The instructions on this web page will show you how to input Japanese characters on your Windows XP computer.

1. Install Files for East Asian Language Support

At the bottom left of your screen click on Start then from the pop-up menu select Control Panel. In the Control Panel that opens up select Language and Regional Options.

In the Regional and Languages Options window click on the Languages tab. You should now see the following window on your screen.

regional languages

Check the box in the lower half of the window that says Install files for East Asian Languages and click Apply. A pop-up warning box may open up before you are able to click Apply echoing back to you what you are doing and that it will require a certain amount of disk space. If you get this warning message just click OK.

At this point Windows may begin copying files it needs for East Asian Language support. You may be asked to insert your Windows XP installation disk. If so, follow the onscreen instructions, including restarting the computer if necessary.

2. Add Japanese as an Input Language

Once your computer has rebooted, repeat the instructions above to open the Regional and Languages Options window shown in the image above. (Start --> Control Panel --> Time, Language and Regional Options --> Regional and Language Options). Once again, click on the Languages tab to bring it to the forefront. In the upper half of the window click on the Details button. The following Text Services and Input Languages window will open up.

input language

Click on the Add button which is half way down the right side of the window shown above and an Add Input Language window will open as shown below. Under Input Language select Japanese by clicking on the downward arrow to bring up the drop down menu. Next check the Keyboard layout/IME box and select Microsoft IME Standard 2002 ver. 8.1. When you are finished click OK to return to the window above, then click Apply and OK.

add japanese

You have now installed the Japanese IME for typing in Japanese on your Windows XP computer.

3. Optional settings for experienced users

Experienced typists of Japanese may find the following step useful in customizing your input settings. Beginners should skip this step and stick with the default settings for now. Once you are accustomed to typing in Japanese you may wish to come back to this step.

Follow the steps above to get to the Text Services and Input Languages window shown two images above. (If you don't remember, Start --> Control Panel --> Time, Language and Regional Options --> Regional and Language Options --> Languages tab --> Details).


input language japanese


In the Installed Services window select the Microsoft IME Standard 2002 ver. 8.1 by clicking on it once so it is highlighted as in the window above. Once you have selected it click on the Properties button and the Properties for Microsoft IME Standard window will open up as shown below.

japanese ime

Pick the settings according to your preferences. Click Apply, then OK and you're all set and ready to type away in Japanese.