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0. Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How can I use this FAQ ?
A. It is better to use is as a file with text search capabilities. To search
   for some information on, for example, The Nihongo Journal, just search
   the text for it. The index and this section 0 can be useful too.
Q. How can I use my PC or MAC as a Japanese Word Processor ?
A. It depends on how much money you want to spend and if you have only DOS,
   or Windows or MAC OS's. Section 2.1 (DOS), 2.2 (Windows), 2.4 (MAC) can
   give you some tips. 
Q. Where can I buy The Nihongo Journal ?
A. See section 5.1.1  
Q. Is there any suggestion of books on learning Japanese ?
A. See section 5.1   
Q. How can I read Japanese News outside Japan ?
A. See section 1.3
Q. How can I understand the difference between JIS, SJIS, EUC and the
   other very confusing encoding systems ?
A. See Ken Lunde's book, 5.7.2   


1. This newsgroup and list

1.1 Receiving this newsgroup in your site
1.2 Receiving the post as a list file in your mail (subscription)
    To do so, send an e-mail message to: or
    with no subject and the line
      SUB Nihongo <your REAL name>
    Please don't send messages for subscription or unsubscription to
    the addresses for posting on the list.
1.2.1 Posting to the list
      To send your article, question, etc. to the list, just send it as
      normal e-mail to: or
      The article will be distributed to all the readers of the list and
      posted automatically in the newsgroup sci.lang.japan.
      Please don't send articles to the addresses of subscription and
1.2.2 Signing off (cancel the subscription)
      To cancel your subscription, send an e-mail message to: or
      with no subject and the line
        UNSUB Nihongo
      Please don't send messages for subscription or unsubscription to
      the addresses for posting on the list.
1.3 Other related Newsgroups
    There are other Newsgroups on Usenet where topics related to Japan
    are discussed. They are:
    soc.culture.japan - cultural, political, social, etc. topics.
    comp.research.japan - topics on computer science research and development
      in Japan
    There are also groups in the fj.* hierarchy, but all (except for are in Japanese/Kanji. In usually the 
    posts are in English. 
    It's possible to get some articles from the fj.* groups outside Japan, 
    as part of the JUNET NEWS Mailing List. Almost all the articles will be
    in Japanese, coded in OLD-JIS or NEW-JIS. To subscribe, send a request 
    to Hisao Nojima at or to Stanford University at You will then receive a 
    *grab bag* of articles from one or more of the following newsgroups:
1.4 Other related Listservers


