ES isn't properly handling unicode ? advice for debugging this problem?

I have unit tests setup to test using transport client to write unicode
data into ES and then read it back out.

It's using the standard ElasticsearchIntegrationTest that ES recommends.

I'm using MY JSON encoder... and then I write my JSON to the
TransportClient, and read it back out, and it's correct!

The problem is that IN PRODUCTION it doesn't work and all my data is
garbled. I think it's treading the data either as ASCII or ISO-8859-1
(which are the usual defaults).

What's the best way to test this.

I imagine I could sue ethereal to look at the raw protocol and verify that
the data is being sent properly.

The only other thing I can think of is to step through ES directly in a

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