Manhoru (Japanese manhole covers)

Thomas Couderc


Manhoru by Thomas Couderc / an attractive little 128-page paperback (4.13 x 5.9 inches) with jacket, published by Editions FP&CF in France / the book is mostly images, but there are a few pages of text in French with an English translation. [Also see Manhole Covers of the World.] / Also available for wholesale orders, contact will [at]


Manhoru by Thomas Couderc brings together a collection of Japanese manhole covers. Captured by the author during a trip to Japan, or gleaned later on the internet, this unpublished body of work invites you to discover a subtle art often overlooked in Europe, and particularly in France where access to the sewers is constrained by cast iron plates standardized with sadly and exclusively functional patterns.

In Japan, manhorukaba (in Japanese) plays at the sign and tells us stories. The result of a singular political decision, these plaques offer a superlative territorial story: glorious past or successful present, local mascots and legends, remarkable flora, fauna or monuments...

Brought together for the first time in a single collection, these banal everyday objects alone reveal the exceptional graphic universe of the Japanese archipelago.

Second edition - May 2021. Pocket book printed in offset with cover in holographic hot foil stamping and matt black.

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