2. Japanese computer programs 
   You can find more information on Ken Lunde's japan.inf (Electronic
   Handling of Japanese Text) file. 
   This file is on FTP sites:
     file /pub/nihongo/japan.inf
   JAPAN: [], files
     /doc/japan.inf/files japan?.inf.Z (?)
   More details are on Ken Lunde's book, "Understanding Japanese Information
   Processing", (section 5.7.2), an excellent book, highly recommended to
   all who wants to process Japanese Information - that includes Japanese
   word-processing, e-mail, etc. See also 2.8.3
   These are some basic descriptions of programs and utilities, specially
   for learning tools, displaying Japanese and Japanese word processing: 
2.1 for DOS
2.1.1 Moke - Mark's Own Kanji Editor - Shareware Japanese Text editor
      Version 1.1 is shareware, can be obtained from ftp sites:
      AUSTRALIA: [], files 
      Version 2.1 is commercial, Us$ 69.95+5s&h (10 s&h outside USA and 
      Canada). KiCompWare, P.O.Box 536, Appleton, WI 54912. USA Tel. 
2.1.2 NJStar - Shareware Japanese Text editor
      Version 2.1 is shareware, can be obtained from ftp sites:
      AUSTRALIA: [], files 
        /pub/nihongo/, maybe some more. 
      The same version with drivers for printing can be ordered by 
      Us$49+10s&h from: Hongbo Data Systems - Tel 61+2-399-9876,
      PO box 866, Kensington NSW 2033, Australia
2.1.3 Jim Breen's Edict - Freeware Electronic J-E E-J dictionary
      There are always new versions, the latest one (V.94-003) have 77995
      entries. Can be obtained from FTP sites:
      AUSTRALIA: [],directory /pub/nihongo
        files jdic24.zoo, kinfo24.zoo, edict.zoo, edictjdx.zoo, jis16.zoo,
        maybe more. DOS compiled (.EXE) programs and fonts, needs zoo to 
2.1.4 HTERM
      A communication program for MS-DOS which will display ASCII, JASCII, 
      JIS1, and JIS2 - can be obtained from FTP sites: 
      JAPAN: [] directory 
      JAPAN: [] directory 
      JAPAN: [] directory 
      USA: [] directory /pub/kanji/hterm
2.1.5 KD (Kanji Driver) by Izumi Ohzawa 
      Kanji viewer/ front-end-processor for Kermit. Can be obtained from FTP
      AUSTRALIA: [] file 
      USA: [] file /pub/kanjikd100.arc
2.1.6 Mark Edward's Kanji Guess
      Kanji quizzes program, shareware, can be found in FTP sites:
      AUSTRALIA: [], files 
        /pub/nihongo/kg101*.*, maybe more. 
2.1.7 Kanji Flashcard Package
      For the first 204 kanji. From FTP sites:
      AUSTRALIA: [], files 
      Display and information only.
2.1.8 Gakusei
      Gakusei, from Barham Software, is a DOS-based elementary Japanese 
      grammar tutorial. It is well-suited for low-end or older PCs with 
      minimal hardware. From the lesson browser choose one of fifteen 
      lessons. In the exercises following the lessons you can type responses
      using Kana keyboards. Use the built-in dictionary to find forgotten 
      words and view conjugated forms. From Lesson 1, you will view Roomaji
      and Kana characters. You can make screen prints on compatible printers.
      Gakusei won't replace your teacher, but it can help you master 
      beginning Japanese at your own pace. Avaliable in FTP sites:
      AUSTRALIA: [], files 
      The shareware demo version contains only the first six lessons. The 
      full lesson set is available for $40 + ($4 US & Canada, $7 other) 
      shipping from BARHAM SOFTWARE, 15507 S. Normandie Ave. #245, Gardena,
      CA 90247-4028, USA, e-mail or call 
      1-800-RAN-EASY (1-310-327-4862).
      System requirements are EGA or VGA, DOS >= 3.3, memory >=640K, 1MB
      free hard disk, HP LJII or Epson LQ-compatible printer.
2.1.9 Ambassador - Commercial Bilingual Document System
      Allows you to compose letters in Japanese, English, Spanish, French
      without knowing the target language. Requires DOS/V. Versions in 
      English/Japanese, English/French, English/Spanish, French/Japanese.
      Call 617-489-4000, Fax 617-489-3850 Language Engineering Corporation,
      385 Concorde Ave. Belmont, MA 02178, USA.
2.1.10 Japanese I for DOS
      Basic self-study course for oral, written and grammar, includes reading
      vocabulary and oral quizzes. Sound. Covers hiragana, katakana and 
      38 basic kanji. Us$ 41.95, contact Conrad Haller, Educational Tutorial 
      Software, 10811 Ashton Ave, Suite 209, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA 
      tel. 213-470-6205. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.1.11 Verb Conjugation v.1.0
      Verb conjugation. Us$20+s&h, contact Language Learning Lab, 707 
      S. Mathews G-70, For. Lang. Bldg., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, 
      IL 61801, USA. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.1.12 Smart Characters for Students
      Word processor, vocabulary tutor and font editor for Asian languages, 
      text display includes furigana for all kanji, includes radical/stroke 
      dictionary for reading, Us$ 79.95, contact Frank Kaupman, Apropos Inc.
      8 Belknap St. Arlington MA 02174, Tel. 617-648-2041.  Review in
      Mangajin #8.
2.1.13 Eastword
      Hiragana/katakana tutor with menu-driven interface, kanji are large 
      and easy to read, includes stroke order and mnemonics. Us$ 99.95, 
      contact Pacific Rim Connections, 3030 Atwater Drive, Burlingame,
      CA 94010, USA, tel. 800-745-0911. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.1.14 Gambare-kun
      Kanji/compound exercise package featuring stunning color graphics 
      (requires VGA and HD) sophisticated learning environment (skill-level
      tracking, score-keeping and reporting). We don't know the price. Contact
      Hilary Eastwick-Field Lingotek 56 Rauhuia Crescent, Titirangi-parau,
      Auckland, New Zealand. Review in Mangajin #8. 
2.1.15 Kanji-flash V.0.97
      Kanji flashcards keyed to the book "Basic Technical Japanese", thorough
      approach to exercises, several learning modes. We dont know the price.
      Contact Craig VanDegrift, 9605 Barkston Court, Potomac, MD 20850, USA
      tel. 301-279-2678. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.1.16 Verb Explorer J
      Computerized system for analyzing and practicing verb and adjective 
      constructions, drills by verb type. Us$ 225. Contact Larry Cross,
      Japan-America Institute of Mgt. Science, 6660 Hawaii Kai Drive, 
      Honolulu, HI 96825 USA, tel. 800-54-JAIMS. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.1.17 Kintaro Sensei
      Interactive language exercises + culture, four levels of instruction,
      romaji, katakana, hiragana, several hundred kanji. Us$ 600+. Requires 
      hardware Voice Production Unit. Contact Jack Walraven, Pacific
      Educational Sys., 915 Woodhall Drive, Victoria, BC Canada V8X 3L7 
      tel. 604-727-6668. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.1.18 Let's learn Nihongo
      Comprehensive package to learn grammar, kanji with sound, uses a 
      computer-controlled tape player and hand-writing recognizer. Needs 2
      empty slots on the PC. Us$ 3900. Contact Richard Kurtzman, Seikosha
      America Inc., 10 Industrial Ave, Mahwah, NJ 07430, USA 
      tel. 201-327-7227. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.1.19 DOS/V
      DOS/V allows non-Japanese PCs (i.e. PCs that does not have the Kanji
      fonts in ROM) to display and enter Japanese. The fonts and conversion
      tools are all software. The main caveat is: you cannot enter/display 
      Japanese in applications that were not designed for working with DOS/V 
      (like non-Japanese Lotus, Word, etc.) unless they can use ANSI.SYS to 
      display the characters. English-based applications must run on the
      English environment - there is a command to change between them.
      Other caveat: software designed for Japanese PCs, like NECs, will 
      not run on DOS/V. There seems to be also a problem with the printing - 
      Japanese will not work for printers that does not have the Kanji 
      fonts in their own ROMs too. The last version is J5.02/V. You need 
      also a VGA or better and at least 2 Mb of memory to run it. Price is 
      about 17.000 yen. 
2.1.20 JLateX
      There are two freeware versions from LaTex available in some FTPs - I
      tried to install one and it was very hard to make it work, I don't even
      remember the steps ! Somebody that made this, please tell me how !
2.1.21 Demacs - Japanese Emacs for MSDOS
      Now sources are part of Mule, q.v.  Binaries available at FTP sites:
      USA??? [] directory 
2.1.22 Word Perfect 5.1j
      WP5.1j works under DOS/V, but has its own FEP - WPFEP, which doesn't 
      require any extended memory. So to run WP you need only WPFEP.sys and
      about 400K conventional memory. To print texts from WP is a problem, 
      because it supports only japanese printers. Price: about 40.000 yens.
      Does anybody have more information on it ?
2.1.23 Kana Sensei v2.1
      Shareware quiz program for beginning and intermediate students with 
      quizzes on hiragana, katakana as well as vocabulary and basic 
      grammatical patterns.  Users can also create their own quizzes. 
      Quiz modes are english to japanese, japanese to romaji, japanese to 
      english and japanese to romaji/english.  Includes some kanji.
      It is available at FTP sites:
      USA: [], file 
      USA??? [], file 
      You can contact the author (Mike Chachich) at or P.O.Box 290-232 Waterford, MI 48329,
2.1.24 YKH
      YKH is a program for DOS that emulates a VT320 terminal while properly
      displaying Japanese text. It is able to connect via modem through
      comports 1 and 2, or over local-area networks using the DECNET LAT 
      and DECNET CTERM network terminal protocols. Unlike most Japanese 
      terminals, YKH is able to fix Japanese text that has been damaged by 
      escape-code stripping.
      YKH requires at least an 80286 CPU, the extended keyboard BIOS, a VGA
      graphics adapter, and about 128K of free RAM.
      It can be downloaded from FTP sites:
      USA:, file /pub/msdos/modem/
2.2 for Windows 
2.2.1 JWP - Stephen Chung's Japanese Word Processor
      Version 1.1 is freeware and can be obtained from anonymous FTP from
      FTP sites:
      AUSTRALIA: [], files 
        /pub/nihongo/jwp*.*, maybe more.
      Includes access to edict. Very good, and free.  
2.2.2 Power Japanese 
      Features digital sounds, animation, drills, dictionary, flashcards.
      BayWare Inc., 1-800-538-8867 or 415-312-0980, FAX 415-578-1884.
      Good for starters, hard to use if you're used to Windows interface,
      limited but new version seems to be far better.
2.2.3 Understanding Spoken Japanese
      Interactive video (?), requires IBM Info Windows Structure or M-Motion
      card + laser disc player. We dont know the price. Contact Ms. Sally 
      Vito, Intellimation Inc., P.O.Box 1922, Santa barbara, CA 93116,
      USA tel. 805-968-2291. Review in Mangajin #8. 
2.2.4 Kanji Exercises
      Toolbox version of kanji flashcards, interactive approach includes 
      reading exercises, animated character generation and quizzes, uses
      kunrei romanization. Us$ 65. Requires Runtime Toolbook (?). Contact
      Annonae Software, P.O.Box 7629, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA. 
      Tel. 415-527-8006. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.2.5 Windows 3.1/J
      There is a version of Windows that can run under DOS/V. You will need
      a 80386SX or better, 27+ Mb of hard disk, MS-DOS 5.0/V or IBM DOS 
      J5.02/V, at least 4 Mb Ram and VGA display. The Kanji fonts are 
      TrueType. The drivers are only for Japanese made printers, but if you
      have drivers for non-Japanese printers you can install them and they
      will print OK. US printers can be installed by replacing CONTROL.INF
      file in the system directory with the US version. Thus, even old U
      printers like EPSON FX (9 pin) can print Kanji TrueType fonts. You 
      might want to save a version of the Japanese CONTROL.INF. Non-Japanese
      versions of programs seem to work OK under Win31J, as long you don't
      expect to use Japanese on them. Win31J can coexist with English Win31. 
      They should be installed in separate directories, changing the path 
      environment variable changes which version is run. 
      [Rafael's note: I had some weird problems with non-japanese 
      applications which messages that should be in English appears in 
      Japanese, garbaged !]
2.2.6 Word for Windows 5.0/J
2.2.7 WinJDIC - Japanese Dictionary for Windows (WinJDIC), by KiCompWare
      The Japanese Dictionary project was started way back in 1990 by 
      Mark Edwards. Professor Jim Breen took it over and has continued 
      to support, compile, and edit it. He also wrote a DOS program JDIC
      to provide a quick interface to the program. Since then a version for
      the Mac, and X-Windows has been released (Jim did the X-Windows version,
      someone else did the Mac version). WinJDIC is a version for MS-Windows.
      The program is Copyrighted, but freeware. This means you can use it for
      and pay no fee after you download it, or pay to have some ship it to you.
      Distributors, may charge up to $10 (including postage and handling) to
      distribute it. If you do decide to distribute, it might be a good idea
      to contact us, to get the latest version. At any rate, everyone is 
      encouraged to pass it on to a friend so they may benefit from an easier
      road to learning Japanese.
2.2.8 WIN/V 1.0 from C. F. C. Computing
      WIN/V is a program which allows you to have Japanese MS-Windows 
      environment on regular English Windows environments. WIN/V was made by 
      Mr. Nishimura who is a legend among Japanese Windows users.
      Since Japanese Windows application requires Kanji handling, you could 
      not run those programs on regular English MS-Windows environment. But,  
      with WIN/V, you can not only run Japanese Windows application, but 
      also you no longer needed  MS-DOS/V or PC-DOS/V. You simply install 
      WIN/V and restart Windows,  then you can have true Japanese Windows 
      Moreover, WIN/V supports Kanji True Type Font and can be run on 
      variety of MS-Windows environments such as Windows for Workgroup 
      3.1/3.11, OmniBook/Windows 3.1 (ROM version),  English OS/2 2.1, 
      English OS/2 2.1 for Windows, NEXTSTEP 3.2/Soft PC + Windows, SCO 
      Unix/Windows session, iRMX for Windows, and C. F. C. Computing
      is working on CHICAGO/V now. Unfortunately, WIN/V does not work with 
      WABI from Sun.
      Since WIN/V does not include neither KanaKanji Henkan program 
      (IME program) nor any Kanji True Type Font, you have to install those 
      programs from "Japanese MS-Windows3.1 Setup Disk."  But, most of 
      Japanese word Processors, such as MS-WORD, ICHITARO for Windows, or 
      AMI Pro for Windows, also provides both IME program and Kanji True Type
      fonts. So, for non-Japanese Windows user, you should buy at least
      one Japanese Windows word processor..   
      Where can you get it ? WIN/V can be purchased from SOFTEX (on-line
      software shop. "go swinva") in NIFTY-Serve.  Also, shareware version 
      should be available shortly on CIS. (but, IME support will be protected
      (disabled) for non-registered user.  TrueType module for shareware 
      version will be available from SOFTEX.)
      WIN/V also include "OMAKE program" which makes English Windows 
      applications Kanji-aware, but, it is a non-supported program.
2.3 for Unix, X-Windows, etc.
2.3.1 Jim Breen's Edict - Freeware Electronic J-E E-J dictionary
      There are always new versions, see 2.1.3. The interface for X-Windows is
      xjdix, and need kterm in order to display Japanese characters.
      Can be obtained from FTP sites:
      AUSTRALIA: [], file 
        /pub/nihongo/xjdic.tar.Z, plus the dictionaries.
2.3.2 Kterm - Kanji terminal for X
      Predecessor of exterm.
      Sources so you have to compile it for your machine. Last version,
      5.1.0 works fine here but some people reported bugs. Version 4.1.2
      is OK. Can be found in FTP sites:
      USA:, file /Japanese/kterm-4.1.2.tar.Z 
2.3.3 Mule - MUltiLingual Enhancement to GNU Emacs
      Mule is a modification of GNU Emacs to do Japanese display, entry, 
      and henkan (conversion to kanji). It also does Chinese and other 
      languages. Can be obtained in FTP sites:
      JAPAN: [], directory /pub/mule
      JAPAN: [], directory /JAPAN/mule/mule-0.9.7
      FINLAND: [], directory /pub/gnu/emacs/mule
2.3.4 Wnn - "Watashi No Namae" 
      A library that performs kanji conversion by connecting to a
      dictionary server (see jserver); Wnn also has routines to manage
      dictionary files.  Requires a front end, such as xwnmo or Mule.
      Version 4.108 can be found in FTP sites:
      JAPAN: [], directory 
      An internationalized version called Xsi is bundled with the X11R5 
      distribution, e.g. at FTP sites
      USA: 2.7.14 directory 
2.3.5 Xwnmo 
      A Japanese input client.  It displays kana/kanji, and uses
      Wnn to do the work of henkan and dictionary management.
      It is bundled with Wnn; see Wnn for ftp sites.
2.3.6 Jserver
      A kanji conversion server.  Comes with Wnn, q.v.
2.3.7 Nemacs 
      The precursor to Mule: GNU Emacs 18.55 plus Japanese input/
      conversion/display.  Smaller than Mule, less functionality.
      Version 3.3.1 is in the FTP sites:
      USA: [] 
      Version 3.3.2 is in the FTP sites:
      USA: [] or [] ?
2.3.8 SKK
      A newer, more efficient Japanese input/conversion method, that
      does not do grammatical analysis but lets the user specify the
      starting point of okurigana.  Can be used with Mule.  Version
      6.7 is at FTP sites:
      USA:, directory /src/Japanese
      JAPAN: [], directory
2.3.9 exterm - internationalized xterm for X
      Terminal that can display or input international text, including
      Japanese.  Requires an input client such as xwnmo, egim, etc.
      Comes with X11R5, e.g. on ftp sitea:
      USA: 2.7.14 directory 
2.3.10 Kdic - Motif interface to edict/kanjidic by Pertti Tapio Kasanen
       Kdic is a X/Motif dictionary program which uses the EDICT and
       KANJIDIC data files.  Version 0.8 of kdic can be ftp'd from
       FTP sites:
       FINLAND:, file /pub/culture/japan/x11/kdic-0.8.tar.Z
       Requires C++, Motif 1.1 or 1.2, X11R4 or R5.
2.3.11 TkJdic - Non-Motif interface to edict/kanjidic by Pertti Tapio Kasanen
       TkJdic are programs and user interfaces to Jim Breen's EDICT d
       dictionary files. With TkJdic you can search for Japanese and
       English words, type them in (Japanese with romaji or by Kinput2) 
       or paste them by mouse. You can also search kanjis by several 
       methods, combine these and click any kanji to get more information 
       about it. There is a history mechanism, so it is easy to get back
       to previous searches. 
       FINLAND:, file /pub/culture/japan/x11/tkjdic-0.8.tar.Z
       Requires Tcl/TC public domain windowing package with Japanese language
       patches (currently tcl7.3jp* and tk3.6jp*)
2.4 for Macintosh
       There is a file with more detailed info for Mac users that can
       be obtained by sending a mail to listserv@psuvm or with the command "Get COMPJ_MAC JTIT-L"
       (I believe that in the body of the message). Send additions/corrections 
       to: (Rainer Daeschler)
2.4.1 Jim Breen's Edict - Freeware Electronic J-E E-J dictionary
      There are always new versions, see 2.1.3. The interface for the Mac was
      ported by Dan Crevier, and can be obtained from FTP sites:
      AUSTRALIA: [], file 
        /pub/nihongo/MacJDic1.2.sit.hqx, plus the dictionaries.
2.4.2 Ambassador - Commercial Bilingual Document System
      Allows you to compose letters in Japanese, English, Spanish, French
      without knowing the target language. Requires KanjiTalk. Versions in 
      English/Japanese, English/French, English/Spanish, French/Japanese.
      Call 617-489-4000, Fax 617-489-3850 Language Engineering Corporation,
      385 Concorde Ave. Belmont, MA 02178, USA.
2.4.3 Kanji Exercises and Hiragana/Katakana Exercises
      Toolbox version of kanji flashcards, interactive approach includes 
      reading exercises, animated character generation and quizzes, uses
      kunrei romanization. Us$ 65 (kanji), Us$45 (kana). Requires Hypercard.
      Contact Annonae Software, P.O.Box 7629, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA. 
      Tel. 415-527-8006. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.4.4 HyperKanji v.0.86
      Hypercard-based Kanji dictionary tool, 1600 knaji+6000 compounds, on
      the right track for on-line dictionary, user can add own entries. 
      Us$ 75, requires KanjiTalk >= 6.0.4, works best with Hypercard 1.2-J
      (Japanese version). Contact Lew Clapp, International Comp.Res., P.O.Box
      2389, Cambridge, MA 02238-2389, USA tel. 617-876-5566. Review in
      Mangajin #8.
2.4.5 MacSunrise B-100 (beginning level)
      HyperCard-based kanji reference and learning system,100 basic kanji
      with readings and sound, include stroke order, pronunciation and 
      meaning. Us$ 99, contact Peter Goodman, Stone Bridge Press, P.O.Box 
      8208, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA, tel. 415-524-8732.  Review in 
      Mangajin #8.
2.4.6 JapanEase
      HyperCard-based learning tool for katakana gairaigo ("borrowed words")
      and daily expressions (time, date, counting, etc.) Us$ 99.95, requires
      Hypercard V2.0. Contact Ayumi Software/Qualitas Trading Co. 6907
      Norfolk Road, Berkeley, CA 94705 USA. tel. 415-848-8080. Review in
      Mangajin #8. 
2.4.7 KanjiMaster / EasyKana
      Kanji (KM) / Kana (EK) flashcards with sound, uses kunrei romanization.
      Us$ 149, requires HyperCard. Contact HyperGlot Software, 505 Forest
      Hills Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37919, USA Tel. 800-726-5087. Review in 
      Mangajin #8.
2.4.8 KanjiSama
      Kanji reference tool for reading; stand-alone application, fast
      dictionary look-up, general and technical dictionaries provided, more
      dictionaries under development. Us$ 149, requires KanjiTalk >=6.0.4,
      RAM>2M. Contact Steve Belinski, SANBI software Co., 3594 Crowell Avenue,
      Riverside CA 92504, USA tel. 714-352-0276. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.4.9 Japanese CAI - Hiragana V1.0 Katakana V1.0
      Hiragana, katakana exercise. Us$ 150+5s&h, demo version Us$20+5s&h,
      contact Yamazaki Intercom Corp. 42-204 Shimizu-ga-oka, Yatomicho,
      Mizuho, Nagoya, Aichi 467 Japan. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.4.10 ? (seems that they dont know the name :-)
      HyperCard-based CD-ROM, includes 100 basic kanji with readings sound.
      Us$ 450. Requires CD-ROM player. Contact Prof. Kazuko Nakajima, Dept.
      of East Asians Stud., University of Toronto, Toronto ON M5S 1A5 Canada.
      Tel. 416-978-3302. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.4.11 Kanji Compounds
      HyperCard-based kanji exercise program keyed to the book "Newspaper
      compounds - the 1000 Most Important in order of Frequency". We dont 
      know the price. Requires KanjiTalk>=6.0.4 and installation of custom
      English fonts (included). Contact Danyll Wills, Kaminokuchi-sagaru,
      Daiku-cho 487, Dotemachi-dori, Shimogyo-ku Kyoto 600, Japan. 
      Tel 075-343-3641. Review in Mangajin #8. 
2.4.12 Japanese for Everyone
      CD-ROM based Hypercard application for practical spoken Japanese. 
      Requires CD-ROM player. Us$ 449. Contact Butler Consulting, 2199 
      S. Broadway, Grand Junction, CO 81503, USA. Tel. 303-245-5462. 
      Review in Mangajin #8.
2.4.13 NihongoWare 1
      HyperCard-based CD-ROM program for practical spoke business Japanese. 
      We dont know the price. Requires CD-Rom player. Contact Mitsuru Hosobe,
      Ariadne Language Link, Shinjuku Center Bldg, 39F. Nishi Shinjuku 1-25-1
      Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163, Japan. Tel. 03-3344-1221. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.4.14 Understanding Written Japanese
      HyperCard-based system for technical Japanese. We dont know the price.
      Contact Ms. Contact Ms. Sally Vito, Intellimation Inc., P.O.Box 1922, 
      Santa barbara, CA 93116, USA tel. 805-968-2291. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.4.15 Nihongo Tutorial System
      Intelligent tutorial system to assist scientists and engineers in 
      developing reading competence in technical Japanese, features
      performance tracking. We dont know the price. Contact Tony Maciejewski,
      Electrical Eng. Dept., Purdue university, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA.
      Tel. 317-494-9855. Review in Mangajin #8.  
2.4.16 Eudora mail reader (Japanese version)
      available from FTP sites:
      JAPAN:, file
      USA: [], file 
2.4.17 NewsWatcher news reader (Japanese version)
      available from FTP sites:
      JAPAN:, file 
2.5 Other computers
2.5.1 Japanese I for Amiga
      Basic self-study course for oral, written and grammar, includes reading
      vocabulary and oral quizzes. Covers hiragana, katakana and 38 basic
      kanjis. Us$ 41.95, contact Conrad Haller, Educational Tutorial 
      Software, 10811 Ashton Ave, Suite 209, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA 
      tel. 213-470-6205. Review in Mangajin #8.
2.6 Other Related topics (files, etc.)
2.6.1 Kanji of the Day files
      Kanji of the Day are contributions from Mr. Kurt Stueber that presents
      one kanji with descriptions on its radicals, code information (JIS, 
      Nelson, etc.), On- and Kun- readings, mnemonics, compounds, lots of
      interesting data for those learning Kanji. Usually are posted to the
      listserver, and goes to the sci.lang.japan newsgroup. Back issues of 
      "Kanji of the Day" can be found at the FTP sites:
      USA:  [], directory 
      The files are ASCII, the kanjis are represented in a 24x24 *-matrix.
2.6.2 KanaSheet
      KanaSheet is a nice free PostScript program that gives you plenty of
      practice pages for hiragana and katakana, by Harald Kucharek. You can
      get the version 2.1 of KanaSheet on the FTP sites:
      USA:  [] file 
2.6.3 Nihon no Kotowasa
      Tim Duncan contributes regularly with this interesting series, on
      proverbs (sp ?), in the newsgroup sci.lang.japan, or you can get them
      on the FTP sites/directories:
      USA: [] pub/Japanese/Kotowaza
      AUSTRALIA: [] pub/nihongo/kotowaza
      EUROPE: [] pub/japanese/kotowaza
      UK: [] timd/kotowaza
2.8 Information for developers
    This section just points to some files of interest for those that
    wants to develop programs related to Japanese Language. Basically, are
    pointers on where to get bitmaps, dictionary files, references etc.
    For anybody considering developing of these programs, I recommend getting
    the book  "Understanding Japanese Information Processing" by Ken Lunde.
    See section 5.7.2 for details.
2.8.1 Jim Breen's EDICT and KANJIDIC files
      These files provides lots of information on kanjis, codes, readings,
      meanings (KANJIDIC) and Japanese-English correspondence (EDICT).
      Format is available on some read-me files. Can be found in the same
      FTP sites that carry the JDIC program
2.8.2 Japanese (Kanji) bitmap fonts
      You can find a large collection of Japanese fonts for X (bdf format)
      in FTP sites:
      USA: [] or [] ? ,
        directory /pub/japanese/fonts. Read the README.jfonts file for more
2.8.3 Machine-readable data from "Understanding Japanese Information 
      Machine-readable data (such as source code, character lists, and 
      mapping tables) from "Understanding Japanese Information Processing" 
      (see section 5.7.2) are available at FTP sites
      USA: [], directory pub/nutshell/ujip 
      USA: [], directory ??
2.9 People to contact (authors, etc.) - Please tell me if you want/don't want
    your name here as an author/developer so other people can contact you.
2.9.1 Jim Breen is
2.9.2 Stephen Chung is or (ocassionally)
2.9.3 Izumi Ohzawa is 
2.9.4 Kurt Stueber is 	
2.9.5 Ken Lunde is
2.9.6 Tom Gally is


