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Apple II j-plus

The j-plus is probably the rarest model of the Apple II. People may argue that the original Apple II is rarer than the j-plus, but that's their opinion. There weren't too many of these units sold in Japan, and there isn't that much information (especially information written in English) available on-line. However, here's what I do know...

The Apple II j-plus was announced in Japan on July, 1980. Based on the Apple II Plus, it included what one source called the "j-plus ROM" (similar in function the the Apple II Plus' AUTOSTART ROM), and the ability to display the Katakana character set. The key caps on the keyboard also included the Katakana character set. The original retail market price in Japan was 358,000 yen. The j-plus model was not successful, as it didn't fit that well in terms of business applications. One source says that about 2000 units were sold overall.

I'd like to find out more information about the j-plus. I'm especially curious about the keyboard ROM and the D0 thru F8 ROMs, as well as information on any software written that utilized the Katakana character set capability of the j-plus. One source said that the j-plus could not run standard Apple II software seeing the ROMs were different (he also mentioned that swapping the ROMs with the U.S. ROMs would make it work, which tells me that the logic board is functionally identical to the U.S. model).

Front view of the j-plus unit. Notice the roman characters on the top of the keys, while the Katakana characters are on the front. Inside of the j-plus. Everything looks the same from the inside. The power supply is also the same, as Japan is 110v 60Hz. Another view of the inside of the j-plus.
Close view of the keyboard, showing the Katakana characters. The keys are of the glossy smooth finish, similar to the earlier Apple II/II+ models. Bottom view, showing the labels. The green label is identical to the U.S. model. The added "Toray" label is an addition on the j-plus. Both the serial number and model of the j-plus is different from the green label. Image of the keyboard ROM on the j-plus.

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