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From a humble smiley face with a box mouth and inverted "V's" for eyes, crude weather symbols, and a rudimentary heart – emoji have now exploded into the world's fastest-growing language.Shigetaka Kurita, the man who created these characters, is still surprised by the success of his idea, but says he was meeting an obvious need.Kurita was working at major telecom NTT Docomo in 1999 when he sketched out one of the first emoji, a clunky looking thing barely recognizable as the precursor to today's yellow smiley face.For inspiration, Kurita says he tapped Japan's popular manga comics and the country's complicated writing system that uses two sets of phonetic letters mixed with Chinese characters, known as kanji.Today, a smiley-faced poop is one of the world's most popular emoji, though according to the emojitracker website, a face with tears of joy is the symbol that is used the most.Reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who has 88.9 million followers on Instagram alone, developed her own range of "Kimoji" symbols.
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