Mobile smilies ヽ(*^▽^*)ノ


Do you use smilies (kaomoji) when writing mobile phone email? graph of japanese opinionContinuing their recent series of interesting habits that people have around technology,, in conjunction with Cross Marketing Inc, carried out an internet-based survey to see what email habits people had. They interviewed 300 people from up and down Japan, exactly fifty-fifty male and female, with 16.6% of the sample aged either 18 or 19, and a similar 16.6% aged in each of decades of life from the twenties to the sixties.

Just about all Japanese mobile phones come with graphic smilies (Vodafone even has animated ones, I believe), pre-registered set phrases that include smilies, and smilies in their input conversion dictionaries. For instance, if you type in かお, kao, face, then select the covert to kanji option, as well as the expected kanji 顔, most mobile phones will also present a list of smilies to choose from. Note that this option is also available in Windows – if you have the Japanese IME, select the properties page for the Japanese input method, go to the “Dictionary” tab, and activate the “Microsoft IME Spoken Language/Emoticon Dictionary”.

I do use smilies, or 顔文字, kaomoji, literally “face characters”, a lot in mail, although I usually use the built-in graphics rather than choosing ASCII (and non-ASCII, as is often the case) art. However, as a signature I occasionally do use the Greek characters κεπ.

Q1: Do you use smilies (kaomoji) when writing mobile phone email? (Sample size=300)

Use at least three per mail13.7%
Use about one per mail27.3%
Occasionally use one36.7%
Don’t use them, but approve of receiving mail with them21.0%
Don’t use them, and disapprove of receiving mail with them or hate the sight of them1.3%

Q2: Have you ever added a smiley (kaomoji) to your mobile phone’s dictionary? (Sample size=233)

Yes, and use only my own registered smilies4.7%
Yes, use both my own smilies and the pre-registered smilies31.8%
No, use only the pre-registered smilies63.5%

Q3: Of the following mobile phone Japanese input features, which do you think are useful? (Sample size=300, multiple answer)

Predictive input17558.3%
History input (remembering previous conversions)15250.7%
Ranking input (remembering preferred conversions)12240.7%
Alphabetic character case conversion11036.7%
Alphanumeric to kana conversion (I don’t understand this one at all!)8327.7%
Downloadable additional dictionaries7023.3%
Undo functionality6521.7%
Reverse entry (instead of A->B->C…, go A->c->b…)5418.0%
Construct dictionaries on PC4013.3%
Automatic cursor movement (Don’t understand this one either!)3010.0%
T9 input299.7%
Pocket Bell (pager) input41.3%
Don’t think there are any useful options268.7%
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