Emoticons (Emoji) with a hidden Japanese background : part 3

  • Did you know, that many Japanese festivals are featured in emoticons? If you were wondering what some of the emoji on your phone might be, find out what their Japanese origins are here in this article!


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    The doll’s festival is held on March 3rd. Japanese decorate a set of two princes and princesses
    like / aristocratic dolls in their houses to celebrate hinamatsuri(ひな祭り)

    School bag

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    There might be nothing unusual about the red backpack, but it looks awfully similar to those of the Japanese primary students and is usually a symbol of the new school year start in April.


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    May 5th is the boys day festival. Families with sons often practice koinobori(鯉のぼり), literally meaning “carp climbing” .
    They raise carp-shaped flags in front of their houses to proudly show the amount of their sons.
    (First two carps from the top mark symbolize the parents, the next resemble the family’s son(s).)


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    Fireworks are usually associated with the New Years Eve, but in Japan people do it in summer nights, often at the festivals where everyone is wearing yukatas (浴衣 a summer kimono)

    Fu-rin (A wind-bell)

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    Since mid summer in Japan is extremely hot and humid, anything possible is thought of to make the heat more bearable. Cold drinks, light clothes… but also wind bells are popular, since the sound of it is clearly a sign of wind blowing, which Japanese immediately associate with a cooling effect, even though it might be a placebo effect in some cases.

    Tsukimi (Watching moon)

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    In autumn, the moon festival (tsukimi 月見) is celebrated. People eat special white dango called tsukimi dango and like to display them in a pyramid shapea at home.


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    Tanabata is the star festival. Celebrated on July 7th, there is a legend that a couple got tragically separated,
    they turned into stars and can only meet once a year, on July 7th, if the weather is fine.
    Children usually write their wishes on the slips of paper and hang it on bamboo trees or sticks.

    Japanese flags

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    This one is the most obvious one. It often marks a national holiday.

    Yen bill

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    A pile of 10 000Yen bills!