I bought a Sony PRS-505 last week and converted Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese into the epub format. The original file is here. I removed the links, the "last revisioned" comments and some other things and it took me several hours to change it into a nice XHTML, which I could throw at calibre's converter. Since the guide is under an open license you can download my resulting e-book here:


This e-book should work on all readers, which support the full Unicode char-set out-of-the-box but it is specifically meant for the PRS-505 which requires the font "TakaoExGothic" to be present in the "fonts/"-folder in the internal memory of your device. This is necessary because the built-in font does not offer support for japanese characters.

If you need any help, please feel free to leave a comment.

Update: Because v2 was so kind to tell us, that it's possible to embed fonts in EPUB files, here's the epub with the font embedded into it (I still recommend to use the other one, where possible, because the font bloats the file-size to 4.6 MB):


8 Responses to “Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese as epub”

  1. João Jatobá
    November 17th, 2011 at 22:09

    It works on Kobo touch, if you install any japanese font (MS MINCHO or unifont).

  2. simon
    January 14th, 2012 at 21:42

    Hi, I know how much workit is to convert a pdf document to epub. I appreciate your work and I’d like to read it on Sony PRS1 but I haven’t figured out how to set up the font … what do I have to do?

  3. Moritz
    January 15th, 2012 at 12:14

    I don”t know the prs1, but the root folder of my prs505 looks like this when plugged in via usb:

    /Digital Editions

    where the fonts folder contains the file “TakaoExGothic.ttf”
    It could be that this “hack” works only on the 505 though. I found this in a forum somewhere, but never in an official document by sony. It’s kind of ironic that a product made in china by a japanese company can only show western characters while being fully utf8 aware, isn’t it? Another drawback with the fonts folder solution is, that it only works if the documents specify the font. Luckily it’s easy to modify the calibre converter to insert the needed css directives when outputting to epub. Good luck finding a solution!

    PS: The source for this epub was the plain html from the website. I felt almost like the wizard of regex land at the end :-)

  4. v2
    January 4th, 2013 at 06:22

    It’s actally pretty simple to embed the .ttf font file in the .epub. [(un)zip is your friend here.]
    This approach works on (I think!) all readers. At least on my Nook Simple Touch it does.
    Thanks for the epub, Moritz!

  5. MrKrisc
    May 3rd, 2013 at 18:40

    Does anyone have this file with the fonts that will work on a nook simple touch all i see is ? marks, even with the enbedded version.

    Anyhelp would be greatly apprciated

  6. MrKrisc
    May 3rd, 2013 at 19:57

    OK i have fixed it my self. I opened the embeded font version with winrar and removed the “TakaoExGothic.ttf” from the file and replaced it with “msgothic.ttc” from my fonts folder on my PC. I then opened the stylesheet.css file and replaced mentions of TakaoExGothic.ttf with msgothic.ttc. and now the Japanese displays fine. However the file is now 5.3MB but i can live with that.

  7. Daniel Benoy
    March 29th, 2018 at 09:55

    Tried it out on my Kobo Aura N514, and numbered lists have their number almost completely cut off the left margin of the screen. It also has some warnings complaining about how you’re not using javascript. Everything else seems okay so far.

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