Do you Deco Mail on your mobile phone? graph of japanese opinionAs a sort-of follow-up to one of my more popular recent translations, the emoticons of Japan, let’s have a look at the results of a recent opinion poll reported by In the middle of October Cross Marketing Inc interviewed 300 mobile phone mail-using members of its internet monitor pool regarding their use of features like デコメール, deco-mail, available on most of the newer mobile phones that allows the user to send an HTML message with a border or similar template, in-line graphics, selected font colours and sizes, and other decorative features. The demographics of the sample were the usual Cross Marketing equal divisions – half and half male and female, and 20.0% in each of the five age groups from teens to fifties.

Just for the record, KDDI (au and TU-KA) call it デコレーションメール, decoration mail, and SoftBank Mobile’s feature is named アレンジメール, arrange mail. Note that the HTML mail is viewable not just on the models that support its creation, but also on most phones with a built-in browser and even on PCs. Also note that since most people get charged by the packet, there is a considerable expense for both the sender and the receiver.

I’ve not used the feature, so I can’t comment on how good or otherwise it is, but my new phone that I pick up tomorrow does support it, so I’ll have to give it a go.

Q1: Do you use Deco Mail or other similar HTML email features on your mobile phone? (Sample size=300)

Often use (to SQ) 4.0%
Sometimes use (to SQ) 16.0%
Have functionality, but never used it 26.0%
Don’t have functionality 25.7%
Don’t know if I have the functionality 16.3%
Didn’t know such a functionality existed 12.0%

Q1SQ: Which do you use the most, the built-in templates or create your own deco mail layouts? (Sample size=48)

Only use templates 40.0%
Usually use templates, sometimes do my own 40.0%
Use templates and do my own with equal frequency 10.0%
Usually do my own, sometimes use templates 8.3%
Only use my own designs 1.7%

Note that according to the text of the report, 48 people, or 16.0% answered the above supplemental question, but 20.0% said they either sometimes or often used deco mail. I’m not sure how these conflicting figures resolve themselves.

Q2: When writing mail, what sort of symbols do you often use? (Sample size=300, multiple answer)

  Votes Percentage
Characters like !, ?, ~ 189 63.0%
顔文字, kaomoji, smilies 148 49.3%
Regular punctuation marks like . and , 148 49.3%
絵文字, emoji, special graphic characters 146 48.7%
(笑),(爆), etc, kanji emotions – c.f. *sob*, *laugh* 80 26.7%
★、◎, extended character set marks 71 23.7%
w, short for “warai”, laughing 27 9.0%
わはは、プンプン, onomatopaeic words – c.f. hahaha 7 2.3%
Other 0 0.0%

One might think it strange that regular punctuation full stops and commas come out lower than exclamations and questions, but I suspect this is because many people when writing casual emails often finish their sentences with some form of smilie. In addition, commas are used much more rarely in Japanese than in English.


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