Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 21:23

On Kubuntu system, we can write Japanese easily using Fcitx-Mozc tool! This awesome tool eases you with word-suggestions popup on-the-fly, with ability to switch between Kanji-Hiragana-Katakana-ASCII as simple as one click. It's very well integrated to the whole screens inside KDE Plasma desktop, enables you to write Japanese in Firefox browser, LibreOffice, Kate text editor, and even Konsole terminal.

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1. Install Fcitx System

On Kubuntu 16.04LTS, fcitx and kde-config-fcitx are already installed so you only need to install fcitx-mozc:
sudo apt-get install fcitx-mozc
On another distros, you probably need to install them all:
sudo apt-get install fcitx fcitx-mozc kde-config-fcitx
Note that this installation takes around 30-50MB of data.

2. Enable Fcitx

Now, make your Kubuntu uses Fcitx as its input method:
$ im-config -n fcitx
Then run fcitx:
  • Press Alt+F2
  • KRunner box appears above
  • Type  fcitx  then press Enter

3. Relogin

Now logout and login again. Yes, you must do this.

4. Add Japanese Mozc

  • Go to KDE System Settings > Regional > Input Method settings
  • If it's greyed means the Fcitx is still inactive, so activate it (read above)
  • Uncheck the option "Only show current languages"
  • Find Japanese Mozc on left column
  • Move the Japanese Mozc to right column
  • Press Apply

5. Write Japanese

You should see on bottom panel a keyboard icon. That's Fcitx indicator. To write Japanese:

1) Enable Mozc: right-click indicator logo > input method > mozc (the keyboard logo changed to orange circle logo)

2) Enable Hiragana: right-click Mozc logo > composition mode > Hiragana

2) Type anything on any text editor (LibreOffice Writer, Kate, web browsers, even Konsole)

3) You should see the Fcitx popup on-the-fly suggests some hiragana letters following your romaji (ASCII) typing

4) Press Enter to accept the suggestion; press arrow up/down to choose the suggestion

Some Tips

  • Use TLWG Sans font on Konsole and Kate to display all letters not truncated on its baseline. 
  • Left-click on indicator logo to change it to Japanese, left-click again to change it back to English (US).
  • Type in all lower-case letters, otherwise Fcitx won't show suggestions. Typing arigatou will work, but Arigatou won't.
Arigatou gozaimasu! ありがとう ございます!