Japanese Domestic Market Decal Stickers
When you are driving along the road or have stopped to park, you may occasionally notice a modified car that displays some pretty distinct stickers. This car usually has aspects of the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) movement with some pretty unique features. You might notice the car's wheels poke out, a tassel hanging from the rear view mirror, and a spoiler the size of a dinner table. All of these features are just one of the many signs that the driver is a passionate JDM fan. These car modifications along with the JDM car stickers signify a rapidly growing trend that has spread from Asia all the way into the West. So what could these stickers possibly mean?
One of the most prominent stickers you will notice is "Hellaflush." Hellaflush is a term used to describe wheels that are set flush to the car's fender. This is achieved by wheel offset or spacers to give the car correct height and camber. The height of the car is an important factor to cars that are Hellaflush, as they are usually set lower to the ground. There are varying degrees of height, as some cars are slightly lowered with coilovers while others use air suspension and practically touch the ground. Complementary stickers would be the "Sortaflush" sticker, and as its name implies, means that it's not exactly Hellaflush, but isn't considered stock anymore either.
Other stickers in this theme would be "Lowlife", "Be Patient I'm Lowered", "No Fat Chics, Car Will Scrape", and "Slammed". These all refer to how low the vehicle sits and how it affects how fast the car is able to go. For example, if a car is slammed and lowered, it cannot drive at extremely high speeds. Every bump or pothole could do tremendous damage to the undercarriage and the driver must carefully maneuver around potholes to prevent damage.
Some urban stickers that would also be present on these JDM cars would be "Fatlace", "illest", "canibeat", and "illmotion". All of these names are actually popular brands in the industry with an extremely passionate following. Fans display these stickers to show their allegiance to the brand, or just simply to pay tribute to their favorite car lifestyle outlet.
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A closely related sticker would be "HOONIGAN" which is a motor racing team that competes in the World Rally Championship. There are actually quite a lot of proud fans of Hoonigan so these stickers are pretty common on the road.
The JDM culture is full of slang and urban terms so it's expected that the car decals would reflect that as well. Some urban slang stickers are "DOPE", "Built Not Bought", "Like a Boss", "Four Bangin", "Daily Driven" and much more. These terms are thrown around in the JDM world, but outsiders may not understand. "Dope" and "Like a Boss" are phrases used to describe something that is awesome or cool. "Built Not Bought" refers to the physical modification of the cars and "Four Bangin" refers to a 4-cylinder engine.
These stickers can be humorously sarcastic as well. "Cool Story Bro" is a flippant way of maintaining indifference to someone's story. It's a way of saying the story isn't important and that the listener would rather the speaker cease the storytelling.
Japanese symbolism is also alive in these stickers as well; If you have noticed a dual colored yellow and green leaf, that is a direct tribute to the Wakaba. The Wakaba is a sticker that is mandated by Japanese law and applies for beginner or novice drivers. Novice drivers must display this sticker as an alert for other drivers on the road that their skills may not be up to par. Here on the other side of the world, the Wakaba sticker is used by JDM fans to pay tribute to Japanese culture. The Wakaba sticker is now a symbol for the culture in the West and doesn't necessarily signify a beginning driver.
Finally, you may also encounter some physical designs involving cartoon characters as well. The Hello Kitty bow is a cutesy, yet strong symbol of how Japanese culture has permeated the West. While the Hello Kitty bow is mostly used on cars driven by women, the meaning is much deeper than that and you will see some men displaying the Hello Kitty bow as well. Other symbolic characters you may encounter is the JDM Panda, JDM Pig, Skeleton Fish, Slow Snail, Mustache, Band-Aid, and much more. These stickers are very whimsical and are displayed for fun. Drivers can put an assortment of these joke stickers on their cars to personalize it and make it unique.
The best thing about car stickers is that they do a great job of making any car stand out. These stickers are actually a quick and easy way for beginning car fans to get their foot in the door as well as a surefire way for experience car modders to continue the JDM tradition.