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Thumb-Shift Keyboard(1980)

Photo of Thumb Shift Keyboard

This was a Fujitsu-original keyboard used for the first time on the OASYS100, Fujitsu’s first Japanese word processor released in 1980. On this keyboard, Japanese kana characters were assigned to the same layout of keys as an alphabetic typewriter. Either of the two characters assigned to a single key could be selected by simultaneously pressing one of the Shift keys located near their thumbs when the character key was pressed. By arranging frequently-used characters in positions which were easy to press, the keyboard made Japanese-language input simpler, faster, and more accurate. Later, the thumb-shift specifications were passed on for use in the “NICOLA keyboard arrangement” of the Nihongo Input Consortium.

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