I also went through similar problems when I was running Suse 9.3 pro, but finally I could type Japanese characters in English environment...(I tried to System default to Japanese, but some texts translated into Japanese sound so dull and funny to me that I could not accept it as a native Japanese speaker, so I changed back to English)...did many things, maybe wrongly...then 9.3 crashed,couldn't retrieve... gave up and installed 10.0 and I'm running it now.
Actually I'm also quite a new linux user, and I'm afraid that I won't be able to provide so sophisticated ideas or tech-type direct solutions...so just take this comment as misc-info reference only.
Ok, now under 10.0 version,I'm running Skim(SCIM backend).
I'm using "Anthy", which is Japanese Input method supported by Scim/Skim...
10.0 has this soft inside, which is supposed to be installed when you have installed 10.0...do you have this "Anthy"?..
One more. I presume( as a layman) that you need to install Japanese fonts?...say, "SAZANAMI"...or whatever SuSe 10.0 is offering inside CD? Did you try it?...
Reference URL here:
I have browsed here and there for webs that provide relevant and usefull info under SUSE, but no avail so far, except some pages that are very specific to Mandriva distro as above.
I tried UIM-Anthy, this one does not work...what I mean that, usually, when u type sound-values by alphabets and press Space, then you can automatically get Hiragana/katakana and/or Kanji(Chinese characters). But UIM-Anthy does not convert...I do not why now...
Anyway, Anthy looks better for me, since "Conversion frm Hiragana to Kanji" seems up-to-date.