python3 datetime.datetime.strftime failed to accept utf-8 string format

python3 datetime.datetime.strftime failed to accept utf-8 string format

what I did is::

# encoding: utf-8
import datetime

f = "%Y年%m月%d日"
now =
print( now.strftime(f) )

and what I get is:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 6, in <module>
    print( now.strftime(f) )
UnicodeEncodeError: 'locale' codec can't encode character '\u5e74' in position 2
: Illegal byte sequence

Why and how can I fix this?


The problem is not in datetime, it's in print. See PrintFails

Ah, it's not exactly that - although it has the same cause, and you're likely to have that problem writing Unicode to stdout. (Using an IDE with a Python shell eg an up-to-date IDLE, avoids this.)

The strftime() function which is what datetime.strftime() ends up calling, is part of the C standard library, which under Windows/MSVCRT can't deal with Unicode strings. (Although in theory you could work around it by setting code page to 65001 and using UTF-8, there are serious long-standing bugs in the C runtime for that code page.)

Workaround in Python could be to replace out the non-ASCII characters until after the call:


Or to eschew strftime and do it yourself.

This should probably be considered a bug in time.strftime() and fixed there, by either of these means. It would make sense to add a Python-native implementation of strftime - they have already had to do the same for strptime due to other platform bugs in that function.

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