Splatoon 3’s Newbie Banner Has An Interesting Cultural Origin

Everyone has to start somewhere!

Here’s an indisputable fact — everyone who’s ever picked up Splatoon 3 has loved it. I won’t be taking comments, questions, or arguments. After all, who could hate a game about a world where humans have gone extinct and are now populated by squid kids? And octopus kids. And crabs, I guess.

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But despite its strange lore, Splatoon is a bright, colorful game that’s easily accessible. If you’ve ever played a first-person shooter, a lot of Splatoon’s mechanics are immediately recognizable. But it’s not the grim battlefield of the Call of Duty franchise – it’s a bright, colorful canvas where players fight to make their mark on the world, literally.

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It’s this accessibility and fun presentation that continuously draws players of all ages and skill level to Splatoon. And if you’ve joined Splatoon 3, you might have noticed that there’s only one banner you can equip at the start of your painting career – the default banner, decorated with a split-colored yellow and green arrow.

But this isn’t just a random image – it’s a symbol found commonly in Japan.

Splatoon 3’s Newbie Banner Has An Interesting Cultural Origin

This arrow is actually a Shoshinsha mark! This mark is something you’ll see plastered on the corner of back windows of cars in Japan, though they’re easy to overlook and even easier to miss their meaning.

Shoshinsha literally meaning novice or beginner, and it’s meant to warn others that the car’s driver is still learning. This symbol has become such a well-known image it’s been implemented in other areas.

Some new employees have the Shoshinsha mark on their badge to indicate their experience level. But it’s also a symbol that’s found its way into video game tutorials and even anime! So Splatoon’s inclusion of the Shoshinsha symbol is a fun (if not subtle for its international players) way to let other players know if a play might be less experienced than others.


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Author
Daphne Fama
A Staff Writer at Prima Games since 2022, Daphne Fama spends an inordinate amount playing games of all stripes but has a soft spot for horror, FPS, and RPGs. When she’s not gaming, she’s an author and member of the Horror Writers Association with a debut novel coming out in 2025. In a previous life, she was an attorney but found she preferred fiction to contracts and forms