non-breaking snakes

Leonardo Boiko leoboiko at
Wed May 4 07:59:04 CDT 2016

2016-05-04 4:14 GMT-03:00 Shriramana Sharma <samjnaa at>:
> Isn't there some Japanese orthography feature that already does
> something like this?

Japanese (and Chinese) vertical calligraphy can do arbitrary-length
stretching of lines (like the Arabic kashida under discussion, and
like most cursive scripts in the world, I guess). Notice e.g. the long
lines here: . The
hiragana letter し、 in particular, often becomes a long vertical line.

However, traditionally this is used for æsthetic rhythm, not for
justification.  In fact, most kinds of Japanese calligraphy prize
variation in line length, not uniformity. And when uniformity is
sought (e.g. certain sutras), they don't use stretched lines, but just
fill a grid with non-cursive, block (kaisho) characters.

I'm not aware of similar features for typography. Because the script
doesn't separate words, justification is comparatively simple–you just
break lines mid-word, mostly wherever (with a few restrictions to
avoid hanging punctuation and so on.)

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