Whether visiting Japan or living here; you will see various stickers on cars. Inquisitive minds like mind will wonder what the meaning of the different stickers? I am here with the answer!
The shoshinsha mark (初心者マーク) or Wakaba mark (若葉マーク) is the mark of a new driver because in Japan a simple red L is not enough. Just like the “L” Japanese drivers will easily know who is a new driver and so take the necessary precautions. This is the mark I am currently rocking on my car at the time of this post.
Driver with a Disability
The next symbol I can only describe as a white-on-blue four-leaf clover (heart) shaped umbrella indicates a driver with a disability. Japan apparently decided not to use the well-known ISA symbol to allow for a broader array of disabilities than a wheelchair implies.
The Kōreisha mark (高齢者マーク) is the mark for elderly drivers or according to Japanese Road Traffic Law it indicates “aged person at the wheel”. Drivers 75 years and older must display this mark and with Japan’s ageing population this mark is more popular than the one for new drivers.
Hearing Impaired Driver
The last symbol is the “butterfly mark” to indicate drivers who are “hard of hearing”. Th symbol is creative in that it is actually two yellow ears stylized to for the wings of a butterfly on a green background!
Kirk is a proud Jamaican who started Jamaipanese.com in February 2006 and now lives in rural Japan. He enjoys sharing his experiences learning about Japan, personal milestones in life as well as interests such as photography, gaming and travelling.