One of the things that takes a while to grasp when you learn Japanese is how to spot equivalents in the various fonts. Japanese has different typefaces just like Western languages do, and they're even grouped into families the same way. You've probably read English long enough that you don't think about it anymore, but imagine being a Japanese kid and being presented with

a
a
a
a
g
g
g
g

and being told that all the characters on any given line were supposed to be the same thing. You would think you were losing your mind.

The first font you learn to read in your Japanese class is the one in your textbook, which is going to be unfairly legible. It's usually a printed minchou 『明朝』style, which is the equivalent of a serif font in Latin alphabets. The name comes from Ming-chou, as in Ming Dynasty, the period during which they nicked it from China. (The characters mean "light" and "morning", which goes to show you what the Ming Dynasty thought of itself.) It typically has little triangular ticks at the ends of the lines, which are meant to echo the ink trails left by a brush being lifted gently from the page at the end of a stroke; I have never run into the English term serif used in this context, but I'm not sure if the term I know (『うろこ』, uroko or "fish scales") is official or not.

Occasionally you'll find a textbook or a set of flash cards that uses a Gothic font. As in English typography, it's nothing to do with scary castles and vampires, but describes a family of print styles with equal line weights used both horizontally and vertically, and no serifs hanging off the ends of things. (Interestingly, fonts don't have faces in Japanese. The character used to tag them, 体, is a marker/descriptor for bodies, as in 死体, shitai, a corpse.)

The second style you learn to read is the one your teacher uses to scrawl on the board. This will vary depending on whether your teacher is an actual Japanese person or not. See, they teach handwriting in Japanese schools, but they don't generally teach it to foreign students -- I get the feeling the Japanese think it's a lost cause. The tell you what order to make the lines in, because Tradition Says So, but the object isn't to teach you proper writing technique so much as it's an effort to make you draw tiny pictures that other Japanese speakers can maybe someday decipher. Native Japanese handwriting, translated into Latin letters, is the exact polar opposite of Cyrillic cursive: pointy chicken scratch.

I'm told that my kanji are readable but foreign-looking. Mog, on the other hand, has been told that hers are terribly authentic, probably because her handwriting in English should automatically qualify her to be either a doctor or a serial killer, depending on her mood.

Once you start attempting to read things in real life, all bets are off. Some of it was fine for me, some was not. I've impressed several people by being able to identify characters on wall hangings done in sousho hand (草書, the fluid, slithery brush style you see used in calligraphy) but the ultra-cheerful fucking felt-tip bubble font used in a lot of graphic design flummoxed me for ages. Edomoji in general are kind of caterwampus but since the drag marks follow the order of the brush strokes they're not all that bad, whereas I have all but given up on the stylized kakuji hand used for official stamps. It's your name, dammit, you're really just going to have to read it to me.

Video games are a special case, usually in an unpleasant sense. For quite a while, the only times you ever saw kanji were on title screens and splash pages, because the available resolution was simply not high enough to display complicated characters in dialogue boxes instead of unreadable blots. (Unreadable blots have historically been a problem in Japanese. There is a special typographical character that specifically means 'either the typesetter can't read this character or the word processor doesn't know how to print it, so we're all just going to have to guess blindly at what's meant to be here'.) The text in early games was written out entirely in kana. The Zelda games used all katakana, as most computer displays did at the time, but that tends to be read as the equivalent of SHOUTING IN ALL CAPS and annoys people, so more text-heavy games like Final Fantasy opted for an all-hiragana character set instead. The oldest stuff I have knocking around that uses kanji as per standard book Japanese is from the Playstation era, although probably there are some for the SNES/Genesis/TG-16 that use a limited set of characters that would be legible on screen.

The DS screen is rather small and all its Ruby markup is in katakana, either out of laziness or necessity. For various reasons this makes it easier to distinguish シ and ツ (or ン and ソ, for that matter, although that's generally more obvious from context), but I just about need a magnifying glass to make out whether there are dakuten/handakuten involved.

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