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Question: I'm currently taking a Japanese History course, and typing up (what I believe to be) a very pretty set of course notes. However, I'm having trouble finding an appropriate font. I'm currently using one of my chinese fonts which has a medium calligraphic style to it, however it doesn't have great Japanese support. I am strongly preferential to free fonts, for the obvious reason of being a poor university student.

I've searched for Japanese fonts across the internet but I'm having significant trouble finding a Japanese font that matches my body text (EB Garamond). If anyone can point me in the right direction that'd be amazing. enter image description here (Please pay no attention to the grammatical/spelling errors, this is from the latest class period and hasn't been edited yet)

OP's comments: This was originally on the Japanese SE website, but they quickly closed and deleted it without consideration of the fact that their community was probably the single best resources for this topic.

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I agree that being a good sight-reader in Japanese is a requirement for answering this question. That person will also need to have some limited typographic background (my father can't tell the difference between Times and Garamond unless pressed on the subject). That said, you use the word "calligraphic" which, to my mind, means "handwritten." Garamond is decidedly NOT a caligraphic style. – horatio Sep 27 '12 at 15:27
Just looking at typefaces for english can show you there is a ton of room for variety in letterforms, but this link ( ) has a basic intro to japanese typographical usage (unvetted by me as I am ignorant of Japanese writing and typography). – horatio Sep 27 '12 at 15:35
@horatio, I am well aware that Garamond is not a calligraphic typeface, however, I find that the font weight and the style of the j's, Q's, tend to match a more calligraphic CJK font, like the one that I'm using. Most other fonts are very square, and stick out like a sore thumb. Nice link (nihonogo), thanks! – EricR Sep 27 '12 at 16:20
up vote 4 down vote accepted

My computer seems to have Kozuka Mincho Pro, which has a huge base of glyphs. Even some white-on black kanji and a large selection in both hiragana and katakana. The font came, as far as I know, with my copy of Adobe CS3.

Kozuka Mincho Pro selection

A Google made me find it available for free both at and I have no experience with either site, though.

Edit: I forgot the 'calligraphic' part of your question. My apologies. A good alternative might be DFKai-SB. It's not as thorough or deep as Kozuka, but I guess it will do the job you want it to.

DFKai-SB selection

I was able to find it for free here:

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the first set, those are good to know about. As for the second, I think that's exactly perfect for my needs. I'm going to leave the question open a bit longer for other answers first. – EricR Sep 27 '12 at 16:21

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