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This software is quite old and hasn't been updated since around 2006.


Why im-ja instead of SCIM

Features im-ja has over scim:

  • faster
  • more configurable
  • can use a number of backends
  • simpler to install and use

Also, SCIM contains many bugs which are not likely to be fixed any time soon, whereas im-ja just works. For example, I tried entering the text "nihongo" with SCIM and I got back a mish-mash of Kanji, hiragana and latin characters, whereas with im-ja it immediately converts my typing into hiragana, and will select an appropriate sequence of kanji upon pressing space. See this illustration of scim and im-ja use.


The im-ja homepage is at http://im-ja.sourceforge.net/. Ubuntu packages can be installed using gdebi from http://im-ja.sourceforge.net/binary.html. You will also need to install a wnn server. This can be done with the following command:

sudo apt-get install freewnn-jserver

You may also need to add the following two lines to /etc/gtk-2.0/gtk.immodules if they're not already there:

"im-ja" "Japanese" "gtk+" "/usr/share/locale" "ja"

Check that this is the right path for im-ja as it may have been updated since writing this documentation.


Any newly-launched GTK+ program will now have "Japanese" listed as an input method. You can select this by right clicking on a text entry and selecting Input Method -> Japanese.

Type away and your text will be input at first in hiragana. This can then be converted to an appropriate representation by pressing the space bar.

ImJa (last edited 2017-09-20 01:03:56 by ckimes)