Emoticon can express cultural difference…? (顔文字にも文化が表れる・・・?)

November 13, 2013 

Have you ever seen this kind of emoticons? (^_^) or (;_;) These are Japanese style emoticons that can be understood without tilting your head to the left. Why are Japanese emoticons different from American emoticons like :) and :( ?

According to Masaki Yuki, a behavioral scientist at Hokkaido University, and other fellow scientists (2007), Japanese people tend to judge others’ expression by the eyes while Americans tend to judge it by the mouth. American style has many variations of mouth whereas Japanese style has many variations of eyes.

Now, there are mixtures of them: =A=, >_< and T_T, which are used for “shocked,” “sympathize,” and “crying” emoticons in a hybrid Japanese-American style.

Emoticons show culture in a way!



(^_^)  (;_;)      :)  :(




=A=  >_<   T_T



[Reference] Yuki, Masaki; Maddux, William W.; Masuda, Takahiko – Are the windows to the soul the same in the East and West? Cultural differences in using the eyes and mouth as cues to recognize emotions in Japan and the United States