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

From: John Cowan (
Date: Wed Jul 15 1998 - 12:09:46 EDT

Adrian Havill wrote:
> John H. Jenkins wrote:
> > You're going to get a gazillion answers to this question, but--
> If the question keeps coming up and everybody keeps answering it, maybe
> there should be a "FAQ" linked off of the Unicode Homepage. Especially a
> Japanese (and maybe Chinese and Korean) versions-- see below.

Indeed. In fact, I would propose as a first cut John Jenkins's own
posting to this list of 5 June 1997, which I reproduce here:

FACT. It is true that some Unihan characters are typically written
differently within the Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, and Mainland Chinese
typographic traditions.

FACT. These differences of writing style are within the general range of
allowable differences within each typographic tradition.

E.g., the official "Taiwanese" glyph for U+8349 ("grass") per ISO/IEC
10646 uses four strokes for the "grass" radical, whereas the PRC,
Japanese, and Korean glyphs use three. As it happens, Apple's LiSung
Light font for Big Five (which follows the "Taiwanese" typographic
tradition) uses three strokes.

(This is easily confirmed by accessing$8349.)

FACT. Japanese users prefer to see Japanese text written with "Japanese"

FACT. It is also acceptable to Japanese users to see Chinese text
written with "Japanese" glyphs.

E.g., I just borrowed from Lee Collins a standard Japanese dictionary
which quotes Chinese authors (e.g., Mencius) to show how a character is
used. When doing so, they use "Japanese" glyphs, not Chinese ones.

In particular, it is acceptable within Japanese typography for a small
stretch of Chinese quoted in a predominantly Japanese text to be written
with "Japanese" glyphs.

FACT. Han unification allows for the possibility that a Japanese user
might be required to use a Chinese font to display some Japanese text
(e.g., if it uses a rare kanji).

FACT. Ditto for JIS or an ISO 2022-based solution.

FACT. Unicode doesn't include all the characters in actual use in Japan
today, particularly for personal names.

FACT. Neither does JIS or an ISO 2022-based solution. There are vendor
sets which include many of these characters, and Unicode is working with
the IRG and East Asian national bodies to add them.

                -- John H. Jenkins

John Cowan
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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