Today, I would like to introduce “Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana – History of Japanese Notation,” written by Shinji Konno
The content explains Japanese notation up to written in kanji and kana at present with twists and turns through various historical documents. Beginning from a bronze mirror in the tumulus period, well known documents such as the “Kojiki,” “Manyoshu,” “Tale of the Heike,” etc. are handled. The author, who is also a Japanese linguist, observes these notations in detail.
What I’m particularly interested in is the analysis with a focus on typeface. The close relationship between text content, character type, and typeface is explained. I have previously mentioned the current Japanese notations titled “Typesetting Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana” in this blog. If you want to know more about the origin of kana and Japanese notations in the past, I recommend this book.
“Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana – History of Japanese Notation”
Author: Shinji Konno
- Book of the Month (November 2021): “Designing Type”
- Book of the Month (October 2021): “Writing Vertically Creates the Scenery of Words – Why Do We Need Two Japanese Writings in Vertical and Horizontal?”
- Book of the Month (September 2021): “Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana – History of Japanese Notation”
- Book of the Month (August 2021): “Scripts: Elegant Lettering from Design’s Golden Age”