To write Japanese, three letter systems are used. Kanji — adapted Chinese characters and two Japanese syllabic alphabets — hiragana and katakana.
Initially, writing to the Japanese came from China. There is no evidence that before the appearance of the hieroglyphs (kanji) they recorded their language. The first Japanese system of writing was a manjogan. Appeared in the V century. It used Chinese characters, but not their semantic values, but phonetic sounds. From maneyogany phonetic alphabets — hiragana and katakana occurred.
The Japanese alphabet — katakana was created by Tibetan monks, approximately, in the IX century. The symbols were used as phonetic clues in the kamboon. Kambun is an early form of adaptation of Chinese characters containing diacritical marks that indicate a sequence of hieroglyphs for reading in Japanese. Now with the help of katakana foreign words, names, names, scientific and technical terms are written down.
In Japanese fiction and newspapers, the text goes from top to bottom and from right to left. In computers and scientific and technical articles, basically, the European way of writing is used.