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Japanese Pop Culture!? The Uniquely Developed Face Mark called Kaomoji

If you like to send text messages or chat on the internet, then you’ve probably heard or seen emoticons. Emoticons are “faces” which are used to convey many different feelings like happiness and sadness. The Japanese has popularized this trend and even developed their own emoticons called Kaomoji.

How Emoticons Came To Be


When text messages was first introduced, the lack of “emotions” in sending a text message was considered as normal. However, some people decided to be unique and tried to make faces using different characters in their text messages. These in turn gave birth to emoticons.

Since then, emoticons has played a vital role in giving life to a simple text message.

A simple emoticon such as (^^) is usually used to show happiness while emoticon such as TT is used to show sadness.

What is Kaomoji?


Those vertical emoticons became very popular in Japan and many have even developed their own versions of it which commonly known as Kaomoji.

Kaomoji is a Japanese word which was combined from the Japanese word Kao which means “face” and Moji which means “characters/marks”. Unlike the western emoticons, the Japanese Kaomoji’s are much more lively in their design and themes.

While the western emoticons only show faces, the Japanese Kaomoji on the other hand shows facial expressions as well as complex actions involving hands and other objects. Moreover, if you put a group of Kaomoji’s together, they can even tell you a story.

Here are some samples of Japanese Kaomoji’s that show unique and complex expressions.

\(≧▽≦)/ ⌒(o^▽^o)ノ ☆ ~(‘▽^人) (¬_¬”)ԅ( ̄ε ̄ԅ)

How Many Kaomoji’s are there in Total?


Probably more than a thousand because the Japanese love to bring daily life to ordinary characters. They also have a unique habit of creating new things and Kaomoji’s are no exemption to that rule. Everyday, there are new Kaomoji’s being born out of the imaginative minds of Japanese people.

The fun part about it is that Japanese are able to use their own alphabet (Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji) in creating Kaomoji! Since these unique characters also express meanings by themselves, using them on Kaomoji’s make them more effective.

Here are some examples of Kaomoji’s that use Japanese characters.

¯_(ツ)_/¯ (= ̄▽ ̄=)v やったね ラッキー\(^。^\)(/ ^ ^)/チャチャチャ

(-^〇^-) ハハハハ ~(^Д^~) ブヒヒヒ キャッ(^∀^)人(^∀^)キャッ

Can I Make My Own Kaomoji?


Yes you can!

By using softwares like IME (Input Method Editor) you are able to type Japanese characters using your keyboard. You can even use your mobile phone to create Kaomoji. However, it can be a bit tricky to create Kaomoji using mobile phones when it’s not set on Japanese language.

You can use various methods including using “Google Japanese Input” to type out words and convert them to Japanese when using mobile phones. It requires time and a bit of patience to create Kaomoji’s. Yet, once you get the knack of making them, you’ll be able to design and share your very own emoticons to your family and friends!

Tips for Kaomoji Beginners


Don’t be afraid to experiment! Trying out new things and putting new characters and expressions together can result to something new. Surprising results can be achieved if you let your imagination (and your hands) run wild when creating Kaomojis!

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