Love them or hate them, miracle or menace, Emoji are standard message elements in Japan and have caught some favor among internet iPhone users (and TiPb Forum staff...)
The problem, however, is that there's currently no standard way to encode the little mega-smileys across different carriers and platforms, leading to a lot of "translation" work in between. The solution?
engineers from Google and Apple have got together to try to propose an encoding for these emoji (they have identified 674 of them!) that can be added to the official standard ISO/IEC 10646, as can be seen in this document, Proposal for Encoding Emoji Symbols.
Maybe next Apple could work on not requiring complex, app-bound Emoji activation processes for non-Japanese iPhones? Sumo, tiny red cars, and weirdly smiling brown piles for everyone!