I'm aware that "●▲■" is a famous drawing from a Zen Buddhist priest by the name of Gibon Sengai. This drawing can be interpreted in different ways but the most common is that the circle represents reality/mind, the triangle represents a human, and the circle the earth. Other definitions are related to design(1,2); as placeholders(each of the singer's names is represented by a shape). But I don't think this applies to this context. Also, the meaning of these shapes discussed here doesn't apply in this case either since there are other symbols used too (★,◆,▼).

Some examples of titles of threads from 2ch/5ch:

  1. ○△□茨城のおいしいパン屋さん・4店目□△○
  2. ●■▲新型インフルエンザの初期症状
  3. ●■▲白山信仰を熱く語る
  4. ●▲■HP公開☆Windows98SEで鯖立て☆PWS●▲■
  5. ★NTT系列●▲■おまとめ請求●▲■請求一本化★
  6. ■■■  米国のエイズ感染者数は2000万人以上 ■
  7. ●▲■語彙は力なり その22◆▲●
  8. ●▲■未だにGショッカー@頑張る■▲●

At first I thought the only combination being used was ●▲■, but as you can see in the examples there are different combinations like ●■▲ and ■▲●, so I guess the order is of the shapes matter. In cases like ex 5 the ★ and ●▲■ appear to be used as brackets and the order of ●▲■ is not reversed. In other cases it's reversed like in 8. In ex 2 and 3 they don't appear to be used as brackets.

Is there any special meaning of using this characters in different combinations? (mostly in thread titles in 2ch?

1 Answer 1


They are just meaningless decorations used to make the title stand out. Colorful emoji was not available in 2ch yet, so they used triangles, circles, stars and squares instead.

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