Japanese postal mark

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Japanese postal service mark

(郵便記号, yūbin kigō) is the service mark of Japan Post and its successor, Japan Post Holdings, the postal operator in Japan. It is also used as a Japanese postal code mark since the introduction of the latter in 1968. Historically, it was used by the Ministry of Communications (逓信省, Teishin-shō), which operated the postal service. The mark is a stylized katakana syllable te (), from the word teishin (逓信(テイシン), communications). The mark was introduced on February 8, 1887 (Meiji 20.2.8).


To indicate a postal code, the mark is written first, and the postal code is written after. For example, one area of Meguro, Tokyo, would have 〒153-0061 written on any mail, in order to direct mail to that location. This usage has resulted in the inclusion of the mark into the Japanese character sets for computers, and thus eventually their inclusion into Unicode, where it can also be found on the Japanese Post Office emoji.[1] In most keyboard-based Japanese input systems, it can be created by typing "yuubin" and then doing a kanji conversion.

Several versions of the 〒 mark 〠〶〒

Of the versions shown to the right, the one on the far left (〠) was the official mascot of Japan Post between 1966 and 1996, while the one on the far right (〒) is the standard mark used in addressing. A circled yūbin mark is often used on maps to denote post offices.[2] Other variants have been used as conformity marks inherited from the Ministry of Communications: for example, a similar circled mark was used for electrical certification of Category B appliances, contrasted with a triangle-enclosed postal mark (⮗) for Category A appliances,[3] under a precursor to the Act on Product Safety of Electrical Appliances and Materials. The Unicode code chart, as of version 13.0, labels the "Circled Postal Mark" character (〶, U+3036) as "symbol for type B electronics".[4] An enclosed version incorporating a sawtooth wave shape is used as a conformity mark for Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications regulations on radio and other electromagnetic wave equipment.[5][6]


The postal mark appears in the following encoded characters. Before the introduction of Unicode, the simple postal mark was encoded for Japanese use in JIS X 0208 (including the Shift JIS encoding). A mascot-stylised postal mark face [ja] was additionally included in some vendor extensions of Shift JIS, including the KanjiTalk 7 variant of MacJapanese, and become part of a standardised Shift JIS variant (at a different location) with the 2000 publication of JIS X 0213.

The ARIB extensions for JIS X 0208, specified by the Japanese broadcasting standards ARIB STD-B24 and ARIB STD-B62, includes a duplicate of the simple mark for use as a map symbol for a post office, as well as a circled variant.[7][8]

Earlier editions of the North Korean standard KPS 9566, such as the 1997 edition, included both the simple postal mark and a version in a downward-pointing triangle,[9][10] which was proposed by the North Korean national body for addition to Unicode in 2001.[9] In response to this proposal, the South Korean national body requested evidence for the symbol's use in North Korea, noting that the Japanese-style postal mark is not used in South Korea, which uses a circled 우 (i.e. ㉾) for a similar purpose.[11] A report from a subsequent meeting between North and South Korean representatives from ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 2/WG 2 notes that the North Korean body had decided to review the character before discussing it further,[12] and it was subsequently removed from KPS 9566 in 2003, leaving only the simple mark.[13] The version with an enclosing triangle was eventually added to Unicode in version 13.0, on the basis of established usage of both the circled and triangular versions in certification for electrical appliances in Japan, but also intended to correspond to the KPS 9566-97 character.[3]

Emoji sets from Japanese cellular carriers included a building with a prominently displayed postal mark (in the simplest case, a postal mark enclosed within a building outline) as a pictograph for a post office; this was also adopted into Unicode in version 6.0.[1] Although the most recent versions of Microsoft's Segoe UI Emoji also show a building, earlier versions from prior to Windows 10 Anniversary Update showed this emoji as a simple postal mark, appearing red in colour presentation.[1]

