RFC 1468 (rfc1468) - Page 1 of 6

Japanese Character Encoding for Internet Messages

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Network Working Group                                           J. Murai
Request for Comments: 1468                               Keio University
                                                              M. Crispin
                                                       Panda Programming
                                                         E. van der Poel
                                                               June 1993

           Japanese Character Encoding for Internet Messages

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard.  Distribution of this memo is


   This document describes the encoding used in electronic mail [RFC 822]
   and network news [RFC 1036] messages in several Japanese networks. It
   was first specified by and used in JUNET [JUNET]. The encoding is now
   also widely used in Japanese IP communities.

   The name given to this encoding is "ISO-2022-JP", which is intended
   to be used in the "charset" parameter field of MIME headers (see
   [MIME1] and [MIME2]).


   The text starts in ASCII [ASCII], and switches to Japanese characters
   through an escape sequence. For example, the escape sequence ESC $ B
   (three bytes, hexadecimal values: 1B 24 42) indicates that the bytes
   following this escape sequence are Japanese characters, which are
   encoded in two bytes each.  To switch back to ASCII, the escape
   sequence ESC ( B is used.

   The following table gives the escape sequences and the character sets
   used in ISO-2022-JP messages. The ISOREG number is the registration
   number in ISO's registry [ISOREG].

       Esc Seq    Character Set                  ISOREG

       ESC ( B    ASCII                             6
       ESC ( J    JIS X 0201-1976 ("Roman" set)    14
       ESC $ @    JIS X 0208-1978                  42
       ESC $ B    JIS X 0208-1983                  87

   Note that JIS X 0208 was called JIS C 6226 until the name was changed

Murai, Crispin & van der Poel

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