I haven’t done a Manhole Monday post in quite some time, so I took a cruise through my photo archives today to try to find a unique one. I stumbled across this colorful one from a trip to Niigata a few winters ago:
I usually do a little write-up on the scene that graces each manhole cover but admittedly this one has me stumped. Unlike some towns, this cover doesn’t display a famous tourist site, nor a local flowering plant or festival. The geometric patterns niggle at my brain, like perhaps I’ve seen them somewhere before. Maybe they resemble a series of arched bridges? Or the decorated roof tiles on the old style walls in samurai neighborhoods like in Hagi or Kanazawa? What are the red lines running through the pattern? Are they roads? Or train tracks? Did Zorro get a little carried away with his signature “Z”?
While I applaud the modern art take on this cover, it does leave the info nerd in me slightly frustrated. Google searches have so far turned up little information. Does anyone out there have ties to Niigata, or guesses on the meaning of this particular manhole design? Enlighten us all in the comments below and I’ll come back next month with a design that’s a bit less cryptic. 🙂