The beloved anime magical girl is helping flowers bloom on social media.

As the star of Cardcaptor Sakura, Sakura Kinomoto has had her own manga and anime. Now she’s moved into yet another medium, since as of March 27 she has a special emoji, one which you can only find on Twitter.

Before we get to the details, let’s take a crash course in how emoji work when people are typing in Japanese. Since Japanese has many words that share the same pronunciation, when you’re typing in the language, you first type the word phonetically, then select from a list of possible renderings. For example, ame can mean rain or candy, depending on the kanji character used, so after you type A-M-E, the drop-down list lets you choose between them.

▼ Number 1 is the vague hiragana phonetic version, Number 2 is “rain,” and Number 3 is “candy.”

But if the app or word processor has an emoji for the word you typed, that’ll appear in the list too. Since Japan loves cherry blossoms, of course there’s an emoji when you type “sakura,” and on Twitter it usually looks like this:

Right now, though, there’s also a new, even cuter sakura emoji, which looks like this:

However, you can’t get this new sakura by the conventional method. Instead, you have to put a special hashtag in our tweet, and in the example above, that hashtag is #木之本桜, Kinomoto Sakura, the Cardcaptor heroine’s name said Japanese-style (family name first).

As soon as you’ve pasted #木之本桜 into your tweet, the new cherry blossoms will bloom!

The salute to the veteran magical girl is part of Twitter Japan’s Sakura Saku promotion. While the emoji is for everyone, 12 lucky fans can also get a gift package of Cardcaptor Sakura and Twitter-themed item by retweeting the below tweet.

▼ The gift package includes a pair of tickets to summer’s upcoming Cardcaptor Sakura art exhibition in Osaka.

Oh, and if you’re only interested in non-Cardcaptor sakura, you can also summon the new emoji with the following hashtags, which mean “Sakura Day,” “sakura,” “sakura,” and “blossoming,” respectively:
● #さくらの日
● #桜
● #さくら
● #開花

▼ Mixing the two cherry blossoms is also an option.

However, just like the cherry blossoms themselves don’t last forever, so too will the new sakura emoji only be around for a limited time, as the Sakura Saku promotion ends on April 30, so make as many cherry blossoms as you can bloom while you’ve got the chance.

Source: IT Media, Twitter/@TwitterJP
Insert images: Twitter/SoraNews24
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Casey has no special emoji, but you can follow him on Twitter anyway.