The above photo has been getting a lot of buzz on Twitter recently, possibly because it has a deeper message than even the students who made it intended.

Students spelling out messages en masse with their bodies is nothing new in Japan. Called hitomoji (human letters) it’s long been used in celebration of milestones for businesses and school graduations. This one, however, is just that little bit cooler.

It might be a little hard to make out for non-Japanese speakers, but the message reads “omedetou” (congratulations) along with a popular Asian-style emoticon, which when typed would look something like this:

おめでとう

\(^o^)/

The picture was taken by undergrads and sent to graduating students of their school. One of the students who received it was so touched by the message that they uploaded it to Twitter. Much to everyone’s surprise, the photo went viral over the microblogging network, drawing comments of “great” and “amazing” unanimously.

Being one of many photos of its kind it’s a unique sign of the times in both how it displays the written language of the Internet and how it spread so rapidly online.

It’s also an interestingly artistic full circle to see human bodies recreate an ASCII image which was originally intended to recreate a human body.

Source: Byokan Sunday (Japanese)
Image: Twitter – weavpool