Japanese Folder Names Are Garbled/Corrupted

I’ve successfully gotten Japanese input working with iBus, I’ve installed the required fonts, and there’s no problem there. 日本語の入力は大丈夫です。

But I still can’t figure out how to get folder names to be displayed in Japanese and not garbled Unicode.

I’ve changed my system locale to ja_JP.UTF-8, I’ve changed my Region to 日本 - 日本語 (ja_JP) in Regional Settings > Formats, which I thought was what would get the folder names to appear correctly (that was how I got it to work in Windows), but it didn’t work. My date and time was changed to Japanese format, and my splash screen is in Japanese, but when I look at a folder on a USB that displays in Japanese on Windows 10, it displays:


I really don’t know what else to do. I even searched in Japanese for a solution (which, given that my Japanese proficiency is not that high, was not very fruitful), and the closest I came to understanding the problem was that there are three encoding systems for Japanese characters:

EUC-JP, UTF-8, and Shift-JIS.

I have access to the first two, but as I understand it, Shift-JIS is not supported (on Arch-based systems, at least).

It seems to me that the encoding the folder name uses is not UTF-8…unless I haven’t set the encoding up properly. Next, I was planning to try EUC-JP, but when trying to change the locale to ja_JP.EUC-JP, after I click “Apply” in System Settings, it doesn’t save and goes back to ja_JP.UTF-8.

If it helps:
The result of echo $LANG


The result of locale:


After hours of research, I’ve come across multiple people saying to expect most Japanese files/folders to be formatted in Shift-JIS.

I can’t be the only person who has this problem…

you may need to manually change fonts. try that and see if it works set the default font and see if it works, you may need to change font on your file manager too

Thank you for the suggestion.

I’ve since remedied the problem by downloading a rewrite of the game in the Ren’Py engine, which supports linux. To clarify, I had no issue seeing Japanese in folder names generally, and I could name folders in Japanese. ja_JP.UTF-8 was supported. So the issue is that the files used a character encoding that I did not have installed and could not install on my system (in any easy way). It was likely Shift-JIS, as this is the other major Japanese font which was used over a decade ago. If that was the case, this may have helped: [broken dragon translation’s shift jis linux webpage]

This is probably a common issue with older visual novels.

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