The behind-the-scenes tales of hit products and creations from Japan: this is Japan's Top Inventions. This time, emoji, the ideograms like smileys, hearts and food that help add fun to text messages. Now used in messages and emails worldwide every day, the first set of emoji was created in Japan in 1999 for the relatively small cell phone screens of the time. Dive in and discover the little-known origin story of emoji.
The creator of emoji, Shigetaka Kurita
Emoji in their modern form
Kurita holds the first cell phone capable of displaying emoji