Emoji as Art - Emoji as Marginalia

Joe Becker joe at unicode.org
Wed Dec 14 12:58:50 CST 2016

Emoji - pictorial characters - really descended from the first writing 
systems ... which *were* pictorial characters ... visibly so in ancient 
Egyptian, as in ancient hanzi/kanji.  Egyptian and Asian artists often 
mixed pictorial text with pictorial artwork.

A famous European example of marginal signs in print was the "dangerous 
curve" sign used in the mathematical writings of the Nicolas Bourbaki group.

Living in Japan in the 1970's, before any personal computers there, we 
saw many books with marginal cartoon characters and other such 
meta-text, which I imagine were the immediate antecedent of emoji in the 
Japanese computer context.


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