What Kind Of Keyboard Do Japanese People Use?

The type of keyboard they use in Japan is one that’s unique to the country – the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) keyboard. It features two separate methods for inputting data.

A standard Japanese computer keyboard does feature QWERTY letters but with additional characters added for the Kana method which basically makes the keyboard easier for Japanese speakers to use.

Do Japanese people use Kana or Romaji keyboards?

The type of keyboard used depends on the experience and ability of the person involved. Romaji keyboards are popular with any users that need to use the Roman alphabet which contains 26 letters and not Katakana or Hiragana which feature 46 characters each.

Advanced computer users in Japan will bypass the Romaji layout and will go straight for a Kana keyboard instead.

Is Hiragana actually used?

Hiragana is not widely used; Although Hiragana is first learned in schools in Japan, it takes up much space for writing. Written on its own it can be childlike and difficult to read.

What are the 3 ways of Japanese typing?

The three ways of Japanese typing are Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana. Each of these has its own set of characters that are not found in English. The characters can be accessed once the Japanese keyboard layout has been selected. It is, therefore, important to select the right layout to avoid endless searching for characters. The characters are not interchangeable between the three systems. 

Hiragana is the easiest and most basic of the systems and is used in primary schools but less used in general adult typing.
Katakana is more widely used for scientific terms and characters as well as foreign words and sounds. 
Kanji are Chinese characters which have been used and adopted by the Japanese and they each represent words and ideas or concepts.
Hiragana is the easiest and most basic of the systems and is used in primary schools but less used in general adult typing.

Overall, Japan is home to some of the most innovative and high-quality keyboard brands in the world. Whether you’re a professional typist or a casual user, there is a Japanese keyboard brand that will meet your needs.

What keyboard brands are popular in Japan?

Japan pretty much became the home of modern consumer electronics just after World War II and the implementation of The Marshall Plan. But Japan had long been home to advanced technology prior to this.

Japanese computer users tend to prefer Topre keyboards, models from Fujtsu, Happy Hacking (HHKB) keyboards and NEC keyboards.

Other maintstream keyboards – Razer, Steelseries, etc – are also purchased and then customized with Katakana keyboard arrays and caps.

How easy is it to switch between Japanese and English keyboards?

Once the Japanese keyboard option is installed (see below) it is easy to switch between Japanese and English keyboards.

On a Windows device, hold down the Windows key while pressing the spacebar – this will allow you to toggle between the installed keyboards.

On a Mac device, provided the relevant keyboard has been installed, switch between keyboard languages using the menu bar.

If the keyboard has not already been installed, please follow the steps below:

For Windows users:

For Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings from the start menu.
  2. Click on Time & Language.
  3. Click on the Language option
  4. Under the “Preferred languages” section, select the current default language.
  5. Click Options.
  6. Under”Keyboards, click ‘Add a keyboard’. Select the new keyboard layout.

For Windows 11:

  1. Open Settings from the start menu.
  2. Click on Time & Language.
  3. Click the Language & Region option on the right-hand side of the page.
  4. Click the menu button and select Language Options.
  5. Under ‘Keyboards’ click ‘Add a keyboard’.
  6. Select your desired layout.

For Mac users:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on Keyboard.
  3. Click on the ‘Input Sources’ tab and then click the + button which is at the bottom.
  4. Choose the desired language from the left hand side and it will offer the keyboard layout option to the right.

Choose your desired keyboard layout and click Add.

Resources: Kana keyboard – Wikimedia

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