Japanese Input Method Editor for DOS

   1. Purpose
   2. See it in action
   3. Limitations
   4. Features
   5. Conversion table
   6. Copying
   7. Downloading

1. Purpose

JAINPUT.COM is a TSR for DOS, that provides Japanese-language Input Method Editor (IME) with only 8-bit character set, supporting hiragana.

It uses a custom character set, not compatible with any standard encodings, targeted for the visual appearance only, ideal for making text-mode DOS videos that feature Japanese text. The font has been optimized to contain the left-side halfs of most of the most-common syllables in the C0-DF region so as to avoid the vertical empty stripe in the middle of the syllable when the font is displayed in 9 pixel columns rather than 8. Unfortunately, that's where most of the line drawing characters must be placed too...

This program was created in 2011, and it was envisioned and implemented in just one or two days. Why create such an utility at this day, when almost nobody uses DOS anymore? Because I do use it sometimes, for creating Internet videos demonstrating some programming principles. And to my surprise, there existed no other free tool that would do let me accomplish this. The need is often a great motivator. So having created it, and I decided to publish it too. Take it AS-IS; I don't provide warranty of any kind, not even for implied applicability for any purpose. Still, if it works for you, I would be delighted to receive an e-mail from you telling me about it.

2. See it in action

JAINPUT is compatible with practically all text-mode applications that are 8-bit clean and that use the standard 80x25 text mode with 8x16 font. It can also work with other font sizes (such as in 80x50 or 80x43 modes), even with custom fonts, but the aspect ratio of the characters may appear skewed.

To toggle between hiragana and normal input modes, hit this key: § ½ (scan code 29h, ascii code 15h). It is situated to the left from the 1 ! key.
Alternatively, you can hit Ctrl+] } key, for scan code 1Bh, ascii code 1Dh. This should work at least on USA and French keyboards. On many others, you can try AltGr+m µ (scan code 32h, ascii code E6h).

3. Limitations

  • JAINPUT cannot render katakana.
  • JAINPUT cannot render kanji.
  • JAINPUT does not render properly files encoded in Shift-JIS, UTF-8, EUC-JP or any other encoding commonly used with Japanese text.
  • Files created while typing with JAINPUT are not rendered properly when decoded by any other program, unless they are translated through the font supplied by JAINPUT (shown in the screenshot above).

4. Features

  • Fairly usable romaji-input and automatic hiragana conversion.
  • Japanese text can be embedded in any text files that support western text encoded in CP850, CP437 or any other extended ASCII compatible single-byte encoding.
  • Multibyte iterative character input is simulated entirely with backspaces.
  • Backspace support during editing will correctly revert input.
  • Restoration of font after mode switches (for example, if you do programming in QuickBASIC and switch between a graphical display and the editor window).
  • Automatic font generation with scaling to accommodate different display modes.

5. Conversion table

a i u e o   xe  xi                       kakikukeko  kya kyu kyo   gagigugego  gya gyu gyo
あいうえお  ぇ ぃ                       かきくけこ きゃきゅきょ  がぎぐげご ぎゃぎゅぎょ
sasisuseso  sha shu sho   shi she        mamimumemo mya myu myo   ya  yu  yo  xya xyu xyo
さしすせそ  しゃしゅしょ  し しぇ       まみむめも  みゃみゅみょ  や  ゆ  よ ゃ ゅ ょ
zazizuzezo  ja  ju  jo    ji  je         rarirurero  rya ryu ryo   lalilulelo  lya lyu lyo
ざじずぜぞ  じゃじゅじょ  じ じぇ       らりるれろ りゃりゅりょ  らりるれろ りゃりゅりょ
hahihuheho  hya hyu hyo   fu  fe   fi    tatituteto  tsa tsu tso   tsi tse     xtu
はひふへほ  ひゃひゅひょ  ふ  ふぇ ふぃ  たちつてと  つゃつ つょ つぃつぇ    っ
babibubebo  bya byu byo   fya fyu fyo    dadidudedo cha chu cho   chi che         wa  wo        
ばびぶべぼ びゃびゅびょ  ふゃふゅふょ   だぢづでど ちゃちゅちょ  ち ちぇ        わ を
papipupepo  pya pyu pyo                  naninuneno  nya nyu nyo   nn  .  ,  -
ぱぴぷぺぽ  ぴゃぴゅぴょ                 なにぬねの にゃにゅにょ  ん  。 、-
n before non-n consonant:  ん            duplicated consonant: っ
Or as a screenshot:

6. Copying

JAINPUT has been written by Joel Yliluoma, a.k.a. Bisqwit,
and is distributed under the terms of the zlib license, summarized: as-is, for-any-purpose, do-not-mispresent, compatible-with-gpl

7. Downloading

Downloading help

  • Do not download everything - you only need one file (newest version for your platform)!
  • Do not use download accelerators or you will be banned from this server before your download is complete!

The most recent source code (bleeding edge) for jainput can also be downloaded by cloning the Git repository by:

Date (Y-md-Hi) acc        Size Name                
2014-0115-0139 r--      199285 jainput-1.1.0.tar.bz2
2011-0321-1431 r--      184368 jainput-1.0.3.tar.bz2
2011-0304-1030 r--      193403 jainput-1.0.2.tar.bz2
2011-0304-0121 r--      193015 jainput-1.0.1.tar.bz2
2011-0304-0042 r--      192771 jainput-1.0.0.tar.bz2
Back to the source directory index at Bisqwit's homepage