Old thread, but since it's already been recently resurrected, figured one more can't hurt =)
Wanted to correct a couple of things that flew by here:
-I also purchased Japanese keyboards for both my desktop and my laptop, ostensibly to learn the kana layout and for the benefit of having single-key toggle. Turns out the former is obsolete and the latter was unnecessary because:
-It's not necessary to use both Ctrl-Shift and Alt-` to switch between qwerty and romaji input in Windows. You can forgo the Ctrl-Shift and simply use Alt-` as a toggle, because there's essentially no difference between being in the 'US English' keyboard and being in 'Direct Input' mode in the Japanese IME. I switch between English and Japanese dozens of times a day, and this is how I do it. In fact, I completely removed US English and its keyboard, to avoid accidentally switching to it.
-The kana layout is old and arbitrary and so has similar problems as QWERTY. I have never met a single Japanese person who types using it; everyone uses romaji. The moraic syllabry is ~46 characters and mapping each one to a key leads to an absurd amount of row jumping. On top of that, you have to switch modes to type numbers. So sadly the 'just use the kana layout' suggestion does a lot more harm than good.
Last edited by kobachi (23-Dec-2009 00:41:18)