How to use Japanese keyboard in Windows 10 [Install Guide]

Radu Tyrsina
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  • Windows 10 OS allows you to easily set your language preferences for your keyboard.
  • In this guide, we will show you the complete steps in order to add Japanese language to your PC.
  • To learn more about how to enable various features, visit our Windows 10 hub.
  • For more tips and tricks for any PC software or hardware, check out our How-To section .
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Windows 10 is the most popular and the latest OS you can install from Microsoft. Upon installation, it allows you to bring some personal customizations and install different features.

One such feature is the keyboard language. You can add multiple languages so you don’t have to change the keyboard itself whenever you want to type in a language like Japanese.

The Japanese language uses different characters than English or any other language. Lately, Windows integrates a feature called Japanese IME. It is a typing software that already exists on your system. You can type Japanese words in Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji using an English keyboard.

There are basically two methods to type the characters, Romaji Input, and Kana Input. Currently, for the Japanese people, Romaji Input is the preferred method than Kana.

 The Romanji input is a Romanized version of Japanese, literally meaning the Roman character that the other languages have. The other is via keyboard keys corresponding to the Japanese kana. 

In this article, we will guide you on how to easily add the Japanese language pack. You won’t need a Japanese keyboard, you will use the one you already have.


How do I install japanese keyboard in Windows 10?

Here is how a Japanese keyboard , with both input methods looks like:

You can notice that some keys have a kana character. Both methods will use IME to type Japanese characters. The difference is that with Romanji you will type more keys. On the other hand, is difficult to remember the location of all the kana characters.

1. Install the Language Pack

  1. Click on the Start icon and select Settings.
  2. Go to Time & Language.
  3. From the left menu, choose Language.
  4. Under Preferred Languages click on Add a language.
  5. Type Japanese in the search bar and once it is found, select it and click on the Next button.
  6. Select the optional features you want then click  Install.
  7. Windows will download and install the language pack and the keyboard layout.
  8. After installing, you will see it on the Language Bar Icon on the taskbar
  9. From here, you can choose Japanese keyboard.
  10. To change the keyboard layout click on the A icon that appeared.
  11. The icon will change to Hiragana character.
  12. Now you can type in Japanese.

2. Activate the Language Bar Icon

Note: In order to switch to Japanese, you have to see the language icon on the right side of your taskbar. If you don’t have it, follow the steps below to activate it.

  1. Go to th Start icon and select Settings.
  2. Click on Personalization.
  3. From the left menu, choose Taskbar.
  4. Scroll down to Notification Area and select Turn system icons on or off.
  5. Locate the Input Indicator option and turn it ON.
  6. Now you should see it in the right corner of your taskbar.

From the small A icon, you can switch to different IME options. By default, it will be selected the Half-width alphanumeric. In the default mode, you can type in English like normal but some punctuation keys will have different values.

With a right-click on the A icon, you can choose the keyboard mode you want, Hiragana or Katakana. But if you want to type the kanji version, it isn’t there.

To use kanji, instead of pressing enter after writing the word, you need to hit the space key. A list will pop up and you can use the arrow keys and space bar to go through the options available.

Now you are all set and can practice Japanese typing without needing a special keyboard.

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