LINGUIST List 5.479

Mon 25 Apr 1994

Sum: Japanese font for the Mac

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  1. "RANDY J. LAPOLLA", Summary of responses on Japanese

Message 1: Summary of responses on Japanese

Date: Sun, 24 Apr 1994 17:29:14 Summary of responses on Japanese
Subject: Summary of responses on Japanese

Back in March I posted a request for a Japanese font for
use on the Macintosh. I received a number of replies,
including some very long ones. I would like to thank
Francis Bon , Troy Cox, Sebastian Adorjan Dyhr, Blaine Erickson,
Erwin (, Susan Fischer,
Nancy Frishberg, Greg Kinkley, Hiroaki Kitano,
Yuji Nakazato, Thor Sigurd Nilsen, Marc Picard,
Malcom Ross, and Thierry J. van Steenberghe for their
very helpful replies.

Here is a summary of the replies:

Thor Sigurd Nilsen ( and
Thierry J. van Steenberghe (
suggested getting in touch with Ecological Linguistics

Ecological Linguistics
PO Box 15156
Washinton, D.C. 20003

Susan Fischer:
>Japanese fonts, like Chinese fonts, are two-byte rather than one-byte
>characters. This means that you can't just get fonts, but rather must
>also get either Kanjitalk (the Japanese version of the operating
>system, which costs between $500 and $700) or the Japanese Language Kit
>(which costs about $200). Each of these includes at least 2 TrueType
>fonts and a couple of bitmapped fonts. Wordprocessors that will work
>with JLK include the American versions of WordPerfect and Nisus -- not
>MS Word.

Troy Cox:
>I think your best bet would be to get the Apple Japanese language kit. It
>provides a Japanese operating system that allows you to use your current
>word processor with the Japanese characters. It seems to me that most of
>the other options for using Japanese characters is to buy an actual
>Japanese Word Processor, which is quite expensive (I think Japanese Word
>Perfect is about $700.00). If I remember correctly, the kit is around
>$150.00 with the educational discount.

Erwin (
>You need the Japanese Language Kit which runs under System 7.1.
>It comes with two True Type fonts and is really good.
>Price in the US is about $ 180 for university students.

Malcom Ross ( also suggested the Apple
add-on module, and adds that
>Before System 7 there were various versions of Apple's official Kanji
>system and fonts. If I remember rightly, all characters (Kana as well as
>Kanji) were two bytes rather than the usual one, so you could not use the
>fonts without the system. . . . Again, if I remember rightly, the pre-Sys 7
>stuff doesn't allow ready mixing of Roman and Japanese, whereas
>the Sys 7.1 approach should.

Yuji Nakazato (YNAKAZATO%GUVAX.Bitnet):
> There is no PDS Japanese fonts for the Mac as far as I know.
> About the only way to get Japanese fonts is to get KanjiTalk
> or Japanes Language Kit (JLK). KanjiTalk is a localized
> system (whole system) based on System 7.1. JLK is an
> "add-on" to System 7.1. Neither is free. I don't know
> about the price of KT outside Japan -- 600 to 700
> dollars in Japan. You can get JLK easily in the States
> for about 190 dollars. JLK comes with two TrueType Fonts
> (Honmincho & Maru-gothic) as well as one bitmap font
> (Osaka). Some mail-order houses carry them
> (MacConnection, MacWarehouse, etc).
> There are some poor quality kana fonts for the Mac
> as shareware/freeware, but the problem is they all
> use their own encoding -- that is, they are all
> incompatible with different keyboard layouts. I don't
> think it is a good idea to use those for any purposes.

Nancy Frishberg (
also suggested Apple's Japanese Language Kit, and forwarded
the following message from Ker Gibbs, product manager for
Chinese and Japanese Language Kits at Apple, about using
the JLK on a MacChina system:

>MacChina is a bit of a hack that people use to get 2-byte characters to display
>using non 2-byte's not something we gave any thought to as far as
>compatibility. However, I don't know of any reason specifically why English
>7.1 + MChina + JLK would cause any problems. English 7.1 + CLK + JLK, on the
>other hand, is something that I run every day and it works just fine. I don't
>see why this person wouldn't prefer this combination -- the TT font version of
>MChina is rather pricy. It's certainly not a cost effective solution,
>considering CLK has 6 TT fonts for a street price of $184.
>As for the other question, most but not all of JIS level 1 kanji can be
>represented by either simplified or traditional Chinese characters.
>Again, this strikes me as a difficult way of doing things, but that's
>the answer.

Marc Picard(PICARD%CONU2.Bitnet)
>You can get something called Mac Kana & Basic Japanese Kanji from
>Linguists' Software
>PO Box 580
>Edmonds, WA
>The list price is $49.95. I don't have it myself but I do have their
>LaserIPA which is very good quality.

Gregg Kinkley (
>The University of Hawaii's ftp site has a dandy Japanese font for
>the Mac; just go in through gopher, find the general ftp archive for UH,
>go into "info-mac" files and search through the general postscript files;
>you'll find a nice, brush-stroked complete hiragana that is quite nice.

