Step Onto the Beauty: Japanese Manhole Covers

Booking.com

Step Onto the Beauty: Japanese Manhole Covers

 

 

You may have heard of the open air galleries before, but have you ever heard a gallery on the ground? In Japan, even a manhole cover is a form of art. Because the beauty is in the details.

 

 

This idea of turning manhole covers into artworks occurred in 1985 by the bureaucrat in the construction ministry. Because of the costly tax fees, at least, he tried to make this obligation more worthwhile. That’s why he advised this idea to the communities and these people have created the Japan Society of Manhole Covers. Throughout the years, this society has grown over 6000 people.

 

It seems that Japanese people love the nature because on most of the manhole covers, there are floral, landscape, tree and bird symbols and designs are applied. Besides, it is also possible to see different types of symbols and designs that are endemic symbols reflecting the Japanese culture (such as local landmarks, history, delicacies, icons and pride).

 

 

This artistic movement went so big that it turned into a celebration: Japanese Manhole Cover Festival. It is organized in Tokyo between 1 – 3 February 2019 to gather the manhole clover artist from across Japan. There were also manhole cover merchandise (pencils, books, stickers etc.) and sweets (macaroons, cookies etc.) decorated with the designs of manhole covers Does it sound disgusting?

 

 

Collecting the photos of painted manhole covers is an another practice. On some of the social platforms or certain websites, people are uploading the pictures of manhole covers they took.

 

 

There is also a book about manhole covers called ‘Drainspotting’ written by Mark Batty Pub published in 2010. It is the first book written about this Japanese culture.

 

Here is a mini documentary about how these manhole covers made in Japan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ldrk_KlKsg&feature=youtu.be

 

Turning something that is unnoticed and unvalued into a precious and appreciated thing is more than just art. Maybe this Japanese culture will spread out of Japan and we are going to see it in different forms and different cultural motifs. We should never underestimate the potential of unseen and unnoticed things around us.

 

source: https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/03/the-beauty-of-japans-artistic-manhole-covers/

 

source: https://theculturetrip.com/asia/japan/articles/these-artistic-manhole-covers-are-a-thing-of-beauty/

 

source: https://mymodernmet.com/japanese-manhole-cover-festival/

 

source: https://www.amazon.it/dp/0982075472/ref=as_li_ss_tl?slotNum=0&language=en_US&ie=UTF8&linkCode=g12&linkId=852a3779e89e97ca03574fbaae5caef0&imprToken=j.loK73KnceSQLt5Iq3j.A&tag=mymome03-21

Leave a Reply