3. Electronic tools for Japanese
3.1 Electronic Dictionaries
3.1.1 The Canon WordTank
  This file was supposed to be the separated WordTank FAQ, but it makes more
  sense to put on the FAQ for sci.lang.japan. If you feel the need, it can be
  separated for distribution as long as you mention where it was originally.
  The information presented here came mainly from a file that Larry Staples
  sent me and for my own experience using a ID-7100 and ID-9500.
  1-What is it ?
    It is a small (205x92x23mm, closed, model ID8500 - the biggest) battery-
    operated device that can be used as a Japanese-English (J-E), English-
    Japanese (E-J) and Kanji Dictionary (KD). The input is made in a small
    almost QWERTY keyboard and the output is on a LCD display, 52x160
    There is also a calculator and a calendar, and a "memorize" function that
    can make some very basic quizzes, with space for 300 words. It seems that
    the model ID8500 have some more options, but I dont know.
    There are six models:
      ID7000 - With 200.000 words, for 25.000 yens, catalog price
      ID7100 - Similar to ID7000, even the price. It seems that the only
               difference is the "jumping search".
      ID7200 - Another step-up, with 240.000 words and you can select menus
               in English or Japanese. 26.000 yens
      ID8500 - A real advance, 350.000 words, including personal and place
               names, and other features I didn't checked out. 44.000 yens.
    These were the "old" wordtanks. The "Super" wordtanks are three, the
    ID6500, ID7500 and ID9500. They have no calendar, but improved word 
    memory, slightly bigger keyboard, and the case is no long the plastic 
    one, but a tough, rubber case. The old menu key is still there but the 
    dictionary functions are no longer on the menu.  The Japanese, Kanji,
    and English functions each have their own buttons below the screen 
    along with word memo, calculator, and expansion card buttons.  The 
    "modori" button, the star button and a new history function button also
    appear below the screen.  On the right side of the screen are four
    function key-like buttons that take on different functions depending
    on the screen.  A common use for the keys would be the "jukugo," 
    or compound, function; definition; usage example; etc.  Littler 
    "icons" appear on the screen next to the buttons to suggest their
    usage. The WordTank Super has two expansion slots (not compatible
    with the ID series cards) that lock into place, and it runs on
    two AAA batteries.  Canon says the machine will run for about 250 hours on 
    two alkaline batteries. The case is only a few millimeters larger and a 
    few grams heavier than the old ID series machines (except the 8500 that
    was far bigger).
      ID6500 - This one is a new release, it seems to be the less powerful
               of them - have the navigation (jump) functions, but I believe
               that the word database is somehow smaller. I saw it by 
               15.000 yens, maybe even cheaper in other places.
      ID7500 - The new "Super" Wordtank, with a redesigned case, and the
               vocabulary of the ID7200. I believe that it haves the same
               capabilities as the ID9500, like jumping and wildcards.
      ID9500 - The top of the line, another "Super" Wordtank. The features 
               are the same as the ID7500 plus more memory. It contains 
               61,248 Japanese entries with 89,717 English definitions, 
               17,850 related Japanese words, 57,081 definitions in Japanese, 
               and 53,490 usage examples in Japanese. It contains 6,353 Kanji
               (JIS Levels 1 & 2 minus the last two kanji) with 35,875 
               compounds and 19,719 readings. Finally, it contains 60,424
               English words with thousands of definitions and related 
               English words. This all adds up to 649,170 entries. Just for
               reference, the IDX-7500 has 275,698 entries and the old 
               ID-7100 had 199,406 entries. NOTE: the names and places 
               database of the ID8500 was not added to the 7500 and 9500
    For the price, almost all the shops I saw had at least 10% off, and you
    can get them even cheaper (older models) in bargain sales.
    There is an optional printer IP-01 for 25.000 yens, I only saw it once
    in a catalog.
    There are some optional cards, like word upgrades, phrase cards
    (for business, travel, etc.) and even fortune telling, but I never had 
    the chance to test them. All these cards are on the 7000-10000 yens range.
  2-What can I do with it ?
    For the J-E function, you can enter words in Kana or Romaji, and search
    for them. The output is in kanji with furigana, and one of the very good
    points on it is that the furigana is displayed aligned with the kanji,
    so the word GAKUSEI will display small hiragana GAKU on the top of the
    kanji for GAKU and SEI on the top of the kanji for SEI. I believe that it
    is valuable so you can associate kanji with reading. Of course, japanese
    words in hiragana and katakana haves no furigana. The displayed kanji
    is big and easy to read. The meaning in english are also displayed, and
    you can use this meaning to search in the E-J for other meanings in 
    For the KD function, you can search kanjis for the reading (ON- and KUN-),
    for the stroke numbers and for the radicals. When you find the desired
    kanji, the WordTank display the readings, the number of strokes, JIS
    and KUTEN code, and bushu, and allows you to seek words in the J-E that
    starts with that kanji. The "old" wordtanks will only display the
    compounds of two kanjis that starts with the kanji you selected, but
    the Super ones will search for *any* sequence that starts with the
    kanji, including words with okurigana.
    For the E-J function, you enter the word in romaji and it displays the
    meanings (usually more than one). The phonetics (sp?) of the word are
    also displayed. If the word have a link with others, you can "navigate"
    through them. 
    The model ID8500 also have a database for people's and place's names, 
    that the older models lacked.
    Some features of the Super wordtanks are:
    Jump Search - As I said above, the English and Japanese definitions and
      explanations included in the Japanese dictionary of the IDX-9500 have
      been greatly expanded.  Most words have Japanese definitions. This
      makes the improvements in "Jump Search" especially useful. Any whole 
      word displayed on any screen can be highlighted and looked up. So, for
      example, if you were to look at the Japanese definition of a word 
      (Japanese or English) and found yet another word you didn't know,  
      you could highlight that word and look it up too. You can also look 
      up any displayed English word.
    Kanji Jukugo - Another big improvement has been made in the Kanji 
      dictionary. After looking up a kanji, pressing the "jukugo" function 
      key now produces a complete list of all words starting with that 
      character, not just two kanji words as in the ID series.  Verbs,
      single kanji, two, three, and more kanji words are all listed on the 
    Wild Cards - Both Japanese (kana, not kanji) and English words can be
      searched for using wild card characters, "*" for multiple characters 
      and "?" for single characters.  For example, it is possible to search 
      for "ga*ji," resulting in three words, while "ga?ji" would result in
      one. Searching for English words works the same way.
    History - The machine keeps a running list of the last 16 words you have
      looked up. So, if you're like me, and keep looking up the same word 
      time after time; this feature will be handy.
  3-So, which are the problems ?
    First of all, it can be called a "feature", but it is ROM-based, meaning
    that you cannot change/include/alter/annotate any entry on it. This
    characteristic also means that you should expect some new releases from
    times to times (inclusion of new words, corrections, etc.), but 
    surprisingly it does not happens. As long as I know, the Old wordtanks 
    had more than 2 years before the new releases, and in Japan, almost all
    electronic tools (cameras, videos, TVs, etc) have new models every 6 
    months. Of course, being ROM based makes it fast and small, but 
    reliable ? For the old versions, some of the entries from the J-E are 
    insufficient, and some are simply wrong. There are even some entries 
    in the J-E that  have no translation (I mean, display nothing), even on
    the ID8500 (same for the ID9500, but for the really obscures and/or
    without translation). Try ON'YOMI, for example. For the new models, 
    some words still lack translations but some have definitions... in 
    Japanese. For the KD dictionary, it will search words that start with 
    the kanji you are displaying, but only two-kanji words. For example, 
    you can find the kanji KA for KANOUSEI in the KD, and search for words 
    that start with it, and it will display KANOU but not KANOUSEI. The 
    Super models corrected this annoying problem. 
    The E-J have more meanings per word, but they are displayed in a smaller
    type (dot matrix) than the J-E, and the kanjis don't have furiganas, so
    if you don't read japanese, there is a trouble. More, you cannot 
    underline a word in Japanese and search the meaning as you can do with
    the J-E with the old models, but can with the Super ones.
    For the person's and place's names in the ID8500 model, I have a main
    complain - its usage is, enter a japanese name in kana and see the kanji.
    I guess that the inverse (enter the kanjis as in the KD and see the 
    reading) is far more useful, at least for non-Japanese speakers. 
    Some people also complained about parts that break, but seemed that the
    service (fixing, etc.) was OK - In Japan, I must add. 
3.1.2 Jim Breen's JDIC in a Palmtop
    Here is the file I got from Jim Breen about the use of JDIC in a palmtop.
    I added some comments in ()s.
    For  the  last  couple  of  months I have been using what I believe is a 
    viable alternative to the  Canon  Wordtank  as  a  hand-held  electronic 
    dictionary.  I  have  decided to put together a detailed posting on this 
    The system I have been using is the HP 100LX Palmtop PC, a hand-held and 
    fully functional PC measuring about 16x8cm.  Onto this I have loaded  my 
    JDIC  &  JREADER  programs and the EDICT,  etc.  dictionary files.  JDIC 
    performs well on this system,  to the extent that  I  now  only  use  my 
    trusty old WT (8500 plus upgrade card) on the rare occasions when a word 
    I want is not in EDICT. (It usually isn't in the Wordtank either). 
    A  few  words  about  the  Palmtop.  It  comes with many Mb of preloaded 
    software: Lotus123, database, editor, HP Calculator.  CCMail, Phonebook, 
    Appointment manager, XTREE-like Filer, Stopwatch, etc.  All this is in a 
    "D:"  drive  in ROM.  The basic systems have 1M of CMOS of which 640K is 
    DOS's memory and the rest a RAMdrive (C:).  In an  expansion  slot  (A:) 
    goes  a  8x5x0.5cm "Flashdisk";  I have a 10M version,  which comes with 
    Stacker installed,  so there is plenty of capacity  for  JDIC  etc.  The 
    processor  is  an 80186,  which seems to perform at about the speed of a 
    12Mhz 8088.  There is an Application Manager which looks after  programs 
    through  Icons and pop-down menus,  or you can run programs from the DOS 
    prompt.  Curiously,  powering the system off only turns off the display, 
    the applications stay there. I have only rebooted twice. 
    The  Palmtop has a CGA display.  Unlike earlier models,  the 100LX has a 
    full 80x25 line screen,  i.e.  640x200 pixels in high-res  CGA.  I  have 
    always found the aspect ratio of high-res CGA pretty poor for display of 
    the 16x16 kana/kanji, but the crisp LCD of the Palmtop combined with the 
    rather  flat  aspect  ratio  make  the  display  every  bit as good as a 
    monochrome VGA. 
    The Palmtop  has  a  serial  port  and  built-in  Kermit,  Xmodem,  etc. 
    protocols.  An  optional  Connectivity  Pack  enables files to be copied 
    back and forth between a PC and a Palmtop,  and for them to access  each 
    others files.  It also contains PC versions of many of the applications. 
    Of course,  the keyboard (full QWERTY) is tiny, and you can forget about 
    two-handed touch typing.  I have developed a one-handed  "hunt-and-pick" 
    which works well, particularly as it has a "sticky" Shift key. 
    With  the  Palmtop  and CGA in mind,  I have made some format changes in 
    version 2.4 of JDIC and JREADER (now in beta-test),  mainly to  get  the 
    maximum  information  into  the  reduced screen size.  Also I added some 
    features which I understand have also appeared  in  the  latest  (8xxx?)
    (my note: now 9500) 
    version of the Wordtank.  Among them are: saving & retrieval of the last 
    10 search keys, a "jump search" where the key comes from a display line, 
    and  the  ability  to log entries to a file for later review.  The kanji 
    selection via bushu also now has an option to specify the stroke count. 
    So how do they compare?  Well I have not seen the latest Wordtank, which 
    I hear is quite improved,  so this comparison is largely limited to  the 
    earlier models.
    SIZE:  almost the same.  The Palmtop is a bit thicker (about 2.5cm), and 
    heavier,  and has the typical tough HP case.  It runs on a  pair  of  AA 
    batteries, & has an external 110/230V adaptor which can charge NiCads in 
    situ.  The  Palmtop  screen  is  more than twice as large,  and with the 
    smaller size of displayed characters packs a lot more information. 
    (my note: the latest models are smaller than the old 8500)
    PRICE:  not surprisingly the Palmtop is quite a bit  more  expensive.  I 
    don't know the US price,  but extrapolating the Australian,  I expect it 
    is about $US850,  plus a couple of hundred more for the Flashdisk.  Bear 
    in  mind,  though,  that  for  this  you  get  a  LOT more than a just a 
    Wordtank,  you are getting a PC with a  lot  of  built-in  applications,  
    including a copy of Lotus123.  JDIC, EDICT, etc. are, of course, free. 
    DICTIONARY:  EDICT  & KANJIDIC total about 3.5M,  which is somewhat less 
    than the  Wordtank's  claimed  dictionary.  However  the  7200/8500  had 
    separate  E->J  and  J->E  dictionaries,  which  was wasteful.  JDIC can 
    access the full JIS 1 & 2  sets,  whereas  many  are  missing  from  the 
    Wordtank.  From my observation,  there is not much in the Wordtank which 
    is not now in EDICT,  and EDICT's English  translations  are  much  more 
    complete.  Both can access kanji via reading, bush and/or stroke counts.  
    JDIC  also  accesses  by  JIS  code,  KUTEN,  Nelson  and  Halpern  nos. 
    KANJIDIC's collection of readings seems  much  more  comprehensive  than 
    those  in the Wordtank.  Also,  JDIC,  EDICT,  etc.  are being regularly 
    upgraded, and thus the Palmtop option can improve for no extra outlay. 
    SPEED:  the Wordtank is much faster.  The typical  word  search  on  the 
    Palmtop takes an average of 4 seconds (cf 2.2 on my 16Mhz 386). This may 
    reduce  if  Stacker  were disabled.  Kanji searches take about a second, 
    but  a  full  screen  takes  about  3  seconds   to   paint.   This   is 
    understandable,  given the general nature of the Palmtop vs the ASICs in 
    the Wordtank. 
    OTHER APPLICATIONS:  The address book,  phone-list and calculator in the 
    Palmtop  are  infinitely  superior to those on the Wordtank.
    (my note: the oldest wordtanks had only Calendar/calculator, the new
    ones only the calculator. Did the 8500 had phone list and address book ?)
    Really the 
    applications do not compare,  as the Palmtop is packed with  goodies.  I 
    find the Appointment system very impressive,  particularly in the way it 
    can migrate the details back and forth between the Palmtop and a  PC.  I 
    often carry my Palmtop in my coat packet, and find it very convenient to 
    use  the  built-in editor (Memo) for jotting down notes,  drafting text, 
    etc.  I have also loaded the JREADER program on board,  and to prove  it 
    was  possible,  downloaded  a copy of the Genji Monogatari.  A bit meaty 
    reading for train journeys,  but feasible.  I also installed a  copy  of 
    MOKE,  which  is  the  only  wa-puro I know of for vanilla PCs which can 
    function on a CGA.  MOKE works fine.  It gave me quite a buzz  to  enter 
    kanji  and  kana  text  on such a tiny system,  but it does it well.  (I 
    believe there is a localized version of the HP Memo program available in 
    Japan, but I have no details of it.) 
    I realize this  is  partly  blowing  my  own  trumpet,  but  I  strongly 
    recommend  that  people  who  are  thinking  about  buying  a  hand-held 
    electronic dictionary consider  the  Palmtop  as  an  alternative.  With 
    JDIC,  etc  installed  it  performs,  I  think,  every  bit as well as a 
    Wordtank,  and in some aspects a lot better.  Also  it  is  a  far  more 
    versatile system, with all the potential of a full PC, as well as having 
    many  good application packages.  I think HP have done an amazing job of 
    packing so much into such a small container.  After all, can you imagine 
    a  Wordtank  that is also  Japanese word-processor, runs Lotus and has a
    full-function HP Business Calculator. 
    [Since writing the above, I have received copies of some futher Japanese
    software for the HP100LX. This includes as TSR FEP and a JIS text display
    program. I have not found time to try them out, as the installation is a
    little tricky, and anyway the software I have is working well.]
3.1.3 Sony DATA-Discman
    It is a device to read special 3.5" CD-ROMs in a format called EB 
    (Electronic Book, ou Denshi-Book). These CD-ROMs can be removed from the
    cartridges and put on an adaptor to be read by CD-ROM drivers for PC
    compatibles. There are two programs for Windows and one add-on for Mule
    (Unix) to work as front-ends for these EBs. There are several dictionaries
    published as EBs, including the Kenkyusha's.
    (tip by Alberto Tomita Jr.)
    (Rafael's note: I am not sure if their interface are easy to use for
    foreigners - need to look at one first ;-)
3.2 Electronic Organizers (Denshi Tetyou)
    This is a category apart. There are some that have built-in eiwa-waei
    dictionaries, but they are too small compared with WordTank and similars.
    Some have expansion cards with dictionaries. 
3.3 Wapuros
    uh... should I give up on this one ?

