Windows – How to get proper Japanese font rendering using English Locale under Windows

anti-aliasingfontsjapaneserenderingwindows 10

Some applications are showing a strange behaviour when rendering Japanese fonts. The font used for kanji is a Chinese one and it looks really weird, especially at small sizes where it is not anti-aliased.

If I set my display language to Japanese, logout and log back in, the problem is gone.

The requested font (selected in the App UI), is Segoe UI. The actual fonts used for rendering are "MS Mincho" for hiragana and "SimSun" for kanji.

I looked into the registry at Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontLink\SystemLink

And Segoe UI has correct entry:

TAHOMA.TTF,Tahoma
MEIRYO.TTC,Meiryo UI,128,96
MEIRYO.TTC,Meiryo UI
MSGOTHIC.TTC,MS UI Gothic
MSJH.TTC,Microsoft JhengHei UI,128,96
MSJH.TTC,Microsoft JhengHei UI
MSYH.TTC,Microsoft YaHei UI,128,96
MSYH.TTC,Microsoft YaHei UI
MALGUN.TTF,Malgun Gothic,128,96
MALGUN.TTF,Malgun Gothic
MINGLIU.TTC,PMingLiU
SIMSUN.TTC,SimSun
GULIM.TTC,Gulim
YUGOTHM.TTC,Yu Gothic UI,128,96
YUGOTHM.TTC,Yu Gothic UI
SEGUISYM.TTF,Segoe UI Symbol

SimSun is listed, but MS UI Gothic and YaHei has those characters.

Some references I checked:

Bad rendering:

result in note pad and emclient

Best Answer

  • The problem can be in the applications you are using, choosing the wrong font because your locale is English, or it can be with Windows caching the wrong font.

    A very old solution, which might still work, is to create a file named 火.txt (or similar if this is not Japanese, as I don't know either one) and save it to your desktop and then reboot. The logic here is that when Windows boots it will cache the right font.


    Another old method is to change the system locale to Japanese and then back to English, without reboot, which probably works by invalidating the fonts cache.


    A more modern solution is to trick applications into thinking that they were launched in Japanese locale. A utility which simplifies this is the free Locale Emulator.

    Locale Emulator