Typewriter Has 2,000 Keys (Jan, 1937)

Typewriter Has 2,000 Keys

AN INGENIOUS typewriter containing 2,000 Japanese ideograms besides the usual assortment of Roman characters for European languages, has been invented by Hizen Izutsu, teacher at a vocational school in Osaka, Japan.

Despite the enormous keyboard capacity, the novel typewriter is smaller than many ordinary standard typewriters previously in use. The machine sells at about $50.

Simple in operation, there is but one type-lever. It picks up the type, one piece after the other, from a movable lettercase, and places them back immediately after the touch is performed.

2 comments
  1. MrG says: February 5, 200910:16 am

    I remember playing with a Japanese PC keyboard when I was in industry. It’s the same as any other PC keyboard but the keys are marked in kana, the phonetic set. There are multiple kanji characters for each phonetic pronunciation — the user types in the phonetics and then presses a key to cycle through the possible kanji to find the one wanted. From what I have been told Chinese works the same way, but since Chinese doesn’t have a phonetic set they actually use a Roman-labelled keyboard to enter the phonetics. Cheers — MrG / http://www.vectorsite.n…

  2. surveyork says: April 11, 20093:35 pm

    Kana (hiragana, katakana) are the Japanese syllabaries, not completely phonemic/phonetic.
    It’s possible to type Japanese with Western keyboards: The input in “romanized/latinized” script is automatically converted to Japanese kana and then a selection of kanji is presented. The system for Chinese is similar, although there are several input methods for Chinese. At least one of them relies on the constituents of the character and not on its sound, so it’s possible to type characters you don’t know how to pronounce or what they mean.

    Chinese and Japanese could be perfectly written completely simpler ways like latin letters, in syllabaries like kana or alphabets like the Korean Hangul. Why don’t they do it? Cultural and traditional reasons, mainly, not practical reasons. In fact, there where attempts to completely romanize Chinese and Japanese in the last century.

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