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ルビの作成方法

Ruby are small, annotative glosses that accompany Chinese characters (kanji) to represent the pronunciation of words with corresponding phonetic scripts or Latin characters. In some cases, ruby are also used in Japanese writing to add emphasis dots (kenten), to pun, or to lend secondary meanings to common words.

KDP currently supports the display of ruby for KF8 books in the horizontal and vertical writing modes. For KF7 (mobi7) books, ruby information is displayed as inline text after the corresponding base characters and bracketed with parentheses. The horizontal writing model is currently the only option available for KF7 books.

Properties

  • Ruby characters are displayed directly above corresponding base characters in horizontal writing mode or to the right of base text in vertical writing mode
  • Ruby are center-aligned over their base character(s)
  • By default ruby characters are half the size of their base characters

Formatting

To display the ruby information, the following html tags are required:
  • <ruby></ruby> specifies the base characters to be annotated with ruby text
  • <rt></rt> specifies the ruby text
  • <rp></rp> specifies the brackets used to encapsulate the ruby text (these will only display on KF7 titles)
The <rp> tags are especially important. Without them the ruby will not be distinguishable from the corresponding base characters and main text as a whole. Consider the following examples with and without the <rp> tag:
  • <ruby>武蔵野<rt>むさしの</rt></ruby>
    武蔵野むさしの

  • <ruby>武蔵野<rp>(</rp><rt>むさしの</rt><rp>)</rp></ruby>
    武蔵野むさしの

Stylistic Concerns

Many Japanese words are formed by combining two or more Chinese characters. Ruby are generally applied to such compound-character words (jukugo) as either mono-ruby or jukugo ruby.
  • Mono-ruby are attached independently to each base character. For example:

    • <ruby>砦<rp>(</rp><rt>とりで</rt><rp>)</rp></ruby>
      とりで

    • <ruby>砦<rp>(</rp><rt>toride</rt><rp>)</rp></ruby>
      (toride)

  • Jukugo ruby include glosses for each base character, but the positioning takes into account the compound word as a whole. While the intention for using jukugo ruby is to gloss the character compound as a single entity, mono-ruby formatting is also an option. For example:

    • Jukugo ruby with mono-ruby formatting (applies ruby pronunciation guide to each character independently):
      <ruby>凝<rp>(</rp><rt>ぎょう</rt><rp>)</rp></ruby><ruby>視<rp>(</rp><rt>し</rt><rp>)</rp></ruby>
      ぎょう

    • Jukugo-ruby with universal ruby formatting (applies ruby to the compound as a whole):
      <ruby>凝視<rp>(</rp><rt>ぎょうし</rt><rp>)</rp></ruby>
      凝視ぎようし

Further Information

For more information on ruby, especially as it pertains to Japanese texts, please consult the following:

Ruby Markup and Styling by Richard ISHIDA, W3C.
Requirements for Japanese Text Layout
What's so difficult about jukugo ruby? by Richard ISHIDA, W3C.
Ruby Annotation
Implementing the Ruby Module by Masayasu ISHIKAWA, W3C.

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