Sunday, February 10, 2013

Japanese Manhole Covers


Here in the U.S, manhole covers are treated as simple utilitarian access to underground systems, and their design generally reflects that — just a utility hatch.

In Japan, however, a large number of municipalities use the same kind of utility opening covers to express their local identity, with decorative covers that portray local landmarks, plants, animals, festivals and other elements of cultural or civic import.

There is an extensive Flickr group devoted to them and a book on the appreciation of them called Drainspotting.

[Via Salon]

6 thoughts on “Japanese Manhole Covers

  1. David J. Teter

    Very cool, I even like them against their various backgrounds and I like that some are colored.

    On that note I should say that, although not as beautifully designed, here in Long Beach California the city has had artists paint murals on the utility and electrical boxes you see on city sidewalks and corners. So maybe that is a step in the right direction.
    My sister, an interior designer, likes to photograph sidewalk stamps put there by the contractors who poured the concrete. Some go back 80 to 90 years and are disappearing as sidewalks get replaced for urban renewal and handicap access. When seen as a group, even utilitarian, they become a fascinating study.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>