Kaomoji – the Japanese Emoticons


Japanese people love adorable things. In our emails and instant messages, this means
lots of fun 顔文字(kaomoji) – emoticons! There is almost an emoticon for every occasion. Our emoticons benefit from a rich palette of characters from both Latin and non-Latin character sets.

Check out these handy emoticons you can cut & paste into your own emails.

(^O^) “happy”
(^_^) “smiley”
( ´ ▽ ` )ノ “greetings”
(−_−;) “sad”
☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆ “extra happy and excited”
(=´∀`)人(´∀`=) “high five”
( T_T)\(^-^ ) “comforting a crying person”
。・°°・(>_<)・°°・。 “crying”
_φ(・_・ “taking notes”
♪(*^^)o∀*∀o(^^*)♪  “cheers”
(^O^)/ “hi there!”
o(^▽^)o “happy and excited”
(~_~;) “sad”
(;_;) “crying”
(^_-) “wink”
ε=ε=ε=ε=ε=ε=┌(; ̄◇ ̄)┘ “running away”
(>_<) “oh no!/ouch!”


If you have an iOS device, the Japanese keyboard is already equipped with pre-stocked emoticons. First, add the Japanese keyboard. (Check out this page on how to use the international keyboard layouts on iOS.) Switch to the Japanese keyboard, and press “123” key on the bottom left. Then you’ll see the layout that looks like below:

Screenshot: Japanese Keyboard

Press the ^_^ key to show a list of emoticons. This key is found on the second row from the bottom, between the !and ‘backspace’ keys.

On this screen, we can preview and select emoticons to use in an email or IM.

Screenshot: Stock Japanese emoticon

In this example, we see that someone has previously selected (^-^;).  This time, I’m going to select o(^▽^)o.

Screenshot: Emoticon saved to email.