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How can I setup and use a Japanese input method editor for Ubuntu 9.04 that will work in firefox?

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Install scim and scim-anthy. Also skim if you use KDE.

The default configuration is pretty sane, and after restarting any running GTK apps, you should have a keyboard icon appear in the tray.

I don't recall the default settings, but it is normally switched to Anthy mode with a key combination. If you have a Japanese keyboard, it supports the Zenkaku key by default. You can change the configuration by right-clicking the new tray icon or the wrench in the IME toolbar, or by running the command scim-setup

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