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by KBDfans

"Discovered in an old newspaper factory (c. 1991), the Topre 39-AA-0101 brings back memories of vintage keypunch terminals like the Data Decisions 8010. Additionally, it boasts multiple Japanese language input options, including the commonly seen Hiragana (ひらがな), Katakana (カタカナ), Romaji (ローマ字), and Hanzi (漢字) input methods. However, the two most interesting input methods have since become obsolete: Kuten (区・点) and Associative (連想, rensō), making this keyboard one fascinating piece of computing history. Kuten codes were a pre-Unicode 2-byte encoding system for kanji (look up “JIS X 0208” if you want to learn more), while the Associative key was a direct kanji input method that relied on word associations that the user likely had to memorize to use effectively. It can be more accurately translated in this context to Associative Direct Kanji Input. Being a direct input method (as opposed to a phonetic one that frequently necessitates a menu of options for each input), it was probably a relatively quick and efficient input system. However, the steep learning curve possibly doomed the method to obscurity."


  • Material: PBT material
  • Production Method: Dye-sub
  • Profile: Hipro profile R5-R4-R3-R2-R1
  • Compatible with Topre and RealForce keyboards and Leopold Fc660C, Fc980C
  • Designer: Fredington