4. General Information on Japanese Language
4.1 Writting Systems
4.1.1 General Information
   Traditionally,  Japanese is  written  from top to bottom and right  to left.
Pages are bound at the right hand side, making books and magazines appear as if
they are printed backwards to Westerners. Nowadays the younger generation tends
to write the Western way (unless for official purposes), that is left to right,
top to bottom. This way  is also  used in scientific books where text  is  used
along  with  mathematical formulas which  are necessarily (really?) horizontal.
Literature is printed the traditional way.
   Written Japanese employs four character sets: romaji, hiragana, katakana and
kanji. Spacing between  words with  the  latter three is up  to the  writer. In
books for  beginning readers spaces between words may  be abundant, but in more
advanced texts they may be few. The equivalent of a period is  called "maru", a
small circle.  A comma  is represented by a "ten",  a long dot. Its use  is not
governed by any strict rules (like in most languages). Quotations are indicated
by the  top left  and bottom  right parts of a square. Question and exclamation
marks are used once in a while. The particles ka  and ne fulfill the respective
functions, so that there is no real need for either mark.
4.1.2 Hiragana and Katakana
   The   kana,  hiragana  and  katakana,  are  strictly  phonetic  syllabaries.
Hiragana, the more flowing form of the two, is  said  to have been invented  by
the Buddhist priest  Ku^kai  (774-835),  although this  is controversial.  Each
hiragana  symbol derives from a  Chinese character  of the  same sound,  but is
devoid of any  meaning. The invention of hiragana  had a significant impact  on
Heian  literature (794-1185) as it  enabled  women to  write  (education was  a
virtually  male-only  privilege). The most famous  contribution,  no doubt,  is
"Genji monogatari" [The tale of Genji] by MURASAKI Shikibu.
   Katakana, literally "side script"  and the more  angular of the two kana, is
said to  have been  invented by KIBI no Makibi (693-755). Each katakana  symbol
derives from parts  of  a Chinese  symbol in  the  same way as the hiragana do.
Katakana were initially used as a pronunciation aid in Buddhist scriptures, but
were mixed with Chinese characters from the ninth century on.
   Both syllabaries  use  two diacritical marks to modify  the pronunciation of
several  of the kana. Two  small dots at the upper right hand corner  produce a
voiced version, that is: k->g, s->z, t->d and h->b. A  small circle at the same
position  changes h to  p.  Finally, the  kana for  "ya", "yu" and  "yo" can be
combined  with  the  "-i"  kana  to  form  a  palatalized  sound, for  example:
   Knowing hiragana  and/or katakana one can write anything one wishes to write
in  Japanese. In  practice  however, hiragana are used  for originally Japanese
words and katakana is reserved for foreign words. Katakana can also be used for
emphasis, very  much like  italics  are  being used  for emphasis in the  roman
alphabet.  This is  relatively common in manga. Moreover, the use  of kana  is,
depending  on  the level of education, limited to (parts of) words which have a
grammatical function, such as  particles, conjuctions and inflectional endings.
The content of what one wants to express is written in kanji. One other  use of
the hiragana  is as pronunciation aid for uncommon  kanji.  Found  on the right
hand  side  or  above the  kanji, they  are referred  to as furigana ("handicap
kana") or yomigana ("reading kana").
4.1.3 Kanji
   The kanji have been borrowed and adapted from the Chinese characters between
the sixth and tenth century. During and after their introduction they underwent
many  changes, both  in  Japan and China, so that now both languages have their
own set of kanji although many  similarities exist. After the Meiji restoration
(1868) the government has tried  to simplify and standardize the Japanese kanji
(I"m  not  sure  about this!).  In  1946  the  last big government interference
resulted in the To^yo^ kanji. This set contains 1850 kanji,  881  of which made
up the  Kyo^iku kanji. The Jinmei-yo^ kanji contained an additional 85 kanji in
use for family and geographical names. The Jinmei-yo^ set can be seen  as a set
of standard non-standard kanji.  The Kyo^iku set was to be  mastered by the end
of elementary school  and the To^yo^  set  by the end of high school. Nowadays,
the Jinmei-yo^ set contains 284 kanji, the Gakushu^ set, formerly Kyo^iku, 1006
and the Jo^yo^, formerly To^yo^, 1945. The Gakushu^ kanji are still a subset of
the  Jo^yo^ kanji and  taught in elementary school. The Jo^yo^ kanji are taught
in high school.
   It is  not necessary to know all Jo^yo^  and Jinmei-yo^  kanji to be able to
read most  Japanese.  Several studies indicate that  knowing  about  1000,  for
example the Gakushu^, enables one to read some 90%. Knowing  the  Jo^yo^ allows
you to read about 99%  of written Japanese. However, not  knowing a kanji  does
not necessarily mean that one can  not guess  its  meaning.  Many of  the  more
complicated kanji are combinations of simpler kanji (see below).
   The kanji  are ideographs representing objects and/or ideas. For each  kanji
three things  must be learned:  its root meaning, its writing (stroke order and
stroke   endings)  and,  the  most  difficult,   its  reading  (pronunciation).
Generally, every kanji has two types of reading. On-yomi or Chinese  reading is
based on the Japanese imitation of  the ancient Chinese  pronunciation  of  the
character. Kun-yomi or Japanese reading  represents the original  Japanese word
corresponding to the ancient  Chinese meaning of  the  kanji. Put  differently,
on-yomi  is a mapping of Japanese sounds on the spoken form  of written Chinese
whereas kun-yomi is a mapping of spoken Japanese on written Chinese.
   There are no strict rules  to decide whether a kanji is read on-yomi or kun-
yomi, but as a rule of  thumb: a kanji occuring in  a compound with other kanji
is  read on-yomi, a kanji all by itself is read kun-yomi. Note that a kanji may
have  more than one on-yomi and/or  more than one kun-yomi.  Fortunately, there
are some kanji that have either only one on-yomi or only one kun-yomi.
   An example should make all this a bit clearer.  Take the  kanji for moon. By
itself,  just  plain moon,  it is read  "tsuki" (kun-yomi).  This  is the  only
kun-yomi it has. Well, let's be fair, it can also  be read "zuki", for  example
in "mikazuki", "three day moon" (->new moon), but  this is merely  a change for
ease of pronunciation (?). By the way, "mikazuki"  is a severe exception of the
rule of thumb:  all  three  kanji are read  kun-yomi fashion.  In "first  moon"
(->first month-> January)  it combines  with the kanji for  one, "ichi", and is
read "gatsu".  Thus, "ichigatsu"  means  January. In "moon  day"  (->Monday) it
combines with the  kanji  for  day,  "yo^  bi",  and  is  read "getsu".   Thus,
"getsuyo^bi" is Monday. So, "moon" has two (accidently similar) on-yomi.
   In many cases the more complicated kanji, in terms of stroke count, are made
up of simpler kanji. Their meaning  can usually be inferred from the meaning of
the simpler kanji. The simple kanji used  in  those  more complicated  ones are
referred to  as graphemes or radicals.  Due to  size restrictions,  every kanji
takes  up  the same  amount  of space, these graphemes  or radicals  can become
somewhat distorted with respect to the  original. In two-grapheme kanji such as
"bright",  where "sun" and "moon" are placed alongside (and squeezed), the left
hand side is called "hen" and the right hand side "tsukuri".
   Shodo^  or calligraphy is practiced by  many Japanese.  Basically, there are
three  styles to  write  the  kanji: kaisho  (print  or  block  style), gyo^sho
(cursive style) and so^sho  ("grasshand" style). Kaisho resembles the  style of
kanji  in  mechanically   produced  texts.  Although   primarily  referring  to
calligraphy, kaisho is also used to indicate the style  of these  texts. Formal
correspondence  is  usually written  in kaisho,  whereas  gyo^sho  is  used  in
personal  correspondence.  Artistic writings on screens  and  monuments  and in
paintings often  use so^sho.  Easily recognized  by its reminiscence to flowing
reeds, it is the hardest to read of the three.
4.1.4 Romanization (Romaji)
   Romaji is basically a  method of writing the Japanese language in the  roman
alphabet (the very same as the one you"re reading now). Originally developed by
Jesuit missionaries in the sixteenth century, there now are  various methods of
romanization. The most common one is the (modified) Hepburn system (hebon-shiki
or hyo^jun-shiki).  It was established by James C. Hepburn (1815-1911) who also
founded  Meiji Gakuin University.  Its popularity stems from the better  compa-
tibility  with the  Japanese sounds than kunrei-shiki  (the official,  but vir-
tually obsolete, system) and Nihon-shiki.  Nihon-shiki  is  governed  by simple
rules and is taught in elementary schools.
   The use of romaji, or roman  alphabet, in everyday Japanese is very limited.
Abbreviations, advertisements and street signs are among  the few instances you
will see them. One area in which romaji are in wide-spread use is in text books
for studying  Japanese for foreigners.  Most intermediate and advanced students
of the  language will agree  that the use  of romaji will  prove an obstacle in
learning how to read "real" Japanese.
End of 4.1 Section, a contribution by Olaf Meeuwissen []. 
Sources:  Modern Japanese  by Mieko Shimizu  HAN,  Dictionary  of  Japanese
Culture by Setsuko  KOJIMA  and Gene A. Crane, Kanji Education by Jason Molenda
and private communication with Ken Lunde (author of JAPAN.INF).
4.2 Pronunciation
     The following is a description of the sound system of Japanese. The
     first three sections are a brief linguistic summary. Section 4.2.4
     focuses on practical pronunciation problems faced by foreigners, 
     especially speakers of English. Check also the Quick Pronunciation
     Guide, section
4.2.1  The Sounds of Japanese
     The following are the meaningful sound elements (phonemes) of 
            /a/  /i/  /u/  /e/  /o/
            Stops:  /p/  /b/  /t/  /d/  /k/  /g/  /?/ (= glottal stop)
            Stops with fricative release:  /ch/  /j/
            Fricatives:  /h/  /z/  /s/  /sh/
            Liquids:  /r/  /w/
            Nasals:  /m/  /n/  /n'/            (/n'/ = syllabic nasal)
          Note to linguists: The above phonemes should be enough to 
          account for all native Japanese and assimilated Sino-Japanese 
          words. However, some recent borrowings from other languages may 
          require additional phonemes (the Japanese words for 'tsar', 
          'violin', etc.).
4.2.2  Phonemic Rules
     The phonemes listed in 4.2.1 may change when they are actually 
     pronounced. The following are some of the most important phonemic 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Vowels
     /i/ and /u/ usually become voiceless in the following two contexts:
         (1) after /t/ /s/ /sh/ /ch/ /h/ at the end of a word
         (2) between /t/ /s/ /sh/ /ch/ /h/ and /p/ /t/ /k/
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Consonants
     /t/ becomes /ch/ before /i/
     /t/ is pronounced [ts] before /u/

     /d/ becomes /j/ before /i/
     /d/ becomes /z/ before /u/

     /g/ is often pronounced [ng] between vowels (as in English "singer")
     /h/ is pronounced as a bilabial fricative before /u/  (see

     /z/ becomes /j/ before /i/
     /s/ becomes /sh/ before /i/

     /n'/ becomes /m/ before /p/ /b/ /m/
     /n'/ is pronounced [ng] before /k/ /g/
4.2.3  Accent
     The accent system of Japanese is based on pitch, not stress. Each 
     syllable is pronounced with about the same force, but accented 
     syllables are pronounced at a higher pitch. See also below.

