Image: Japanese emoticon mugs, via.
Although I’m not exactly sure why I might want an emoticon for injection (though a need for ‘technic of ninja‘ and gun are pretty obvious), this Japanese emoticon dictionary is really kewl. Warning: links go to geocities pages, which have the bandwidth strength of wet toilet paper. The basic difference between ours and theirs is explained thusly:
Apparently, Japanese Smileys (Emoticons) are read vertically while western Smileys (Emoticons) are read horizontally. And Japanese Smileys have more variation than eastern ons. I think the reason is that while American (alphabet) letters in computer are 1 byte, Japanese letters in computer are 2 bytes, so Japanese letters can have more characters. And also, Japanese sentences contain Chinese characters which are phonograms, so it is easier to express and recognize something graphic with letters for Japanese people.
1byte letters: ABCDabcd,.^=123456?+-*/=`@…….
2bytes letters :?????????????????????????????
Second reason seems to that Japanese comics(manga) have many ways of express their feelings and situations by certain lines or graphics and Japanese do the same thing when they create smileys. So, a large number of Japanese Smileys (Emoticons) are influenced by comics.