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STARS:Word Processing for the Japanese Language

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Toshiba introduced the JW-10 word processor for the Japanese language in 1978. Based on a 1967 proposal by Toshihiko Kurihara, it provided methods for converting kana to kanji, and the Roman alphabet to kana and kanji. These word-processing technologies were rapidly adopted throughout Japan. People preferred kana input initially, but Roman alphabet input gained in popularity as personal computers replaced word processors. Japanese-language word processing was subsequently applied to the Internet and cell phones, where it revolutionized communications and the availability of information. It contributed to economic growth, cultural change, and enhanced living standards throughout Japan.


1954 Tele-typesetting system is developed for Chinese characters
1967 Toshihiko Kurihara develops the fundamental kana-to-kanji conversion technology
1971 Toshiba starts R&D of the Japanese-language word processor
1972 Akira Kawashima presents the two-stroke method for Chinese characters input
1977 Prototypes of Japanese-language word processors presented by Toshiba and Sharp
1978 Toshiba exhibits the Japanese-language word processor JW-10
1979 Major Japanese electronics companies market Japanese-language word processors
1980 Fujitsu markets word processor with non-JIS thumb-shift keyboard
1982 Desk-top Japanese-language word processor JW-1 released by Toshiba
1985 Laptop Japanese-language word processor JW-R10 released by Toshiba
1985 Kana-to-kanji conversion software is available on personal computers
1989 27 percent of Japanese homes possess one Japanese-language word processor
1999 Japanese word processor market is minimized by personal computers
2010 Over 100 million mobile phones provide kana-to-kanji conversion technology



References of Historical Significance

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