If you ask a millennial like me, emojis are central to our sentences. They create a familiar space for us and light up even the most bland statements. Almost every other sentence I use ends with an emoji, just to avoid using the period, the usage of which is increasingly considered rude in informal texts.
Yesterday, the 17th July, was considered unofficially as the World Emoji day. First developed for telecom company NTT Docomo, by a man named Shigetaka Kurita in the late 90s, emojis literally mean ‘picture characters’. Since they are inspired by Japanese Kanji characters, most emojis trace roots to Japanese culture and traditions.
The global phenomenon of emoji day is celebrated earnestly by millions on the internet because of the Apple calendar emoji which has 17th July enshrined on it
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The process of approving an emoji lies with the Unicode Consortium. It is responsible for the standard character Unicode that makes it possible for us to use emojis across various devices.
It is also undeniable that Samsung emojis have confounded meanings a little too often for us to overlook. Seriously, Samsung.
This emoji day, find out the meaning behind a random looking wave or shooting star emoji through this list:
- 🎏 These are Koinobori, or the little streamers flying from a stick used to depict Children’s Day in Japan. Families fly carp streamers on May 5 to bring good luck for their children. In Japanese folklore, carps are believed to be strong and courageous.
2. 📛 This emoji which looks like a white box on fire is, in fact, a tulip shaped name badge used in kindergartens in Japan.
3. 💠- This is a glyph that means ‘kawaii’, or cute in Japanese.
4. 🗼-This is the Tokyo Tower located in Minato, Tokyo. Built in 1957, it is the second tallest building in Japan. Because of the emoji’s small size, it is often confused with the Eiffel Tower of France.
5. ⛎-Ophiuchus is the 13th sign of the zodiac.
6. This levitating businessman, who many perceive to be a magician(including me) is actually based on a Webdings character. It was created by Vincent Connare, also the creator of the much-derided Comic Sans font. The Webdings character was loosely based on a photo of Peter Tosh, a reggae artist back in the 70s.
7. 🌊-This emoji which symbolizes a tsunami for many, is a real-life woodblock painting called ‘The Great Wave Off Kanagawa’ by Japanese artist Hokusai.
8. 🎑-This emoji depicts the Moon viewing ceremony of Japan, celebrated during full moon or waxing moon. The symbol shows Japanese pampas grass and dango (a sweet dessert food) which are used in the ceremony, as well as the moon in the background.
9. 💫-We often unknowingly use this emoji to depict a shooting star. It was, although, intended to portray dizziness, styled after comics in which the characters see a circle of stars around their head.
10. 💁-Probably the most misused emoji of all times, we all use this symbol to do a virtual ‘hair-flick’ or sassy outro. According to various sites, it refers to an information desk person or a ‘how may I help you?’ gesture.
Some bemoan emojis taking over mature sentences, but most have embraced it as a digital supplement to all languages.
This emoji day, let’s celebrate the power of little pictures which provide support to their word counterparts. Since we can’t guffaw, snort, laugh out loud or smile on a text, our emotions are neatly conveyed by these wondrous images.
Image Credits: Google Images