NEC M-System keyboard

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

In 1983, NEC 日本電気 came out with a new keyboard and new Japanese input system, called M-system (M式 aka M-type).

M-system is designed by Dr. Masasuke Morita at NEC.

NEC keyboard pk-kb015 44167-s
4256×2832 NEC PK-KB015 keyboard [image source xixihaha2008 geekhack ]
pk-kb015 NEC keyboard
NEC PK-KB015 keyboard

M-system is 2 things:

  1. A efficient Japanese input system. It's a romanji input system. (you type English Letter then convert to kata (Japanese alphabet)) The English letter arrangement is optimized for either kana.
  2. A physical keyboard design.

Note that the vowels {E, U, I, A, O} are all on the left hand home row.

NEC keyboard pk-kb015 2
NEC PK-KB015 keyboard
NEC keyboard pk-kb015 65422-s
4256×2832 NEC PK-KB015 keyboard [image source xixihaha2008 geekhack ]
NEC keyboard pk-kb015 key-switch 78696-s
ALPS SKCL yellow switch. 4256×2832 [image source xixihaha2008 geekhack ]

Other M-system Designs

Over the years, there are several M-system keyboard designs.

japanese ergonomic keyboards
[写真で見る歴史的なコンピュータ~「情報技術のエポック展」レポート【訂正版】 By Impress Corporation. At http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/article/20010313/ipsj.htm , accessed on 2013-01-21 ]
NEC PC 8801 K1 keyboard bj3qh-s333x188
NEC PC-8801-KI, 1983
nec m-type keyboard 1990 36618-s278x225
NEC M-system, 1990
M-type keyboard nzgj2
book on NEC M-system keyboard [image source twitter Beamspring]
NEC mini7 mqjdk
NEC 文豪 mini7 [image source http://i-harima.net/matikado/venue2016/30-世界で唯一の各種m式キーボードを展示/]
NEC mini7 nq5kb
NEC 文豪 mini7RM [image source http://i-harima.net/matikado/venue2016/30-世界で唯一の各種m式キーボードを展示/]
NEC NWP 98 p5bjf
NEC NWP 98

Reference

Japan keyboards

Esrille keyboard 40445-s289x217
Esrille New
Japan FKB8579 661 thumb shift keyboard 45474 s335x187
Thumb-Shift, 1980
NEC keyboard pk-kb015-s289x217
NEC M-system, 1983
TRON Keyboard Unit TK1 s1520x831
TRON, 1986
NEC PC 8801 K1 keyboard bj3qh-s333x188
NEC PC-8801-KI, 1983
nec m-type keyboard 1990 36618-s278x225
NEC M-system, 1990
NEC M-shiki keyboard NEC PC98 1992-s333x188
NEC PC-9801, 1992
scythe ergo diver keyboard left s289x217
Scythe Ergo Diver, ~2003
utron keyboard 02
μTRON, 2007

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