Friday, December 6, 2013

Manhole Covers and Japanese Manhole Cover Art, Part 2

I will be away from my computer for a day or two so there will be a few Bytes missing. 

In the meantime enjoy (and perhaps be amazed) at the following item  . . . 

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If you thought some of the previous pics of manhole covers were unique and items of beauty, all the more so for being a quite mundane object, take a look below at what the Japanese have done with theirs.

The following commentary is from a website Amusing Planet:

One of the coolest attraction in Japan lies beneath the feet. All across the country, manhole covers are custom made for individual towns and cities and they are colorfully painted. Designs ranges from images of cultural history, from flora and fauna, to landmarks and local festivals, to fanciful images dreamed up by school children. 
The trend started in the 1980s when Japan wanted to standardize their sewer system. Until then, Japan used regular geometric shaped manhole covers similar to those used in other countries. As communities outside of Japan's major cities were slated to receive new sewer systems these public works projects were met with resistance. One dedicated bureaucrat solved the problem by allowing the town folk to choose their own design. Today nearly 95 percent of the 1,780 municipalities in Japan sport their own specially designed manhole covers.

Btw, afficionados apparently refer to the pursuit of manhole cover pics as drainspotting.

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