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Kaomoji, or "Japanese-style emoticons," are emoticons that are defined by the fact that, unlike Western emoticons, are "right-side up" and do not require tilting one's head to the left to recognize.

Kaomoji is a Japanese word that literally means "face characters." However, kaomoji are extremely varied and are often used to express other concepts besides faces, including animals, pictures of objects and even short, comic book-like stories.

One reason that kaomoji are so varied is that Japanese uses a much larger character set than English or other European languages, requiring at least a double-byte character set, which allows for a much larger variety of typing options.

Although many kaomoji are quite recognizable in any culture, some draw heavily upon the conventions of Japanese manga and anime and are almost illegible to outsiders not familiar with those conventions.

Two notable kaomoji which have firmly made the transition into Western usage are the table flip and the shruggie.

Some examples of kaomoji include:

(♡‿♡)in love
( ̄ω ̄)confusion
C= C= C= C=┌(`ー´)┘running
(-_-) zzZsleeping
/(・ × ・)\rabbit
\( ̄(oo) ̄)/pig
ヽ(^o^)ρ┳┻┳°σ(^o^)ノplaying ping-pong