As the rapid progress of digital imaging technology, the requirements of character recognition for text embedded in image increase dramatically. Many image text characters are in low resolution with heavy degradation. Traditional OCR methods don't have good recognition performance on these degraded images due to poor binarization. In this paper, a novel feature extraction method based on dual eigenspace and synthetic pattern generation is proposed to recognize character images under low resolution. A subpixel grayscale normalization method is first used to normalize the low resolution character images. The dual eigenspace performs classification from coarse to fine. The multi-templates generated from the synthetic patterns provide good robustness against real degradation. Experimental results indicate that our method is very effective on low resolution Japanese character images.