EDITORIAL – THESE DON’T MAKE YOU JDM AS F*CK, YO.
No doubt all of you reading this are familiar with the green/yellow “leaf” and orange/yellow “tear-drop” symbols that Japanese motorists are required to have at various stages of their lives behind the wheel. In recent years, these are being increasingly seen in overseas tuner circles with some pretty crass variants having sprung up; all of which, an element of the industry appear to be defining as the things to have if you want to be “JDM as F*CK“, whatever that means. And on top of all this, a lot of people don’t actually know what these symbols actually signify…
Well, let me put a few things straight here in the hope that this ridiculous fad will stop. The Shoshinsha mark or Wakaba mark, introduced in ’72, is the green and yellow leaf-shaped symbol that Noob Japanese drivers have to display on their cars for a period of one year after being granted their license. You’ve got to have them on both ends of the car as well to make sure everyone else on the road can see them and avoid your noobishness behind the wheel. Sure, you can keep them on there after the year is up and a lot of drivers do this because.. they still consider themselves Noobs.
Conversely, the orange and yellow “Momiji mark” or “Koreisha mark” denotes elderly Japanese drivers over the age of 75 – basically drivers who are just as much a hazard to anyone as Noobs on the road are. Both marks are designed to warn other drivers that the marked driver is either not very skilled or lacking driving fundamentals like judgement, vision and reflexes, either due to inexperience or old age.
Now. Why would any self respecting driver of the kind of performance cars we deal with on 7Tune, he who is neither “noobish” nor “over 75″ and possesses adequate skill behind the wheel, attach one to an STi Impreza, Type R Honda or Evo Lancer? Or any damn car outside Japan for that matter…? Are these people trying to tell the world that they should be avoided on the road for not possessing the appropriate skill levels to handle a performance vehicle? See what I’m getting at here?
Just who this whole “JDM as Fu*k” thing started with nobody knows but I’m pretty sure I know where it started; America. And then it spread to Australia, Europe and other countries. For some reason, these two symbols, both compulsory for the same reason in Japan, have been adopted in the attempt to signify and justify one’s allegience to Japanese Domestic Vehicles. After all, you must be proud of Japan to drive a Japanese vehicle but the symbols are only used for a specific purpose in Japan and were never created to become a “fashion symbol” or mark of pride. Trust me, the noobs and old guys driving around in Japan don’t want them on their cars for any longer than they have to have them there. It’s just a matter of “shouganai” or something “That cannot be helped.” There’s no pride in that at all.
And yet people outside Japan wear them as a mark of pride and legitimacy? Even Jesus can’t help but Facepalm…
To then take it a step further and call these things “JDM as FU*K” only makes the perception worse and more embarrassing for people who know. Yes, they may be just as Japanese as your car and in much the same way your L and P plates are in Australia. But I know for a fact that it’s an embarrassment to have an L or P plate on your car after the age of 30 and usually means one of two things; you were either busted drink driving or were stripped of your license for some ridiculous speed which meant you had to go back to L’s or P’s. No one wants to wear them outside of their normal functions of use. So how exactly does this make you “…more JDM“?? I’d love to know because if you are buying legitimate parts for your builds ( as you should ) your $8 Wakaba is no more JDM than that $3000 set of Rays wheels you bought, but only one of those items is completely useless.
I guess that means EVERYTHING is JDM as F*CK then…
…but that’s not what is going on here. Just google “JDM as F*CK” and see what comes up. Stickers with the Wakaba in it and a lot of Hondas. So why the Wakaba and Koreisha marks?? What differences do they have to what you normally use when you’re a Noob or Old… oh that’s right. They’re JDM as FU*K, Yo.. and only useful in Japan.
If you think that’s as far as it goes, you’re wrong. Some bright spark thought to combine the Wakaba or the Koreisha with the Shocker; that vulgar hand signal that NO-ONE uses in Japan to create the ultimate expression to your friends that you are “JDM as FU*K, Yo”. This is actually quite offensive because “The Shocker” is meant to symbolize one thing and one thing only… so for me to then put two and two together, I get a Noob who wants to put two in the…and one in the… you get the idea. Hardly JDM at all if you ask me unless you’re into that sort of thing.
Think about it. The combination of the Wakaba and the Shocker means you’re a “Perverted Noob“…
…and the combination of the Koreisha and the Shocker means you are an “Old Pervert“. And you want these on your car why exactly?? Oh that’s right! “They’re JDM as FU*K, yo!”
So how would this one read… I can just see the headlines now… “Noob gives shocker to Elderly driver.”
The next time you’re tempted to put one of these on your car in order to tell the world how “JDM as FU*K…” you are and somehow find this is “cool”, consider these closing reminders…
1. The Wakaba and Koreisha only apply to Japanese road laws.
2. Use the Wakaba and you are a saying “I’m a Noob.”
3. Use the Koreisha and you are saying “I’m an Old Fart.”
4. Use the Wakaba AND the Koreisha and you are saying “I’m an Old Noob.”
5. Use the Wakaba Shocker and you are saying “I’m a Perverted Noob.”
6. Use the Koreisha Shocker and you are saying “I’m a Perverted Old Fart.”
7. Use a combination of the Wakaba, the Shocker and the Koreisha?
Well, you’re a Perverted Old Noob who likes to give Shockers.
7Tune – The Ultimate JDM Experience Since 2005
Words – Adam Zillin