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Notes on the Usage of the Windows Japanese IME

The Windows Japanese IME (Input Method Editor) allows you to input Japanese using your Latin keyboard.

Pinky Keyboard Layout

My keyboard layout. This is a Spanish (Latin America) Keyboard.

Activating the IME

To activate, install the Japanese(Japan) - Microsoft IME keyboard layout. Then choose your key shortcut to quickly swap among languages. I chose Ctrl + LeftShift. Note that in Windows 11, you need to use + Space (Windows Key + Space) to cycle among languages AND keyboard layouts. Using only the previous shortcuts only cycles among languages.

The language/keyboard selection is per window. Windows 11 allows a global language/keyboard selection.

Entering vowels with overbar (macron)

Add the English(New Zealand) - Maori keyboard layout. Then, to type a macron'ed vowel, use the key under Esc/over Tab as accent.

Basic Shortcuts

Shortcut Action
Ctrl + Left Shift
(Depends on your config)
Cycle among input languages
Ctrl + CapsLock Hiragana
Alt + CapsLock Full-Width Katakana
Shift + CapsLock Full-Width Alphanumeric
Alt + [Key under ESC / over TAB]
In my layout, the key with |,°,¬
Disable/Enable IME
Enter Half-Width Alphanumeric

While typing

Shortcut Action
SpaceBar Convert to best guess for kanji
F6 Convert to Hiragana
F7 Convert to Katakana
F8 Convert to Half-Width Katakana
F9 Convert to Full-Width Alphanumeric
F10 Convert to Half-Width Alphanumeric

Bōten and Wakiten in CSS

In Japanese writing, it is not practical to emphasize text by applying bold, italics/obliques or underlining, neither applying color background for the same purpose. Although it depends on the author, furigana dots are used (mostly very sparingly) for emphasis. They are called 傍点 (ぼうてん), 圏点 (けんてん) or 脇店 (わきてん), meaning "side mark". (Usage example: 漢字に傍点を付ける。(かんじにぼうてんをつける) To add furigana dots to kanji.)

In CSS, you can add them by using a styled span with the text-emphasis property in FireFox, and using the -webkit- prefix in most other browsers.

Value Example
dot こんな感じ
open dot こんな感じ
circle こんな感じ
open circle こんな感じ
double-circle こんな感じ
open double-circle こんな感じ
triangle こんな感じ
open triangle こんな感じ
sesame こんな感じ
open sesame 開けごま!

NOTE: The text-emphasis property is not supported by Edge as of 2020 Q2.

Japanese Colors

The name of a few colors in Japanese.

Japanese Colors

Page last modified July 20, 2020.

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