Japanese Emoji Meanings?
As a first-timer on a recent vacation with my husband Josh, I was excited to learn as much as I could about its people, culture, and history. One of the most funny of these experiences? Seeing emoticons come to life
There were always some emoji I didn't fully understand, so it was fun to finally taste, see, and touch the Japanese emoji collecting cobwebs on my keyboard.
Here are 18 emoji that made a lot more sense to me after visiting Japan.
The Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha in southern Kyoto are among Japan's most famous structures. This old Shinto shrine dates to 794 A.D. and includes 10,000 torii gates, which are painted arches provided by benefactors. It was a magnificent experience to walk beneath the closely packed row of arches along the trails of the Inari Mountain.
Dango is such a weirdly pleasant rice-based delicacy with a doughy sensation, spherical form, and powdered texture. They are the epitome of cute. There are endless tastes available to consumers; however, I tested chocolate mousse, strawberry, vanilla, and adzuki red bean. When combined, the pink, white, and green dangos are termed bocchan dangos.
Narutomaki is an adorable fish cake included in most ramen meals. It's flavors include a blend of various seafood, such as shrimp, white fish, crab, and lobster. Its fanciful appearance and whirling pink emblem are a tribute to the Naruto whirlpools in Tokushima Prefecture. These natural forces are renowned as the fourth-fastest whirlpool in the world.
Meet Tengu, a popular god viewed by Zen Buddhists as a protector of temples and woods. This is a big difference from his image in the early 14th century as a scary, terrible demon who set fire to Buddhist monasteries and inflicted destruction on humans. I first learned of Tengu from the Japanese film Adrift in Tokyo (Tenten), which is the amusing story of a debt collector who grants financial respite to a young college student in exchange for his company on a multi-day walk across Tokyo.
The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai is a distinctly Japanese print from the 19th-century Edo period. This emoji accurately depicts the fluid, forceful spirit that is woven throughout Japanese culture. Always in motion, yet moving with an obvious grace. Before departing for Japan, I watched an incredible anime film on Netflix about his daughter, Miss Hokusai, who was also an accomplished artist.
Slurping warm, tangled ramen on a wet afternoon was one of my most memorable Tokyo experiences. Just about every institution serves their own variation of this comfort food, which starts with a clear stock broth. Most of the dishes I ate cost between $8 and $9.
The charcoal-grilled yakatori in Piss Alley of Shinjuku earned its spot among the best street food I've ever experienced. Yakatori is primarily a combination of skewered chicken and green onion but can also include marinated beef, vegetables, and shellfish. Omoide Yokocho, sometimes referred to as Memory Lane or Piss Alley, is a tight collection of little eateries where travelers come for an unpretentious dining adventure.
Our main issue with eating in Piss Alley was not determining whether or not to eat there, but finding a space to sit. Most cafes only feature 6–7 bar stools.
Typically restricted to a summertime pleasure in the U.S., shaved-flavored ice is a popular dessert year-round in Japan. I had a strawberry ice for $5 outside of the Fushimi Inari gates, which was topped with condensed milk and sliced fruit. The funniest part? The Kirkland labels behind the booth verified to me that the ingredients came from Costco.
No day felt complete without an o-nigiri, which is a densely packed cylindrical or triangular rice ball coated with dried seaweed. I ate o-nigiri loaded with roe, seaweed, chicken, and adzuki beans. They're easily found at 7-11 and Family Mart handy stores for about 100 yen each.
One of the most enchanting views in Kyoto is witnessing the illuminated paper lanterns along the canal at midnight. My favorite lanterns were discovered in the Gion area, which is most renowned for its geisha and maiko residences. Often misconstrued by outsiders as prostitutes, these skilled ladies entertain guests through traditional dance and vocal performances, serving drinks, reciting poetry, and engaging in intelligent conversations.
In Japanese folklore, the fox, or kitsune, is a symbol of fertility, a strong rice harvest, and success. They are linked to the Shinto deity Inari. There are stone carvings of the fox around the pathways, commonly shown with the key to the granary in his mouth. Outside of the shrine and at gift shops throughout Japan, I saw kitsune portrayed in cuddly animals, animated cartoons, candies, and snacks.
12. 🐲and 🐉
Dragons have been popular long before Daenerys possessed them in Game of Thrones. Around 680 A.D., dragons first appeared in Japanese art. and have since become an identifiable symbol of cultural identity. I enjoyed seeing sculptures of them throughout Kyoto.
Rice. Everywhere. All the time. I joyfully ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It's definitely the cutest way to offer lunch. Bento means lunch in Japanese and also refers to these small boxes that are a popular way to serve a few foods.
I can't quit eating these. Senbei is a rice cracker. Sometimes they are baked with nori (seaweed), although there are hundreds of savory and sweet kinds to select from. I really miss the wasabi crackers I had in Kyoto.
What is the most popular soft-serve ice cream flavor in Japan? 75% of people select vanilla, although matcha (green tea) comes in third. We had matcha soft serve at Tsujiri Tea House in the Gion neighborhood, which has been serving clients for 155 years.
Who knew? During Japan's Jomon period (10,000 B.C. to 200 A.D.), chestnut shells were utilized for home construction and firewood. Today, they are a popular snack.
If you've ever seen Lost in Translation, you know that single malt and blended whiskey are coveted Japanese exports. Josh sipped a whiskey-based drink called "Purple Town" at The Peak Bar at the Tokyo Park Hyatt, where much of Lost in Translation was filmed.