Character information
Encodings decimal hex dec hex dec hex
Unicode 12306 U+3012 12320 U+3020 11159 U+2B97
UTF-8 227 128 146 E3 80 92 227 128 160 E3 80 A0 226 174 151 E2 AE 97
GB 18030 168 147 A8 93 129 57 164 51 81 39 A4 33 129 56 179 51 81 38 B3 33
Numeric character reference 〒 〒 〠 〠 ⮗ ⮗
7-bit JIS X 0208 34 41 22 29
Shift JIS (Apple KanjiTalk 7)[14] 129 167 81 A7 134 179 86 B3
Shift JIS (JIS X 0213)[15] 129 167 81 A7 131 228 83 E4
EUC-JP (JIS X 0213)[16] 162 169 A2 A9 166 230 A6 E6
Big5[17] 162 69 A2 45
8-bit KPS 9566 (1997) 172 206 AC CE 172 207 AC CF
Character information
Preview 🏣
Encodings decimal hex dec hex
Unicode 12342 U+3036 127971 U+1F3E3
UTF-8 227 128 182 E3 80 B6 240 159 143 163 F0 9F 8F A3
UTF-16 12342 3036 55356 57315 D83C DFE3
GB 18030 129 57 165 54 81 39 A5 36 148 57 198 53 94 39 C6 35
Numeric character reference 〶 〶 🏣 🏣
Extended 7-bit JIS (au by KDDI and others)[18] 121 50 79 32
Shift JIS (au by KDDI)[19] 243 81 F3 51
Shift JIS (NTT Docomo)[19] 248 198 F8 C6
Shift JIS (SoftBank 3G)[19] 247 148 F7 94
Shift JIS (ARIB)[20] 239 78 EF 4E
Emoji shortcode[21] :post_office:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Japanese Post Office". Emojipedia. Retrieved 2014-10-05.
  2. ^ Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI). "地図記号一覧" (in Japanese).
  3. ^ a b Marín Silva, Eduardo (2018). Proposal to encode: SYMBOL FOR TYPE A ELECTRONICS (PDF). UTC L2/18-184R.
  4. ^ Unicode Consortium (2020). "CJK Symbols and Punctuation" (PDF). The Unicode Standard. 13.0.
  5. ^ "Radio Equipment Conformity Certification Service". TELEC.
  6. ^ "Form No. 7". Ordinance concerning Technical Regulations Conformity Certification etc. of Specified Radio Equipment (PDF). p. 88.
  7. ^ Data Coding and Transmission Specification for Digital Broadcasting (PDF) (ARIB Standard). 5.2-E1. Vol. 1. Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB). 2008-06-06 [1999-10-26]. ARIB STD-B24.
  8. ^ Multimedia Coding Specification for Digital Broadcasting (Second Generation) (PDF) (ARIB Standard). 1.0-E1. Vol. 1. Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB). 2014-07-31. ARIB STD-B62.
  9. ^ a b Committee for Standardization of the D P R of Korea (CSK) (2001-09-03). Proposal to add of 70 symbols to ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000 (PDF). ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 2/WG 2 N2374.
  10. ^ Committee for Standardization of D. P. R. of Korea (1998-06-22). DPRK Standard Korean Graphic Character Set for Information Interchange (PDF). ITSCJ/IPSJ. ISO-IR-202.
  11. ^ Gim, Gyeongseog (2001-10-13). ROK's Comments about DPRK's proposal, WG2 N 2374, to add 70 symbols to ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000 (PDF). ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 2/WG 2 N2390.
  12. ^ Korean Script ad hoc group (2001-10-16). A Report of Korean Script ad hoc group meeting on Oct. 15, 2001 (PDF). ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 2/WG 2 N2392, UTC L2/01-388. D P R of Korea suggested that they would review this character more carefully before it is discussed again at Korean Script ad hoc group or WG2.
  13. ^ Unicode Consortium (2011-04-27). KPS 9566-2003 to Unicode.
  14. ^ Apple, Inc (2005-04-05). "Map (external version) from Mac OS Japanese encoding to Unicode 2.1 and later". Unicode Consortium.
  15. ^ Project X0213 (2013-03-30). Shift_JIS-2004 (JIS X 0213:2004 Appendix 1) vs Unicode mapping table.{{citation}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Project X0213 (2013-03-30). EUC-JIS-2004 (JIS X 0213:2004 Appendix 3) vs Unicode mapping table.{{citation}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ National Development Council. "[〒] 1-2265". CNS11643 Word Information.
  18. ^ Scherer, Markus; Davis, Mark; Momoi, Kat; Tong, Darick; Kida, Yasuo; Edberg, Peter. "Emoji Symbols: Background Data—Background data for Proposal for Encoding Emoji Symbols" (PDF). UTC L2/10-132.
  19. ^ a b c Unicode Consortium. "Emoji Sources". Unicode Character Database.
  20. ^ Scherer, Markus (2008). "ARIB Broadcast Symbols Unicode conversion mapping table using ICU's .ucm file format and representing ARIB codes in the Shift-JIS encoding scheme". Google Inc.
  21. ^ JoyPixels. "Emoji Alpha Codes". Emoji Toolkit.

External links[edit]