I’m still deciphering the google-translated Japanese on their website, but from what I can gather, NORAMOJI is a project wherein a few guys aim to photograph type found in old signage, anylze the characteristcs and then digitally reproduce the font so that designers can download and donate to the cause.
The site itself is really well done; You can type test directly onto the store signage, and the image will stretch proportionately to accomodate the extra type (content aware post-production?)
It’s hard for me as a westerner to say how accurately they’ve recreated these fonts. I wonder if it’s less about the individual character, and more about a few important characteristics that you have to get right. Gotham, one of the most important fonts of the last 10 years, was based on signage found in New York - Specifically the Port Authority Bus terminal. But then it was years until a usuabel font was produced. I don’t know much about font-design but that might be just credit to the professionalism and dedication of Hoefler & Frere Jones.
Projects like these melt my icey designer heart - just like noun project did for icons.