How to Type Japanese Emoticons

If you’re looking for fun and weird look no further than Japan. Ever.  They have both markets covered.  So it makes sense that their emoticons are even more fun than ours. Get ready for Japanese emoticon fun!

\ (^_^) /

For those of you unfamiliar with what an emoticon is, it’s this  🙂  or this  🙁     If you look at these things sideways you can see that they represent a smiling face or a frowning face.  If you want to get incredibly advanced you can also do the winking face  😉

For some reason, in North America when we type out our emoticons we’ve taken to making them so you have look at them sideways.   Not so in Japan.  Japanese text emoticons are ready to read straight on.   No need to turn your phone, your head or your eyeballs sideways.  Which in Japan is especially important.  One tip of your head and you could become disoriented, stumble a bit and smash head first into a Japanese hipster dressed up as a Hello Kitty Storm Trooper.

A lot of their emoticons are based on the Japanese keyboard, but there are a few that work with a regular North American keyboard.  So if you’re feeling like you can’t quite express yourself properly with actual words in that text or tweet, take a look at some of these Japanese emoticons.



I know. I thought it was bizarre they had a John Lennon emoticon too. When exactly would you need to use that?

“Hey honey. Could you pick up some of those things (°J°) sang about?  The things in the fields?  And get some of those things that guy sang about as well.  The things on the hill.  It’s where he found his thrill.  Oh GOD … what is his NAME … crap … crap … CRAP … if I ONLY had an emoticon for it.”


Think these are fun? Wait’ll you see the ones I have for you next week. Japanese don’t have the entire fun/weird market covered … I’ve got a bit of weird in me myself.



  1. Kelli says:

    I like this one myself – does double duty if you’re mad or disapprove: >:-(

  2. Toronto Boy says:

    I came across the following link and instantly thought about this thread. For your viewing pleasure:

  3. kathryn says:

    Want some more fun & weird? Try boobicons.

    “perfect” breasts

    silicon breasts
    ( + )( + )

    Perky breasts

    Big nipple breasts

    A cups
    o o

    D cups
    { O }{ O }

    Wonder bra breasts

    Cold breasts
    ( ^ )( ^ )

    Lopsided breasts

    Pierced Nipple Breasts

    Hanging Tassels Breasts

    Grandma’s Breasts
    \ o /\ o /

    Against The Shower Door Breasts
    ( )( )

    Android Breasts
    | o | | o |

    Martha Stewart’s Breasts

    Mamogrammed Breasts
    ___ ___

    Be breast cancer aware and check ’em out regularly.


  4. Brittanie says:

    There is a really great “dictionary” of them here: and some good ones here that don’t always work on every comp (I think you have to have certain fonts installed)

  5. sera says:

    I love that you may be the only person who can write an entire post on emoticons and not only do I feel happily entertained, but educated.
    Although it would have been awesome if you had “hand written” the emoticons on your meals chalkboard. \_(*o*)_/

  6. Natika33 says:

    In Japanese, emoticon is emoji. Almost the same!

    • Karen says:

      Natika – Actually … emoticons are 🙂 and emojis are the actual happy faces. Although it may be different in Japan. ~ karen!

      • Natika33 says:

        Are English people saying “emoji” now?!? I had no idea. They most definitely don’t use “emoticon” in Japan. Both the actual cartoon character or a face typed out using regular characters is called an emoji in Japan.

  7. Natika33 says:

    They were just talking about the John Lennon one on a drama I was watching the other day! What a coincidence!

    It actually means surprised in the Tohoko region of Japan (yes, THAT area). Most Japanese say “Eh!” when surprised (Yes, the same as Canadians), but they add a “j” to it in the Tohoku region, so it sounds just like the letter “j”, but more staccato. Said once, it means “a bit surprised”, twice means, “rather surprised” and thrice means “Holy Purple Chickens Batman!”

    Also, don’t forget the most important one in Japan, the bowing person – m(_ _)m or m(._.)m

    There’s also the kiss (^3^)

    The super excited with pompoms *\(^-^)/*

    The sad (;_;) and the other sad (T_T)

    The angry #( `0′) and the WTF \( `0′)/

    The sheepish (‘~’)

    The worried `(‘_’)`

    A bear (‘(I)’)

    The pleased (^-^)

    And many many more… (^-^)

  8. Jeanne says:

    OIC!! (^._.^)~

    Got it! Thx.

  9. Jeanne says:

    These are so cute!!!

    How do you do the little dots (eyes) that’s in the cat?

  10. Too funny! These are great. I’ll be using these to weird out my friends with.

  11. Kristin says:

    Chicken emoticon:

    ( :>

    Or, if you must have it untilted:
    . .

    But misses the top of the head.

  12. AnnW says:

    PS Because of you, I am putting in a garden and starting plants from seeds.!! See what kind of power you have? Ann

  13. AnnW says:

    You are So Much Fun! Getting unto it now!

  14. Shauna says:

    I just all the many things I learn on your blog. This is definitely a Happy Friday post;) 🙂 \(^_^)/

  15. Barbie says:

    The John Lennon one just inspires me to write an e-mail to my hubs and use it like 14 times in my sentence! Just to get a laugh outa him! LOL

  16. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Very cute! I am scared about next week though!!

  17. Selva Iris says:

    JA! The REAL cat emoticon is this: =^.^=

    Thank you for the fun (✿◠‿◠)♥

  18. Haha! Had to text some of these to hubby this morning!

  19. Mary Werner says:

    How would you do a Fats Domino? Maybe color it blue? It is sort of like playing sharades with your fingers.

  20. Jayne says:

    I love the John Lennon ^..^ ~

  21. Reg says:

    \ (^_^) / fun.

  22. qtpuh2tme says:

    I’m kinda partial to the sideways ones, myself. ~y< My cat, Tylli.

  23. Nancy says:

    We have some Japanese dollar and a half stores around here. Most of the stuff makes me giddy with joy! i love it all and most of it is useless, for me anyway. I don’t think this has anything to do with emoticons.

  24. Chris says:

    Next week?! _(*o*)_/
    Chris ‘_’

  25. Auntiepatch says:

    I just sign mine =^..^=

  26. Toronto Boy says:

    ≤( (•v•) )≥ <—- Mother Hen …

    ÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖ <—- And her baby chicks …
    ((((()))))) <—- Sitting in the nest!

  27. Centi says:

    You can also type a cat with whiskers:

    (which is nearly as useful as John Lennon)

  28. gloria says:

    Haha, love the pun, “…you could become disoriented.”

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