Utility Art

This fire hydrant cover in Wajima displays a characteristic brevity that is common in Japanese design.
 A Very Japanese Art and Attitude
It was not long after arriving in Japan in 1976 that I began to notice various manhole covers and other utility service hatches.  They were not simply patterned nor did they have any simple wording claiming their purpose.  Gradually more and more were to appear wherever I went in Japan and the Noto peninsula is no exception.  In fact, the few that I came across while I was there in 2015 are relatively simple and a good deal more utilitarian that those that can be found on the Net.  Enjoy!

No colour but still a masterly rendering of cherry for a water supply hatch in Monzen in the southern part of the Noto peninsula.
In Kanazawa even a lowly drain hatch is beautifully adorned.
A plane and simple cast metal hatch sports a rendering of waves in Togi-machi.
To see more of this utilitarian art go to:

Bill Tingey Photo © Copyright

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