EDITORIAL – THESE DON’T MAKE YOU JDM AS F*CK, YO.

October 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Latest Articles, Odd Spot

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

  • Tony

    Totes agree. 

    • Benson

      (Benson) Totally true!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jazziba Jaïr Baak

    Amen, this had to be said and made clear.

  • Lee

    Great blog  :-)  

  • http://www.facebook.com/richardbauer87 Richard YourHero Bauer

    Brilliant!!! Hopefully more people will start to think like 7Tune!

  • arch

     I have a Koreisha on my drift car, and I don’t think it makes me “cool” or “JDM”, but I’m sure as hell not going to take it off because they’ve become a huge fad, or because someone hates them.

    Doing something because others like it, is just as bad as not doing it because someone doesn’t like it. I get your point, this has gone way too far, but people can do whatever they want. Like it or not, and logical or not, it’s become a way for people to identify and easily express the style of cars, and surrounding culture, that they’re interested in. Maybe they themselves have no idea, but it’s still an expression of personal taste – even if it’s a cliche way of doing it.

    I call mine my “old codge” stickers – and put them on there because I found it amusing (just like Australians put Australian L plates on track cars because it’s funny, and just like I left my “defective vehicle” sticker on there because I think it’s funny). At the end of the day, I see where this article is coming from, but being a “hater” doesn’t make the world a better place. I generally love 7tune, but this is still pretentious dribble.

    • 7Tune

      [Adam] Arch, I don’t think this is pretentious at all. You understand the meaning of the Koreisha and that’s great – there’s no reason to say anything else on that level ( regardless of how old you might be ;p ) but the much greater majority of people – those I was specifically eluding to overall in the post, is that the general consensus is that people still do not know what these symbols mean and have missed the point of them completely.

      You may say its all in the name of fun but I can tell you that a LOT of people associate Japanese tuning with these symbols, which is completely wrong and I think has been clearly explained so I have put our position on the matter right where it needs to be.

      I make no apologies for being so blunt in my explanations to make sure the point is NOT misconstrued because these have about as much to do with pure JDM tuning as a crack in a Rota ripoff. Fun is fun and that’s great but it had to be put into the correct context so that people don’t misunderstand this as a “lifestyle” decision.

  • Mark

    Thank you, Adam. 

  • Trey

    Still not as gay as hellaflush

  • CC

    i have a wakaba Mark on my cressida, because its a nice little throw back to the sort of Japanese roots of my car and my love for cars, i have actually had mine since i was a learner and i knew what it meant when i got it so ye i like it for my uses, i totally agree with the hate on the jdm as fuck and that gay hand always thought that was stupid as hell and 9 times out of ten you see it on bone stock ka American 240 lol

    i will say this though , my love of Japan aside the reason i wanted a wakaba mark on my car (originally a silvia with drift plans) was because i saw it in an option video, keiichi was doing his usual pit check of a team and a could were rocking wakaba marks he pointed it out laughed said he loved it smacked the dude with his hammer and kept on trucking was funny and awesome and ive seen plenty of japanese drift cars rocking them since where the driver is well past the need

    • 7Tune

      Well, Tsuchiya did that because he knew the guys were telling everyone “Hey! We’re noobs!”… Now whether or not they really were is subject to discussion ( I’m leaning toward definitely not being noobs ) but in this instance they are being used as a joke and a parody but the meaning remains the same.

      In Motorsport in Australia, you have to wear P’s when you start out track racing,just like these symbols, in order to warn others that you are a beginner or a learner. No-one in their right mind is going to wear them after they have finished their “apprenticeships” – doing so would actually be a serious danger to other motorsport drivers – basically saying you are a Noob but you’re actually quite skilled? That could cause serious accidents.

      See what I’m getting at?

  • Steven

    Totally agree with this.

    • 7Tune

      I figured you would. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.finger.528 Michael Finger

    I find it highly amusing. I didn’t realise this was so rampant. I’ve seen a few around and assumed the owner forgot to take the sticker off the car just as some people leave the rego sticker on. Well… I guess their claims are right… they are JDM. 

    • 7Tune

      It is rampant as you say. People love JDM but feel the need to go over the top in trying to appeal to people in these kinds of ways and it just takes away from, rather than adding to, the inherent culture. 

      It’s really problematic because this aggressive “JDM as F*CK” attitude just annoys more than it supports. And the worst thing about it, is that people think this is what actually happens in Japan. People think The Shocker came from Japan!!

      That’s where I draw the line.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1193040068 Adzrin Ian Adnan

    WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • (OO)SKYLINE(OO)

    Finally someone sets the record straight!

    Welldone Adam!

    • 7Tune

      m__ __m

  • Stinky Rooster

    Excellent blog, and a great way to expose the all round uneducated pretentiousness surrounding the jdm scene. What ever happed to knowledge is power?

    • 7Tune

      That’s a good question… I guess we possess a fair amount of it with blogs like this… the power to change things is a big responsibility!

  • Rad

    Well I hate to say it, but this article is almost as pointless as this whole JDM as FUCK yo thing. Why? Because such articles never reach the right crowd. With the odd exception only people who GET those symbols will read this, but those who should never will.

    • 7Tune

      Hey Rad, I don’t know about that – this has already had over 820 likes and has been shared by countless people on Facebook so I think it is reaching the right people through the normal channels. And that’s great because the more people that understand just what is behind these stupid fads, the higher the chance we will see them less and less. 

