Mona Font GikoCat OmaeMona

Last Modified: Sat Oct 8 18:02:04 EDT 2005 (10/09, 07:02 JST)

SourceForge Logo Project Page | Download | Installation

NOTICE: As of Sep. 2005, Monafont is not actively (or barely) maintained. For those who are using outline fonts, see also IPA monafont project which tries to adjust IPA-provided fonts for text arts.

What is Mona Font?

Mona Font is a Japanese proportional font which allows you to view Japanese text arts correctly. Mona Font is based on Shinonome Font, a Japanese font developed by /efont/ Project. Currently Mona Font is available on X11, Windows and MacOS X (Cocoa).

What is a "Japanese text art"?

A text art (sometime called ASCII art) is an image composed with letters. Here "Japanese" means that it uses not only the ASCII character set, but also various kinds of Japanese characters such as Kanji. Since there are thousands of Japanese characters, it makes the images much expressive and brings a huge variety to them.

Text arts are used to express some emotional responses and pretty popular among some Japanese web communities. Sometimes they elaborate text arts to simply imitate pictures.


Here are several screenshots of text arts, posted in Ni-channeru BBS (Channel Two BBS). You need to install Mona Font to view the original HTML files correctly.


Comics, TV

Japanese Anime Stuff


Why do I need a special font for viewing text arts?

The text arts above are composed with proportional fonts, so overall impressions of the images are highly affected by the width of each letter. However it depends on the fonts varied in users' environments. Not surprisingly, since most users on the Internet are now using Microsoft Windows, the majority of people uses MS P Gothic (Japanese proportional font developed by Microsoft) to compose images. But it causes discrepancy of composed images in other systems such as Linux or MacOS. Our goal is to provide a standard font for text arts in various formats which gives to users a consistent image of a text art. (Surprisingly, many people using UN*X desire to view these arts on their terminals!)

Currently Mona Font is available in a standard BDF format for X11 and TrueType format (TTF) for Mac OS X. Unfortunately it is not supported in Mac OS 9 or older since Mac OS 9 doesn't display Japanese proportional fonts correctly. We are also developing tools to manipulate TTF files for converting fonts between these formats.

What is "Mona"?

Mona Font is named after a widely known character "Omae Mona (a.k.a. Mona)" among Japanese web communities. The old story tells us that Mona was first posted at a certain board in Ni-channeru BBS (Channel Two BBS), the biggest Japanese web discussion group, which consists of about 400 boards for different kinds of topics. It began when one guy posted "You guys have too much time on your hands" with this character and another guy replied with the same one speaking "Omae Mona!" (kind of meaning "You too, loser!"). Since the board was such a hostile environment, many people started using him against immature threats. And then he eventually became the mascot of Ni-channeru.

Mona was not based on any existing cartoon character. Nobody knows who created him in fact, because people in Ni-channeru prefer to stay anonymous basically. For the reason that they loved him for his look and its reproductivity (it can be easily reused by replacing the words in the balloon), Mona spread to other discussion communities in a flash. Since then hundreds of derivative characters are created from Mona, and now people living in Ni-channeru are developing their own story using these characters. They even have several special boards for this only purpose.

There is another variety of characters called "Giko Hanyaan (a.k.a. Giko Cat)", which originate from the older web forum named Ayashii World (Strange World). Although it comes from different origin, "Giko Cat" is also widely used in the Ni-channeru community now and pretty popular. They are regarded as mimicking cats, saying "Itte Yoshi!" (meaning "Clear off!").

Omae Mona Giko Hanyaan
"Omae Mona" (Mona) "Giko Hanyaan" (Giko Cat)


RedHat Linux

There is a RPM (or SRPM) package for RedHat Linux. Obtain the latest RPM from the project download page.

Mac OS X

Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP


There are also ports or packages for Debian, FreeBSD and NetBSD users. See the folloing pages for details.


monafont-2.90 (Sep. 9, 2003):
monafont-2.30-pre2 (Aug 5, 2003):
monafont-2.22 (Dec 20, 2002):
monafont-2.21 (Jun 23, 2002):



We thank to: