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Explosive Sticker-bombing Trend
The car sticker culture was inspired by Japanese driving stickers designating the driving skills of novice and elderly drivers to warn others on the road to pay attention to these drivers. The yellow and green leaf sticker, or the Shoshinsha mark, is a display requirement for beginner drivers. The yellow and orange teardrop sticker, or the Koreisha mark, is displayed by elderly drivers over the age of 75 to indicate the possibility of age impaired driving issues. These decals are mandatory and allow other drivers on the road to always be alert.
Today, these stickers have evolved into an entire culture consisting of not only the leaf and teardrop sticker, but also include an assortment of JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) stickers as a way of self-expression. Decals include Hello Kitty, Domo Kun, Fatlace, band-aids, Angry Birds and all other stickers for drivers to show off their affiliation with the JDM life. The novice driver leaf decal and the elderly teardrop decal are still used in the JDM sticker culture, but the culture has completely evolved into something more.
Sticker-bombing has even exploded into the JDM lifestyle, as hundreds of stickers are applied onto the car as a way of showcasing one’s interest. People can either put on a single sticker at a time, which is a process that is very time consuming but can be highly rewarding at the end, as the entire presentation is an exhibition of the driver’s identity. Another option is to purchase a sticker bomb sheet, which is a large sheet made to look like a mash of about a hundred stickers that drivers can peel and stick on their car. The process is much quicker, but doesn’t have the touch of unique personal identity as the previous method. Regardless, whether or not a driver chooses to individually stick on the stickers or opt to stick on a sheet of a hundred decals is a personal choice that still displays the driver’s JDM style.
The most popular place for drivers to put their decals is on the fender, but that is rapidly expanding to all other parts of the vehicle. Wheels, rims, door handles, sunroofs, spoilers are even places that are slowly getting the sticker-bomb treatment. Some cars today are even completely covered in cartoon stickers, making it a colorful and bold statement to other drivers on the road. Decal colors come in basic black and white or full color, with superheroes, cartoon characters, graffiti, internet memes, and practically anything drivers can get their hands on. Since this is the age of the internet, people can even design their own stickers online and receive their personal designs in the mail to make their car a one-of-a-kind.
Sticker-bombing is very popular among teenagers and street racers as the stickers add some style to the driver’s car and is a way for some of the younger generation to show off. These stickers are meant to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the car and are designed to be long lasting and weather resistant. Some of the stickers come in vinyl and actually even act as a way to protect the car! Other decals are transparent and allow the car’s paint color to be displayed. Application is very easy and simple for anyone to attempt. Also, if the driver ever needed to sell the vehicle, the stickers are not difficult to strip off. This makes changing the car’s aesthetic appearance very easy and one of the main reasons why the sticker-bombing culture is getting very popular in Japan as well as in the West. Rather than get a new paint job on an older, rusty vehicle, some people even just choose to cover up the rusted parts with stickers, as they are a cheaper alternative as opposed to a new paint job that would total over thousands of dollars.
This new culture is also popular because stickers are easy to obtain. Since this is the age of technology, people don’t have to worry about where to buy stickers. JDM car stickers can be bought in store and online. Teenagers and racing enthusiasts alike can simply go on the internet where there are multiple websites that sell individual stickers or sticker sheets, order whatever they like, and wait for it to arrive in the mail. There are many websites and vendors that cater to this culture and are in tune with the needs of sticker-bombing enthusiasts.
Some of those in the car world have even taken sticker-bombing to a whole other level. Not only are they sticker-bombing their car, but they are also sticker bombing their other personal possessions like laptops, phones, motorcycles, and other properties. There is no doubt that the JDM decal for cars culture is expanding and will continue to expand as long as we live in the digital age and are able to trade ideas over the internet.