As noted in the guide that detailed how to activate the hidden keyboard on your iOS device, it's not easy to figure out just what each of the emoticons actually mean.
Thankfully, the website linked to above lists various Asian emoticons and their respective meanings.
For example, (^3^) translates into kiss. I can kind of see it.
(^^^) is a shark (I don't see it).
Perhaps my favorite on the list, however, is d-_-b, which stands for "listening to music." And if you're going to send an emoticon about listening to music, you should follow it up with one that shows off your dance moves:
♪┏(・o･)┛♪┗ ( ･o･) ┓♪┏ ( ) ┛♪┗ (･o･ ) ┓♪┏(･o･)┛♪
If you can't find the emoticon you want to use on that list, Wikipedia has another list of common Western and Eastern emoticons. The former are the more traditional smiley faces, with the latter looking similar to those found in the hidden keyboard.
Do you have any recommended resources for emoticons? If so, share them in the comments below.