From TP’s Stack: “The History of Mincho Typeface”

Today, I would like to introduce “The History of Mincho Typeface,” written by Shinichi Takemura.

This book begins with paper and cloth, the origin of printing, the transition of character and typeface, history up to the creation of Mincho typeface in China, and the process up to its introduction and fixation in Japan.

In the chapter explaining how the block style deformed to become Mincho typeface, the feeling for written characters that became block copy and the writers who wrote these characters, and the description that handwriting of the block style that retained the natural flavor of calligraphy gave an abstraction as easy-to-read Mincho typeface are interesting in terms of a transition method that is not limited to ease of curving character shape up to Mincho typeface, division of labor, and improvement in efficiency.

There are many illustrations of printed books, such as scripture, etc., that can help you follow the changes in the shape of Mincho typeface.
In the classification table of uroko for these Mincho typefaces, there are many interesting variations in shape that are different from the triangle we see today, such as highly flipped-up shape, etc. I was reminded that these variations come from the movement and flow of a brush.

Related to “The History of Mincho Typeface,” here’s a comment from Mr. Suzuki of our company regarding the selected book:

How did an innovative typeface become stylized and fixed after transition? It is a theme of unfailing interest to those who are engaged in typeface design. Unfortunately, there are only few books that carefully analyze the transition of typeface. In terms of that, “The History of Mincho Typeface” is a precious book. In addition, “The Cultural History of Character” is appropriate for understanding the transition of Kanji typeface from the perspective of tools and materials, though it is a general information manual.

Book Information:
“The History of Mincho Typeface”

Author: Shinichi Takemura

Publisher: Shibunkaku Publishing

Purchase Information:

Although it is out of stock, you can purchase a used book.

Book Information:

“The Cultural History of Character”

Author: Akira Fujieda

Publisher: Iwanami Shoten

Purchase Information:文字の文化史-同時代ライブラリー83-藤枝-晃/dp/4002600831

Although it is also out of stock, you can purchase a used book.


Series archive Recommended Book / From TP’s Stack