A Game of Concentration Using Japanese Manhole Covers

Japan is a country full of amazing art. Some of it is housed within museums and galleries while others are right underneath our feet. I’m talking, of course, about Japan’s peculiar obsession with manhole covers. Just about anywhere in the country you can find stylized manhole covers, each more beautiful and intricate than the next. According to one count, today there are almost 6000 artistic manhole covers throughout Japan.

Using photos taken by members of Manhole Night (an organization of manhole enthusiasts), design planning firm Chocolate Inc. developed a deck of manhole cover cards to be used in the game concentration (shinkei suijaku, in Japanese). Flip over two manhole covers to reveal the designs and try to match pairs!

Although the deck of manhole cover cards are not widely yet, those in Tokyo can go to Game Market this weekend (November 24 – 25, 2018) and purchase a deck. The company’s booth is located in West 3 Hall (西3ホール) and their booth number is C17-18. For those who can’t make it, Remo Camerota has an entire book on the design of Japanese manhole covers, aptly titled Drainspotting.

1 Comment

  1. Left Japan too early, missed the show. Falling over in love with the manhole cover concentration game, shinkei saijaku. Where can I purchase this and ship to NY–please advise. Thank you.

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