Wednesday, 26 April 2017

I Had Never Thought Of Manhole Covers,

as works of art,

 but in Japan they are,

 after World War II the government wanted the public to become aware of costly sewage projects that had been started,

 one idea put forward was for each prefecture to allow the numerous municipalities, some 1,719 of them to design their own local covers, 

 the result was a huge success, and now over 19,000 manhole cover designs can be found embedded across 95% of all municipalities in Japan,

 each cover represents a local theme, or in some cases like the orange ones above a water hydrant for the fire service,

 others mark a shipyard, a local landmark or other feature the area is famous for,

some are not painted and display the natural beauty of cast metal as thousands of feet polish the surface,

John Daub from ONLY in Japan recently visited the Nagashima Imono Casting Factory to see how the manhole covers are designed and built, He also stopped by an annual gathering of enthusiasts called the Manhole Summit that began in 2014, and learned about a new deck of Japanese Manhole Trading Cards, if you can’t make it to Japan anytime soon, you can go on your own manhole adventure by exploring the Instagram hashtag #japanesemanhole, the video is a great look at all of the processes it needs to produce them, and well worth a mug of coffee to watch, the only thing it does not explain is how to stop art collectors from collecting them!

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