This chapter examines the rise of the emoji script from its origins in the modern history of pictographic script design to its adoption into Unicode and beyond. Mixed with significant jovial attitudes, the utopian rhetoric of a ‘universal’ language and of free access surrounding both Unicode and emoji suggests a free transmission of meaning—free from the cost of distribution and free from the need to translate and to interpret. However, the cultural and technological histories of this ‘Japanese new medium’ exemplifies the frictions between particularism and universalism that have long haunted all linguistic forms. This chapter investigates how remediation, transcription, and uses of emoji can indicate critical considerations about future practices of new media usage while outlining the potential successes and failures of emoji. Examining the links between emoji and Neurath’s Isotypes, Bliss’s Blissymbolics, Ōta’s LoCoS, and more recent avant-garde appropriations of emoji (such as Xu Bing’s A Book from the Ground: From Point to Point), this chapter offers a survey of ways that culture can shape emoji and how emoji can transform their users.