Tsukurimashou 0.1 - MetaFont meta-family for Japanese, first release

mskala's picture

I've posted the first public version of the Tsukurimashou parametric font family on my Web site at http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/entry/160.


The main goal of this project is to support my own study of the Japanese language, so the finished product is less important than the process of getting there. However, you might still enjoy looking at it. To my knowledge, there's never been a native MetaFont family with glyph coverage for Japanese; there exist a couple that are conversions from other formats, and there was also the Quixote Oriental Fonts Project, announced more than two decades ago, apparently never usable, and now long abandoned.

Tsukurimashou is free under the GNU GPL 3 with font-embedding clarification. MetaFont (actually MetaType1) sources for six styles are in the package, along with precompiled OTF files for two of those. Current glyph coverage is Latin-1, hiragana, and katakana, but bear in mind that as it's specifically designed for use with Japanese, the Latin alphabet is not my main priority. The Latin is monospaced, to go with the monospace CJK characters. Having the kana allows these fonts to be used basically to write Japanese at a kindergarten reading level; I'm just at the point where I can start adding kanji, which is where the real fun will begin. I'd really like to make it work with vertical typesetting, but it currently doesn't.

There are also a few extra goodies, like my previously-released Genjimon fonts, included in the package.

riccard0's picture

Interesting project!

Té Rowan's picture

Joy... Now I have "Telephone! Ring! Ring! Ring!" stuck in my head. Again.

mskala's picture

I've just posted version 0.2, which includes 198 kanji including all 80 of the Grade One "daily use" kanji from the Japanese school curriculum. There's still a long way to go, but some progress has been made.

The distribution (ZIP file containing four OTFs, documentation, and source code for those and the rest of the fonts) is at http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/page/fonts#tsukurimashou (English) and http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/page/fonts-jp/_1#tsukurimashou (日本語). A PDF demonstrating the different styles (for those who don't want to download the whole package) is at http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/fonts/tsuku-demo.pdf

The new version includes proportional spacing and kerning in addition to the monospace fonts. That makes the documentation (which is in English and typeset using the package's own fonts) a lot pleasanter to read. I still intend these fonts primarily for Japanese, but it's now possible to use them for nontrivial English text as well. There's also a new Autotools-based build system included.

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