With the ubiquity of computers and cell phones, penmanship skills become less and less used. To see how this affects the average Japanese, japan.internet.com reported on a survey conducted by JR Tokai Express Research Inc into handwriting and character input. This is a survey I’d love to see in full!
Over the 21st and 22nd of April 2008 330 members of the JR Tokai Express Research online monitor pool completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 51.8% of the sample was female, 3.6% in their teens, 16.7% in their twenties, 36.1% in their thirties, 28.5% in their forties, 8.8% in their fifties, 5.8% in their sixties, and 0.6% aged seventy or older.
I translated a similar survey on literacy back in June of 2006. This time almost 60% had over 10 years of computer usage, and in total almost 90% had over five years experience, so this sample mostly contained mature users.
I use the computer on the whole to prepare documents, but when being creative, in particular when forming ideas, I use paper to sketch out, as the limitations of a keyboard stunt my inventive processes. Meeting minutes and notes are also always done on paper as I can simultaneously write and listen better than I can type and listen. Also, if I can’t be bothered switching on my computer in the train I’ll just use paper there.
Q1: When writing, do you write by hand or by computer? (Sample size=330)
Nearly always write by hand 5.2% Mainly write by hand 7.0% Round about the same for both 13.3% Mainly write by computer 12.1% Nearly always write by computer 60.3% Never write anything 2.1%
Q2: Do you feel you’ve become unable to write kanji since you started using computers? (Sample size=330)
Feel so strongly 42.7% Feel so a little 41.8% Don’t feel so 10.3% Writable kanji has increased 0.9% Can’t say either way 4.2%
Q2: Do you feel you’ve become unable to read kanji since you started using computers? (Sample size=330)
Feel so strongly 8.2% Feel so a little 20.9% Don’t feel so 50.3% Readable kanji has increased 16.1% Can’t say either way 4.5%