To explain, we must first describe the Wakaba Mark for beginning drivers. The Japanese government requires that new license holders display the green and yellow symbol on their cars during the first year of driving. In other words, it’s a blaring noob warning for seasoned roadgoers. Stateside, you’ve probably seen them fastened askance on tuned Civics and S13s.
So when we were coming up with ideas for the JNC logo, we chose to incorporate its counterpart, the Koreisha Mark, or elderly driver’s mark. After all, we were talking about old school cars! Display of this emblem is required when a driver reaches 75 years old, or age 70 if you have any conditions that may impair your driving.
Each mark comes in two styles: a suction cup type meant for the rear window, and a magnet type to stick on the hood. The Koreisha Mark has been in use since 1997, but recently the Japanese government has been considering a redesign.
As you may have noticed, the colors and shape of the Wakaba Mark connotes a blossoming spring leaf, while the Koreisha Mark represents a golden autumn leaf. It’s that latter part that has been met with criticism, as the idea of a dying leaf being used to brand the elderly seems a bit morbid, and the shape of falling tears just heaps on further unpleasantness.
So the government is now considering a redesign of the offending mark, even though public opinion appears split. A recent survey of drivers resulted in 51 percent saying that they liked the existing version, while 46 percent said they didn’t (3 percent ignored the question altogether).
Still, the National Police Agency began soliciting new designs last month. A change isn’t final yet, but a decision is expected by the end of the year.