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soc.culture.japan FAQ [Monthly Posting] [3/3]
Section - (7.3.1) Japanese on the Macintosh

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Last update: 1/99

Parts due to Ken Matsuda (

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
earlier releases).

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
<> 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:

[terminal emulators]
-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.

[web browsers]
-Netscape    1.1N and later all support Japanese.

-NewsWatcher-J  Japanese localization of John Norstad's NewsWatcher.

[Integrated application]
-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
   much trouble.
-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".

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Top Document: soc.culture.japan FAQ [Monthly Posting] [3/3]
Previous Document: (7.3) How can I read or write Japanese on my computer?
Next Document: (7.3.2) Japanese on MS-DOS and Windows

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