If you have been to Japan you have probably seen the following stickers on cars. Each sticker has specific meanings and helps new and experienced drivers on the road. Knowing who you are driving behind could help drivers become more aware and cautious. Who knows, it could probably help road rage as too.
1. Wakaba/Shoshinsha Mark – Beginner’s sticker
When you first obtain a driver’s license, you are required to place this mark on both the front and back side of your vehicle for one year. It’s called the 若葉(wakaba – green leaf) or 初心者(shoshinsha – beginner) mark in Japanese.
2. Koreisha/Momiji/Yotsuba Mark – Senior Driver Sticker
It is recommended that drivers over the age of 70 or older should attach this sticker, but anyone over age 75 is required to attach this sticker to their vehicle. The tear-drop shaped version is called the 紅葉(Momiji – or “Autumn leaves”) in Japanese and was instituted in 1997. In 2011, the 四葉 (Yotsuba – four-leaf clover) version was introduced to replace the previous Momiji sticker.
3. Choukaku Shougai Mark – Hearing Impaired Driver Sticker
Hearing impaired drivers should attach this sticker to their vehicles. It is called a 聴覚障害 (choukaku shougai – hearing impaired) mark in Japanese.
4. Shintai Shougai Mark – Handicapped Driver Sticker
Handicapped drivers should attach this sticker to their vehicles. It is called the 身体障害 (shintai shougai – physical impairment) mark in Japanese.