Kanon Wiki

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


If you came here by clicking the ? near some Japanese characters (called kanji or kana), here is an explanation of how the Japanese is formatted with the English and Romanization. When Japanese is included in an article on Wikipedia, it is almost always placed within a 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 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 English (英語 eigo?)
Gives English (英語 eigo?)

Without English:

Code eigo (英語?)
Gives eigo (英語?)

With extra2:

komusō (虚無僧?) "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:

komusō (虚無僧?) "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 on the talk page of WikiProject Japan.

Specific operating systems[]

Arch Linux[]

  1. pacman -S ttf-sazanami

Debian GNU/Linux and Ubuntu[]

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

  1. apt-get install ttf-takao-mincho
  2. aptitude install -P ttf-takao-mincho

More fonts can be installed with this command:

  1. apt-get install ttf-takao

Fedora/Red Hat Enterprise Linux[]

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

yum install fonts-japanese


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

Gentoo GNU/Linux[]

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

  1. emerge media-fonts/sazanami
  2. emerge media-fonts/mikachan-font-otf

Mac OS X[]

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

For Mac OS X 10.1 multilingual software updates are available as free downloads from Apple's website. The Asian Language Update will install support for Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Mac OS X Language Support Updates at apple.com

Mandriva Linux 2007[]

Install one or several Japanese font packages. The most common is fonts-ttf-japanese, but in addition you can also install fonts-ttf-japanese-extra, fonts-ttf-japanese-ipamona and fonts-ttf-japanese-mplus_ipagothic.

Make sure you have UTF-8 fonts enabled, as they may not be if you have upgraded from a former version of Mandrake/Mandriva.

OpenSUSE 11.4[]

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.

Unicode Japanese fonts[]


95, 98, ME and NT[]

Your system should offer to download Asian fonts by default while viewing pages in those languages, just as long as you're using Internet Explorer. [1]

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

XP and Server 2003[]

A Windows CD-ROM is needed while installing support for East Asian languages, even if it's not the one used during installation (Non-East Asian localizations only, as those from East Asia install Japanese support natively).

Alternatively, you can download the Japanese language pack by itself from Microsoft. No disc is needed for this option.

Vista and Windows 7[]

Both Vista and Windows 7 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) or Regional and Language Options (Vista) section of the Control Panel.

See also[]