This index typewriter is designed for typing Japanese characters and was manufactured by the Nippon Keieiki Company in 1976.

The Japanese written language is represented by ideograms, one set of which, known as Kanji, contains some 50,000 characters. In this typewriter each Kanji character is embossed on the end of an individual type 'slug'. Several thousand of these slugs, representing the most used characters, are arranged in a rectangular array in a tray positioned in front of a cylindrical platen. The operator moves the operating mechanism over the array and presses a handle. The mechanism picks up the slug for the selected character, lifts it out of the tray and swings it up and forward to make contact with the inking ribbon, paper and platen. The slug is then returned to its position in the tray. Extra trays containing additional character sets were provided with the machine.

Physical Description

Metal frame with cylindrical platen at rear. Tray containing about 2500 individual character slugs in front of platen. Operating mechanism and platen move on carriage. Operating handle moves vertically to select character to be printed. Inking ribbon carried between two spools on vertical axes.

More Information

  • Collecting Areas

    Information & Communication

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Asian Languages Department, University of Melbourne (The), by 13 Nov 1990

  • Manufacturer

    Nippon Keieiki Company Limited, 1976

  • Inscriptions

    At left-hand end of platen: Emblem incorporating words 'COPY MAT' At right-hand end of platen: Japanes characters On back of rear cover: 'PION .1/4 [Symbol with Japanese characters]' On lower rear farme, label marked at left: 'PION .1/4 [Emblem] / MANUFACTURED BY / NIPPON KEIEIKI CO. LTD.' and marked at right: 'MFGD. DATE 1976 / TYPE MFGR. OMC-335M / 143993' Second label on lower rear frame marked: 'ISO [Japanese characters]' On front of frame: 'NIKKEI'

  • Classification

    Communications, Typewriting

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    770 mm (Width), 570 mm (Depth), 310 mm (Height)

  • Keywords

    Communications, Office Equipment, Typewriters