(Oh wow, English!)
Sorting in Japanese has always been an interesting topic to me because ... well, it just can't be done totally automatically.
This crosses my mind whenever I'm using my iPod and want to find a Japanese artist name that's written in (or at least begins with) kanji. My iPod sorts them, but I can't figure out how in the world it's organized them. Thus, finding Japanese artist names and album names can be a frustrating affair. (I don't often do it, though, so at least it's a rare nuisance.)
Anyway, while searching for information about this issue online, I found a nice blog post entitled "Sorting in Japanese—An Unsolved Problem." It explains why sorting in Japanese is such a difficult problem and looks at some of the ways the problem has been tackled in the past. Check it out if you're interested.