From: Glen Perkins (
Date: Thu Dec 11 1997 - 20:05:48 EST

Jim DeLaHunt wrote:
> At 11:01 AM 12/11/97 -0800, Keld J|rn Simonsen wrote:
> >A question about U3007 IDEOGRAPHIC NUMBER ZERO: Is this character used
> >as a digit, and how wide is this use, if any?
> This is Shift-JIS 0x815A and JIS 0x213B, according to JIS0208.txt (from Th
> Unicode Standard 2.0). I think that's the Japanese "maru" character.
> I've seen this used as the digit "zero" when writing out digits with
> Japanese characters. This is different from writing the number as a value,
> when the characters for "hundred", "thousands", etc. would also appear.
> This is also different from writing the number with full-width or
> half-width Roman digits.
> "Maru" is also used in tabular information, together with a character
> "batsu", which looks like an "X". "Maru" represents "yes", "OK",
> "applies"; "batsu" represents "no", "no good", "not applicable". In this
> context it's a symbol, not a digit.

Yes, this is the "maru" character, used as a zero when using the han
characters for 0-9 as decimal digits and used as a Japanese checkmark,
and in contrast with "batsu". It's also used as a placeholder for
certain types of profanity and is a "slang kanji" for female genitalia
(in Japanese).

Besides Japan and China, it's also widely used in Korea (on menus, for
example, just as in Japan and China.)

I've never seen it on the keys of a calculator, but that does sound as
though it would make a fun novelty gift for a guy like me. ;-)


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