HIME-sama (Hentaigana Input Method Editor 変体仮名インプットメソッド)

While I was doing research for my last article, I wanted to make a small dictionary of the hentaigana I encountered in On'in Kanayōrei to speed up my reading. I put all hentaigana of one page in red boxes to show the extent of how often they were used.


Shirai Hentaigana

To type out the hentaigana for the dictionary, I booted up my program Convert Kana to Hentaigana which I introduced in a previous article and saw this.


Bad Kana to Hentaigana

Apparently, some recent Windows updates for the Japanese IME broke my program. So, I decided it was time for an update. The main difference between the original and the update is that now the program uses a rōmaji input rather than kana. This is to ensure that the program would not break again with future Windows updates. I also decided to change the name from the clunky Convert Kana to Hentaigana to Hentaigana Input Method Editor, or HIME-sama for short (pronounced hee-meh-sah-mah). For an example of how to use it, below is the hentaigana iroha poem followed by how one would type it using HIME-sama.

どうやら、ウィンドウズによる最新の日本語インプットメソッドのアップデートは私のプログラムを壊した。そして私はそのプログラムを改良した。元のプログラムと新たなプログラムの大きな違いは、プログラムは仮名のかわりにローマ字の入力を使うことだ。この変更は、将来のウィンドウズによるアップデートが再び私のプログラムを壊さないことを保証している。また、プログラムの名前は奇妙な『正体仮名を変体仮名に転換できるプログラム』から『Hentaigana Input Method Editor』に変更した。略してHIME-samaと言う(「姫様」と発音する)。使い方として例を挙げると、下には変体仮名いろは歌の写真とHIME-samaでその歌を入力した動画がある。



You can download HIME-sama from this MediaFire link. Also, if there is a specific feature you would like me to add, feel free to contact me, or edit it yourself. It really is a very simple program. And hopefully this simple program will be one of the steps to getting hentaigana more universally supported.


Postscript 追記
On February 23rd, 2021, I released an update for HIME-sama. This update allows multiline support, uppercase input, and fixes an error with the rōmaji input “wye”. I have updated the MediaFire link accordingly. Please redownload the file for the new version. To make sure you have the latest version, right click on HIME-sama.exe, select Properties, then Details, and the File version should be


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About the "Hentai'iroha 47-ji" table

Thank you for the HIME-sama IME, it works great!

By the way, naturally the first thing I did is try to reproduce the "Hentai'iroha" table above. But I failed to finish the job because I couldn't find the Unicode characters corresponding to ゆ and ゑ in the table. (The ones encoded in Unicode all seemed a bit different. For example see: https://occhann.jp/References/HENTAIGANA.html; the table after the phrase "五十音順にまとめ")

This is what I have so far. (Needs a Hentaigana supporting font such as IPAmj明朝 to view.)


(The underscores are the missing characters. Also, if I'm not mistaken, the characters for そ and え should be the modern ones we're using now.)

If finished, the table could be one more interesting example for introducing Hentaigana to people. Hope you're interested. :)

Re: About the "Hentai'iroha 47-ji" table


Thank you for your interest in hentaigana. I also find the subject very interesting. Please don’t hesitate to give me feedback on HIME-sama if you have any ideas.

As for the hentaigana iroha, the two closest Unicode characters I found for that particular ゆ and ゑ are 𛃦 (U+1B0E6 based on 遊) and 𛄓 (U+1B113 based on 衞) respectively.

Unfortunately, when it comes to typing up hentaigana documents, it’s often the case that you will not be able to find an exact match to the handwriting, but in my opinion, if the origin character of the handwriting hentaigana and the Unicode hentaigana are the same, then the Unicode hentaigana is serviceable enough.

Hope this helps!