If you have been following my blog and read “[Japan in Pictures] Colorful Manhole Covers” you know that I am a fan of the way Japan makes its manhole covers more appealing and downright a sightseeing spot. So if I’m informed about a kickstarter with the tagline “Two Irishmen in Japan bring beautiful Japanese manhole covers from the streets which they then hand print onto t-shirts” it immediately catches my interest.
The minds behind this project are Kevin and Steven, who both moved from Ireland to Japan and share a passion for all things japanese. 47regions, the name of their company, derives from the 47 prefectures that make up Japan. Their first project is printing japanese manhole covers onto T-shirts, beginning with 5 designs, including the cities Chichibu, Fuji, Wakuya and Kusatsu. I think all of them are beautiful, but my personal favorite is the one from Chichibu.
I have seen these matoi at matsuris before but I did’t know where they came from. What an interesting part of japanese history. (Though I have to admit on first glance I thought it was a tako.)
You can also see the Chichibu design in the preparations of the prototype, a fascinating process in itself.
All of the t-shirts will be hand printed by us in Tokyo, Japan. We have studied, experimented and researched many various methods of printing and we are very satisfied with the silk screen process. This process will give the t-shirt prints a long life span. We try our best to source all of our equipment and ink locally in Japan and give back to a country that was so generous to us over the years. By keeping our work in house and by printing ourselves, gives us much more control over the finer details, production costs, finished product and time scale. – 47regions
I think it’s a great project and if you want to know more or – even better – contribute, check out their kickstarter page. They are close to their goal to make those t-shirts a reality. You can help them reach it, while scoring a beautiful manhole cover card or one (or more) of the hand printed final products.
EDIT: 47regions reached their kickstarter goal and as thanks to their backers unlocked a 6th design (which is totally awesome). Just click on the image below for a closer look or to get in on the action.