As a devoted Emacs user and a Japanese beginner learner, I've been using the Emacs' Japanese input method quite a lot during recent months. However, I've been looking for a way to leverage Emacs' multilingual capabilities to augment the process of learning kanji signs with their rigid order of strokes.

  • I don't know if the following can help. By M-x set-input-method you can select japanese, japanese-ascii, japanese-hankaku-kana, japanese-hiragana, japanese-katakana, japanese-zenkaku. Then the rules of transliteration can be used to type Japanese characters. This uses quail.
    – Name
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 9:52
  • Hey, @Name. What you're writing about is surely helpful when writing in Japanese, since transliteration is the basis for input when you have 2500+ common signs. But the problem that I'm addressing in the answer is quite a different one. Namely, you can take a Japanese text with various kanji signs (or even input them using the above input methods) and then point cursor to them and retrieve the stroke order in an SVG form. Please, visit the Github website to see the documentation. Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 22:48

1 Answer 1


I spent some time writing an Emacs mode to help discover the stroke order of a kanji sign under the cursor ('at point' in the Emacs jargon). I'd like to share a link to my project with all Emacs users and Emacs user wannabes. It's available here on Github. It makes strong use of the KanjiVG project, whose authors have catalogued various (all?) characters and provided SVG diagrams for their respective stroke orders. I hope someone will find this mode useful on their adventure with the Japanese language.

EDIT: To make its use more convenient I submitted the package to MELPA. It is now officially available via package. The package's MELPA site can be viewed here. Hope this will help people try out this mode.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.