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A friend of mine recently translated a Japanese article from Japan's October issue of An An magazine and sent her a tweet in English telling her that it was completed. The author replied with the following tweet: (^з^)-☆ ば

I have only been studying Japanese online for less than a year, and can't make any sense of her response. When I look it up in the Japanese to English dictionary, it refers to location, which doesn't make sense.

Can anyone help?

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Do Japanese to English dictionaries now contain emoticons? – Jesse Good Sep 19 '13 at 22:09
@JesseGood I was going to a make a similar comment, but I'm guessing the OP looked up and got – ThisSuitIsBlackNot Sep 19 '13 at 22:12

Apparently is Yoshimoto Banana's signature on Twitter ( is for ばなな). A couple of other examples of her tweets:

ψ(`∇´)ψ ば

ですね^ ^ ば

Sometimes members of her staff will write tweets using her account and sign them スタッフ so you can tell that Yoshimoto Banana herself didn't write them.

EDIT: I wrote this up quickly last night, but I have this nagging feeling that I need to give credit where it's due: my wife is a huge Yoshimoto Banana fan and as soon as she saw that tweet and "an an magazine" (which she insists should be all lowercase, by the way) she said "Oh, that's Yoshimoto Banana."

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+1 for giving credit to your wife! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_Yoshimoto indicates that "Banana" is derived from the English word "Banana" (or the Japanese word バナナ), in case anyone's wondering. – Andrew Grimm Sep 21 '13 at 6:07

You won't find this in a standard dictionary. What you need is a "dictionary" of Japanese emoticons, for example:


It seems (^з^)-☆ is an air kiss. As for (reads "ba"), this is probably the sound for "smooch".

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But isn't ちゅ the kissing sound? – ssb Sep 19 '13 at 23:28
Usually yes, but I don't have any other explanation. Well, I guess it could be a (really weird) graphical representation of the other party... – Igor Skochinsky Sep 19 '13 at 23:30
This dictionary says "ba" may mean "a sudden impact". I guess that works too. – Igor Skochinsky Sep 19 '13 at 23:34

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