Blaine Erickson (
>Considering the *huge* amount of work that goes into creating a font
>which has thousands of characters, I doubt that anyone will ever release
>a freeware or shareware Japanese font. There are hiragana and katakana
>fonts available; these work by assigning a single keystroke to a single
>kana. This is not how "real" Japanese computing works.
>To address a more basic isssue, doing Japanese on a Mac is more than
>just getting a Japanese font. You need to have a Japanese-capable
>System. If you want to do Japanese on a Mac, there are 4 basic options:
>1. KanjiTalk 7.1 (the current Japanese OS; comes with Macs sold in Japan
> and on some APDA CD-ROMs)
>2. System 7.1 and the Japanese Language Kit (JLK) (readily available
> in the U.S.)
>3. KanjiTalk 6.0.7 (or earlier) (the no-cost Japanese OS; very difficult
> to obtain although it's supposed to be free (like System 7 and earlier))
>4. GomTalk or SweetJAM (Japanese-capable front-ends to System 6)
>Option 2 is best for native speakers of English or those who want to do
>multiple languages on their computers; as far as I know, it's also the
>only option readily available world-wide, due to the availability of
>7.1 and the JLK through U.S. mail-order companies. I have been very
>pleased with the combination myself :-) I must issue the following
>caveat, however: you need at least 5 MBs of RAM and a Japanese-
>capable word processor or text editor. MS Word does *NOT* work
>with Apple's technology for doing Japanese and never will. The programs
>I hear recommended are WordPerfect and Nisus. As for Japanese-
>capable text editors, there are several available via ftp; my favorite
>is Tex-Edit, a very powerful program for the cost (free :-) Other
>programs include MBB Text, Word Solution, YooEdit, and Apple's
>TeachText Japanese (just as "powerful" as regular TT).
>Two sources I recommend are Ken Lunde's "Understanding Japanese
>Information Processing" and the newsgroup sci.lang.japan. The latter
>is interactive, of course, and one of the best newsgroups I've ever read.

Francis Bond ( send a copy of the file Japan.inf
(latest version at <>), which I think is the same
one mentioned by Blaine Erickson. It contains lots of
useful information, including how to get some fonts. This file
is very long, and should actually be called everything you every
wanted to know about computing in Japan and Japanese.
I will here only include the author's name, intro and TOC:

>Ken R. Lunde ( $>.NS (J $7u (J)
>Adobe Systems Incorporated
>1585 Charleston Road
>P.O. Box 7900
>Mountain View, CA 94039-7900
>(415)361-1702 (home)
>(415)962-3866 (office)
>(415)960-0886 (fax)
> This article is a description of how to send and receive *real* Japanese
>text (i.e., kana and kanji) using electronic mail. I am absolutely delighted
>to share this information with others, and I would appreciate any comments on
>its content. Since some of the information contained within changes on a
>monthly, even weekly basis, I keep the current copy in electronic form. The
>current version of this article will be made available at two places: by
>anonymous FTP at ( in the pub/JIS directory under the
>name japan.inf; and by contacting me directly through electronic mail to
>request a copy -- my electronic mail address is given above.

Hiroaki Kitano ( send the following
FAQ posting from the newsgroup soc.culture.japan.

