Node.js module for converting Japanese Hiragana and Katakana script to, and from, Romaji using Hepburn romanisation
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Node.js module for converting Japanese Hiragana and Katakana script to, and from, Romaji using Hepburn romanisation.

Based partly on Takaaki Komura's kana2hepburn.


npm install hepburn


var hepburn = require("hepburn");


var romaji1 = hepburn.fromKana("ひらがな");
var romaji2 = hepburn.fromKana("カタカナ");

Converts a string containing Kana, either Hiragana or Katakana, to Romaji.

In this example romaji1 will have the value HIRAGANA, romaji2 will have the value KATAKANA.


var hiragana = hepburn.toHiragana("HIRAGANA");

Converts a string containing Romaji to Hiragana.

In this example hiragana will have the value ひらがな.


var katakana = hepburn.toKatakana("KATAKANA");
var tokyo = hepburn.toKatakana("TŌKYŌ"); 

Converts a string containing Romaji to Katakana.

In this example katakana will have the value カタカナ and tokyo will have the value トーキョー.


var cleaned = hepburn.cleanRomaji("SYUNNEI");
// cleaned === "SHUN'EI"

Cleans up a romaji string, changing old romaji forms into the more-modern Hepburn form (for further processing). Generally matches the style used by Wapro romaji. A larger guide to modern romaji conventions was used in building this method.

What this methods fixes:

  • Incorrect usage of the letter M. For example "Shumman" should be written as "Shunman".
  • Changing usage of NN into N', for example "Shunnei" becomes "Shun'ei".
  • Converting the usage of OU and OH (to indicate a long vowel) into OO.
  • Correct old usages Nihon-shiki romanization into Hepburn form. A full list of the conversions can be found in the hepburn.js file. For example "Eisyosai" becomes "Eishosai" and "Yoshihuji" becomes "Yoshifuji".


Returns true if string contains Hiragana.


Returns true if string contains Katakana.


Returns true if string contains any Kana.

Testing Build Status

Run the unit tests with:

npm test


Copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 Lovell Fuller, John Resig, Ron Korving and Brian Gesiak

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.