Re: Subset of Unicode to represent Japanese Kanji?

Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 14:44:25 EDT

1. Not the extended kanji. It is the basic kanji (or standard kanji as defined
in JIS X 0208-1990) is a MUST. Even Japanese Window 95 can only display the
basic kanji, not the extended kanji.

2. Both hiragana and katakana are nothing but symbols of pronouciation of
Japanese. Hiragana the cursive and katakana the print style. Every hiragana has
its equivalent katakana, and its equivalent Roman character. An all katakana
document is not much better than an all Roman character document.

The problem with all kana (or all Roman ch) document is because there are so
many words with same pronounciations. For example, the Roman Characters "KAMI"
may mean God, or hair, or paper, or above. "HASHI" may mean bridge or chop
sticks. If it is written in kanji, all God, hair, paper, above, bridge, chop
sticks are represented in different kanjis, thus no ambiguity.

Whether its practical or not to have an all kana display depends on your
application. As Kevin Bracey said, things as shop tills, and minidisc players
displaying track names may be OK, since the contents are focused.


Antoine Leca <> on 2000/07/13 10:43:45

To: Foster Feng/TYO/NIC@NIC
cc: Unicode List <>,

Subject: Re: Subset of Unicode to represent Japanese Kanji?

I am NOT a Japanese speaker (I can only poorly read kana, and with help).
So here is my supplementary question. wrote:
> Japanese document must consist of:
> hiragana: less than 100 characters
> katakana: less than 100 characters
> kanji: basic kanji has 6,879 characters as defined in JIS X 0208-1990
> extended kanji has 6,067 characters as defined in JIS X 0212-1990

You mean, extended kanji is an absolute requirement for any device which
intended to dislay some Japanese text?

> Technically, a Japanese document can be written in all Roman characters, but
> this is not a true Japanese document.

I understand easily that this is _not_ the solution (it always needs me quite
some times when I see my name written in kana or Cyrillic or whatever).

But: What about a document written only with kanas, without any kanji?

I know this is far from perfect, that it will hurt (or upset?) the reader
quite a lot, and will reduce his reading speed to about a small fraction of
normal, perhaps a tenth (but that's much better than romaji, anyway).
But is it practical, for example for a small display? (say, 3 lines of
20 characters)


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