Tuesday, November 29, 2005


When we write an e-mail in English, we usually use 3 or 4 kinds of emoticons like :) :( ;) .

Compare to that, in Japanese, there are so many kinds of emoticons and we often use them to express emotion or even just for fun.

One of the reason that Japanese people like and use emoticons a lot is that the code for Japanese language is different from English one, I guess.
There are many signs (marks, codes) in addition to Japanese letters (hiragana, katakana, kanji).
So, it’s easy to “develop” new emoticons.

The following emoticons are basic ones.
You can tell what kind of emotion they describe easily.

(^o^) (; _ ;) (>_<)

Also there are some emoticons that I found on internet.
Try to use them for e-mail!!

○| ̄|_
I’m tired….


§ ̄∠ ̄§
Prime minister Koizumi.

Sir,Yes Sir!

(゜-゜ )(。_。 )
Ah hah.

Chu… kissing… ☆

_| ̄|○)) ((○| ̄|_
Japanese style “greeting”.
Prostrating oneself.

((((((/_ _)/
Giving a present.
“Tsumaranai mono desuga doozo.”
(“It’s not a nice present, but if you like, please receive it.”)


If you know interesting emoticons, let me know!


  1. I was really confused by these different emoticons when I first moved to Japan. I had seen only one before, and that was used by a Singaporean: ^_^

    Emoticons are like a whole new aspect to the language. You can really express all sorts of things with them, so I am beginning to think that language courses should definitely have at least one section on them.

  2. >Emoticons are like a whole new aspect to the language.

    It's an interesting idea.

    I read that in Korea, recently, some students start using emoticons for their CV to emphasise their opinion.

    Compare to that, I think, Japanese language is strict about using marks.
    Even "!" and "?" are usually not used in newspapers.
    In spite of that we quite often use them for private letters and e-mails, they still shouldn't be used in formal situation.

    Making sentences without marks and emoticons could be kind of "keigo style" in addition to "real keigo" in the future!

  3. By the way, I found some more interesting emoticons...

    Yellow card!


    ( ^ー^)ノ___●iiiii


    The reindeer is so cute!! (^o^)

  4. I love the fish!!! That's really clever.

  5. LittleDino1:15 PM

    I like all of them. They're very funny! ^.^ I'll try to use them in emails.

  6. Anonymous12:42 PM

    have you ever studied Typography?

    The art and technique of printing with movable type.

    if you find creating new symbols to communicate with interesting you maybe really like Typographic design...

    once I move to Japan I plan to study Shodo (Calligraphy), which I hope will help with my Typography/design skills...


  7. I didn't know the word "Typography".
    I searched with Google, and I guess I understand now.
    That's mean making original font...?

    According to some sites, we call "デザイン文字(dezain moji)" in Japanese for typography.
    "dezain" is "design".
    "moji" is "letter, character".

    I saw some sample for public advertizement.
    They are kind of letters, kind of pictures...
    Interesting! (^o^)

    Do you do something about design now?
    Learning calligraphy sounds helpful to know Japanese writing system, design and art!

  8. Anonymous11:54 PM

    Yes "Typography" is the design of symbols that are used to communicate...

    Can you see the great varieties in the shapes of characters with different typefaces...

    It's something not to many people pay attention too, but once you notice it and study it... it becomes very interesting.

    I studied Graphic design in school with friends from Japan... and my friends had great design skills from their study of calligraphy growing up in Japan.

  9. Hi Russ,

    Since I heard the word "Typography", I enjoy finding interesting signs or logos. (^ ^)
    When I was in junior high school, we tried to make a typography for art class.
    It was very difficult but I liked it!

    By the way, I just remembered something.
    My friend David is a graphic designer in Tokyo.
    These are his own website and his blog.

  10. One more...

    m(_ _)m


    (left-handed smile ですね。)

  11. >Brian

    m(_ _)m
    Yes, this is very popular emoticon!

    (left-handed smile ですね。)

    This idea is funny!! ^o^