Japanese Input on Mac

So I finally bought my first Japanese Mac. Until now I’d been using my American keyboard and the Option+Shift+Space keyboard shortcut to cycle between Romaji>Hiragana>Katakana, but conveniently the Japanese keyboard has dedicated 英数 and かな keys. The problem is, I can’t get them to function. I’ve tried defining a new shortcut in the Keyboard section of System Prefs, but it wouldn’t register the keystrokes of either the 英数 or かな keys. Right now I’m cycling with the Control+Space shortcut, but I’d really like to use these otherwise useless keys for what they were intended.

I could not tell you much about the kana input.
I know its not commonly used, most even in Japan use romaji IME input. Likely what you did before.
I do with my mac, just switch the input with control + option + space. English, hiragana and katakana. Also neat with the touchbar it shows kanji auto complete.
Though I don’t know much about kana input, wish you the best of luck. You would try the learning Japanese sub reddit. there are a lot more active people on there who may know.

I did create this topic awhile go,but basicly everyone talked about how no one uses the kana input lol

I believe the reference to the かな key is just a single key that functions as the IME on/off button or for scrolling through options, but maybe I’m wrong.

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Not sure how you have the Mac set up but you may need to set the Region to Japan. This can be done in the language and region setting pane. I know from my experience with the iPhone there are some things you only get access to by setting the region to Japan (like adding a Suica card for example).

You could also try the modifier Keys Setting in keyboard that may have additional options on your Mac.

I didn’t even realise that the Japanese keyboard has these extra buttons, I’m going to have to take walk up the street to Bic Camera and take a look.

Bought my Mac in America but I hope this helps:


Thanks for the input y’all! I’ve since asked my Japanese co-worker about it and we figured it out.

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I didn’t know about the Control + Shift + Space!!!

I just use the command + space shortcut to change keyboards

I don’t know if this is helpful (because my Mac uses the standard US keyboard layout), but https://pqrs.org/osx/karabiner/index.html might be useful to you. It’s free and open source, and the author is Japanese, so there are some built-in configurations specific to Japanese keyboard layouts.

Huh, neither did I. Also, trying to do it, I accidentally discovered that isn’t how to switch keyboards (on my mac) but it IS how to enable handwriting mode. Shift + Option + Space switches from hiragana <–> romaji

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