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While driving in San Jose downtown in California, I saw the following street sign:

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What does this street sign showing Japantown represent? I understand that it is pointing to the nearby Japantown but I don't understand the symbol.

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It's simply the logo of Japantown, which is the stylized flower of a Japanese plum (ume).

the logo of San Jose Japantown in present time is a plum blossom, because many of the farmers grew plums.

https://japantowncommunitycongress.wordpress.com/history/

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