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Seeking a new maintainer

Please contact Todd Nienkerk if you are interested in taking over maintenance of this theme.

About Nitobe

Nitobe is a fixed-width, content-first theme based on the 960 Grid System. It supports two or three column layouts in several configurations and a header image area that can be set to a fixed image or selected at random. In addition to the column region, a four region area spanning the width of the layout is provided between the content and footer regions.

The theme includes a default favicon, a custom maintenance page, a default user icon, and a variety of sample header images (940 x 118 pixels).

Drupal 7 Release

The long neglected Drupal 7 version of the theme is currently in progress. A beta version is currently available and could use a bit of testing. Please submit issues as they are discovered.

Drupal 6 Release

Important! - you cannot overlay a 6.x-4.y releases on an older branch (6.x-3 or older) as directory organization has changed in the 6.x-4 branch. Your existing nitobe directory will need to be removed and replaced with the new one. You must also flush your Drupal cache or theme registry after putting the new version in place.

The 6.x-4.2 release provides some minor CSS bug fixes and some code clean-up. Barring any major bugs, this will be the last Drupal 6 release until after the Drupal 7 version is released.

Theme Features

All default Drupal theme features are available. Nitobe also provides a default theme logo, default favicon, and a default user picture. Additionally, these features are offered:

  • Content-first two and three-column layouts are supported. Up to two sidebars may be used, and sidebars may be placed on either side of the content region, both to the right of the content region, or both to the left of the content region. Regardless of sidebar positioning, the content area appears before the sidebars in the code, increasing accessibility and search engine performance.
  • You may choose which masthead image(s) appear at the top of the page by either choosing to display a random header image or a specific fixed header image. A number of sample images are provided. The theme will use a sub-theme's header images if they are present.
  • Page headers are semantic. When viewing the front page, the site title is the H1 element, but on a node page, the page title is the H1 element, and the site title is a SPAN element.
  • Site title color effect. By default, inter-word spacing is removed in the site title, and every other word is given an alternate color. This effect can be disabled in the theme's settings.
  • Comments made by a node's author are provided distinct CSS classes in order to clearly differentiate them from other comments.
  • The theme has the option to strip "not verified" from the names of commenters who are not logged in. By default, Drupal adds " (not verified)" to the name of a commenter who leaves a name but is not logged into the site. This can be turned off in Nitobe's theme settings. Comments by verified authors are given a CSS class ("commenter-logged-in") indicating they are logged in regardless of this setting.
  • The default number of items in the pager control can be set form 3 to 10. Setting a small number here is useful when using a three column layout.

Auxiliary Modules

Pedro Lozano has released a module that allows the masthead image to be chosen on a per-path basis. More information can be found on that module's project page: Nitobe Masthead Image.

Inazo Nitobe

Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933) was an agriculturalist, scholar, Quaker, philosopher, statesman, and educator. He was educated at Sapporo Agricultural College and Johns Hopkins University and devoted much of his life to promoting trust and understanding between the United States and Japan. His book, Bushido, the Soul of Japan, was the inspiration for this theme. More information about Dr. Nitobe is available on the Nitobe Memorial Garden website.


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