Emoji: Let's convey your thoughts with Pictogram

I guess ‘Emoji’ is one of the must-have apps. on the mobile phone.
Those emotions and pictures help a lot to convey the nuances which alphabets cannot do enough; it softens the words and strengthens the emotions.

But did you know the word ‘Emoji’ is Japanese?

‘E’ means picture and ‘moji’ means character, i.e. pictograph.
Although Emoji first appeared on Japanese mobile phone in late 1990's, the use of pictograph in writing had been seen since 1980’s among young generations.

Haven’t you found some Emoji icons that you would want to question what they mean?
The Emoji app. includes a number of unique icons that symbolise Japanese cultural events and items.


For example

Kadomatsu 🎍

Traditional new year decoration made of the combination of the auspicious items: fresh pine branches, timber-cut bamboo and some sprigs of plum flower. A pair of them will be set on the both sides of the gate/entrance.


Hina kazari 🎎

A pair of male and female dolls displayed for traditional girl’s festival called ‘Hinamatsuri’ on 3rd March. In the actual display, the pair is accompanied by a number of their servants and personal belongings. They will be arranged on the multi-layered shelf on which the red carpet is rolled out.


tanabata kazari 🎋

Bamboo decoration for ‘Tanabata’ Festival on 7th July; the day of the rendezvous allowed for a couple just once a year. People can write their wishes on a tag and hang it from the bamboo tree along with other decorations on this day.


Sakazuki and Ochoko 🍶

A bottle and a tiny cup for drinking Japanese sake.


Oden 🍢

One of the popular winter homey food. Also available at convenience stores as fast food.


Hanami dango 🍡

Sweet dumplings made by rice powder. The tri-colour represents cherry blossom, snow and green grass, which means that the grass is getting ready to sprout underneath the snow while flowers blooming on the ground.


You can also find icons of

🍵 Green tea
🍱 Obento
🍣 Sushi
🍘 Sembei
🍜 Ramen
🍧 Kakigouri
🎒 Randoseru
🎏 Koinobori.

All those have been brought to the topic on this very website to prove that all of these are essential icons of Japan life.


  • この記事を書いた人

Tamaki SAITO(西東たまき)

Born in Tokyo and raised in Chiba prefecture. I'm excited to reveal the Japan's life behind the scenes that you can hardly learn from the regular sources. Let me hear how far it worked from your side!