Shift_JIS art is artwork created from characters within the Shift_JIS character set, a superset of ASCII intended for Japanese usage. Naturally there are many similarities between Shift_JIS artwork and ASCII art.
Shift_JIS has become very popular on web-based bulletin boards, notably 2channel, and has even made its way into mainstream media and commercial advertising in Japan.
Within the Japanese community, Shift_JIS art is sometimes abbreviated as SJIS art, but is most commonly referred to as "AA" meaning ASCII art, although it rarely restricts itself to the 95 printable characters within the ASCII standard.
As with ANSI art, SJIS art is sometimes used for animation. However, due to technical advances, SJIS art also appears in the form of Macromedia Flash files and animated GIFs.
Unlike Western ASCII art, which is generally designed to be viewed with a monospace font, Shift_JIS art is designed around the proportional-width MS PGothic font supplied with Microsoft Windows, which is the default font for web sites in Japanese versions of Windows. This dependency has led to the development of the free Mona Font, each character of which is the same width as its counterpart in MS PGothic, for the use of users of other operating systems such as Linux and non-Japanese-capable versions of Windows.
Shift_JIS art in Japanese media
The Japanese movie and television show, , frequently included Shift_JIS art both during screen transitions and within the story itself. One of the recurring characters during the series was a Shift_JIS artist who would often draw full-screen Shift_JIS works of art as a way of expressing his support and encouraging the lead character.
- Tarou, Maruheso, ed. 2ちゃんねる AA大辞典 ("Ni-channeru AA Dai-Jiten" (romanized), meaning "2channel AA BIG Dictionary".)
- ISBN 4-7973-2275-6.
- Tokyo, Japan: Softbank Publishing, 2003.
- 2-ten Project, ed. 2典 ～2ちゃんねる辞典～ ("Ni-channeru AA Jiten" (romanized), meaning "2channel AA Dictionary".)
- ISBN 4-8354-4033-1.
- Virtual Cluster / Book-ing, 2002.