Japan's Emoticons

I’ve always assumed Americans started emoticons in chatrooms, I have no idea if that is true. It doesn’t really matter though. What I do know for a fact is that Japan has taken the emoticon to a level that Americans have never dreamed.

First of all they read horizontally not vertically. While our smiley face is a simple :) the Japanese use (^_^)

But it is much more than just horizontal versus vertical. Emoticons in Japan are a second language. There are thousands of them and they mean different things.

Feel like crying? (T_T ) or ( ;_;)
If you feel tired? (~o~) Maybe you are sleeping already. (-_-) zzz…
Being cheerful is easy too. p(*^-^*)q
Let’s give a kiss. ( ̄ε ̄@)
Maybe you want to talk about a cat? (=^_^=) How about a bear? ( ̄(エ) ̄)

Some are easy to read. Others are a little difficult until you get some explanation.
(。_°☆\(- – ) Means that you’ve just been beaten.
(-_-メ)/~~~~~~~~(T_T) Means you just got smacked.
(^人^) Means that you are praying.

There are others that (for me) are completely incomprehensible. For example I recently got a email with(*>∀<p♡q)and I have no idea what to make of it. Japanese is tough as it is, but there are subtexts that aren’t even using Japanese that make me confused. (- -、)


2 thoughts on “Japan's Emoticons

  1. maly says:

    O. M. G.

    The bear emoticon is so cuuuute!!! I love it. I also like the praying emoticon. And since I’ve been using ^_^ for about a decade now, does that mean I share I special kinship with the Japanese? Btw, I totally thought I had invented that last one myself. No one around me had been using it when I first started to. . . I just thought it way cuter than :).

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