Using Japanese Emoji on Facebook


UPDATE: Due to constant updates in iOS, the information in this blog post is no longer relevant.  (3/25/2013)

EDIT: Because of changes in iOS 4.3.5, you can now install the Emoji keyboard without installing a Japanese keyboard.  For the new directions, please go here:

People keep asking me how to do this, so I figured I should just make a blog post and make the details available to everyone.  After all, it takes seconds to set up and will make your Facebook posts standout all the more.

Because Japanese uses Kanji, an ideographic writing system, it’s only logical that including pictures or emoticons along with text would be a natural thing to do.  All Japanese cellphones come loaded with tons of emoji (絵文字 “pictographs/emoticons”).  There are sets specific to au, Softbank, and DoCoMo (the major cellphone carriers in Japan).  But there is also a universal set that is cross platform (and even displays on computers).

When the iPhone was released in Japan, immediately people started complaining about how boring it was because it didn’t have emoji.  After a few months, Apple released an update to the iPhone OS that among other things, brought universal emoji functionality to the Japanese input systems.  People in other countries don’t know much about this feature (and other awesome iOS features) because they are peculiar to the Japanese input keyboards.

I’m not sure if there’s a way to do this via the computer (but seems like there must be since the emoji are displayable on computers).  If there is, I don’t know how.  Also, the other drawback is, you’ll have a Japanese keyboard pop up as one of your options when you go to do text.  You can arrange the order in which keyboards pop up when you have multiple keyboards installed, so putting the Japanese at the very end is a good way to keep it out of sight if you don’t need it.

Go to Settings

go to the settings icon

Go to Keyboards.
Turn on Japanese.
don’t worry, it will keep your previous language.  you can install as many as you like, i think.

add the Japanese 10 key input

Enable Emoji.

it used to be disabled by default, but i’m not sure about recent versions of iOS. might be pre-enabled these days. anyways, you’re a big boy. you can figure it out.

Congratulations! Now you can use emoji just about anywhere… including SMS, e-mail and Facebook.

Here’s a screenshot from the Facebook app for iPhone and I’m updating my status with text and emoji.  To toggle between keyboards, just tap the International button in the bottom lefthand corner (it looks like a globe).  Use this toggle button to get back to your regular language input after you’re finished using emoji.

how to input japanese emoji kaomoji in facebook on iphone ipad
shock and impress your friends with your emoji arsenal

You can use the emoji in any app that allows for them.  All the native iOS apps, including Messages (SMS), e-mail, etc. allow emoji use.  Here’s an example of emoji used in the Messages app.

your mom

Here’s a list of all the characters that you now have at your disposal.  This is how they display in iOS.  So your iPad and iPhone will look like this.  On Facebook, they will display differently.  I don’t have a list of those.  Sorry.

image borrowed fromå/06/the-truth-about-iphone-emoji/
this image borrowed from

If you want more technical background emoji, then please visit this website:
He’s got the skinny on the inner workings, which I don’t.

Have fun with your emoji!


12 thoughts on “Using Japanese Emoji on Facebook

  1. Just to clarify, this only enables Emoji for your own use. This does NOT work on facebook. You can use emoji while updating status/commenting etc, but they will disappear as soon as you post them.

  2. I encountered the same problem as Tom did, emoji only appears for like 1~2 seconds after I posted it on facebook from my iPhone, then it disappears. I know emoji can be shown on facebook since I have seen it recently, I really would like to use it on facebook as well..I’m wondering whether it has something to do with the way I activate emoji keyboard which is through emoji application sold on app store..?!

  3. I have the same problem. It only shows a few seconds on Facebook for iPhone when posting and a friend of mine can use it on her iPhone. I even can see the emoji on her status When I see it in my pc!

  4. I don’t live in Japan, but I’ve seen plenty of emoji in comments on my Facebook feed. I’m wondering if it’s possible to insert them without having a Japanese mobile. There doesn’t seem to be any documentation about it. Obviously it’s technically possible, but I don’t think Facebook have provided any way to input them via the web interface.

  5. i’m trying to find out for ages. no solution yet? i wanna post them on facebook. i read they disabled emojis recently but i saw them posted just today…

  6. I discovered your blog website on google and verify quite a few of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the very good operate. I simply further up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Reader. Trying to find ahead to studying more from you afterward!…

  7. hi everybody! because of an update in iOS (that i wasn’t aware of until last night), you can install the emoji keyboard WITHOUT installing the japanese keyboard.

    so if you’ve been using an emoji app or something like that, you can toss that out and access directly from the keyboard and if you’re a non-japanese speaker/learner, you can totally bypass the japanese keyboard.

    here’s the details:

Leave a Reply