The Germans manufactured Enigma machines for the Japanese Government but they were never received. "Officially" they were lost when the German submarine tasked with the delivery was sunk. Japanese experts, having a very basic shared knowledge of the Enigma, created their own device.
Only two surviving examples of the Japanese Enigma are known to exist.
|The machine has four rotors, each with 25
positions, a keyboard with
25 character keys, two shift keys and a lamp-board with 25 lights.
|It is believed that operating the shift keys somehow switches between the two sets of 25 displayed lights.|
|This unit is on display
at the National Cryptologic Museum. The literal translation of the nameplate
is as follows:
3 way word-substituting machine
Jerry McCarthy provides a more refined description of the first line in the nameplate: " Type 3 character substituting machine" or better yet "Type 3 katakana substituting machine".
|All photos in this table by Ralph Simpson.|
Some questions arise:
a) Any info on the rotor wiring? Are the rotors swappable?
b) Is there a UKW-like reflecting mechanism?
c) Is encryption reciprocal (if yes, then that would imply a "yes" to (b) )
d) Is there a specific encrypt/decrypt control somewhere?
e) Do any coding sheets exist for daily settings and the like?
Contributors and Credits:
1) Ralph Simpson <ralphenator(at)gmail.com>
2) Jerry McCarthy <jerry_mccarthy_uk(at)yahoo.co.uk>