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Cloud-shaped License Plates

The pretty plates, as seen on Matsuyama City’s website.

In a bit of a turnabout on those boxy watermelons, Matsuyama City (J), in Ehime Prefecture, made national news by producing the first-ever license plate in Japan with curved edges.

The cute little cloud-shaped plates, intended for use on scooters and small motorcycles, became available on July 2nd. The cloud shape is a tribute to Ryotaro Shiba’s historical novel “Saka no Ue no Kumo” (roughly, “Clouds Over The Hill”), about Japan’s tumultuous 19th century Meiji Period. The novel takes place in the region, so the city has adopted it as something of a theme—they opened the Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum this April.

The plates come in three colors, depending on the size of the motorcycle. Matsuyama City plans on making 12,000 of the plates available through the coming year; they’ve already received orders for over 1300 of them.

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