RE: ¥ instead of \

From: Koji Ishii <>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 11:20:58 -0400

A bit of more history to supplement Asmus.

When ISO defined their 7-bit standard ISO 646 BCT[1] based on ASCII, they defined 12 code points national standards can change: 23, 24, 40, 5B, 5C, 5D, 5E, 60, 7B, 7C, 7D, 7E.

European needed most of these code points to define diacritic characters, but East Asians needed only a couple, so Japanese and Korean standard body chose probably least oftenly used code points: 5C and 7E.

It was an unfortunate coincident that MS-DOS 2.0 chose 5C as the directory separator in 1983. All Japanese books at the point Unicode was implemented say YEN is the directory separator character. I was actually surprised when I learned that non-Japanese MS-DOS uses backslash as the directory separator. Also during the transition period, Unicode applications needed backwards compatibility with non-Unicode applications for their currency symbols.

Hence there wasn't a clear solution that is Unicode compliant and also suffices backwards compatibility.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Asmus Freytag
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:23 AM
Subject: Re: ¥ instead of \

On 10/22/2013 11:38 AM, Jean-François Colson wrote:
> Hello.
> I know that in some Japanese encodings (JIS, EUC), \ was replaced by a ¥.
> On my computer, there are some Japanese fonts where the characters
> seems coded following Unicode, except for the \ which remained a ¥.
> Is that acceptable from a Unicode point of view?
> Are such fonts Unicode considered compliant?

It's one of those things where there isn't a clean solution that's also backwards compatible.

> Thanks.
Received on Thu Oct 24 2013 - 10:20:11 CDT

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