NEC M-Type keyboard

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

NEC 日本電気 Keyboard based on a then new Japanese language input system, called M式 (in English, called M-type or M-system).

M-type is designed by Dr. Masasuke Morita at NEC in 1983.

NEC keyboard pk kb015 2 pk-kb015 NEC keyboard
M-type keyboard designed by Masasuke Morita in 1983.

M-type is 2 things:

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

Note that the vowels {E, U, I, A, O} are all on the left hand home row. This is similar to Dvorak Keyboard Layout.

NEC keyboard pk-kb015 44167-s
4256×2832 [image source xixihaha2008 geekhack ]
NEC keyboard pk-kb015 65422-s
4256×2832 [image source xixihaha2008 geekhack ]
NEC keyboard pk-kb015 key-switch 78696-s
ALPS SKCL yellow switch. 4256×2832 [image source xixihaha2008 geekhack ]

More info about M-type keyboard:

[【NEC】 Keyboard based on new input system (M system) By Information Processing Society Of Japan. At ]

Other M-Type Designs

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

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. At , accessed on 2013-01-21 ]

Here's machine translation:

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

M-type keyboard nzgj2
book on NEC M-type keyboard [image source twitter Beamspring]
NEC mini7 mqjdk
NEC mini7 mqjdk [image source世界で唯一の各種m式キーボードを展示/]
NEC mini7 nq5kb
NEC mini7 nq5kb [image source世界で唯一の各種m式キーボードを展示/]
NEC NWP 98 p5bjf

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-Type, 1983
TRON Keyboard Unit TK1 s1520x831
TRON, 1986
NEC PC 8801 K1 keyboard bj3qh-s333x188
NEC PC-8801, 1983
nec m-type keyboard 1990 36618-s278x225
NEC M-Type, 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
  1. Japan Input Method
  2. Japan Keyboard Layouts
  3. Hiragana Frequency Table
  4. MSX Home Computer
  5. SANYO Medicom MC-KM5600B
  6. ALPS Kanji
  7. Sukerutoron ST-2000

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