Emoji (絵文字 or えもじ; Japanese pronunciation: [emodʑi]) are the ideograms or smileys used in Japanese electronic messages and webpages, whose use is spreading outside Japan. Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji literally means “picture” (e) + “character” (moji). The characters are used much like ASCII emoticons or kaomoji, but a wider range is provided, and the icons are standardized and built into the handsets. Some emoji are very specific to Japanese culture, such as a bowing (apologizing) businessman, a face wearing a face mask, a white flower used to denote “brilliant homework” or a group of emoji representing popular foods: ramen noodles, dango, onigiri, Japanese curry, and sushi. The three main Japanese operators, NTT DoCoMo, au, and SoftBank Mobile (formerly Vodafone), have each defined their own variants of emoji. (Wikipedia)