This page was last modified 17:47, 26 May 2023 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Gdx.



MSX-JE (連文節変換) is a system to input Japanese characters and convert these to corresponding kanji or word. It appeared in 1986 on MSX-Write, a Japanese Word Processor released by ASCII. It was adopted in several programs thereafter. The MSX-BASIC v3.0 (and higher) supports MSX-JE. If it is not installed, the Single Kanji Conversion mode is used instead.

The Japanese language has three forms of characters:

  • the Kanji are adopted logographic Chinese characters, they are used to write parts of the language such as nouns, adjective stems, and verb stems
  • the Hiragana are used to write inflected verb and adjective endings and as phonetic complements to disambiguate readings, particles, and miscellaneous words which have no kanji or whose kanji is considered obscure or too difficult to read or remember
  • the Katakana are mostly used for representing onomatopoeia, non-Japanese loanwords (except those borrowed from ancient Chinese), the names of plants and animals (with exceptions), and for emphasis on certain words.

Hiragana and katakana are both kana systems, they generally correspond to syllables while Kanji are ideograms, which express an idea, an concept, something that corresponds to the assembly of several kanas. This assembly is more easy in a Japanese Word Processor with the MSX-JE input system.


Under BASIC in kanji mode, the JIS character entry in MSX-JE mode is done by pressing CTRL+SPACE or GRAPH+SELECT (and the same to exit the mode). From then on, you can enter a Japanese character or word then press the space bar to obtain the corresponding Kanji character or word.


The following keys allow you different actions.

Key Function
SPACE Conversion / Next candidate
SHIFT + SPACE Previous candidate
F1 Romaji / alphanumeric switching
F2 Full-width Katakana conversion
F3 Half-width Katakana conversion
F4 JIS code conversion (4 digit input → F4)
F5/RETURN Confirmation
Kana Romaji / Kana switching

When you enter a new word, it is generally saved in the MSX-JE SRAM. The only exception is when you use the Japanese MSX-Write cartridge or the Sanyo PHC-77 computer: in this case, savings need to be done on disk, tape or (temporary) memory disk.

Computers with built-in MSX-JE

Product Generation Format
National FS-4600F MSX2 rom
Panasonic FS-A1GT MSX turbo R rom + system disk 1
Panasonic FS-A1ST MSX turbo R rom + system disk 1
Panasonic FS-A1WSX MSX2+ rom + system disk 1
Panasonic FS-A1WX MSX2+ rom + system disk 1
Sanyo PHC-77 MSX2 rom
Sony HB-F1XDJ MSX2+ rom only (*)
Sony HB-F1XV MSX2+ rom + system disk 3
Sony XV-J777 (**) MSX2 rom

(*) You need the 3rd system disk of the Sony HB-F1XV to use the Japanese Word Processor
(**) MSX2 appliance

Cartridges with MSX-JE

Product Generation Format
ASCII Japanese MSX-Write MSX1 rom
ASCII Japanese MSX-Write II MSX2 rom
HAL Halnote (*) MSX2 rom + disk(s)
MSX View MSX turbo R Kanji-ROM + 3 disks
NHK Gakuen Japanese MSX-Write MSX1 rom
Panasonic FS-PW1 MSX2 rom
Panasonic FS-SR021 MSX2 rom
Sony HBI-J1 MSX2 rom

(*) Lauching from provided system disk(s) including MSX-DOS 1 - AUTOEXEC or HN on the command line