Murakami Sale

Recently Viewed clear list

Q&A | August 19, 2014

Richard Kadrey: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Richard Kadrey

Describe your latest book. The Getaway God is the sixth book in the Sandman Slim series. In it, the very unholy nephilim, James Stark, aka Sandman... Continue »
  1. $17.49 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

New Hardcover
Ships from International Warehouse (read more)
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping only
Not available for In-store Pickup
Qty Store Section
1 International Warehouse Photography- Nature and Landscape

Drainspotting: Japanese Manhole Covers


Drainspotting: Japanese Manhole Covers Cover


  1. This particular item is stocked in an International Warehouse and will ship separately from other items in your shopping cart.

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Japan, modern sewer systems began to appear during the late 19th century, though evidence of older sewage systems 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 first, Japanese manhole covers used geometric designs similar to those used in other countries. In the 1980s, when communities outside of Japan's major cities were slated to receive new sewer systems, the 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. 

Because the Japanese elevate design in all aspects of life to a new level, the custom covers were welcomed, even though they cost more than generic ones. Today nearly 95 percent of the 1,780 municipalities in Japan sport their very own specially designed manhole covers. Designs range from images that evoke a region's cultural identity, flora or fauna to landmarks and local festivals.

Unsurprisingly, this phenomenon has bred another phenomenon: manhoru mania. A rabid online community, based in Japan and abroad, has developed around this city-sanctioned urban art. Several blogs and websites dedicated to manhole covers provide details about locations and designs. With numerous colorful photographs organized by region, Drainspotting is the first book to document yet another wholly distinct aspect of contemporary Japanese visual culture.

Product Details

Camerota, Remo
Mark Batty Publisher
Graphic Arts - General
Popular Culture - General
Architectural & Industrial
Subjects & Themes - Travel - World/Asia
Photoessays & Documentaries
Photography-Nature and Landscape
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
6.48x6.46x.66 in. .72 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. My Japanese Sketchbook New Hardcover $9.98
  2. Plastic Used Mass Market $5.50

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Asia and Far East
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Graffiti and Street Art
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Japanese
Arts and Entertainment » Excess Culture » Objects
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Anthologies and History
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » General
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Nature and Landscape
Arts and Entertainment » Sale Books

Drainspotting: Japanese Manhole Covers New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.25 In Stock
Product details 96 pages Mark Batty Publisher - English 9780982075470 Reviews:
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at