Kaomoji: the Japanese emoticons!

  • KAWAII
  • CULTURE
  • Kaomoji

    Our mobile phones, tablets, computers etc. can all be used for texting and we are quite familiar with the various types of emoticons available in each of these. Now, people use emoticons not only in the messages but also in e-mails and handwritten items. The earlier emoticons were a set of symbols and characters arranged in a special manner. Japanese play an important role in creating new emoticons, and one of the type that was developed in Japan is the Kaomoji. We can find Kaomoji in most messages typed by the Japanese friends and sometimes these Kaomoji can be difficult to understand. There are various Kaomoji for expressing a single feeling, and if you want to fully enjoy them, you need to understand they meanings better!

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    Kaomoji is a commonly used type of emoticons that was developed in Japan and popularized by the Japanese. Unlike the emoticons the rest of the world commonly uses, Kaomoji is made of different symbols. In the western style, the emoticons are written at a right angle such as :) , :P , ;) , ;( etc. But the Kaomoji make it easier to view them without tilting your head. There are many Japanese letters and characters used to make Kaomoji.

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    Kaomoji use parentheses or braces to represent the faces. Inside these parentheses, the eyes, mouth, nose etc. are represented in various ways making different expressions. Sometimes, the parentheses are not used at all. Eyes are often emphasised in Kaomoji.

    Represented emotions

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    For expressing happiness, the symbols like ^,  ̄, ´ and ` are often used as the eyes. The mouth is represented in between the eyes with characters like ω, ∀, ▽ and etc. in a happy face.

    For love, kisses, and etc. the eyes are often represented in a manner similar to happiness, but the heart is almost always present too (♡) the mouth is represented with the ∀, ▽ , *, o, ε etc.

    For expressing anger, the eyes can be drawn using symbols like > , < , ≧ , ≦ , ¬. The symbols like ヽ, ノ , 凸 , ψ can be used to express the anger by raising hands or fingers. The mouth is often represented using the symbols like 皿 or 益. For a sad face, the eyes are made with alphabetic T and the symbols like ; , >.

    For scared face, the symbols / , ノ, ヽ can be used to resemble that the face is covered with hands.

    For expressing doubt, the eyes are usually represented by ¬ , ¬ , → .

    Apart from the feelings, various actions, animals, games and etc. can also be expressed with Kaomoji. It’s a bit difficult to remember all the Kaomoji, but you understand how they work, you can try creating your own!