September 13, 2019 #Kyota Sugimoto #Japan #Technology
In 1916, Kyota Sugimoto filed a patent for his invention of a typewriter capable of printing Japanese Kanji characters. We take so much technology for granted that it’s hard to picture all the energy that went into creating adaptations to make it universally available—such as when a writing system wouldn’t lend itself to easy printing:
In order to really adapt typewriters to kanji, which has a huge number of characters, Kyota Sugimoto carefully considered the nature of this writing system, including the frequency of use of characters used in public documents. The 2,400 characters chosen as a result were arranged by classification on a character carriage, and the chosen character was raised by a type bar that could move forward and backward and left and right. The character was then typed against a cylindrical paper supporter.