What the JDM LEAF SIGN a.k.a. “Wakaba” Really Means

The green and yellow V-shaped JDM Leaf Symbol is something that you would see in almost every other JDM-themed car not only in the Philippines, but abroad as well.

Another variation of this is the orange and yellow teardrop-shaped symbol.

But do you really know what these symbols really mean? Well then, JDMfan-san, you are about to find out.

Truth be told, the JDM Leaf, which in Japanese is known as the “Wakaba” mark or the “Shoshinsha” mark is officially called “The Beginner Drivers’ Sign”

The orange and yellow “Fukushi” mark, or “Koriesha” mark, on the other hand, is a symbol for senior citizen drivers.

Don’t believe me? Look it up!

Wikipedia says:

The Shoshinsha mark or Wakaba mark, introduced in 1972, is a green and yellow V-shaped symbol that new Japanese drivers must display on their cars for one year. A driver must display this mark on the front and back of the car for one year after they obtain a standard driver’s license. This obligation is only for a standard license, not for motorcycles, large vehicles, special cars and so on. Drivers who consider themselves beginners may continue to display the sign, even after the period of a year.

Its official name is The Beginner Drivers’ Sign. Conversely, the orange and yellow “Fukushi mark” or “Koreisha mark” denotes elderly drivers. Both marks are designed to warn other drivers that the marked driver is not very skilled, either due to inexperience or old age.

So my dear JDMfan-san, are you an elderly driver, or a beginner driver? If you are neither, then don’t put it up.

Speeding down the highway overtaking anything in your path while sporting the JDM Leaf symbol is NOT COOL!

So is sporting an incorrectly installed JDM Tilting Plate Holder, which we have discussed in a previous article entitled: The PROPER use of the JDM Tilting Plate Holder

Want to MODIFY your RIDE? CONTACT US and Tell Us What You Need!

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12 Responses to What the JDM LEAF SIGN a.k.a. “Wakaba” Really Means

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  5. croc says:

    very similar yan to euro and usdm or jdm. If your not really a purist you would not even understand. The ueroplate also is mostly misunderstood.

    The JDM parking sticker also as well..

    Another useful fact be careful in purchasing your plates, dont get the green colored one since this would classify your car as a mode of public transportation back in Japan

  6. Grimbenj says:

    Thanks for the very informative thought! I would also like to share a link to support your blog…(http://news.3yen.com/2009-03-01/what-are-all-these-mysterious-japanese-car-stickers/) Thanks for the info!

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  8. nate108 says:

    i think you missed the joke. its a form of irony. its a parody. ie ive got a fast car and im a good drifting driver – but im just learning. that is how it entered into the drifting scene in japan and then abroard. its like saying your bad at something when you are actually good – its a parody a personal satire.

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  10. Furu says:

    Nate108 is on the money, that is exactly the reason we use it! Not only is it a bit of joke, it can also be a sign of humbleness or to be experienced ‘like a boss’, in the later!

  11. Nestor Lim II says:

    The Shoshinsha mark is commonly seen on topics/tutorials targeted at beginners (whether it involves driving or not), having the meaning “For beginners” or “Beginners are welcomed” .

    The mark is also used as the logo for the imageboard software Wakaba written in Perl by Turku, Finland-based programmer Dag Ågren and by the imageboard index iichan whose indexed imageboards use Wakaba as their software package. The software also features a markup language called Wakabamark.

    The mark is also increasingly being used by JDM enthusiasts in other countries, such as Australia, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, the U.K and U.S.A. to show their passion and interest in JDM culture. Some have taken the Shoshinsha shape and replaced the original green and yellow colors with their own flag to distance themselves from the “beginner” label, while still showing their enthusiasm for JDM car culture. There are even sites specializing in producing these “custom” wakaba badges. Thus, in countries besides Japan, the Shoshinsha mark has become more of a decorative decal rather than a traffic warning.

    Outside Japan, owners of Japanese classic cars have adopted this symbol, regardless of the driver’s age.[citation needed] Japanese car enthusiasts overseas also use the Koreisha mark to indicate that they are an experienced driver as opposed to the Wakaba mark which indicates that they are new or a learner type driver.[citation needed]

  12. I’m sorting through all of my JDM designs for decals and there are so many that I do not know the meaning of, including these two. It makes sense that experienced drivers/ drifters would use these symbols satirically. Japan, so humble.