The most commonly used Japanese IME (or input method for Unix-based operating systems. kinput2 works by taking romaji input and looking it up in special dictionaries, rendering it in Japanese kana and kanji text in whatever encoding is used by the system locale.

kinput2 uses one of two backend servers; one being FreeWnn or Wnn, and the other one being Canna. While FreeWnn has gained popularity for being linguistically superior to Canna, Canna is easier to activate, and seems to be less prone to suffer from funny graphics glitches.

kinput2 can be called through the XIM protocol and a proprietary kinput protocol among others, but may see itself replaced by input module im-ja in gtk2 applications.

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