Unicode Tutorials - Herong's Tutorial Examples - Version 5.20, by Dr. Herong Yang
JIS X0208 Character Set for Japanese Characters
This section provides a quick introduction of the JIS X0208 character set used for Japanese language characters.
JIS X0208: A coded character set established for Japanese in 1990. JIS stands for Japanese Industrial Standards.
JIS X0208 arranges characters into a matrix of 94 rows and 94 columns. The rows are called quwei, and are organized as follows:
Rows # of Qu Wei Chars Characters 01-02 Punctuation, symbols 03 ISO 646 (alphanumerics only) 04 Hiragana 05 Katakana 06 Greek 07 Cyrillic 08 Line drawing 16-47 2965 Kanji level 1, ordered by on-yomi 48-83 3384 Kanji level 2, ordered by Kangxi radical, then stroke 84 6 Miscellaneous kanji
There are four sub character sets used in writing modern Japanese: katakana, hiragana, kanji, and romaji.
Katakana contains 46 characters, with very angular strokes. Each Katakana character reprensents a unique sound. There are 5 vowels in them. Katakan characters can be used to express any sound in the Japanese language.
Katakana is like Pinyin in Chinese. It is commonly used to express foreign names.
Hiragana contains 46 characters, with very smoother strokes. Each Hiragana character represents a unique sound. Hiragana characters can be used to express any sound in the Japanese language. Hiragana is closely related to Katakana. In fact, each Hiragana character has a counterpart in Katakana.
Hiragana is commonly used to express simple words. It is also the first writing system taught to Japanese children.
Kanji contains thousands of Chinese characters, that were brought to Japan many years ago.
Romaji contains the Roman alphabets. Of course, they are used to express foreign words.
Last update: 2009.
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