Is it possible to type hiragana without romaji when doing the readings?

I want to learn how to type Japanese as I learn the language but not by only typing in romaji and letting a IME do all the work, but I also want to get used to the layout of a kana only keyboard and get used to typing like that.
I have started trying to swap keyboards every time WK switches between a reading and a meaning, but that is super cumbersome and very annoying. Also a small problem is that my keyboard IME suggests or even auto-converts to the kanji, which basically tells me if I got it wrong before pressing enter, although I can probably turn that off.
I am just wondering if there could be a script or some other method that allows you to type kana directly when typing in a reading.

You can use your mobile device with handwriting recognition IME to draw kana.

I am not really that interested in learning how to draw the kana but I am interested in typing the kana directly on some kana only keyboard layout rather than typing the romaji and letting it convert.

Are you interested in this because you think most Japanese people type that way?

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I’m interested because it just seems almost twice as fast to type basically half of the characters.

Idk whether you use moblie or not, but I use the Google Japanese Input on my Andriod. switching between hiragana and english letters is relatively easy. Just the press of a button.

Well, when you realize how much extra input goes into typing something like びゃ with a kana system, you might stop thinking it’s twice as fast.
B y a
ひ > び > びや > びゃ

That kind of thing is actually really common if you think about it. Also, keeping with an input you already are familiar with (romaji) is going to be more efficient in the short term than learning something new.

That said… sorry, I don’t know of a way to do what you’re asking. On mobile, though, you can do the 12 button mode that is actually pretty common among Japanese phone users, if you want, but you’ll still get the auto-complete thing at the top.


The 12-button kana keyboard is even more of a travesty. I just tried it and needed a minimum of 15 clicks just to write びょういん. You were correct, better stay with romaji input.

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Are you using flicks at all? It’s just 5 flicks plus one press each for modifying び and ょ

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Okay, I tried both the flick and non-flick 12-button kana keyboard. I guess this kind of thing developed from when phones still had physical buttons. For smartphones, the qwerty romaji input method is still my go-to input mode.

It’s unclear if you’re referring to using WK on a computer as opposed to a smart phone, but both don’t require the user to switch keyboard input between the meaning and reading input screens. This function is native to the platform so it doesn’t provide a conversion suggestion.

You may have already done this, but if you’re dead set on learning kana input on IME, here’s how to change Microsoft IME to kana input. If that isn’t the OS or version you’re using, I suggest googling it.

As for a script to default to kana input as the default, I’m not sure if that exists, yet. You can always search in this area of the forums to see if anyone’s developed something like that, though.

Adding to what others have said about the usefulness of learning kana-input, I’m not sure investing time learning it will be worth the time. I say this because of my own personal experience working with Japanese colleagues. Since they often switch between romaji, hiragana, and katakana for writing, none of their keyboards are set to kana input by default. I know this because they are computer illiterate and often need help troubleshooting problems on their machines.

Sorry that I can’t help anymore than this. Regarding my opinion, it’s not meant to dog pile on you to make you feel bad, but as fellow learners it’s important to let others know that help each other use our time as efficiently as possible. Whether or not you agree with me, it doesn’t come a bad place.

Wish you the best with your studies.


Google also has the so-called Godan input method, which is basically a simplified qwerty-keyboard with only 15 buttons

i’m using flick on my phone, don’t have a hiragana keyboard for my pc tho. don’t know anyone who uses those either, and i’m living in japan. here’s what my phone looks like:

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Yeah, Japanese people learn romaji in like 3rd grade, for various purposes, including wa-puro input.

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