>~Subject: How can I read or write Japanese on my computer?
>This question is broken down into three subsections, Macintosh, IBM
>(PC and compatables), 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
>to kanji.
>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 cary Japanese related software. Try
>one near you first before trying one on the other side of an ocean.
>North America
> /pub/Japanese
> Lots of stuff for all platforms
> []
> /pub/kanji
> A few MS-DOS utilities
> []
> Japanese related programs for PCs
> []
> jTeX
> []
> a few MS-DOS utilities
> []
> lots of good stuff
> pub/nihongo
> A few MS-Dos and Mac utilities
> many language references including kanjidic and edict
> dictionary files
> pub/japanese, pub/news/fj
> Mirrors as well as other things
> pub/cluture/japan
> lots of stuff
>~Subject: Japanese on the Macintosh
>Contact APDA (Apple Programmer's and Developers Association,
>800-282-2732, or 408-562-3910), and ask for Kanjitalk. This is a
>kanji version of the Macintosh System and Finder, about $65. Kanji
>talk is also said to be a supported product in the U.S. for
>considerably more money that $65. Details not available here.
>There is gomTalk, which takes a U.S. system 7.0 or so and probably
>a 6.n version of Kanji talk and produces a Japanese system 7. Don't
>expect true type fonts. Details not available here.
>Version 7.1 and later of the macintosh operating system is called
>"World Script Ready". Different modules for different languages
>can be installed and input methods switched from language to language
>with a manu or control panel choice. When the Japanese module will
>be available in the U.S. is unannounced (as of Jan 1993).
>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 disapointed. You can use the following:
> ASLEdit an english/kanji text editor, simple terminal emulator
> NinjaTerm terminal emulator
> Hypercard
> Nisus High end word processor. Japanese version available in U.S.
>Microsoft and Claris, 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.
>Many programs that won't work correctly for creating text do fine when
>reading only. Most word processing programs fit this category.
>~Subject: Japanese on MS-DOS
>DOS/V is the Japanese version of MS-DOS for PC ATs. It was released in
>Japan in 1991, now it's in version 5.0. There are already many
>commercial softwares for this OS, including text editors. The V of
>DOS/V is from VGA (It only works on VGA), and it is fully compatible
>with MS-DOS for IBM-PCs. Actually it's the MS-DOS with some device
>drivers for processing fonts and input. It also has commands to switch
>quickly between Japanese and English. As an example of commercial text
>editor, there is a DOS/V version of Ichitaro the best-selling editor
>in Japan. The Dash version which has less functions than the complete
>one costs about US$200. There are also many Japanese version of
>English programs for PCs such as Windows 3.0, Lotus 1-2-3, MS-Works,
>Moke 1.1 is a shareware text editor runs on more basic systems than jwp
>or njstar.
>Moke 2.0 is a commercial product and is available from
>J.J. Edwards, KiCompware, 1812 N. Erb St., Appleton, WI 54911, or
>Mark Edwards, #405 Konya manshon 4-12-6 Gono kami,
>Hamura-cho, Nishitamagun, Tokyo, Japan 190
>Hterm - A communication program for MS-DOS which will display ASCII,
>JASCII, JIS1, and JIS2. From most of the FTP sites mentioned.
>KD (Kanji Driver) by Izumi Ohzawa
>Kanji viewer/ front-end-processor for Kermit.
>FTP from mindseye at berkeley. Mr. Ohzawa recommends hterm.
>There is also a high-end word processor called EW+ (about like WordPerfect?)
>for the IBM PC available from:
>Information Technology Laboratory
>415 Madison Ave.
>19th Floor
>New York, NY 10017
>Tel: 212-832-5300 (Yuki Maruyama)
>Fax: 212-832-6677
>Price: $850.00 ($499.00 for Universities).
>There is also a lower-end word-processor called JWP which has gotten a
>lot of usenet notice lately. from several FTP sites. Definitely at
>Something called njstar exists also...
>YKH is a freeware Japanese terminal emulator for MS-DOS computers with VGA.
>It has the following features:
>o VT320 terminal emulation
>o even when "stripped" by newsreaders, Japanese displayed correctly
>o com1 and com2 to 9600 baud
>o DECNET LAT, DECNET CTERM network terminal protocols
>o roumaji-kana translation
>from in mirrors/msdos/modem/
>~Subject: Japanese on Unix, X-windows
>The standard X-windows distribution contains kanji fonts, Look in the
>contrib area of your copy of X-windows. Kinput, kterm (terminal
>program) etc.
>Nemacs is a version of Gnu emacs modified to handle double byte characters.
>It interfaces to a kanji conversion server that's distributed as part of
>the Wnn package.
>Get Nemacs and Wnn from
>The full nemacs distribution is available at in
>Nemacs is not supported any more, the new program is MULE, Multilingual
>Enhancement to GNU Emacs, currently version Available at least
>on or (faster), and MULE
>is larger and more complex than nemacs, if you only want Japanese, no
>other languages, you still may be happier with nemacs.

I did a search on an archie and came up with the following sources
for the cali-japan.hqx file mentioned in some of the messages above:

Host (
Last updated 15:48 5 Mar 1994
 Location: /pub/mac/info-mac/font/tt
 FILE -r--r--r-- 172538 bytes 23:00 22 Mar 1993 cali-japan.hqx

Host (
Last updated 12:09 5 Mar 1994
 Location: /info-mac/font/tt
 FILE -rw-r--r-- 172538 bytes 00:00 23 Mar 1993 cali-japan.hqx

Host (
Last updated 15:22 4 Mar 1994
 Location: /mac/info-mac/font/tt
 FILE -rw-r--r-- 172538 bytes 01:00 27 Mar 1993 cali-japan.hqx

Host (
Last updated 14:40 4 Mar 1994
 Location: /pub/info-mac/font/tt
 FILE -rw-r--r-- 172538 bytes 01:00 27 Mar 1993 cali-japan.hqx

Host (
Last updated 11:09 4 Mar 1994
 Location: /pub/mac/system/font/truetype
 FILE -rw-r--r-- 172538 bytes 01:00 28 Mar 1993 cali-japan.hqx

Host (
Last updated 12:08 21 Dec 1993
 Location: /systems/mac/info-mac/font/tt
 FILE -r--r--r-- 172538 bytes 00:00 23 Mar 1993 cali-japan.hqx

Host (
Last updated 04:26 24 Jul 1993
 Location: /mirrors/info-mac/font/tt
 FILE -rw-r--r-- 172538 bytes 16:49 23 Mar 1993 cali-japan.hqx

Thanks again to everyone who helped out.

Randy LaPolla
Institute of History and Philology
Academia Sinica
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