Japanese manhole covers


When I was in New Orleans in 1995 I noticed that some of the manhole covers they had there were distinctively decorated and rather nice. In Adelaide, where I come from, the manholes have pretty simple bog-standard covers on them so I was quite enchanted by these humble examples of public art. However, back in 1995, the thought that people would think me a fruitloop for photographing them was enough to deter me. By 2002, when I first went to Japan (not counting Narita airport in 1995), making a fool of myself in public had become a way of life. Consequently I came back from that trip with several photos of nice manhole covers. I picked up another in 2003 and a couple more in 2004 and I decided to give them a page.

Now that I'm living in Japan I've had a lot of opportunities to add to my collection so I've updated them and divvied them up. The first page is of covers photographed between my holiday in February 2002 and my trip in April 2004. I've left them as is, in chronological order, because I'm too lazy to rearrange them. The rest, taken after moving to Osaka in June 2004, are in alphabetical order. Oh, and one of the covers on the first page doesn't belong here. No prizes for spotting the only non-Japanese entry. I took it when I went to Queensland to catch some of the 2003 Rugby World Cup games.

Not everything here is a manhole cover. Occasionally something gets a gig because it's cool and on the ground.



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