The keyboard is not identified during openSuSE installation (so you need to use another keyboard instead) until the graphical user interface appears, asking which language is wanted. The keyboard/trackball works well throughout the rest of the installation. But then the keyboard does not work properly at the first login screen! It turns out that numlock is turned on by default, and that many of the normal `alphabet' keys generate number codes instead. It is really hard to tell this is the problem, because the Shintaro keyboard has no `numlock' light.
It is possible for `numlock' to be off when X starts. YaST -- System -- /etc/sysconfig -- Hardware -- Keyboard -- KBD_NUMLOCK can be set to `off'.