     Some generalizations: All high-pitch syllables in a word are 
     contiguous. If the first syllable is high, then all the remaining 
     syllables are low. If the first syllable is low, then the second 
     syllable is high. One-syllable words may have either a low rising 
     pitch or a high falling pitch.

     The following examples, given in standard romanization, are taken 
     from the introduction to the dictionary Daijirin (Sanseido, 1988). 
     These are all of the single-word accent patterns up to six syllables. 
     Capital letters indicate the high pitch. The mark  ^  at the end of a 
     word indicates that the high pitch may carry over into the following 
     word (especially if the following word is a particle such as  wa  or 
     ga ).

     1 syllable:   na^  [next syllable high]    KI  [next syllable low]
     2 syllables:  miZU^   Aki   haNA
     3 syllables:  kaISHA^   DEnki   oKAshi   oTOKO
     4 syllables:  daIGAKU^   BUngaku   yuKIguni   saIJIki  oTOOTO
     5 syllables:  chuUGOKUGO^   SHAabetto   fuKYUuritsu   yaMANObori
                   koGATABAsu   moMONOHANA
     6 syllables:  keNBUTSUNIN^   KEnmohororo   oMAwarisan   kiNKOnshiki
                   koKUGOJIten   taNSANGAsu   juUICHIGATSU
4.2.4  Problems for Learners of Japanese (English speakers)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Short and Long Sounds
     All of the vowels and most of the consonants of Japanese may be 
     pronounced either short or long. In normal speech, long sounds are 
     held for about twice the length of time as short sounds. The 
     difference between long and short sounds is very significant, and 
     Japanese have no trouble at all remembering which words have short 
     sounds and which words have long sounds. Here are some minimal pairs, 
     i.e., words distinguished only by the length of the sound:

        shujin  "husband"            shuujin  "prisoner"
        koto    "thing"              kooto    "coat"
        kata    "shoulder"           katta    "won"
        kosetsu "old explanation"    kossetsu "bone breakage"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Consonant + /y/ Clusters
     When the semivowel /y/ follows a consonant, learners of Japanese 
     often insert a vowel between the consonant and /y/. However, no vowel 
     belongs there and the presence of a vowel can lead to misunderstand-
     ings. It may take some practice to learn how to say these clusters 

        Correct     Incorrect
        [ryokan]    [riyokan]   "Japanese inn"
        [byooin]    [biyooin]   "hospital"  (cf. biyooin "beauty parlor")
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------  /r/
     In many dialects of English, /r/ is pronounced before vowels with the 
     lips slightly rounded and the tongue not touching the roof of the 
     mouth, while /l/ is pronounced before vowels with no lip rounding and 
     with the tip of the tongue touching lightly against the roof of the 
     mouth. The Japanese /r/ sound varies more or less freely between 
     these two sounds, i.e., sometimes the tongue touches the roof of the 
     mouth and sometimes it doesn't. (That's why new students of Japanese 
     may hear the sound sometimes as /r/ and sometimes as /l/.) However, 
     unlike English /r/, there is no lip rounding with Japanese /r/. The 
     lips should stay relaxed. (When Japanese comedians imitate foreigners 
     speaking Japanese, they generally include a lot of heavily rounded 
     /r/ sounds and /r/-colored vowels, because those are the features 
     that sound most distinctively non-Japanese to them.)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------  /hu/ = /fu/
     When the phoneme /h/ comes before /u/, it is pronounced as a bilabial 
     fricative. What this means is that the lips are brought close enough 
     together to create a light hissing sound. Unlike English /f/, 
     however, the lower lip does not touch the upper teeth.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Vowels
     Most English vowels are diphthongs, i.e., the tongue and/or lips move 
     as the vowel is being pronounced. In American English, for example, 
     the vowel sound in the word 'cake' starts as the mid front vowel /e/ 
     and glides to near the high front vowel /i/. The vowels in the 
     word 'two' and 'boat' have more lip rounding at the end than the 
     beginning. In Japanese, however, vowel quality remains nearly 
     constant from the beginning to the end of a vowel. Heavily 
     diphthongized vowels are a clear indicator of a foreign accent in 

     As described in, Japanese vowels often become voiceless in 
     certain contexts. This means that, to a foreign ear, the vowel seems 
     to be missing:
        doko desu ka   sounds like   doko des ka
        arimasu        sounds like   arimas
        chikaku        sounds like   chkaku
        shita          sounds like   shta

     This does not happen all the time, though. If a speaker is 
     emphasizing a particular word or speaking slowly, then these vowels 
     might remain voiced. Sentence-final vowels seem to be voiced more 
     often in women's speech than in men's.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Accent
     As described in 4.2.3, Japanese accent is based on pitches, not 
     stress. An English speaker learning Japanese is apt to put too much 
     emphasis on certain syllables. To Japanese ears, this sounds bouncy 
     and sing-songy.
     Many native Japanese teachers do not emphasize accent when they teach 
     Japanese pronunciation, probably because there is a lot of regional 
     variation. In particular, many words have opposite accent patterns in 
     Kanto and Kansai. For the foreign student, however, it is better to 
     try to acquire some kind of native accent (even if it isn't standard 
     NHK style) rather than to retain a strong foreign accent.
4.2.5 Quick Pronunciation Guide
     Japanese   English          Other          Other
       Sound    equivalence      Language ?     Language ?
         a     'a' of father
         i     'ea' of eat
         u     'oo' of boot
         e     'a' of cake
         o     'oa' of coat
         k     as in kit
         g     as in good
         s     as in sun
         sh    as in sheep
         z     as in zoo
         j     as in jeep
         t     as in time
         ch    as in cheap
         ts    as in boots
         d     as in doe
         n     as in no
         h     as in hot
         f     as in food
         m     as in march
         y     as in yard
         r     between 'l' of loom 
               and 'r' of room
         w     as in wash
4.2. End of "Pronunciation" by Tom Gally

