Book of the Month (September 2021): “Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana – History of Japanese Notation”

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The content explains Japanese notation up to written in kanji and kana at present with twists and turns through various historical documents.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.

Book information:
“Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana – History of Japanese Notation”
 Author: Shinji Konno
 Publisher: Heibonsha

Purchase information:


Series archive Recommended Book / Book of the Month