Japanese fonts 01


"Japanese fonts 02" is here.

Free Japanese fonts are few. Why?

  1. We need 2965 (JIS Level 1) + 3390 (JIS Level 2) kanji. It will take two or three years to make a new font.
  2. Fonts are kind of art. Font authors don't want to make it free (GPL etc), because free software licences permit font modification.
  3. Font authors don't want to see their fonts on the adult sites. Free software licences permit free use.

Notes: We can't show the direct links to download the fonts. Font authors often change the URLs to avoid the direct links. They want to show their messages (license, thought) first.

Hinting is not good for Japanese

Compare the pictures:

hintslight is rather thin and hintnone's "目" is clearer than hintslight.

Font Index

These fonts include 2965 (JIS Level 1) + 3390 (JIS Level 2) kanji. The images are generated by ImageMagick on linux. I wrote a ruby script to make the images. Put your fonts into ~/.fonts and run the script.

Noto Sans CJK

Noto fonts aim to support all languages. The goal is "NO more TOfu". Tofu is a white square food and Japanese PC users call garbled characters (like �) "Tofu".

Website: https://www.google.com/get/noto/
License: OFL
Download: https://www.google.com/get/noto/help/cjk/

Go to the Download page and get "NotoSansCJK-Regular.ttc". This file includes multiple fonts. Choose "Noto Sans CJK JP Regular" or "Noto Sans Mono CJK JP Regular" for Japanese.

GenEi fonts

GenEi fonts are modified Gen-no-Kaku Gothic. "Gen-no-Kaku Gothic" and "Noto Sans" are the same font. Adobe call it "Gen-no-Kaku Gothic (Source Han Sans)", and Google call it "Noto Sans".

Website: http://okoneya.jp/font/
License: OFL

Go to the Website and click "ダウンロード".

IPA fonts

IPA stands for Information-technology Promotion Agency. It is a related organization of the Japanese Government. Note: IPA fonts are not for phonetic characters.

Website: http://ipafont.ipa.go.jp/old/ipafont/download.html#en
License: http://ipafont.ipa.go.jp/old/ipafont/download.html#en

IPAex fonts

IPAex fonts are combined fonts. Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji = fixed IPA fonts. alphabets, numbers = proportional IPA fonts.

Website: http://ipafont.ipa.go.jp/node17#en
License: http://ipafont.ipa.go.jp/ipa_font_license_v1-html#en

Takao Gothic

Modified IPA fonts. Ubuntu might use them for the default Japanese fonts.

Website: https://launchpad.net/takao-fonts
License: http://ipafont.ipa.go.jp/old/ipafont/download.html#en

Check "Downloads" in the right.

MigMix fonts

MigMix fonts are combined fonts that use "M+ font" and "IPA Gothic".

Website: http://mix-mplus-ipa.osdn.jp/migmix/
License: http://ipafont.ipa.go.jp/old/ipafont/download.html#en
Download: https://osdn.jp/projects/mix-mplus-ipa/releases/p11182

MigMix 1P, MigMix 2P = proportional fonts. MigMix 1M, MigMix 2M = fixed fonts.

IPA Mona fonts

IPA Mona fonts are modified IPA fonts. It is good for Japanese ASCII art. Most Japanese ASCII art is designed for MS P Gothic, and IPA Mona fonts have the same width as MS P Gothic.

Website: http://www.geocities.jp/ipa_mona/
License: You need to distribute them with the IPA certified softwares.

Click "opfc-ModuleHP-1.1.1_withIPAMonaFonts-1.0.8.tar.gz" in the page. IPA Mona fonts are included in opfc-ModuleHP-/fonts/ .

Motoya L Cedar

"Motoya L Cedar" is a Gothic font made by the Motoya Corporation. Google Android used it for the Japanese font. This font is designed for mobile machines.

Download: https://sourceforge.net/p/android-x86/frameworks_base/ci/marshmallow-x86/tree/data/fonts/MTLc3m.ttf
License: Apache License

Go to the Download page and click "download it".

Motoya L Maruberi

This font is designed for mobile machines.

Download: https://sourceforge.net/p/android-x86/frameworks_base/ci/marshmallow-x86/tree/data/fonts/MTLmr3m.ttf
License: Apache License

Go to the Download page and click "download it".

UmePlus Gothic

UmePlus fonts are combined fonts. Hiragana, Katakana, alphabets, numbers = M+ fonts. Kanji = Ume fonts.

Website: http://linuxplayers.g1.xrea.com/modified_fonts_01.html
License: You can redistribute it and modify it freely.