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Japanese Encoding Methods
Encoding Types

This will introduce some to, and help others with, the tricky business of displaying Japanese characters over the Internet or e-mail. There are three common encoding types:

1) JIS
JIS stands for "Japanese Industrial Standard." JIS is basically a mixture of the Japan version of ANSI (American National Standards Institute), and UL (Underwriter's Laboratory). The term "JIS" is used in the JIS is the term that one will come across when this standard is used. Overall it is probably the best for communication purposes being a 7-bit code using escape sequences and ASCII characters to encode the Japanese characters. One is strongly encouraged to use JIS if one can. Most browsers will recognize all three encoding types, but JIS will alert the browser to switch to Japanese.

2) EUC
EUC stands for "Extended Unix Code." EUC is a subset of a more widely ranged (but underused) method used for encoding many of the worlds various languages. This server works with EUC internally. EUC is more or less JIS without the escape sequences, and the 8th bit turned on in encoded bytes.

3) Shift-JIS
I have seen this referred to as Sh*t-JIS. It is wildly unpopular with people who do a lot of translation work and due to it being a Microsoft product one will probably not be able to escape it.

Unicode is an up and coming standard that is not yet widely supported. It was designed by the Unicode Consortium and can be used to represent most of the world's languages.

Reading Japanese with Netscape

Navigator has been designed to understand all the above encoding methods but, surprise surprise, sometimes it does not. Here are some options to try if the page you are viewing does not load, as it should:

1) Hit reload on your browser.

2) In Netscape go to View/Encoding/Japanese (Auto-Detect).

Click here for more information about displaying Japanese characters.

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