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What does mean in Japan?


The Japanese culture is rich in symbolism, and it’s not unusual to come across symbols that hold a deeper meaning than what meets the eye. One such symbol is the icon, which is commonly seen in Japan. In this article, we will explore the history, significance, and usage of this symbol in Japanese culture.

The History of Symbol

The origin of dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868) in Japan when samurai warriors used it as a mark of distinction. The icon was placed on their swords to indicate that they were loyal and trustworthy warriors who followed the bushido code of ethics. Over time, the symbol evolved to represent excellence, quality, and reliability.

Japanese Snack Box

The Meaning of Symbol

is known as “shoshinsha mark” in Japan, which translates to “beginner driver’s mark.” The symbol indicates that the driver displaying it is a beginner and has less than one year of driving experience. It serves as a warning to other drivers to be cautious around them and give them space on the road. This is particularly important in Japan, where the driving rules are strict, and safety is a top priority.

The Usage of Symbol

is mandatory for all new drivers in Japan, and it must be displayed on their vehicle for the first year. This includes both Japanese citizens and foreigners who hold a valid driver’s license from their home country. The mark can be purchased at any automobile store or online, and it typically comes in a pack of two or three.

The Design of Symbol

The design of is simple yet effective. It consists of a green triangle with a yellow background. The triangle represents caution, while the color green symbolizes growth, harmony, and safety. The yellow background is meant to make the symbol more visible to other drivers on the road.

Other Uses of Symbol

Although is primarily used as a beginner driver’s mark, it has found other uses in Japanese culture. For example, some companies use it as a mark of quality or excellence on their products or services. It can also be seen on some martial arts uniforms as a mark of proficiency or rank.

The Importance of Symbol

The symbol plays an essential role in maintaining road safety in Japan. It alerts other drivers to be cautious around beginner drivers who may not have fully grasped the rules of the road yet. By displaying this mark, drivers are acknowledging their lack of experience and taking steps to ensure their safety and that of others on the road.

The Future of Symbol

As Japan continues to prioritize road safety, it’s likely that will remain an important symbol for years to come. With more people getting behind the wheel each year, it’s essential that beginner drivers are easily identifiable on the road.


may seem like just another symbol to outsiders, but it holds significant meaning for those living in Japan. As we’ve explored in this article, its origins date back centuries, and its significance has evolved over time. Whether you’re a beginner driver or simply interested in Japanese culture, understanding the meaning behind this symbol can deepen your appreciation for its importance.













has also become a popular symbol in Japanese pop culture. It can be seen in anime and manga, where characters who are new to a particular skill or task are often depicted wearing or displaying the symbol. This has helped to further popularize the symbol and its meaning among younger generations in Japan.

Interestingly, the use of as a beginner driver’s mark is not unique to Japan. Similar symbols are used in other countries, such as the “P” plate in Australia and the UK or the “L” plate in India and Sri Lanka. However, the design and color of these symbols may differ from depending on the country.

Some have criticized the use of as stigmatizing beginner drivers and potentially causing discrimination on the road. However, proponents argue that it serves as a necessary safety measure and encourages beginner drivers to drive more cautiously and attentively.

In recent years, there have been discussions about potentially extending the period of time that beginner drivers must display on their vehicles. Some have suggested that two years may be more appropriate given that driving accidents involving beginner drivers still occur frequently in Japan.

Overall, remains an important symbol in Japanese culture and an essential tool for promoting road safety. Whether you’re a seasoned driver or just starting out, it’s important to recognize and respect the significance of this symbol on the roads of Japan.

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