      These do NOT make you more JDM. As I said, they either signal you as a Noob or an Old Timer.. and don’t get me started on The Shocker…

      Nothing jDM about that at ALL.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=585123823 Dodgey Bruce

    Actually… i could be #3 and #6.. now git orf mah lawn!!

  • Kain

    I always see the wakaba on cars, its way to funny. I don’t get the whole i want to be jdm thing in the first place aha. Im gonna start leaving my old Learners plates on my car so i can be NZDM

  • Stuart

    Interesting post.  I have lived and worked in Japan for a long time.  I raced in Japan and I race here in Australia.  I agree with what you are saying and tend to think it is just a new way for people to market a new idea to make money and call it a JDM item.  People in Japan do not even know what JDM means.  Foreigners (non Japanese) seem to think JDM is fashion which will give you a social boost in the street car scene.  You can se it all the time on blogs and youtube.  For example, drive a Honda, yeah its JDM, got some parts, yeah JDM.  What happened to driving the car for the passion and what it is instead of posing.  I own and race an imported EVO 8 MR that I have had since I lived in Japan.  I dont go around telling people JDM, I tell them its an EVO. Enough said.

  • Stuart

    Interesting post.  I have lived and worked in Japan for a long time.  I raced in Japan and I race here in Australia.  I agree with what you are saying and tend to think it is just a new way for people to market a new idea to make money and call it a JDM item.  People in Japan do not even know what JDM means.  Foreigners (non Japanese) seem to think JDM is fashion which will give you a social boost in the street car scene.  You can se it all the time on blogs and youtube.  For example, drive a Honda, yeah its JDM, got some parts, yeah JDM.  What happened to driving the car for the passion and what it is instead of posing.  I own and race an imported EVO 8 MR that I have had since I lived in Japan.  I dont go around telling people JDM, I tell them its an EVO. Enough said.

  • BigD

    Interesting. I do agree that the JDM as F*ck thing is really quite lame.
    However, you seem to forget that the ‘wakaba’ mark is also used by many people to signify a beginner in realms other than Japanese roads. I have seen it used in different places (and in slightly different colours) which have nothing to do with the Japanese licensing system. Implying that Japanese people would not use it for any other reason is a little bias as the Japanese themselves use and manipulate the image as well.
    You should also point out that the ‘koreisha’ mark was extremely unpopular with older people as they did not want to be referred to as dead leaves. It has now been replaced with a new mark (just to strengthen your point that the fools are not really that JDM. lol).
    Imagery can have a particular meaning, but that meaning can be manipulated and changed depending upon the communities in which it is used. It may mean something different to you but for that group it has transcended the original meaning and gained another.
    It happens often, sometimes for good, unfortunately this is not one of those occasions.

    Is the ‘shocker’ a cousin the the ‘kancho’? Hehe.

  • BigD

    Interesting. I do agree that the JDM as F*ck thing is really quite lame.
    However, you seem to forget that the ‘wakaba’ mark is also used by many people to signify a beginner in realms other than Japanese roads. I have seen it used in different places (and in slightly different colours) which have nothing to do with the Japanese licensing system. Implying that Japanese people would not use it for any other reason is a little bias as the Japanese themselves use and manipulate the image as well.
    You should also point out that the ‘koreisha’ mark was extremely unpopular with older people as they did not want to be referred to as dead leaves. It has now been replaced with a new mark (just to strengthen your point that the fools are not really that JDM. lol).
    Imagery can have a particular meaning, but that meaning can be manipulated and changed depending upon the communities in which it is used. It may mean something different to you but for that group it has transcended the original meaning and gained another.
    It happens often, sometimes for good, unfortunately this is not one of those occasions.

    Is the ‘shocker’ a cousin the the ‘kancho’? Hehe.

  • JDMized

    Growing up in Japan, I never payed attention to this. Then I moved to the US when I was 19, and got exposed to the car culture here in California.
    To see these hipsters doing this stuff makes me laugh. Not only they don’t know the language/ culture, but they’re VERY gullible! You tell them it’s “JDM as fvck yo!” and they buy it, but they are also very proud of it, go figure…..
    For those of you that think you’re “JDM tite yo!” I have a suggestion: learn the Japanese language, take some cultural classes at your local college, travel to Japan, and learn how to respect the Japanese, ’cause you’re embarrassing yourself!

  • dan

    There are two reasons they are cool, 1) Its something exclusive to Japan and apparently boosts your street credits and 2) It compliments how most cars seems to be built at the moment, heaps of attention seeking mods to grab attention while hard parking.

    There’s a crazy amount of people putting 5K+ brake kits on cars that don’t see the track.

  • Kevin Kirby

    My girlfriend is Japanese (born and lives in Japan), is 26 and JUST got her license.  Obviously, she has the Wakaba sticker on her car, front and back as per the law.  She hates it, can’t wait to get rid of it.  Also, other drivers on the road will treat you as a beginner, ride your ass and generally treat you bad on the road.  I know, because I drove her car for the whole 3 weeks I was there last month.  Why someone would actually want this on their car in JAPAN, well I don’t know, I guess that could be funny, but they are doing themselves harm LOL.  But people using the sticker in America and other Countries to be “JDM,” I agree, is one of the most annoying and ignorant things in the import car scene, even worse than “hellaflush,” IMHO.  Screw all these pointless stickers PERIOD!

  • drdray

    I want to move to Japan and put the Canadian novice licence magnet on my car. CDM4Life yo!~~

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