Drainspotting: Japanese Manhole Covers Hardcover – 14 Jun 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
A short introduction explains the reasons behind the art, and there are a few examples from each prefecture of Japan, with a little explanation about each one.
A lovely book to have on your coffee table and leaf through every now and again.
Japanophiles will definitely enjoy it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Not only that - You can download Extra Photographs and Story descriptions from the Itunes App store. Drainspotting Extras is available on Itunes App store for your Ipad/Ipod/Iphone etc etc.
When I visited Japan last month, I went drainspotting myself and I used my Iphone App and this book to locate nearly all of the Drain covers in both mediums. This book is fantastic and has changed the way I look at things and the way I travel. This is what spurred me to write this review. I just got back from my trip and this book and apps made it all the more better.
Forget about traveling guides, or lonely planet, its artistic books like this that will really make an impact on your life. AND on top of it all it, is a great conversation starter as nobody knows that things like this even exist!
Thank you Remo for opening my eyes to what is around us and on the ground!
You can keep up with the Drainspotting world on Remo's blog here: [...]
The idea was a great success -- sewer systems were repaired and many towns received the benefit of an unexpected civic boosterism, as well as a new kind of art appreciation: thousands of one-of-a-kind manhole covers that tell local history and commemorate local heroes.
"Drainspotting" is a brick-sized photo collection of these unique artworks in appropriately less-than-coffeetable format (six-by-six inches). Besides being an unexpected and attractive art, the result has been a beneficial civic program, a great example of how the demands of politics, the needs of communities, and the aesthetics of art can combine -- and a reminder how rarely they do, too.
Since their original introduction the manhole covers have taken on new themes. Designs range from images that evoke a region's cultural identity, from flora and fauna to landmarks and local festivals. There are even fairytales and fanciful images dreamed up by school children. With its photographs organized by individual region, Drainspotting documents another distinct aspect of contemporary Japanese visual culture.
It was a great trip down memory lane, and now I'm disappointed that I missed some of the cool drain covers in my own city!