Japan M-Type keyboard

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

The Japanese are truely the pioneer of keyboard design. All these are symmetric.


NEC Keyboard based on a then new Japanese language input system, called M-system or M-type.

NEC M-shiki keyboard NEC PC98 1992
«M-system keyboard with compromised layout for NEC PC98 from 1992. It has Alps yellows and very heavy grey on top left key. —hasu 2013-02-22» image source

Note that the M-system layout for English, has all vowels {E, U, I, A, O} for left hand. This is similar to Dvorak Keyboard Layout.

M-system is designed by Dr. Masasuke Morita at NEC in the early 1980s.

japanese ergonomic keyboards
«元日本電気特別顧問森田正典氏が考案したM型キーボード('83年~)。左に母音、右に子音を配置しキー配置の覚えやすさと、左右交互打鍵と複数文字列を単打鍵で入力できる複合キーにより、高速な日本語入力を実現したという。文豪などに搭載されたほか、PC-8801/9801用、Windows用が発売された» 〔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. @ http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/article/20010313/ipsj.htm

Here's the translation (by Google translate)

Former Japanese electrical special adviser Morita Masanori M-type keyboard that Mr. devised ( '83 ~) . Vowel to the left , and remember the ease of key arrangement to place the consonants to the right , by a composite key in which you can enter the left and right alternately typing and multiple string with a single keystroke , that was realized a high-speed Japanese input . In addition to that it has been mounted on a great writer , for the PC-8801/9801, is for Windows was released

NEC keyboard pk-kb015 2 pk-kb015 NEC keyboard
«M-system keyboards designed by Masasuke Morita in 1983.» (thx to hasu, )
NEC keyboard pk-kb015 44167-s
〔image source xixihaha2008 https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45456.msg1464260#msg1464260
NEC keyboard pk-kb015 65422-s
〔image source xixihaha2008 https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45456.msg1464260#msg1464260
NEC keyboard pk-kb015 key-switch 78696-s
ALPS SKCL yellow switch. 〔image source xixihaha2008 https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45456.msg1464260#msg1464260

More info about M-type keyboard:

TRON Keyboard of Japan

TRON keyboards