5. Books, Magazines and others
5.1 General
5.1.1 The Nihongo Journal 
      General information: The Nihongo Journal, monthly magazine in English
        and Japanese, also available in Korean/Japanese and Chinese/Japanese.
        Price in Japan: 600 yens, tax included. Features a cassete tape, 
        sold separately, for 2060 yens, tax included. Published on the 
        first of every month. 120+ pages, some in color.
      Main features: Japanese lessons divided in beginning, upper-beginning 
        and intermediate levels, including grammar and usage notes, and kanji
        reviews. For almost all kanjis, furigana is displayed. Also presents
        some topics on Japanese culture, news and lifestyle (in intermediate 
        Japanese). Feature some series like "Writing is Fun" and "Going up 
        against the Japanese Language Proficiency Test". The cassete tape 
        have some articles recorded, to practice listening. In overall, an 
        excellent magazine for beginner and intermediate learning.   
      Addresses of publisher/distributors overseas: (as for April 1993)  
        Publisher in Japan: ALC PRESS Inc. Main office: 2-54-12, Eifuku, 
          Suginami-ku, Tokyo 168, Tel: (03)3323-1001 (Sales)
        Hong Kong: Apollo Book Co.Ltd., Japanese Book Centre, TST 
          P.O. Box 95710, Kowloon. Tel. 3-678482
        Hong Kong: Asahiya Book Stores Hong Kong Ltd. c/o Department Store
          Co. Ltd. Kingstone Street, Causeway Bay Tel. 5-762279
        Hong Kong: Nippon International Publication Service (HK) Co. Ltd. 
          2nd floor, shop no. 31-33 Admiralty Centre, Tower One, 
          18 Harcourt Road, Tel. 5-294777
        Singapore: Kinokuniya Book Stores of Singapore Pte. Ltd. 
          0617 Liang Court Store, 117 River Valley Road, #03-07/19 
          Tel. 3371300
        Singapore: Orchard Store, 0923 New Isetan Orchard, 435 Orchard Road,
          #04-01 Tel. 7346695
        Singapore: 0617 Raffles Store, Sogo Department Stores, 250 North
          Bridge Road, #01-13/17, Raffles City Shopping Centre, Tel. 3308173
        Malaysia : O.I.S. Book Shop, Yaohan The Mall Shop, c/o Yaohan (M) 
          SDN. BHD. Bangunan The Mall, 2nd Floor, Lot 33, Section 51, JLN 
          TUN Ismail, 50480, Kuala Lumpur
        Malaysia : Yaohan Penang Shop, c/o Yaohan (M) SDN. BHD. Komplek 
          Tun Abdul Razak (Komtar), Penang Road, 10000 Pulau Penang
        Taiwan   : Kinokuniya Bookstores of Taiwan, Co.Ltd, 7th Floor, 
          Pacific Sogo Dept. Stores, no. 45, sec 4, Chung Hsiao East Road, 
          Taipei, Tel. 02-7212304
        Taiwan   : Hong Ju tang Book Co. Ltd. 19 Sec 1, Kai-Fung St. Taipei,
          Tel. 02-311-3810
        USA      : Bun Bun Do Books Store, 745 Keeaumoku Street, Honolulu, 
          HI 96814, Tel. 808-946-9790
        USA      : Books Nippan, 532 West Sixth Street, Los Angeles, CA 900
          Tel. 213-687-7400
        USA      : Kinokuniya Books Stores of America, Co. Ltd., San
          Francisco Store, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco, CA 94115.
          Tel. 415-567-7625
        USA      : Kinokuniya Books Stores of America, Co. Ltd., New Otani 
          Store, 110 South Los Angeles Street, suite 12, Los Angeles, 
          CA 90012. Tel. 213-687-4447 
        USA      : Kinokuniya Books Stores of America, Co. Ltd., Los Angeles
          Store, 123 South Weller street, suite 106, Los Angeles, Ca 90012 
          Tel. 213-687-4480
        USA      : Kinokuniya Books Stores of America, Co. Ltd., Torrance
          Store, 2141 West 182nd street, Torrance CA 90504 Tel. 213-327-6577 
        USA      : Tokyo Shoten, Zen Oriental Publications Inc, 521 5th Ave. 
          New York, N.Y. 10175, Tel. 212-697-0480  
        USA      : New York Kinokuniya Book Store, 10 West 49th st. New York,
          N.Y. 10020, Tel. 212-765-1461 
        USA      : Anzen Importers, 736 N.E. Union Ave. Portland, OR 97232
        Canada   : Sophia Book Store, 725 Nelson Street, Vancouver, B.C. 
          V6B 2E5 Tel. 604-684-4032
        Brazil   : Sol S.A. Importacao, Exportacao, Industria e Comercio. 
          Caixa Postal 8846, 01000 - Sao Paulo, SP.
        Brazil   : Livraria Takano Ltda. Rua Dr. Tomas de Lima, 545 Loja 1 
          Liberdade CEP 01513, Sao Paulo, SP. Tel. 011-279-3313
        Australia: Intext Book Company Pty. Ltd. 412 Heidelberg Road,
          Fairfield, VIC. 3078 Tel. 03-486-1755        
        Australia: OCS (Australia) Pty. Limited, Head Office: Sidney Unit.
          4,4 Doody Street, Alexandria, N.S.W. 2015 Tel. 693-5122
        England  : Japan Centre Bookshop, 212 Piccadilly, London W1V 9LD, 
          Tel: 071-439 8035 (from UK) +44 71 439 8035 (from outside UK)
          Fax: 071-287 1082 (from UK) +44 71 287 1082 (from outside UK)
        England  : ENGLAND: Books Nippon (Nippon Shuppan Hanbai) Ltd. 64-66
          St. Paulis Churchyard, London EC4M 8AA, Tel: 071-248 4956 (from UK)
          +44 71 248 4956 (from outside UK) Fax: 071-489 1171 (from UK) 
          +44 71 489 1171 (from outside UK)
        France   : Europe Press (Librairie Tokyo-Do) Bank of Tokyo Bldg, 
          4-8 Rue Sainte-Anne, 75001 Paris, Tel.42610871
        Germany  : Nippon Shuppan Hanbai, Deutschland GMBH Immermannstr, 45 
          4000 Dusseldorf, Tel. 49-211-365617
        Germany  : T. Takagi GMBH Immermannstr, 31 4000 Dusseldorf 
          Tel. 0211-36046314
        Belgium  : Euro Nippon, Ch. de Vleurgat 119, 1050 Bruxelles
        Sweden   : San-Ai Tegnergatan 15, 11140 Stockholm . Tel.8-202854
        Other places:  Nippon IPS Co. Ltd, 11-6, 3 chome, Iidabashi, 
          Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102, Tel. (03)3238-0700, Fax (03)3238-0707.
5.1.2 An Introduction to Modern Japanese by Osamu and Nobuko Mizutani
      General Information: Publisher: Japan Times. 1977. ISBN 4-7890-0058-3
        Price: 3510 Yen
      Main Features: both kanji/romaji, furigana where necessary. 
        tapes available
5.1.3 Japanese: The Spoken Language (Parts 1-3) by Eleanor Harz Jorden and
         Mari Noda
      General Information: Publisher: Yale University Press. 1987. ISBN 
         0-300-03834-8 Price: 16.85 pounds
      Main Features: all romaji but explanations good
5.1.4 Japanese for Busy People I by the Association for Japanese-Language
      General Information: Publisher: Kodansha International. 1984.
        ISBN 0-87011-599-5 Price: 15.95 pounds, 3100 Yen, $19.95
      Main Features: both kanji (?) and romaji, furigana where neccessary. 
        Two tapes available. 
5.1.5 Japanese for Busy People II by the Association for Japanese-Language
      General Information: Publisher: Kodansha International. 1990.
        ISBN 0-87011-919-2 Price: 16.95 pounds, 3500 Yen, $22.95
      Main Features: big step from part one, 6 tapes available
5.1.6 Japanese for Today
      General Information: (no or unknown author), Publisher: Gakken, year
        1973 (26th print 1985), ISBN 4-05-050154-6, Y 3500 (in Japan)
      Main Features: 30 lessons in the modern language, with every lesson
        divided in: kanji+kana reading section, grammar, vocabulary, 
        conversation. Cassette tapes for the book can be bought separately
        (details and price unknown).
      Review by Nico A.F.M. Poppelier ( (edited)
5.1.7 The languages of Japan by M. Shibatani
      General Information: Publisher: Cambridge Language Surveys 1991
        (paperback), 411 pages including index, ISBN 0-521-36918-5
      Main Features: A very detailed scholarly study of Japan's two 
        indigenous languages, Ainu and Japanese. Interesting reading. Gives 
        some information on recent viewpoints regarding origin of Japanese 
      Review by Nico A.F.M. Poppelier ( (edited)
5.2 Focus on Kanji, Reading and Writing
5.2.1 A Japanese Reader - Graded Lessons for Mastering the Written Language
      General Information: A Japanese Reader, by Roy Andrew Miller, published 
        by Tuttle Language Library. ISBN 0-8048-1647-6, 250+ pages, English
        and Japanese, first edition 1962, third printing 1991. I forgot the
      Main Features: Present 75 graded lessons for reading japanese. Each 
        lesson haves a text in Japanese and explanations and translations 
        (reading notes) for some words in English. It is presumed that the
        reader have some background in Japanese. The first 12 lessons cover
        hiragana and katakana, lessons 13-17 some basic kanjis, lessons 18-30
        elementary reading, 31-47 intermediate, 48-59 advanced fiction and
        60-75 advanced non-fiction, making it useful for readers from the
        novice until the upper-intermediate level. It makes a lot of references
        to Samuel Martin's "Essential Japanese" and Florence Sakade et al. 
        "A Guide to Reading and Writing Japanese". It presents the words and 
        kanjis in a context in almost all of the lessons.
5.2.2 Basic Technical Japanese by Edward E. Daub, R. Byron BIrd, and Nobuo
      General Information: Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press. 1990.
        ISBN 0-299-12730-3 Price: 31.95 pounds, $35
      Main Features: Full course in reading technical Japanese articles.
        Covers kana, kanji, and grammar. Designed for those who know no
5.2.3 Remembering the Kanji: A complete course on how not to forget the  
	 meaning and writing of Japanese characters by James W. Heisig 
      General Information: Publisher: Japan Publications Trading Co. 1986
         (3rd) ISBN 0-87040-739-2 Price: 4000 Yen, $29.95
      Main Features: controversial method. Its' introduction makes the claim
        that about 2000 kanji can be 'learnt' in about four weeks. There has
         been considerable conflict in sci.lang.japan and soc.culture.japan
         as to whether learning one English keyword for each kanji and how
         to write it constitutes "learning" a kanji or not. Some people 
         say that you cannot claim to have 'learnt' these kanji without 
         learning significant Japanese vocabulary associated with them,
         something no-one claims can be done in four weeks. Others say that
         Heisig's course (he does not claim to have invented the method) 
         teaches the 'kanji', separate from vocabulary and pronounciation 
         with which are associated, but semantically separate parts the 
         Japanese language. These of course must be learnt if you are to learn
         "The Japanese Language", rather than just a very small part of it.
      Review by Ross-c ( (edited)
5.2.4 Remembering the Kanji: A systematic guide to reading Japanese 
        characters by James W. Heisig 
      General Information: Publisher: Japan Publications Trading Co. 1987 
        ISBN 0-87040-748-1
5.2.5 A guide to remembering Japanese characters by Kenneth G. Henshall
      General Information: Publisher: Tuttle Language Library 1988 
        (6th printing 1992), 675 pages, including stroke-count and on-kun 
        index, ISBN 0-8048-1532-1
      Main Features: Covers all Joyo kanji. Gives explanation of development 
        of character, plus mnemonics for studying. Every kanji is given in
        handwritten form first (no clues for stroke order however), and in 
        printed form in the 3-4 combinations that are given for each kanji.
      Review by Nico A.F.M. Poppelier ( (edited)
5.2.6 Aspects of the Japanese writing system, edited by Chris Seeley
      General Information: Journal: Visible Language XVIII 3, Summer 1984 
        (special issue), 303 pages ISSN 0022-2224
      Main Features: A historical overview of Japanese orthography. Very 
        worthwhile reading for those students of the Japanese language who 
        are interested in the history of the writing system.
      Review by Nico A.F.M. Poppelier ( (edited)
5.2.7 Comprehending Technical Japanese by Edward E. Daub, R. Byron Bird, 
        and Nobuo Inoue
      General Information: Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press. 1990.
        ISBN 0-299-06680-0 Price: $35
      Main Features: Like "Basic Technical Japanese" (5.2.2) but intended
        to those that have taken 1-2 years of Japanese.
      Review by Ken Lunde (
5.3 Focus on Grammar 
5.3.1 Particles Plus - A Complete Guide to the Usage of Particles in Modern 
        Japanese, by Atsuko Kawashima  
      General Information: Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Japan
        Publishers Tokyo, 1992. ISBN: 4-8337-5105-4, 3800 yens (tax 
        included), 350pp, English and Japanese. 
      Main Features: It presents a detailed study of the use of modern
        particles (tenioha) in Modern Japanese, with some examples of the
        use of each one, and translations/approximations on English. 
        Examples in Japanese came with Furigana but are simple phrases,
        easy to read. Indicated for upper-beginner or intermediate study,
        since the topics are presented as in a dictionary. 
5.3.1 End of review of Particles Plus by
5.3.2 All About Particles (Power Japanese series) by Naoko Chino
      General Information: Publisher: Kodansha International. 1991. ISBN
        0-87011-954-0 Price: $6.95/1000 yen/4.95 pounds
      Main Features: Explanation of particles with examples in kanji/kana
         and romaji. It provides examples and tells what other particles
         would be similar or related to the one you are looking up.
5.3.3 A Handbook of Japanese Usage by Francis G. Drohan
      General Information: Publisher: Charles E. Tuttle. 1992. ISBN 
        0-8048-1610-7 Price: 12.95 pounds
      Main Features: Function words (prefixes, suffixes, particles and 
5.3.4 Handbook of Modern Japanese Grammar by Yoko M. McClain
      General Information: Publisher: Hokuseido Press. 1981. ISBN
        4-590-00570-0 Price: 12.10 pounds/2300 Yen
      Main Features: Good coverage of phrasal verbs, conjunctions,adverbs etc.
5.3.5 Essential Japanese Grammar by Everett F. Bleiler
      General Information: Publisher: Dover/Constable. 1963. 0-486-21027-8
        Price: $2.95/2.35 pounds
      Main Features: Good for beginners
5.3.6 A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino and Michio 
      General Information: Publisher: Japan Times. 1986/89. ISBN 4-7890-0454-6
        Price: 2890 yen
      Main Features: Particles and verb constructions, good explanations 
        with lots of examples in kana-kanji and romaji. This book lists a 
        great number of forms and particles and has a wonderful appendix.  
        It's in dictionary format so it's easy to look things up and it
        not only provides detailed explanations with examples but tells 
        what other forms are similar and when is best to use each kind.
5.3.7 A reference grammar of Japanese by Samuel E. Martin
      General Information: Publisher: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1988 
        (originally Yale University, 1975) 1198 pages including index, $62.95.
        ISBN 0-8048-1550-X
      Main Features: The absolute number-one grammar book for Japanese. A 
        comprehensive, monumental reference work that so far has answered 
        every single one of my queries on the Japanese grammar. Contains
        many examples from everyday speech, including the language's many 
        dialects. Special sections on literary language, epistolary 
        language, and other stylized or formal grammatical forms.
      Review by Nico A.F.M. Poppelier ( (edited)
5.3.8 Handbook of Japanese grammar by Harold G. Henderson
      General Information: Publisher: George Allen&Unwin 1945 (but check out
        Hughton Mifflin Company, who published a revised edition at some 
      Main Features: Consists of two parts. Part I is an introduction to the 
        grammar of the classical language (not very good). Part II is a 
        dictionary of particles, suffixes and other connectives, and this 
        part is the best part of the book: very handy to have around when 
        you're reading books, stories and diaries from the Heian period and 
      Review by Nico A.F.M. Poppelier ( (edited)
5.3.9 An historical grammar of Japanese by Sir George Sansom
      General Information: Publisher: Oxford at the Clarendon Press 1928
        (reprinted in 1946, 1960 and 1968).
      Main Features: Old, but still the best book in English that I know,
        which deals with the grammar of classical Japanese. [Note: if someone
        has a better reference, I'm interested!]
      Review by Nico A.F.M. Poppelier ( (edited)
5.4 Focus on Conversation
5.4.1 Colloquial Japanese by H.D.B Clarke and Motoko Hamamura
      General Information: Publisher: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1981. 
        ISBN 0-7100-05995-4 Price: 7.95 pounds
      Main Features: all romaji
5.4.2 Japanese for all Occasions by Anne Kaneko
      General Information: Publisher: Charles Tuttle. 1991. ISBN 0-8048-1567-4
        Price: 10.25 pounds
      Main Features: Language/culture. Sections on Telephones, shopping, 
        gift giving, and weddings.
5.4.3 Rii to Kuraku no Bouken (The Adventures of Lee and Clark) by
      Akira Yamakami and Yoko Tsuruta
      General Information: Publisher: Edition Eastview SARL
        33-14-110 Honmachi 1-choume Shibuya-ku Tokyo 151 Ph: 03-3320-1597
      Main Features: Level: Intermediate Conversational (suggested after
        "An Introduction to Modern Japanese", 5.1.2). The tapes focus on
        conversational Japanese.  They include sample conversations in the
        form of an ongoing mystery story involving Lee and Clark, as well 
        as drills for the new grammatical constructions and patterns. The
        accompanying book has complete transcriptions of all the material 
        on the tapes, as well as excellent explanations of the grammar and 
        usage styles of the conversations.  The book is entirely in Japanese
        (NO ROMAJI) except for English translations of some vocabulary words.
        All explanations are in Japanese.  The recorded material is 
        interesting, funny, and original, a real pleasure to listen to and 
        work with. Very highly recommended. (review by Ken DeLong)    
5.5 Dictionaries
5.5.1 Wa-Ei, Ei-Wa Dictionaries
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kenkyusha's Furigana English-Japanese Dictionary
      General Information: Published by Kenkyusha in 1990, a version of a 
        dictionary originally designed for Japanese users. 49000 headwords
        in 980+ pages, no illustrations, 2000 yens, tax included. 
        ISBN 4-7674-1172-6.
      Main Features: For each entry in English, present one or more entries 
        in Japanese. Each kanji have it individual furigana group, making it
        easy to get the individual reading for a kanji in a word with lots 
        of them. Cover some slang, famous people names and technical words.
        Some people dislike the lack of a context of the word in the examples,
