On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 13:10:02 +0900, Cs. Henk <csaba-ml / beastie.creo.hu> wrote:
> I just wonder how is it possible that a language which originated in
> Japan doesn't support unicode & co. out of the box. They do need unicode
> for proper handling of their character sets, don't they?

No. Before Unicode there were already several different ways of
encoding Japanese text (just as we English speakers have had ASCII and
EBCDIC in the past), and Unicode is only one of them. Apparently
Unicode isn't even the dominant way of doing so just yet: the JIS
encodings seem to be more popular at the moment, and there are even
three variations of JIS (Shift-JIS is by far the most widely used for
Japanese web pages and such, and ISO-2022-JP is most widely used for
Japanese email, and Japanese locales on Unix/Linux use the JIS EUC
encoding).

See this site for more information on this complicated topic:

http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~aelias4/encodings.html