Help:Installing Japanese character sets

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For help about Japanese language in general on Wikipedia, see Help:Japanese.

This help page will help you install Japanese character fonts so that your computer will display Japanese characters properly on the Internet in your web browser. All modern operating systems and web browsers support Japanese characters, and they are used in many different articles throughout Wikipedia. Some computers with English or other Western operating systems do not show Japanese characters by default, but most require only a minimal amount of work to install or activate the capability.

If you came here by clicking the ? near some Japanese characters, and are interested in how Japanese is displayed on Wikipedia, see § Note about displaying Japanese on Wikipedia at the end of this page.


Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10[edit]

Windows, Windows 7 , Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 include native OS support for displaying Japanese text by default. To input Japanese on a non-Japanese version of the OS, however, the Japanese input method editor must be enabled from the Region and Language (Windows 7 and 8) or Regional and Language Options (Vista) section of the Control Panel.


A Windows XP CD-ROM is needed to install support for East Asian languages. (Non-East Asian versions of Windows only, as East Asian versions have native Japanese support.)

95, 98, 2000, ME and NT[edit]

Your system should offer to download Asian fonts by default while viewing pages in those languages, provided that you are using Internet Explorer.

Otherwise, update your system manually with the language support packs.

Mac OS X[edit]

By default, all necessary fonts and software are installed in Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar (2002) or later.


Arch Linux[edit]

# pacman -S ttf-sazanami

Debian and Ubuntu[edit]

Installing the ttf-takao-mincho package will add support for displaying Japanese text in Debian or Ubuntu. You can do this with one of the following commands:

# apt-get install fonts-takao-mincho

More fonts can be installed with this command:

# apt-get install fonts-takao

Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux[edit]

As of Fedora Core 4, you need fonts-chinese, fonts-japanese or fonts-korean. For example,

# yum install fonts-japanese

Gentoo Linux[edit]

Install a Japanese font package, for example one of these:

# emerge media-fonts/sazanami
# emerge media-fonts/mikachan-font-otf

OpenSUSE 11.4[edit]

By default, the Japanese fonts are installed during the DVD standard install.

If additional Japanese fonts or Japanese language input is needed, the installation of additional packages is required.

In order to install those packages, follow the step-by-step instructions below:

  1. Open the YaST Control Center.
  2. Select System on the left panel, and then select Language (Blue flag Icon) on the right panel. -A new separate window will open-
  3. On the Language window scroll down the "Secondary Languages" list and mark down "Japanese"
  4. Click the OK button on the down-right corner. -The installation of the necessary packages for Japanese language support will begin-

Once the installation is performed a reboot is required in order to use the new language settings. This method is also valid to install support for any other language.


With X.Org 7.x and above, install the package x11-fonts/font-jis-misc:

pkg_add -r font-jis-misc-1.0.0.tbz

Please note that the package version may be different. Alternatively, this can be easily accomplished by installing from the ports tree:

cd /usr/ports/x11-fonts/font-jis-misc
make install clean

Unicode Japanese fonts[edit]

Most modern operating systems use Unicode to display Japanese characters. Many fonts have been developed to display Japanese Unicode characters, and many of them are available for downloading over the Internet.

Note about displaying Japanese on Wikipedia[edit]

When Japanese is included in an article on Wikipedia, it is almost always placed within the {{Nihongo}} template, which helps to standardize the appearance of the Japanese characters, as well as the translation and romanization of those characters. If you look at the code of the page (by clicking on the Edit tab at the top of the page or on the Edit link for that particular section), you will see something like what appears on the Code line in the following table:

Code {{Nihongo|English|Kanji|Rōmaji|extra|extra2}}
Gives English (Kanji Rōmaji?, extra) extra2

This template marks the Kanji segment as being in Japanese Kanji, which helps web browsers and other user agents to display it correctly. The template uses the following parameters

  • English. Optional. The word as translated into English. Note that this will sometimes be the actual Japanese word due to it being adopted into English.
  • Kanji/Kana. Required. The word in Japanese kanji and/or kana, the logographic writing system.
  • Romaji. Optional. The word in Japanese Romaji, the Romanized syllabic writing system used for foreign words. Also known as a "transliteration".
  • extra. Optional. Can also be expressed as a named parameter, extra=
  • extra2. Optional. Can also be expressed as a named parameter, extra2=. It is only useful in ";" definitions (extra2 will be displayed without bold, whereas text following the template will get the bold).


Regular use:

Code {{Nihongo|English|英語|eigo}}
Gives English (英語 eigo?)

Without English:

Code {{Nihongo||英語|eigo}}
Gives eigo (英語?)

With extra2:


; {{Nihongo||虚無僧|komusō|extra2="Priest of nothingness"}}
: Mendicant priest of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism.

komusō (虚無僧?) "Priest of nothingness"
Mendicant priest of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism.

Without extra2:


; {{Nihongo||虚無僧|komusō}} "Priest of nothingness"
: Mendicant priest of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism.

komusō (虚無僧?) "Priest of nothingness"
Mendicant priest of the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhism.

If you have questions regarding Japanese characters or the use of this template, please post your question(s) on the talk page of WikiProject Japan.

See also[edit]