Japanese Emoticons

Diving into Invisible Culture is as much about learning about a foreign land as it is about seeing the reflection of our own cultures in the differences of those lands. Take a recent article that was written about the use of smiley faces that we use on emails or Facebook. According to Masaki Yuki, a scientist at Hokkaido University, the way we make those faces tells us something about the differences between U.S. and Japanese culture.

japanese_emoticons

According to Yuki, Americans tend to put more emphasis on the mouth while Japanese focus on the eyes. He suggests that since Japanese tend to be more group oriented, maintaining harmony results in emotions being more controlled in public (iC). Nonetheless, no amount of control can mask ones true emotions which is why Japanese look to the eyes for other clues.

more >

comment