I have a friend in Japan I correspond with, and when she adds a smiley to show "happy", she types this (^_^)
I've always wondered why the mouth on her smiley doesn't smile, and today I discovered why.
Research has shown that people from East Asia focus their attention on a person's eyes as a means of interpreting their emotion, and as a result they have difficulty distinguishing facial expressions for different emotions where the eyes look similar (eg "surprised" vs. "fearful").
I wonder if this explains why the eyes are exaggerated and disproportionate in Japanese animations?
Here's the article:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813142131.htm