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Re: [Lingo] 喩 versus 喻

On 27 December 2012 17:22, Daniel A. Ramaley <> wrote:
> Hello. I'm wondering whether 2 kanji are variants of each other, or
> completely separate. The 2 in question are 喩 (U+55A9) and 喻 (U+55BB).

They are regarded as variants. There is a lot of confusion between them,
as the glyphs (the kanji shapes you see) are sometimes swapped.

> I'm studying kanji using Heisig's _Remembering the Kanji_ books and they
> list the latter, but other online sources only include the former.

See below.

> Wiktionary has Japanese readings for both, see:

Not exactly a reliable source of kanji information.

> I've encountered some comments that indicate 喩 is a traditional form and
> that 喻 is simplified, but i thought the traditional/simplified
> distinction only applied to Chinese. Did Heisig simply include the wrong
> kanji when he put 喻, or are they both acceptable and equivalent variants
> of each other, or is there something else going on?

喩 is the form used in Japan, and which appears in the JIS kanji standards
and all the major 漢和字典s. It's a 常用漢字.
A problem is that a number of Japanese fonts displayed it
as 喻, which is possibly why it appeared in Jim Heisig's book that way. The
16x16 and 24x24 BDF fonts that we used to use with kterm had 喻 as the
glyph for this kanji, however the 14x14, etc. fonts had 喩.

喻, i.e. U+55BB, is not in any JIS standard. It came into Unicode from
Chinese (and in my opinion should have been unified with 喩.) Best not to use
it in Japanese text.

Hope this helps.


Jim Breen
Adjunct Snr Research Fellow, Japanese Studies Centre, Monash University

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