        so it is difficult to discover which is the correct translations when 
        the word in english have more than one translation in japanese.  
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Japanese-English Dictionary of Japanese Culture by KOJIMA Setsuko 
      and Gene A. Crane
      General Information: ISBN 0-89346-336-1, published by Heian 
        International, Inc., First American edition 1991, 414 pages, 
        hard cover, US$ 15
      Main Features: With approximately 1350 entries, from fields such as 
        art, history, religion, martial arts, annual events, manners and 
        customs, food, clothing, housing, geography, literature, education
        and social affairs, this dictionary offers a handy reference to 
        terminology usual dictionaries hardly cover. Entries are given in
        romaji (Hepburn), followed by kanji, an explanation and, in most 
        cases, cross references. Most entries are accompanied by kanji
        renditions of important terms used in the explanation.
      Review by Olaf Meeuwissen
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------  The Japan Foundation Basic Japanese-English Dictionary.
      General Information: Publisher: Bonjinsha. 1986. ISBN 4-89358-004-3.
         Price: Yen 2500 (also Oxford University Press?)
      Main Features: Excellent, extensive examples, romaji/kana/kanji, 
         wa-ei only
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------  The Practical English-Japanese Dictionary by Noah S. Brannen
      General Information: Publisher: Weatherhill. 1991. ISBN 0-8348-0187-6
        Price: $19.95/12.95 pounds
      Main Features: Pocket size. Good (passes the "wife" test). 
        Kanji-Kana and Romaji
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yohan English-Japanese, Japanese-English Dictionary.
      General Information: Publisher: Yohan Publications Inc. 1983. 
        ISBN 4-89684-700-3 (also Websters)
      Main Features: Small, romaji/kanji, wa-ei/ei-wa
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- English Romanized Japanese Dictionary for Practical Conversation.
      General Information: Publisher: Japan Travel Bureau Inc. 1984.
        ISBN 4-533-00329-X Price: Yen 2600
      Main Features: Romaji only. Capitalisation to indicate accent. ei-wa.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Martin's Pocket Dictionary: English-Japanese, Japanese-English (by
        Samuel E. Martin)
      General Information: Publisher: Charles E. Tuttle. 1990. 
        ISBN 0-8048-1588-7  
      Main Features: ei-wa, wa-ei, romaji only, passes "wife" test
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All Romanized English-Japanese Dictionary by Hyoujun Roumaji Kai (?)
      General Information: Publisher: Charles E. Tuttle. 1973. 
        ISBN 0-8048-1118-0 Price: $7.95, 6.25 pounds
      Main Features: all romaji
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Kenkyusha Japanese-English Learner's Dictionary, edited by
        Shigeru Takebayashi
      General Information: Published by Kenkyusha in 1992. Edited
        specifically for foreigners studying Japanese. 1,121 pages,
        illustrations, usage notes, 4,200 yen, tax included.
      Main Features: All entries in romaji with kana/kanji and English
        equivalents. Headwords marked for accent. Complete grammatical
        information, useful pictures (kappu vs. koppu, for example), lots
        of usage examples. Good for beginning and intermediate students,
        but too few entries for reading or translation. No kanji index.
      Review by Tom Gally ( (edited)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kodansha's Romanized Japanese-English Dictionary, by Timothy J.
      General Information: Published in 1992. Based on a Japanese-English
        dictionary for Japanese students, but completely rewritten for
        foreign users. 666 pages, no illustrations, usage notes, 3,800
        yen, tax included.
      Main Features: All entries in romaji with kana/kanji and English
        equivalents. Headwords marked for accent. Complete grammatical
        information. Very similar in size and quality to The Kenkyusha 
        Japanese-English Learner's Dictionary.
      Review by Tom Gally ( (edited)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kogo jiten 
      General Information: Publisher: Kodansha 1969, Y 1550 (in Japan), 
        1173 pages, ISBN 4-06-121009-2
      Main Features: As a dictionary of classical Japanese (kogo jiten=
        dictionary of the old language) not unique, but it's one of the best 
        in its kind. Pocket-sized. Invaluable for study of the classical 
        language. Contains many tables and pictures, charts of Heian-kyo, 
        and some charts are even in colour (dyes and patterns of kimonoes). 
     Review by Nico A.F.M. Poppelier ( (edited)
     OBS: I believe that this is a Japanese-Japanese dictionary (Rafael).
5.5.2 Kanji Dictionaries
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- New Japanese-English Character Dictionary by Jack Halpern (ed)
     General Information: Publisher: Kenkyusha. 1990. ISBN 4-7674-9040-5,
       Price: 8000 Yen
     Main Features: Easy indexing, core meanings, compounds, synonyms,
        homophones, indication of usage, stroke order. various indexes 
        (jouyou, frequency, synonym groups, on/kun readings)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A New Dictionary of Kanji Usage 
     General Information: Publisher: Gakken. 1982. ISBN 4-05-051805-8
       Price: 4800 Yen
     Main Features: Presented in frequency order (on/kun, stroke count,
        meaning indexes) Lots of compounds, stroke order. 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Modern Reader's Japanese-English Character Dictionary (2nd Revised
	  Edition) by Andrew N. Nelson
     General Information: Publisher: Charles E. Tuttle. 1974. ISBN
      Main Features: Classic reference.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Complete Guide to Everyday Kanji by Yaeko S. Habein and Gerald B.
     General Information: Publisher: Kodansha International. 1991. ISBN
      Price: 3800 Yen/18.95 pounds/$24.95
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Beginners' Dictionary of Chinese-Japanese Characters by Arthur 
     General Information: Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. 1977 
          (based on 1959). ISBN 0-486-23467-3, Price: 7.95 pounds
       Main Features: Out of date
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Practical Guide to Japanese Signs (1st part) by Tae Moriyama
     General Information: Publisher: Kodansha International. 1987. 
       ISBN 0-87011-790-4 Price: 1600 Yen/$9.95/6.95 pounds
     Main Features: Explanation and origins of kanji that you are likely to
       find in situations such as train stations, post offices, restaurants. 
       Based on a weekly newspaper column.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shotai jiten 
     General Information: Publisher: Nobarasha 1965 (9th edition 1989), 
       Y 2800 (in Japan), no ISBN given
     Main Features: Not very well-known, but probably the best book for 
       learning how to write kanji with a brush. There's a little companion
       for the kana. Contains a lot of kanji, though not all Joyo kanji, 
       with the classical Chinese originals, modern simplified Chinese forms,
       and calligraphic examples from many historical and contemporary 
       masters. Includes stroke-count and on-kun index.
     Review by Nico A.F.M. Poppelier ( (edited)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Japanese Character Dictionary: With Compound Lookup via Any Kanji
          by Mark Spahn and Wolfgang Hadamitzky
     General Information: published by Cheng & Tsui Company in U.S., 1991
       Nichigai Associates in Japan, 1989, ISBN 0-88727-170-7 (U.S. edition)
       1669 pages
     Main Features: As the title implies, the main feature of this book is 
       compound lookup by any Kanji.  This is great if the second or third 
       character in a compound is easier to find than the first character.  
       The book is bright yellow with three blue stipes (in U.S. edition at
       least) and cost me $39.95 at Kinokuniya New York.  Spahn and 
       Hadamitzky have also published several titles with Tuttle.  I think 
       this is a great book and finally replaced my Nelson for most uses 
       (Nelson is still more extensive)
     Review by Garrick Blalock ( (edited)
5.5.3 Vocabulary Books
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Body" Language (Power Japanese series) by Jeffrey G. Garrison
     General Information: Publisher: Kondansha International. 1990. 
       ISBN 0-87011-955-9 Price: $6.95/1000 yen/4.95 pounds
     Main Features: This book details various idioms that use parts of the 
       body and categorizes them by body part. It provides sample sentences
       but unfortunately does not explain how the phrase came to be used as
       an idiom. Examples in kanji/romaji
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Instant Vocabulary through Prefixes and Suffixes (Power Japanese 
          series) by Timothy J. Vance
     General Information: Publisher: Kondansha International. 1990.
       ISBN 0-87011-953-2 Price: $6.95/1000 yen/4.95 pounds
     Main Features: Kanji used as common prefix/suffix (eg: dai-, sai-,
        -butsu) Examples of usage in kanji/romaji.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Dictionary of Japanese and English Idiomatic Equivalents by 
          Charles Corwin (ed)
     General Information: Publisher: Kodansha International. 1968.
       ISBN 0-87011-1116 Price: 16.95 pounds, 3900 Yen
     Main Features: idiomatic equivalents (with example sentences) indexed 
       under 222 Japanese thought categories with cross-reference from English
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Minimum Essential Politeness: A Guide to the Japanese Honorific 
	  Language by Agnes M. Niyekawa 
     General Information: Publisher: Kodansha International. 1991. ISBN
       4-7700-1624-7 Price: 2000 Yen/12.95 pounds/$14.95
     Main Features: Explains respect language, ingroup/outgroup distinctions,
       status. The appropriate level for various occasions, respect words
       and how to construct respect forms.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Making out in Japanese by Todd and Erica Geers 
     General Information: Publisher: Yen Books (Charles Tuttle). 1988. 
       ISBN 0-8048-1541-0 Price: $5.95
  Main Features: Colloquial expressions, lover's talk, and insults
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Japanese Names by P. G. O'Neill
     General Information: Publisher: Weatherhill Inc. 1972. ISBN 0-8348-0225-2
       Price: $22.50/14.95 pounds
     Main Features: Personal and place names. Character to pronounciation 
       and vice-versa
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Japanese in Action (Revised Edition) by Jack Seward
     General Information: Publisher: Weatherhill. 1968/83. ISBN 0-8348-0033-0
       Price: $12.50/6.95 pounds
     Main Features: Unorthodox, very interesting.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- An Illustrated Dictionary of Japanese Onomatopoeic Expressions by 
          Taro Gomi
     General Information: Publisher: Japan Times. 1989. ISBN 4-78990-0482-1
        Price: 11.50 pounds/1550 Yen
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Japanese Street Slang, by Peter Constantine
      General Information: Published in 1992. No illustrations. 190 pages,
      Main Features: Covers slang for all the subjects your Japanese
        teacher will be too embarrassed to mention: sex, crime, drugs,
        etc. Many taboo words. Each headword followed by an essay on the 
        word and similar vocabulary. Many sentence examples with idiomatic 
        English translations. Romaji only. Both Japanese and English 
        indexes. Recommended if you plan to become a heroin-addicted pimp 
        who hangs out with a motorcycle gang. End of review of Japanese Street Slang by
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Beyond Polite Japanese, by Akihiko Yonekawa, translated by Jeff 
        Garrison, extensively rewritten by Michael Brase (Power Japanese 
      General Information: Published in 1992. 173 pages. No illustrations. 
        1,200 yen. US$8.00.
      Main Features: All entries in romaji with kana/kanji and English 
        equivalents. Japanese index. Less racy than "Japanese Street 
        Slang" but more practical for most students of Japanese. End of review of Beyond Polite Japanese by
5.6 Japanese Culture
5.6.1 Mangajin - Japanese Pop Culture and Language Learning
      General Information: Mangajin is published 10 times in a year, monthly 
        except January and July, by Mangajin Inc. 90 pp, some pages in color.
        1030 yens in Japan, tax included or Us$ 4.50, subscriptions for 1
        year (10 magazines) 9000 yens / Us$ 30 
      Main Features: Offers Japanese manga (comics) with translations and
        explanations in English, and some American cartoons with translations/
        explanations in Japanese. Have columns on Japanese on the computer, 
        books reviews and Basic Japanese by mangas. Some topics of Japanese 
        culture are presented too. Offers to the readers Japanese comics and 
        books on Japanese Culture and Language. Good for learning something 
        you will not find in books (slang, dialects, politeness/common speech).
      Addresses of publisher/distributors overseas: 
        Publisher: USA: Mangajin Inc. - P.O. Box 7119, Marietta, GA 30065 
          Tel. 800-552-3206 (subscription hotline), fax 404-590-0890
        Japan    : Sekai Shuppan Kenkyu Centre, 2-18-9 Minami-Aoyama,
          Minato-ku, Tokyo 107. Tel. (03) 3479-4434, Fax (03) 3479-4436
        Australia: Intext Book Company Pty. Ltd. 412 Heidelberg Road, 
          Fairfield, VIC. 3078 Tel. 03-486-1755, FAX 03-486-1235
        Australia: The Language Centre 555 Beaufort Street, Mt. Lawley
          Tel. 09-328-8965, Fax 09-328-6161
        England  : Japan Centre Bookshop, 212 Piccadilly, London W1V 9LD, 
          Tel: 071-439 8035 (from UK) +44 71 439 8035 (from outside UK)
          Fax: 071-287 1082 (from UK) +44 71 287 1082 (from outside UK)
        New Zealand: Credence Development Ltd. P.O.Box 2559, Auckland. 
          Tel. 09 303-4227, Fax 09 358-3993
        Germany: Japan Service, Hauptstr. 14, D-65558 Hirschberg/Lahn
          phone&fax: +49-6439-5167
5.6.1 End of review of Mangajin by 
5.6.2 Hiragana Times
      General Information: Hiragana Times is published monthly, by Y.A.C. 
        Planning Inc., 80 pages, some in color. 250 yens in Japan, including 
        tax. Prices vary in other countries, because the magazine is 
        distributed by air mail by the Oversea Courier Service Co.Ltd.
        Ask the distributor for local telephones/addresses near you.
      Main Features: Have articles on Japanese culture topics, usually 
        topics you will not find in other Japanese culture books/magazines 
        for foreigners, like Racism, Yellow Cab, Aids, politics. Almost all 
        in the magazine is bilingual, Japanese and English, and the Japanese
        part haves furigana over the kanjis, making it easy to read. Have 
        sections on recommended books, visas, letters and offer of homestays. 
      Addresses of publisher/distributors overseas:
        Publisher: Japan: Y.A.C. Planning, Inc. 902 Towa Shinjuku Copo, 
          2-6-3 Shinjuku-ku,Shinjuku, Tokyo 160. Tel. 03-3341-8989, 
          fax 03-3341-8987
      Distributor overseas (headquarter): Japan: Oversea Courier Service Co.,
          Ltd., 2-9 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108, Tel. (03)5476-8131, 
          fax (03)-3453-9338
5.6.2 End of review of Hiragana Times by 
5.6.3 Eye-AI - A magazine on Japanese Culture and entertainment.
      General Information: Eye-AI is published monthly by Riverfield Inc.
        54 pp, black and white, 410 yens in Japan, including tax. Us$ 2.25
        in Hawaii.
      Main Features: Articles in English about some topics of Japanese
        culture, and lots of information on the Japanese pop art world.
        Feature interviews with actors/singers, articles on travel, living
        in Japan (i.e. Tokyo), mail order of Japanese CDs and videos.
      Addresses of publisher/distributors overseas:
        Publisher: Japan: Y.A.C. Planning, Inc. 902 Towa Shinjuku Copo, 
          2-6-3 Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160. Tel. 03-3341-8989,
          fax 03-3341-8987
        USA (Hawaii): Jack Shigemasa. P.O.Box 548, Pearl City, Hawaii 96782
5.6.3 End of review of Eye-AI by 
5.7 Other related books  
5.7.1 Japan Through John Lennon's Eyes - A Personal Sketchbook
      General Information: 21.95 plus s&h, from Cadence Books
      Main Features: John Lennon's ingenious sketches depicting the words,
        phrases, and actions he was learning in Japanese. A rare insight into
        John's creative genius - a glimpse at how he perceived both ordinary 
        events and the spiritual concepts of Japan. With the original Japanese 
        letters, transliteration and English translation for each word, phrase
        or sentence, this is a great tool for students learning Japanese.
5.7.1 End of review of Japan Through John Lennon's Eyes - ad on Mangajin 20
5.7.2 Understanding Japanese Information Processing - Ken Lunde
      General Information: Price $29.95 (estimated), 470 pages,
        Published by O'Reilly and Associates, Inc. ISBN 1-56592-043-0
      Main Features: "Understanding Japanese Information Processing" is a book
        that provides detailed information on all aspects of handling Japanese
        text on computer systems. It tries to bring all of the relevant 
        information together in a single book. It covers everything from the
        origins of modern-day Japanese to the latest information on specific
        emerging computer encoding standards. Topis covered includes: The 
        Japanese writing system, Japanese character set standards, Japanese 
        encoding methods, Japanese input, Japanese output, Japanese code 
        conversion techniques, Japanese code and text processing tools,
        Japanese e-mail. In addition, there are over 15 appendices which 
        provide additional reference material, such as a code conversion 
        table, character set tables, mapping tables, an extensive list of 
        software sources, a glossary, and much more.
      Address of publisher/distributors overseas: 
        Publisher: USA: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. 103 Morris Street, 
          Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472 - Tels (800) 998-9938 (707) 829-0515 
          Fax: (707) 829-0104 UUCP: uunet!ora!nuts Internet:, 

