Re: Hangzhao numerals

From: Otfried Cheong (
Date: Fri Sep 03 1999 - 22:58:52 EDT

> From: Tom Emerson <>
> > Unicode 2.1 contains what it calls the "Hangzhou numerals" in the range
> > U+3021 -- U+3029 (with three more added in Unicode 3.0).
> >
> > I'm wondering if someone could explain what the "Hangzhou numerals"
> actually
> > are/were: what is their origin?
> > When/how were/are they used? About all I know is that Hangzhao is the
> > capital of Zhejiang province.
> > I looked in Daniels' and Bright's "The World's Writing Systems" but didn't
> > see these characters in the chapters on Chinese or numerals.
> I am not familiar with the term Hangzhou numerals, thought I know the
> numerals themselves having learned them from my Cantonese gardnfather. He
> used to think of them as strictly Cantonese numerals, though he might have
> been mistaken about this. They are a set of numerals of which only few bear
> any resemblance to the "normal" numerals". They are used on markets to give
> the prices of items for sale.

These numerals are still used much in Hong Kong. Not only are all
prices on the markets given in that notation, also bus fares,
sometimes entrance fees, etc. are indicated that way.

The numerals are explained in textbooks on Cantonese, so I also used
to think about them as specifically Cantonese. That's probably wrong
then. I don't know the origin of the term "Hangzhou numerals" either.


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