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Emacs Centric Approach

The key advantage of using mule is the ability to access the EDICT dictionary within mule using trans and trans.el or edict.el. Mule also has good integration of Japanese Input Methods. An average work environment for emacs lovers.
mew (very popular if you use POP to get your mail or if mail spools directly on your Linux box)
mh-e (trans and trans.el recommended for Japanese to English translation)
Pine 3.96 with Japanese patch and mule set as alternate editor implicitly (advantage of Pine is the ability to use IMAP4)

The pico editor has moderately good Emacs key-binding support and supports Japanese input directly with the Japanese patch applied.

Craig Toshio Oda