Notes on kanji and computers, particularly on the problem of traditional and modern forms of Chinese characters used in Japan
uΏvΖuRs [^vΜoF ΏEVΏΜβθ
A fragment, really, but I'll leave here for anyone who is interested.
People who work with older texts sometimes have recourse to gaiji O or hand-made characters. This only solves the problem of display and printing on piece-meal basis, and only at the individual or workgroup level. The problem of universal accessibility has become more acute now on the Internet, with the conflicting character sets of China, Korea and Japan. UNICODE has sought to solve this, but is still not available to most personal computer users.
What is a "doublet"?
Simplified forms of several thousand characters are in official use. Some differ from the historical forms (kyukanji) in only small ways, but
Why I wanted a list of old/new kanji.
I have been editing an electronic text which uses the traditional forms of characters. While these are very nice and proper in their own way, it does make word searches difficult, and is also less legible in some fonts and sizes. Moreover, the text was inconsistent in its use of old and new kanji. I wanted a way of making a modernized text so I have made a HyperCard stack of the work in which I have substituted the modern forms as I edit. (Scripts here.)
This includes some characters that are classified as itaiji (ΩΜ), alternative forms: δ^Ή, ^ (the old form is )
There are now a number of good electronic dictionaries for computers. For quick hard-disk access, I personally use JISPA (Xp), kokugo, kanji, E-J, and J-E. The kanji dictionary is handy to check readings and definitions, also alternative forms. Searching is by kun/on pronunciation, stroke number, radical, element, or a combination of these. Element (buhin i) is more broadly defined than radical (bushu ρ): the characters IH contain the element «, but are not categorized under the radical «. A handy distinction when you are unsure of the correct radical (search for element instead), or want to define a search further (example: radical Ψ and element ζ uniquely defines ).
What characters are included in JIS?
For literary and historical studies, not nearly enough. JIS (Japan Industrial Standards) defines characters lists--first level, second level, names--that cover all the characters for "educational" and "general use", as well as those needed for most modern personal names and place names.
Characters are produced by typing one of the readings and hitting the space bar, right?
All first level characters, yes. It's best to write in "words" rather than try to produce individual characters, particularly when there are many characters with that reading (e.g. KAN, KEI). Even if you want a character out of context, it is often quicker to think of a two-character compound in which the character appears, then delete the other character.
Why would anyone want to enter kanji by numbers?
Thousands of rarer characters are only entered by numbers. Each character is given a unique number. This number can be entered directly, in the same way as a pronunciation. There are actually a number of competing systems (kuten-code ζ_R[h, JIS code), and dictionaries give one or both. It does not matter when inputting, although the kuten is easier, consisting of four digits, rather than digits and a letter. Type in the four digits, then hit the space bar. The character should appear as one of the choices in the small window above the cursor. If there are two characters, one is kuten and the other JIS. Just be sure to select the right one.
Remember that more than one KK may correspond to one SK.
In what order do computers sort Chinese characters?
Computers will sort KK automatically in order of their radical, (SK are sorted by on-yomi, where that exists, otherwise [as in case of kokuji] by kun-yomi.) Any good application should be able to do this. In the case of Mac, Nisus will "sort paragraphs" by first character in the line (Edit menu). The command for HyperCard fields is "Sort lines of field fieldName".) Printed lists of characters by radicals are usually given in manuals. The radical assigned may not always be the traditional one.
Christopher Seeley,"The Japanese script and Computers: The JIS Character Codes and their Periphery", Japan Forum, Vol. 6, No. 1, April 1994, pp. 89-101.
link found in Yahoo search foruΏv
site by Yasuoka (Kyoto)