        Europe and Africa: 
        UK: International Thomson Publishing Services, Ltd. Cheriton House, 
          North Way, Andover, Hampshire SP10 5BE. Tel: 44-264-332424, Fax:
          44-264-364418 (UK orders), 44-264-342761 (outside UK), E-mail:

        Germany: International Thomson Publishing GmbH, O'Reilly-International
          Thomson Verlag, Attn: Mr. G. Miske. Konigswinterer Strasse 418,
          53227 Bonn. Tel: 49-228-445171, Fax: 49-228-441342, E-mail
          (CompuServe): 100272,2422, E-mail (Internet): 

        Asia (east of Iran and the Caspian Sea, excluding Japan): 
        Singapore: International Thomson Publishing Asia, Attn: Rebecca Long, 
          221 Henderson Road, #05 10 Henderson Building, Singapore 0315
          Tel: 65-268-7867, Fax: 65-268-6727
        Australia: WoodsLane Pty Limited. Unit 8, 101 Darley St. (P.O. 
          Box 935), Mona Vale NSW 2103. Tel: 61-2-979-5944, Fax: 61-2-997-3348
        Japan: Toppan Company, Ltd., Ochanomizu Square B, 1-6, Kanda 
          Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101. Tel: 81-3-3295-3461, 
          Fax: 81-3-3293-5963
        North, Central and South America and Oceania: same as publisher
        New Zealand:  WoodsLane New Zealand Ltd, 7 Purnell Street  
         (P.O. Box 575), Wanganui, Tel: 64-6-3476543, Fax: 64-6-3454840
       or in Kinokuniya stores.
      Review by the author (Ken Lunde) (edited)
5.8 Manga (comics)
    This will be controversial... I want to list here some mangas that
    can help on Japanese study. They have several advantages over "normal"
    text: are very abundant in several difficulty levels, are very cheap
    (I believe even outside Japan) and are more interesting ;-) The 
    disadvantages are: some are garbage, and maybe difficult to get in
    some places. Anyway, they *can* be used for learning, and I am an
    amateur mangaholic, so here it goes. Before, an introduction by
    Alfredo Liu-Perez, based on the alt.arts.anime FAQ and with some
    comments (in parenthesis):
        Manga: Pronounced "man-gah". Manga are Japanese comic books and 
        have their roots in Ukiyo-e wood prints and other traditional art.
        There are no hard rules in defining manga, but here are some 
        general characteristics:
        1. Drawn in black and white (sometimes over colored paper. For
           some compilations, the first pages of the main story are in
           full-color. There is maybe an explanation for it, but I could
           not figure it out yet).
        2. Compilations of several manga may appear in thick paperback books
           of more than 700 pages! (that will be read in minutes: some
           pages are only onomatopoeia, that can describe anything you can
        3. They can be quite graphically violent and erotic (including some
           in compilations for young people).
        4. Most mangas are stories that continue, like soap operas, but 
           after a some years will end (and they mean *end* - not like 
           DC or Marvel comics, that can even ressurect the same 50-year
        5. They are created and drawn by the same person (always ?).
        Manga related postings can be posted in rec.arts.manga.
    I will divide tentatively the Manga section in 5 degrees of difficulty.
    I think that it is impossible to classify the compilations with several
    stories, so I will just comment on the titles that are republished as
    books. Of course, the complexity of the storyline is only sometimes 
    related with the difficulty of the language used. Some of them cannot
    be classified in a 1-5 grade, so other classification with explanation
    is provided.
    The 5 classifications are:
    Level 1: Very Easy Manga: Almost all words are in Hiragana, and even some
      Katakana words have Furigana in Hiragana. Sometimes the words are
      separated to make an easier reading. Usually no Kanjis.
    Level 2: Easy Manga: Almost all Kanjis have furigana, except the very 
      obvious ones. Usually no furigana for katakana.
    Level 3: This is the average manga for the average reader (foreigner, 
      of course :-) requires a fair knowledge of kanjis and vocabulary.
    Level 4: Harder to read, almost no furiganas, words not so common or 
      easy to understand.
    Level 5: A real challenge. No furiganas except on some obscure readings,
      kanjis and words sometimes technical. 
5.8.1. Urusei Yatsura, by Takahashi Rumiko (Shogakukan)
    Story: Series. Aliens, schoolboys, inter-racial relations, 
      inter-planetary confusion. Lum, of course, is great.
    Level: 2 (all kanjis with furigana) Printed face, some slang.
5.8.2 Eigyou Tenteko Nisshi by Gyuu Jirou and Kondou Yousuke (Scholar)
    Story: Adventures of a salesman for a big appliance company.
    Level: 4 (furigana only for some unusual readings), printed face.
5.8.3 O.L. Shinkaron by Akizuki Risu (Kodansha)
    Story: Stripes. Office-ladies shows the other side of the Japanese 
      working women.  
    Level: 3.5 (no furiganas), printed face.
5.8.4 Oishinbo, by Kariya Tetsu and Hanasaki Akira (Shougakkan)
    Story: Series. The search for the ultimate menu. Tips on cooking, too.
    Level: 4 (furigana only on some unusual readings), printed face.
5.8.5 O-jama Shimasu, by Imazeki Shin (Take Shobou)
    Story: Stripes. Surrealistic stories, sometimes about sheep counting. 
    Level: 2.5 (few text, no furiganas), handwritten face.
5.8.6 Obatarian, by Hotta Katsuhiko (Take Shobou)
    Story: Stripes. Obnoxious old ladies, don't care for the others, fun to 
      read, but avoid them in real life. 
    Level: 3 (easy kanjis, but no furigana). Handwritten face.
5.8.7 Korobokkuru-kun, by Hanawa Kazuichi (Kodansha)
    Story: Short, weird, stories.
    Level: 2 (with furiganas), printed face.
5.8.8 Konnichi wa Kuriko-san, by Terashima Reiko (Take Shobou)
    Story: Stripes. Life in Kuriko's family.
    Level: 3.5 (no furiganas), printed face.
5.8.9 Ginga Tetsudou 999, by Matsumoto Reiji (Shounen Gahousha)
    Story: Series. In the future a young man search for the meaning of life 
      and a mechanical body that will allow him to live longer.
    Level: 4, lots of technical/sci-fi words but with furiganas even in
      the easy ones. Printed face.
5.8.10 Koko Dake no Futari by Morishita Hiromi (Take Shobou)
    Story: Short stories about a couple's life.
    Level: 2 (no furigana), printed face.
5.8.11 Sarari-kun, by Nishimura Sou 
    Story: Stripes about the life of a salaryman.
    Level: 2.5 (few text, no furiganas), handwritten face.
5.8.12 Sarariman Senka, by Sadao Shoji (Kodansha)
    Story: Short stories about the life of yeat another salaryman.
    Level: 3 (few text, no furiganas), handwritten face.
5.8.13 Tanaka-kun by Tanaka Hiroshi (Take Shobou)
    Story: Stripes. Adventures of an anti-hero salaryman. No car, no
      girlfriend, no style, no luck, but ability to get in trouble with the
Level: 3, handwritten face
5.8.14 Dai-Tokyo Binbou Seikatsu Manyuaru by Maekawa Tsukasa (Kodansha)
    Story: Short stories about a don't-worry-be-happy life of a guy in
      Tokyo. I don't know that he does for a living - and neither does him.
    Level: 4, printed face
5.8.15 Chinmoku no Kantai byKawaguchi Kaiji (Kodansha)
    Story: Series about a Japanese submarine that defects and becomes a 
      sovereign nation.
    Level: 5 (furigana only for some loan words and names, lots of technical
      words), printed face.
5.8.16 Tsurumoku Dokushinryou by Kubonouchi Eisaku (Shougakkan)
    Story: Sometimes serious, sometimes gag series about life in a big
    Level: 3.5 (no furigana), printed face, sometimes handwritten
5.8.17 Ningen Kousaten by Yajima Masao and Hirokane Kenshi (Shogakukan)
    Story: Short stories about human beings. Very realistic even in the art,
      deals with social issues.
    Level: 4.5, printed face
5.8.18 Bakuhatsu Sunzen, by Tanioka Yasuji (KK Best Book)
    Story: Gag, short, absurd stories.
    Level: 2 (few kanjis, no furigana), handwritten face.
5.8.19 Hi no tori (The Phoenix) by Tezuka Osamu (Tezuka Productions)
    Story: Long, philosophical story about the meaning of life
    Level: 3.5 (furigana for all kanjis, but lots of difficult words),
      printed face.
5.8.20 Benramei Tou-chan by Tachibanaya Kikutarou (Take Shobou)
    Story: Stripes about a die-hard Edokko
    Level: 2.5 (almost no kanjis, no furiganas, but lots of hougen),
      handwritten face.
5.8.21 Bono-bono by Igarashi Mikio (Take Shobou)
    Story: Short stories about a sea otter and its friends.
    Level: 2 (almost no kanjis, no furiganas either), handwritten face.
5.8.22 Poketto Suto-ri (Pocket Story) by Mori Masayuki (Kodansha)
    Story: Short and light stories about life, small things and feelings.
      Nice to read, almost poetic.
    Level: 2.5 (few words, but no furigana), printed face
5.8.23 What's Michael by Kobayashi Makoto (Kodansha)
    Story: Not the Japanese Garfield - Michael is sometimes a cat, sometimes
      a salaryman, sometimes a parody to 'Planet of the Apes'.
    Level: 3.5 (no furiganas), printed face.
6. Japanese Language Schools and Proficiency Tests
6.1 Schools in Japan
6.1.1 Berlitz Japan, tel. 81-3-3589-3525
6.2 Schools outside Japan
6.2.1 Berlitz USA, tel. 800-528-7929
6.3 Proficiency tests in Japan
6.3.1 Nihongo Nouryoku Shiken - Japanese Language Proficiency Test
      This test is administered by the Ministry of Education in Japan and
      the Foreign Ministry abroad. It is divided in 4 levels, Level 1 being 
      the highest level of difficulty, 4 the lowest. The following info was
      extracted from the manuals for the test:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Objectives of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test
      The number of foreigners studying Japanese is rapidly increasing
      worldwide, and the day has come when those who have acquired the
      language can put their skills to use in a wide variety of careers.
      Students of Japanese have often urged the establisment of a system by
      which their proficiency can be certified; the Japan Foundation and
      Association of International Education, Japan have devised this test
      and administered it for nonnative speakers since 1984 both in Japan and
      abroad to meet that need. Outside Japan, the Japan Foundation
      co-sponsors the administration  of the test jointly with local cultural
      exchange or educational institutions, or with administrative commitees
      established for this purpose. It is hoped that the Japanese-Language
      Proficiency Test will prove useful for the further enhancement of
      mutual understanding among nations.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Contents of the Test
     This test has four different levels; the examinee should choose
     the level that best matches his or her ability and training. Each
     test is made up of three sections: writing-vocabulary; listening;
     reading-grammar. The contents and criteria of the test are as follows:

     Level 1
     Sections                    Time                  Points
     writing-vocabulary          45 minutes            100 points
     listening                   45 minutes            100 points
     reading-grammar             90 minutes            200 points
     total                      180 minutes            400 points
     CRITERIA: The examinee should have mastered grammar at a high level,
     about 2,000 kanji and 10,000 words, and have an integrated command of
     the language sufficient for life in Japanese society and providing a
     useful base for study at a Japanese university. This level should be
     reached after studying Japanese for about 900 hours.

     Level 2
     Sections                    Time                  Points
     writing-vocabulary          35 minutes            100 points
     listening                   35 minutes            100 points
     reading-grammar             70 minutes            200 points
     total                      140 minutes            400 points
     CRITERIA: The examinee should have mastered grammar at a relatively
     high level, about 1,000 kanji and 6,000 words, and have the ability to
     converse, read and write about matters of a general nature. This level
     should be reached after studying Japanese for about 600 hours and
     finishing an intermediate course.

     Level 3
     Sections                    Time                  Points
     writing-vocabulary          35 minutes            100 points
     listening                   35 minutes            100 points
     reading-grammar             70 minutes            200 points
     total                      140 minutes            400 points
     CRITERIA: The examinee should have mastered basic grammar, about 300
     kanji and 1,500 words, and have the ability to take part in everyday
     conversation and to read and write simple sentences. This level should
     be reached after studying Japanese for about 300 hours and finishing
     an elementary course.

     Level 4
     Sections                    Time                  Points
     writing-vocabulary          25 minutes            100 points
     listening                   25 minutes            100 points
     reading-grammar             50 minutes            200 points
     total                      100 minutes            400 points

     CRITERIA: The examinee should have mastered the elements of grammar,
     about 100 kanji and 800 words, and have the ability to engage in simple
     conversation and to read and write short, simple sentences. This level
     should be reached after studying Japanese for about 150 hours and
     finishing the first half of an elementary course.

6.4 Proficienty tests outside Japan
6.4.1 Nihongo Nouryoku Shiken - Japanese Language Proficiency Test
      This test is administered by the Ministry of Education in Japan and
      the Foreign Ministry abroad. It is divided in 4 levels, Level 1 being 
      the highest level of difficulty, 4 the lowest. Ask the nearest 
      embassy or consulate for more information, or in some address in the
      list below. Check also 6.3.1 for more information on the test.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------- USA: Japanese Foundation Language Center, tel. 310-829-3172,
      fax 310-829-9510, Address: Suite 650E, 2425 W. Olympic Blvd.,
      Santa Monica, CA 90404-4034 


7. Studying, Teaching or just staying in Japan
7.1 Scholarships for studying in Japan
7.1.1 Monbusho - The Ministry of Education offers a scholarship for 
      undergratuate and graduation studies in Japan. The scholarship
      includes the air ticket from/to your country, usually 6 months of 
      Japanese language classes and some other advantages. For more 
      information, contact the nearest Japanese consulate or embassy in 
      the country of which you are a citizen. Other way to get this 
      scholarship is apply directly to the university. For this, get the 
      addresses of the universities you are interested in the book 
      "Japanese Colleges and Universities", that you can find on the library 
      of the Japanese consulates or embassies.
7.2 Homestays
7.2.1 Hiragana Times Welcome Station - Hiragana Times (review 5.6.2) have a
      column on homestay offers from and to Japan. Write an introduction 
      with your address and send a photo to "Welcome Station - Hiragana 
      Times", 2-6-3-902, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160, Japan.


8. Disclaimers
 - Standard disclaimers apply: I am NOT being paid for writing about the
   books and magazines and (as far as I know) there is no copyright 
   infringement of any kind. 
 - I am not a native English speaker, so please correct me even on this.
 - All the addresses and related information came by advertisements on the
   magazines and books, and are subject to errors. 
 - Some of the topics on this FAQ are not part of sci.lang.japan scope, but 
   some people asked me about it (specially part 7), and I decided to 
   include so I dont have to write two faqs. 
 - About some reprinted parts or whole articles of Mangajin: In 1992 I send
   a letter to them, that was published in the number 21, page 4, as follows:
   "... Is it possible to mention or quote Mangajin articles, for example, 
   the Computer Corner, on a public network ? I believe that it will benefit 
   a lot of people interested in learning Japanese and will introduce
   Mangajin to people who don't know about your magazine.". The answer was:
   "As long as there is no money changing hands, we have no objections at all
   to having portions of Mangajin reproduced or 'quoted'. As you point out,
   it helps spread the word. We welcome that kind of use in the classroom as
   well. One point I have to make, however, is that we can give permission
   only for the editorial content (basically, everything that's in English).
   We have only one-time serial rights to the manga material, and permission
   to copy that, even in the ways you mentioned, is not ours to give."
 - I would like the cooperation from whoever had read some books on the
   reviews, because some information came from advertisements, and the
   books can be in the wrong category.
 - There are some references to e-mail of authors of software and
   (maybe on the future) reviews. If somebody dont want to see his/her
   e-mail address here, tell me as soon as possible, so I can remove it.