Japan has strong vehicle regulations, so aesthetic customization of cars, such as colorful license plates, can be difficult. Despite allowing LED lights shining under the wheel, and real-life Mario Karts spotted driving through Akihabara, plate backgrounds remain plain and white.

Recently, the regulation has loosened up in the Sumida ward of Tokyo, specifically for vehicle owners with a 50cc or smaller engine. The exception comes via the powerful name of Hokusai, Japan's most famous and prolific ukiyo-e woodblock print artist, and Sumida's pride and joy. His most famous and celebrated work, The Great Wave Off Kanagawa is now eligible as a license palte decoration. The masterpiece is instantly recognizable even to those who don't know Hokusai's name, with an imposing but beautiful wave hovering over the coast, and a resilient Mt. Fuji in the background. The famous work of art is no stranger to decorating motor vehicles.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.