My computer is scared of clowns

I use Wanikani across 3 devices: a Samsung galaxy S4 mini, a shiny new generic android tablet, and a netbook I bought to write my dissertation on in 2012 after I cooked my laptop writing my dissertation under the duvet in a freezing cold flat. The netbook runs Debian with Xfce desktop which was installed by someone much more tech literate than I.

Because it’s so janky it can’t run any distractions,
boots fast and charges quickly, and is the easiest to type on, I generally do my reviews on the netbook.

Only today I went to start my new level radicals, and the computer refuses to show clown!

Apologies for the photo rather than screengrab, the prt scr button stopped working long ago.

I checked the kanji list and the radical shows up fine within kanji, it just doesn’t show up on it’s own.

Does anyone have any idea why? I don’t really care that much about fixing it because I can work out what it looks like from description and kanji.


The font you are using doesn’t include that kanji, it is replaced by a placeholder (you can see the unicode codepoint as a small number in the middle). The “clown” is a unlisted kanji, so it is quite rare in the wild. Mobile devices use smaller font sets because for Asian languages the files become very big, so some glyphs are missing.

You can try to go to Wikipedia of Myanmar (ဝီကီပီးဒီးယား), you will probably see a box festival instead of this:

But you can install some additional fonts, for Linux “Takao Gothic” is a free font that should be quite complete.

[WK already uses image files for really rare parts, for example if you look closely you can see that the pope is an image.]


ha, even the URL is just boxes for me!

Thanks for the explanation. I do remember when I first started Wanikani I had to have a friend talk me through installing a Japanese font step by step.

Didn’t know about wanikani using images though. Does that explain why some kanji or radicals show up with much thicker lines than others?

Some radicals are “inventions” by WK, so images are a must, and they also know that people use their phones for WK, so the commonly missing ones are also images. Looks like the clown fell through the cracks … (your system does have the helicopter, for example)

But yes, the font used to make the images sometimes doesn’t match with your screen font, so it looks a bit weird. On your screenshot your font is a Mincho font (more calligraphic) while the images are Gothic.

Same happens for me.

I think this makes the clown a candidate for being shown as image as well, doesn’t it?

I would send an email to, sometimes they miss things here in the forum.

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