal, try (in blind) 'reset [ctrl]+j'.
c) (All mighty) Try "echo '\033(B'", where 'echo' must understand
the notations such as '\033'. 'echo' in System V machines will
work in general (In SunOS 4.x, use /usr/5bin/echo while in
Solaris 2.x, /usr/bin/echo works). Anyway, your terminal will
be recovered if you send 3 charactors '033'(in octal; escape),'('
and 'B' in this order.
[Japanese WWW browser on UNIX]
Netscape 2.0 and later supports Japanese under all platforms. Just
go to Document Encodings under the "Options" menu and pick your
favorite language encoding.
Mosaic has cjk (chinese-japanese-korean) localization whose archive
names are Mosaic-2.4-l10n-* or so. It is true that there are the
localization of Mosaic 2., but I'm afraid that they are distributed
only in source codes. As you know, you need Motif in order to compile
Mosaic. But then again, who uses Mosaic these days?
On Emacs, there is a WWW client named w3, which is available also on
Mule (and NEmacs) and can display Japanese texts.
[Connection to UNIX from PC or Mac] You need a Japanese terminal
emulation program on PC or Mac, which is mentioned in (7.3.1) and
The points of setting up are as follows:
1. Check the setting of both your modem and the modem of a connecting
UNIX machine. The parameters character size, parity, stop bit are
important to communicate in Japanese kanji (2byte chars.), and
the following setting is recommended:
non parity, character size=8 and do not strip 8th bit.
(In the words of UNIX stty: np, ms=cs8, -istrip)
2. If you have direct connection with a serial port, then just check
the setting of the serial port.
3. Check the setting of your terminal program.
4. If Character size is 7 and the setting can not be changed, then you
can use only JIS kanji-code for communication between the machines.
Make sure that your terminal program can handle JIS code.
5. If the setting recommended 1 is realized, then you can (and must)
select suitable kanji-code among JIS, SJIS and EUC. Make sure which
kanji-code your terminal program can handle.
Subject: (7.4) Internet resources on Japan
Last update: 7/97
With the explosive growth of Internet in Japan (and other countries as
well), it is impossible for me to keep up with all the neat sites out
there, or even to check all of these sites frequently. I would
appreciate hearing about invalid URLs, new sites to add, etc.
Subject: (7.4.1) FTP/gopher sites
Last update: <11/95
soc.culture.japan FAQ, along with the FAQ of many other newsgroups, is
available via anonymous ftp at rtfm.mit.edu in /pub/usenet directory.
Other ftp sites that have Japan-related materials are
<ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/> (mirrors other sites, too)
Subject: (7.4.2) WWW sites
Last update: 7/97
This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of imagination; these are
sites which were brought to the FAQ maintainer's attention which may help
people seeking information on Japan.
Home of US-Japan Technology Management Center, this is one of the largest
WWW sites on Japan that I know of. Features a "Guide to Japan Information
Resources", and other technologically-related sources that makes this site
a good place to start your information hunt.
A comprehensive site operated by Nippon Telephone and Telegraph. Contains
links to just about any Japanese WWW site imaginable.
The sci.lang.japan FAQ site.
The site contains links to many sites in Japan, Japan(ese)
related sites in the US and elsewhere, and mirrors James Liu's
Tokyo Off Time Server. It also contains information on Japanese
Pop music, links to Anime sites, and links to FTP servers where
Japanese related programs such as Edict etc are stored.
Contact: Byron Kidd <Byron.Kidd@its.utas.edu.au>
An online Japanese-English dictionary. Contact Jeffrey Friedl
Web sites of major Japanese newspapers.
A major English-language newspaper published in Japan.
Web page for the ISSHO inter-cultural awareness organization (see
also section 7.4.4).
Subject: (7.4.3) Newsgroups
Last update: 5/99
kuso.shef.ac.uk archives the fj.* hierarchy of newsgroups, where
discussions are in Japanese. You can also search for fj.* articles at
www.dejanews.com along with most English language newsgroups.
Refer to section 3.3 for some English language newsgroups that might be
Subject: (7.4.4) Mailing lists
Last update: 10/98
ISSHO is a non-profit organization formed by Tokyo-based foreign
nationals which uses performing arts projects, symposia and computer
networking to bring inter-cultural awareness in Japan and resolutions
to cultural conflict on a global level. ISSHO digests are also posted to
soc.culture.japan.moderated on a regular basis.
(Japanese) Send mail to email@example.com with the message
(non-Japanese) Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the message
SUBSCRIBE ISSHO yourname
Subject: (8.0) Japanese Media
Subject: (8.1) Japanese short-wave radio
Last update: 4/96
by Satoru Miyazaki, Michigan State Univesity
Radio Japan has its own Web site now. Information on the current frequency
schedules and the programs is available from:
They also have some other interesting features both in English and Japanese.
Subject: (8.2) Overseas subscriptions to the Japan Times
Last update: 10/98
The Japan Times is a daily newspaper, published in English. The latest
subscription information is available from their web site at
Subject: (99.0) Misc.
Subject: (99.1) How can I get copies of Japanese research papers?
Last Update: ~1990
info from: Lawrence Garfield email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
An academic or non-profit researcher can obtain internet access to
NACSIS (Japan's National Center for Science Information Systems) by
User Support Section II
User Support Division
National Center for Science Information Systems
3-29-1, Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112 Japan
Their databases include information about research projects sponsored
by Japan's Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture; papers
presented at electronics and chemistry society conferences; doctoral
theses; and Japanese- and foreign-language holdings of periodicals and
books in the libraries of 1100 Japanese universities.
Translation is fairly expensive running at this time (1990) at $50-80
per page of text. Double that for 1994.