The art of Manhole Covers. Part 2


Anyone who has visited Japan could not help but notice that in this amazing country, amazing beauty is sometimes found right under your feet – the local sewer manhole covers! And they don’t just cover the sewers; they delight the eyes of local residents and tourists with such beautiful and sometimes intricate topics that they can build up to entire stories. It’s simply impossible to pass by a manhole cover like this and not take a picture of it for a keepsake!

The tradition of decorating manhole covers originated in the mid-1970s in Okinawa, and quickly spread throughout Japan. Today, more than 1,700 cities compete to create the most interesting and colorful manhole cover design that could “bring glory” to a particular area. Festivals are held, gift cards are issued, and even a special form of tourism has been born: enthusiasts come to take pictures with a new manhole cover.

In the first volume, we have already shown a lot of bright, colored manhole covers. In this one, we have collected over 300 unique cast “black and white” examples. The lack of color as a design tool may have made the designers’ task more difficult, but the results of their work resemble very old engravings, and it takes great skill to make them.

We had to carefully edit many photos as they were often taken “on the go”, in traffic. We made every effort so that you could “read” the story of each manhole cover, and imagine what the artist from this or that town wanted to say. As in the first volume, we marked the places where the pictures were taken on a map of Japan.

We invite you to enjoy a virtual journey through unusual Japan with us!


Format 160×210 mm, hardcover, spine rounding, ribbon, full color 600 dpi printing, premium quality matte coated paper, 232 pages.



The book about beautiful cast Japanese metalmanhole covers.


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