Japan Diaries: Kaomoji

Kaomoji comes from two Japanese words kao (顔) which means “face” and moji (文字) which means text as in keyboard characters. Basically, kaomiji is the emoticon we use for texting —only cuter.

I used to wonder how these kaomoji’s are inserted to messages or Facebook status and whatnot, I thought, “Do these people type the characters one by one??” To that, I was really amazed and I also wanted to be able to use some.

In my love for anything Japan, I started studying its language —Nihongo, until I learned a few words relating to feelings and emotions. Along with that, I also learned how to read and write in Japanese which made me realize that through learning the language, you also learn their culture and from there I found out that kaomoji’s aren’t simply characters put together but are actually a cuter representation of an emotion almost as a synonym to it.

To simply put it, nowadays, keyboards have auto-correct and predictive functions, right? In Nihongo, there are three types of writing their words: Katakana, Hiragana, Kanji. Therefore, in a Japanese keyboard, it tends to give suggestions of a word in all those three writing styles whichever is available. And there are times that not only those three but also kaomoji’s are being suggested. It can also suggest simple sentences.

For example, the Japanese word for “cute” is 「かわいい」 or “kawaii” in Roman letters. when I type ”kawaii” using a Japanese keyboard, it gives out the suggestions,

  1. かわいい (Hiragana)
  2. 可愛い (Kanji)
  3. かわいいです (“Kawaii desu.” sentence; translate: It is cute.)
    4.カワ(・∀・)イイ!! (Katakana: カワイイ plus kaomoji)

Below are more of my favorite kaomoji’s. Feel free to use them on your texts messages!

“That’s great!”いいね。ii ne.(・∀・)イイネ!!
“Thank you.”ありがとう!arigatou(人”▽`)ありがとう☆
“Yes.” はい。hai.ァィ(。・Д・)ゞ
‘`ィ (゚д゚)/
nervous (sweating)あせase(;^ω^)
(;^_^A アセアセ・・・
(;´Д`A “`
hot (weather)熱いatsuiι(´Д`υ)アツィー
“It’s okay.”ドンマイdonmaiドン( ゚д゚)マイ

Mobile tip:
For a wider variety of kaomojis, ready-made(copy/paste) Kaomoji apps are available for download as well. You just have to choose which ones suits your preference best. Personally, I have tried a lot of apps but the copy and pasting is too much of a task for me. But the choices you have in apps are way larger and more varied.

Let’s exchange smiles, comment your favorite Kaomoji!