Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Down the Drain
I've been taking photos of manhole covers in the area. Some of them are really interesting. I had intended to make a photo montage of the most beautiful sewer caps I could find when the other day I found this:
Evidently somebody else (with a better camera and more talent) has had their eye on manholes too. There go all my hopes for publishing an in-depth treatise on the manholes of Japan right down the drain.
Read what the Amazon review of Drainspotting by Remo Camerota says:
"In Japan, modern sewer systems began to appear during the late 19th century, though evidence of sewage systems in the country dates back to over 2,000 years ago. Foreign engineers introduced the Japanese to modern, underground sewer systems with above ground access points called manhoru (manholes). At that time, manhole covers utilized the geometric designs similar to those used in other countries. In the 1980s, as communities outside of Japan?s major cities were slated to receive new sewer systems these public works projects were met with resistance, until one dedicated bureaucrat solved the problem by devising a way to make these mostly invisible systems aesthetically appreciated aboveground: customized manhole covers."
This cap bears the official seal of the City of Yokohama. It's a symbol combining the katakana characters for "ha (ハ)" and "ma (マ)."