I did some googling and turns out I was right. Here's an article I
found: http://yehudakatz.com/2010/05/05/ruby-1-9-encodings-a-primer-and-the-solution-for-rails/
- let me cite the relevant part:

> Other languages, such as Java and Python, solve this problem by encodeingevery String that enters the language as UTF-8 (or UTF-16). [...]
>
> However, this solution does not work very well for the Japanese community. For a variety of complicated reasons, Japanese encoding, such as SHIFT-JIS, are not considered to losslessly encode into UTF-8. As a result, Ruby has a policy of not attempting to simply encode any inbound String into UTF-8.

The article itself is actually a pretty interesting read.


Also, Alexey, that 1% you pulled out of nowhere is certainly wrong.
Just look at, say, the official Ruby language issues tracker -
http://redmine.ruby-lang.org/issues/ - and count issues written in
Japanese, or by Japanese people. There aren't many here, since this is
an English-language list.


-- Matma Rex