This write-up will teach you how to view Japanese characters (kanji, kana) in E2, or anywhere else on the Web. If you're lucky, you will only need to read one paragraph. If you're not, you'll have to read the whole thing. This write-up may also help you for other languages.

Maybe you already have Japanese support

Try reading a write-up which contains Japanese characters, such as Building Blocks of Japanese Names or (if you want to play with encodings) Japanese Character Encoding Formats.

If the Japanese characters are displayed correctly, then select View->Character Set->Japanese (auto-select) in Netscape (that's View->Encoding->Japanese (auto-select) in Internet Explorer). If the characters are now ok, that's great. If not, proceed with Check that the Japanese fonts are installed.

Check that the Japanese fonts are installed

Under Windows, go to your C:\WINNT\fonts (or C:\WINDOWS\fonts, or something like that) directory, and look for one of the following popular Japanese font files in that directory:
    msmincho.ttf (Ms Mincho)
    msgothic.ttf (MS Gothic)
    uwjmg3.ttf   (from Union Way)

If one of these files exist, continue with Configuring your browser. If not, go to Installing Japanese fonts.

Under Unix/Linux, try the following command:
    xlsfonts | grep jis

Hopefully, it will print the names of Japanese fonts installed on your system. If it does print something, proceed with Configuring your browser. If not, I'm afraid you need to go to Installing Japanese fonts.

Configuring your browser

With Internet Explorer 5.5 (your mileage may vary with other versions), select Tools->Internet Options->Fonts, then "Japanese" in the "Language script" box. The dialog box below should let you select the Japanese fonts you have on your system.

With Netscape 4.7 (your mileage may vary with other versions), select Edit->Appearances/Fonts, then Japanese in the "Encoding" dialog box, and choose your preferred Japanese font as the variable and fixed width fonts.

With Emacs and XEmacs, it's a little more difficult. See the inline documentation, or the resources listed at the bottom of this write-up.

Installing Japanese fonts


Here are three popular Japanese fonts. If the URL are broken at the time of your reading, of if you don't want to use their installer programs, just enter the .ttf file names in Google, and chances are you'll find them in many places. In my opinion, MsGothic is the most readable on a computer screen, but others are more beautiful, so make your own choice.


Note that the installer for uwjmg3 installs the font in its own directory, so you will need to move the .ttf file to the standard C:\WINNT\fonts or C:\WINDOWS\fonts directory.

For your information, installing a font really means copying a .ttf file in the fonts\ directory. Then you can use the font immediately in your browser or your editor (Word).


First try installing them from your Unix or Linux distribution (I suppose that most Linux distributions have Japanese fonts nowadays). For example, have a look at the xfonts-intl-* packages if you are using Debian.

If it is not possible or you don't trust your Linux distribution installer program, you may download Japanese fonts directly from the Emacs Intlfonts package. This package can be found at Go to the subdirectories and only fetch what you need, because the whole package is huge and unnecessary unless you speak all the languages in the world.

More information:

Craig Oda's excellent "Linux-nihongo" document on
My own document (in French) about Japanese and Linux (particularly Emacs's excellent international support) at

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.