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How, today, do people write in Japan? 2009/1/16 20:59
Difficult to phrase this question but how do people write in Japan today? Has writing left to right horizontally completely taken over from right to left vertically? Or does it depend on the importance of the written document? I ask this in the context of all writing such as in school workbooks, letters sent by post, books and magazines etc.
by phil (guest)  

... 2009/1/16 23:12
Both styles go :)
by AK rate this post as useful

It depends. 2009/1/16 23:15
It depends. Newspaper articles are printed vertically, right to left, as are most but not all books.

Magazines are often a mixture of both- also some have the spine on the left as English magazines do, while others are read in the opposite direction- it seems very strange when you first see a "backwards" book or magazine!

Documents which have to be filled in are most often written left to right, horizontally.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/1/17 00:15
Documents, forms, applications, general paperwork you might find, are usually written horizontally left to right.
by John (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/1/17 00:34
As mentioned, it doesn't depend on the importance of the document, but it depends on the type of document. For example, at school up to senior high school, students are expected to use vertical form during reading/composition class, but horizontal form in all the other subjects.

But I often hear that people from the older generation, say current 60s and older, claim that they find it more comfortable to read vertical material, while most young people prefer to write horizontally.

So if you're writing a letter to an elderly, it might be best to write vertically. Meanwhile, I can't imagine anyone writing emails or internet posts vertically.
by Uco rate this post as useful

... 2009/1/17 01:02
This is my personal view.

1. Most of newspapers, general magazines are printed vertically. But, magazines of technology and science and economy are frequently printed horizontally.
2. Books are mostly printed vertically though manuscript may have been typed horizontally by PC.
2. Novels, poems and other literature are written vertically.
3. Official document, business document and thesis are written horizontally. But, a religious document is written vertically.
4. Contracts are written horizontally and vertically either.
There is no difference of importance and effect between horizontal document and vertical document.
5. About letters it is very interesting.
1) Persons who can operate PC type letters horizontally. But they type or write ceremonious letters vertically.
2) Persons who can't operate PC write letters vertically.
6. Ifve seldom seen vertical document on web.
7. Sorry. I donft know about school work books.
by letter man (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 2009/1/17 14:44
Just an addition to those accounts above.

In Japan, there used to be horizontal right to left direction writing,
but this way is not to be seen today.

With this change of writing system, writing horizontaly but right to left indicates nostalgic mood.
by dice-geist (guest) rate this post as useful

right-to-left on automobiles 2009/1/17 20:16
Dice-geist is generally correct, but actually, the right-to-left-horizontal form is indeed seen still seen today on the sides of vehicles.

Automobiles, usually trucks, representing a certain organization often has their organization name painted on the side "from the front part of the vehicle towards the rear part." Therefore on the right-hand side of the trucks, their names are often written from right to left.
by Uco rate this post as useful

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