Emoticons have been used as communication for years and years, starting with the simple smileys : ) and : ( moving to slight variations to show different moods, such as : ‘(  : P  and : D

Before Nicolas Loufrani adapted text emoticons to become the world’s first graphical emoticons, and making thousands more every day, Korean and Japanese people had started experimenting with different keyboard symbols to create different emoticons. For Koreans, something upturned or with bubbles indicate positive feelings; negative emotions are shown through dashes, dots, semi-colons, and down-turned symbols; asterisks illustrate blushing or cuteness, and repeated symbols show emphasis or frequency. [1]


happy emoticons

Quite often, these emoticons indicate more than facial expressions, symbolising feelings such as excitement, by showing the act of throwing hands up in the air  (^0^)/  in a literal, text format. As a language based on characters, adapted from the Chinese script called hanja, it’s no wonder that emoticons can be used in communication interchangeably with letter symbols.

A blog by Jessica Steele here can help you learn all the main symbols of communication, such as above or below, OR you can now unlock your iPhones to discover a hidden world of emoticons.


Emoticons on your iPhone

All you need to do to change things up from the over-used emojis and try out these super cute emoticons is open your Settings on your iPhone and then go to General followed by Keyboard > Add New Keyboard > Japanese > Kana. From here, click on the global icon and select the Japanese symbols on the left of emoji categories.

Open Settings > General > Keyboard > Add New Keyboard > Japanese >Kana. Your new keyboard language is now activated! To use it, go to your messages and tap the globe icon to the left of the emoji categories button on your existing keyboard and select the Japanese symbols. You can now scroll through hundreds of pre-created symbols and communicate in a totally unique, retro way!