Friday, November 11, 2016

New York Modern Art Museum exhibits Japanese Emoji

Recently, it was reported that The Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) decided to store Emoji for its permanent collection.

“Emoji” is a Japanese word. “E” means picture, and “moji” means letter. Emoji was invented in 1999 by NTT DoCoMo, a leading telephone company in Japan. And it has been broadened to all over the world. In the last decade, Google and Apple also enabled emoji to be used in mobile email service.

MoMA is enthusiastic to exhibit products created in the modern society. Apple Macintosh computer is also named in the list of MoMA storage. A few years ago, I visited MoMA, to enjoy several unique exhibitions.

Now. In Japan, Ascii Art is also common in Japanese email. Ascii Art suggests a group of letters which looks like composing a picture. In English culture, you may see some emoji such as “:)” expressing a smile. Some Japanese are fond of using emoji in their personal message. In Japan, “orz” is frequently seen in expressing regret. Can you see “orz” as a man who is kneeling on the ground to the left? In Japan, this posture is called “dogeza,” used for expressing an extreme apology the other days.

There are many Japanese kanji characters. Also, Japanese use alphabets and Arabic numbers. Thus, Japanese are advantageous to invent new Ascii Arts. And, the vast variety of characters in Japan is likely to be a background of inventing emoji, I think.

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