The Basics of Electronic Japanese Information Processing
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The intention of this paper is to describe the relation that exists between the Japanese written language and electronic information processing. To accomplish this, the paper will discuss the major characteristics of the Japanese written language and past and present methods by which Japanese text is electronically represented, entered into computers, internally processed, and output to both video displays and printers. The discussion will include the following: the history of Japanese characters; the choice of the best writing system for Japanese computer use; Japanese character sets; character encoding methods; various input hardware and software; techniques for dealing with encoded Japanese data; and output issues such as fonts and text formatting. Problems in each of these areas will be discussed and various methods will be compared and contrasted. It is the author's hope that the reader will come to understand how Japanese processing has progressed, to what degree it is possible today, how this processing is actually accomplished, and in what ways it is still quite limited.