A Japanese pine decoration, called a kadomatsu, is placed in Japanese homes, traditionally in the door way, during the period around New Years. A welcoming sign to ancestral spirits. A blessing for a plentiful agricultural harvest. Traditionally a respectful and welcoming emoji. A symbol of good luck and fortune. Sometimes the cultural significance of this emoji is disregarded and is instead used for its likeness to a middle finger hand gesture. Raising a middle finger at someone (flipping them off) is a sign of extreme disrespect.
Emoji History The emoji code/ image log of changes.
This emoji was part of the proprietary / non-standardized emoji set first introduced by Japanese carriers like Softbank. These emojis became part of the Apple iPhone starting in iOS 2.2 as an unlockable feature on handsets sold in English speaking countries.
In iOS 5 / OSX 10.7, the underlying code that the Apple OS generates for this emoji was changed.