Need for Localized Look of Shared Japanese/Chinese Gliphs??

From: Marco Mussini (
Date: Tue Jul 14 1998 - 12:12:48 EDT


in UNICODE many glyphs (for example for kanjis) which are present both
in Japanese and in Chinese, are "shared", i.e., they are assigned the
same codepoint in the Unicode allocation, in order not to have redundant

THe question is, those glyphs that were defined as "shared" for that
reason, are similar enough, in their actual expected onscreen
representation in the two languages, so that a single universal Unicode
font may display them identical, or do you have any special example of a
kanji that has the same fundamental appearance in Chinese and Japanese,
but to be really well-localized it needs to be drawn in a slightly
different way in Japanese than in Chinese, so a single font will never
be enough, and we'll need a "universal Unicode font with the shared
kanjis specialized with Japanese calligraphy" as well as a "universal
Unicode font with the shared kanjis specialized with Chinese
calligraphy"? In this case, to correctly *display* a Unicode string, it
is still necessary to have locale information. This is bad, what Unicode
seems good for is to at least display the mixed-character-set text with
a single font with 65,536 glyphs, rather than having to install several
fonts and switching them on the fly.

By the way, I don't think that the kanjis that are clearly "shareable"
between Chinese and Japanese do really have a vastly different drawing.

However if you have an example of a kanji "shared" and with different
appearance in the two languages, please describe it. I am a student of
Japanese language and I can understand at least the japanese half of the
example. But please, write it down in romaji!

Also, does this sharing scenario happen also with Korean and other pairs
of languages or is it only for Chinese and Japanese?



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