I don't know how to intentionally write the kanji that way, but on my ubuntu system 強い sometimes gets rendered that way.

What I'd like to know first if it's incorrect or if it's some rare but still valid way to write it. I went through all the kanji in my jisho that featured 弓 but none of them matched the weird tsuyoi.

Secondly I'd be interested in if anyone had any explanation for why it's rendered like this?

My personal guess is that it has something to do with the fonts or something.

  • 2
    The character in question: 强 Nov 13, 2011 at 12:38
  • 2
    That's the Chinese way of writing it. (Or at least how I was taught to)
    – Flaw
    Nov 13, 2011 at 12:41
  • 1
    There's also . From Wiktionary: Nov 18, 2011 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


The kanji with ム () and the kanji with 口 () are two forms of the same kanji. In Japanese, the two forms were used interchangeably before the kanji reform in 1946. After the 1946 kanji reform, the form with ム is the standard form of the kanji and the form with 口 is used only in limited circumstances such as family names.

I think that the simplified Chinese uses the form with 口 rather than the form with ム.

What I'd like to know first [is] if it's incorrect or if it's some rare but still valid way to write it.

Whether it is “valid” or “incorrect” depends on your stance, but it is a nonstandard form according to the current standard of kanji characters in Japanese.

Secondly I'd be interested in if anyone had any explanation for why it's rendered like this?

“How to set up a computer to use Japanese” is off topic on this website. I suspect that you are using a Chinese font, and I am not sure.

  • On my computer, the two characters you are referring to are being rendered exactly the same. I imagine I'm not alone in that. Perhaps you could provide a link to images that display the two different kanji or something like that?
    – Questioner
    Nov 13, 2011 at 15:07
  • @DaveMG: Edited. I hope that it is better now. Nov 13, 2011 at 15:28
  • That's much more clear. Thanks for editing!
    – Questioner
    Nov 13, 2011 at 15:32

As for the correctness, see Tsuyoshi Ito's answer. As for why it is rendered like this, it is due to the famous political and/or cultural struggles between different countries at the Unicode committee and other computer industries.

In general, non-East Asian countries (especially American and European) do not care about the subtle differences between Chinese characters, and want to make the font encoding as concise as possible, assigning a single code to multiple variants of related characters or rendering those characters (even if they have different codes) as the same. The attitude of trying not to bother with East Asian languages is obvious in Microsoft products. In Windows (at least until XP), the entire operating system (not just the locale setting) is different for different languages, and when you want to use an East Asian language on an English version, you not only have to set the locale, but have to figure out the way to turn on the 2-byte encoding service, which is turned off by default and is hidden somewhere making it difficult to access. Google's Chrome web browser is also known for its terrible handling of font encoding especially for East Asian languages. (Rare as an American company, Apple has good understanding on this matter, and iOS does not have different versions for different languages. You just change the language setting, and it works.)

On the other hand, the East Asian countries are concsious of the difference, and in general are for encoding them differently. If any East Asian country is toward unifying them, I can imagine a political reason. For example, if Mainland China wants to exclude the traditional form and push the simplified form to be adopted, then that can be a road map towards culturally unifying Hong Kong, Makau, and Taiwan.

  • 5
    As long as 強 (U+5F37) and 强 (U+5F3A) are concerned, Unicode (UCS) does indeed distinguish them and therefore the failure to distinguish them is not the fault of UCS. Nov 13, 2011 at 18:12
  • @TsuyoshiIto Yes. You are right. It is the browser's fault here.
    – user458
    Nov 13, 2011 at 19:07
  • They look different on my system, but not very. Check your fonts. Nov 13, 2011 at 19:38
  • 1
    I think a lot of the character-encoding political issues are pre-UTF8 (I know there are still some points of disagreement, but current unicode is a lot more culturally sensitive than previous integrative efforts). I think the reason why the characters appear same on some platforms, is that these platforms do not have proper fonts and are using some equivalence tables to make substitutions (e.g. Chinese chars for missing Japanese ones).
    – Dave
    Nov 14, 2011 at 0:08
  • Windows has come a long way to unify the versions in different languages. As a result, Windows Vista and later no longer have the special switch for the support for East Asian languages which you are talking about. Nov 14, 2011 at 0:36

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