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    Japanese Manhole Covers

Seriously beautiful - and plentiful - patterned Japanese manhole covers!

Posted by Liv Siddall,

They say true beauty is a rare thing, but when it comes to manhole covers in Japan, these little gems are absolutely everywhere. Traditional-looking and ornate they may be, but these decorative beauties actually began popping up in the 1980’s. Depending on which region of Japan you’re in, the imagery and symbols will change, but the general style and colour palette remains. Not bad for something that, in all fairness, covers up faeces and gets walked on all day.

Amusing Planet writes that “The art of manhole covers has now reached the point of a national obsession in Japan…The city or council will submit ideas and the symbol of choice to the foundry and their in-house designers will then create a design based on these specifications, going back and forth until the design is approved.”

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Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She also runs our London listings site This At There, and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.