Generally users who have an iPhone, in their messages often use classic Emoji emoticons to express what they feel at the time and which are basically small icons of faces and other things. But before there was the "emoticons", people made them (and still do) through special keyboard characters. The latter are more complex to do, but if you want to have an extra variety of emoticons there is an extra set of them waiting in a hidden way in iOS.
Keep in mind that the keyboard emoticons in iOS is completely different from the standard Emoji keyboard in iOS, despite having similar names.
Activating additional emoticons in iOS:
- Open the Settings application, go to "General" and finally go to "keyboard".
- Select "Add new keyboard" and find the one that says "Japanese".