This collection offers a comprehensive treatment of emoticons, kaomoji, and emoji, examining these digital pictograms and ideograms from a range of perspectives to comprehend their increasing role in the transformation of communication in the digital age. Featuring a detailed introduction and eleven contributions from an interdisciplinary group of scholars, the volume begins by outlining the history and development of the field, situating emoticons, kaomoji, and emoji – expressing a variety of moods and emotional states, facial expressions, as well as all kinds of everyday objects– as both a topic of global relevance but also within multimodal, semiotic, picture theoretical, cultural and linguistic research. The book shows how the interplay of these systems with text can alter and shape the meaning and content of messaging and examines how this manifests itself through different lenses, including the communicative, socio-political, aesthetic, and cross-cultural. Making the case for further study on emoticons, kaomoji, and emoji and their impact on digital communication, this book is key reading for students and scholars in sociolinguistics, media studies, Japanese studies, and language and communication.

chapter 1|22 pages

Emoticons, Kaomoji, and Emoji

The Transformation of Communication in the Digital Age

part I|59 pages

Intercultural Mediations

chapter 2|19 pages

Not Everyone s

Or, the Question of Emoji as ‘Universal’ Expression

chapter 4|15 pages


Digital Lingua Franca or a Culture-Specific Product Leading to Misunderstandings?

part II|41 pages

Intersectional Mediations

chapter 5|19 pages

‘Impact taisetsu da!’

The Use of Emoji and Kaomoji in Dansō Escort Blogs Between Gender Expression and Emotional Labor

chapter 6|20 pages

Emoticons in Social Media

The Case of Japanese Facebook Users

part III|43 pages

Linguistic Mediations

chapter 7|21 pages

‘Iconographetic Communication’ in Digital Media

Emoji in WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook—From a Linguistic Perspective

part IV|40 pages

Pictorial Mediations

chapter 9|26 pages

The Elephant in the Room of Emoji Research

Or, Pictoriality, to what Extent?

part V|38 pages

Material Mediations

chapter 11|16 pages

Who Is Afraid of Mr. Yuk?

The Display of the Basic Emotion of Disgust in an ‘Analogue Precursor’ to Contemporary Emoji

chapter 12|20 pages

From Digital to Analog

Kaomoji on the Votive Tablets of an Anime Pilgrimage