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Keyboard Builders' Digest / History

Japanese typewriters

An old write-up on the inner working mechanism and general evolution of Japanese typewriters.
Published July 31, 2021

I stumbled upon a rather old but interesting blog entry from 2009 on Japanese mechanical typewriters. Unfortunately, most of the outer links are long dead, but it's still worth reading.

With several thousand characters to contend with, Japanese people had to come up with something different compared to the Western typewriters, at least before the advent of digital word processing.

The story starts in 1915 with Kyota Sugimoto and his invention, the kanji typewriter (和文タイプライター or 邦文タイプライター).

This invention was deemed so important that it was selected as one of the ten greatest Japanese inventions by the Japanese Patent Office during their 100th anniversary celebrations in 1985 – GT.

GT, owner of the blog which seems to be abandoned now, continues with a description of the inner mechanism of this early typewriter. He also lists several later models with pictures.

Take a look at the original post if you are interested:

Published on Sat 31st Jul 2021. Featured in KBD #37 (source).

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