Back when social media sites were cropping up left and right, I had a test to determine whether it could handle my more esoteric interests: Does it support Japanese characters?

I signed up with Twitter a good six months before it took off at SXSW in 2007, and one of the first things I did was tweet in Japanese. Success! I signed up with Grooveshark around the same time and tried to share some upload some music tagged in Japanese. I saw question marks where there should have been text. Failure.

Google Chrome is gaining market share, and even I have to admit I like its speed. But one thing prevents me from adopting it — it can’t handle the Japanese characters on my site.

That’s not to say it can’t handle Japanese — I can visit HMV with no problems, but Bounce looks totally messed up.

This case isn’t simply about installing a language pack and selecting the correct encoding — I’ve done all that because I visit sites in Japanese all the time.

If you’re viewing this site on Google Chrome, you already see a number of these inconsistencies. First, the header of my site, which is named 「作譜」, is completely missing, although the <h1/> space for it is allocated. But "About this blog" renders the blog name just fine.

The side bar ought to have links to this site and my "creative scrapbook", 「名作記」, but they are gone. Trying to reproduce the errors is proving elusive. Here’s how the side bar is supposed to look like under the "Links" section labeled "personal":



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It renders fine in this entry, doesn’t it?

I’ve coded this site on the back end to do a bit of string processing to account for paragraph and line breaks, so while it’s a syntactic replica of the problem text, it’s not rendered the same way. But I suspect even if I do replicate the markup, encoding and response headers, I won’t get the same results.

I’ve already sent bug reports through Chrome about this issue, and it’s been a persistent problem since the browser launched.

It would probably help if I didn’t make such weird demands on browsers with all this mixed language content. Why must I be so difficult?