Smilies add flavors to your e-mail: smile! :-), hee hee :-P, wink! ;-D etc…
We Japanese also use smilies, even more frequently than North American people do. But there is one big difference. Our smilies are written vertically!
For example, the most common smily is
where the brackets "()", the hats "^", and the under bar "_" represents the outline, the eyes, and the mouth respectively. Do you see that?
Some variations are:

(^v^)/ Hi!
(^o^)v Peace!
(~O~) I'm sleepy. (a yawning person)
d(-_^) Goo! (winking with a thumb up)
( ^o^)y ((( -_-) Just between you and I...

Now, are you ready for advanced (more "Japanese") smilies?

m(_ _)m Forgive me... (a bowing person)
(^_^;) at a loss for an answer
(";" represents sweat)
(;_;) I'm sad...
(";" represents tears here)
(T_T) another version of crying
("T" represents tears)
w(@_@)w Wah! (surprised)
(-_-#) I'm angry.

As you can see, these smilies are pretty much influenced by the manga (Japanese comic) culture.

Because Japanese computers have more characters than English ones, we can make use of them to create smilies as well:

Oops, sorry.
(a person scratching his head)
F**k you!
Yeah! (a dancing person)
I'm taking memo.
Kampai! (cheers)

Some are even artistic, eh?

So, when you receive e-mail from your Japanese friend next time, don't lean your head :-/


This ariticle is written for the KonJa newsletter (spring '98).
Kao moji no hiroba
Animation smilies:
Copyright (c) 1998 KOJI UEDA. All rights reserved.