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Japan has a couple of unique automotive regulations. For example, every other year cars have to undergo an extensive inspection to make sure they’re being properly maintained and haven’t been illegally modified (although you can get away with some pretty interesting modifications in the 24 months between checks). You have to make a full stop at all railroad crossings, regardless of whether or not there’s a train coming.

For new drivers, there’s even an additional rule, which states that for their first year on the road, they have to put a large sticker on their car advising surrounding motorists to be extra careful. But while the law states the vehicle must bear two stickers, one on the front and one on the rear, there’s apparently no upper limit, as one proud owner recently demonstrated.

The stickers are called wakaba (“young leaf”) marks, and are patterned after a newly formed leaf in the vibrant colors of spring.

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You most commonly find them along the front quarter panels and rear deck of the car, as seen here.

▼ Being a new driver and a driver without a lot of money aren’t always one and the same.

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The logic is that drivers with less experience are involved in more accidents, so the wakaba marks serve as a warning for others drivers to be especially cautious in their vicinity. The law’s the law, but, truth be told, a lot of people feel a little embarrassed about having to slap those stickers on their cars. For the owner of this Toyota Vitz, spotted by Twitter user Yamon, though, the wakaba mark seems to be a badge of pride, and he’s set out to slap as many as he can on his ride while still leaving enough space to arrange them in aesthetically pleasing patterns.

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Internet users were similarly amused by the enthusiastic display.


“Beginner-level itasha.”

“Beginner-level driver, master-level wakaba mark artist.”

“Man, I should have done this when I had to have them on my car!”

Silly as it may be, in the end this rolling artistic expression is still faithful to the intend purpose of the badges. “Yeah, I’d totally give this car a wide berth,” admitted one Internet commenter, which is exactly the effect the wakaba mark is designed to produce.

Source: Hamster Sokuho
Top image: Twitter
Insert images: Wikipedia/Chris Ruvolo, Webry, Gackt and Dears, Twitter