Walk Facing Forward: Project for the Observance of Beautiful Utility Poles

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Walk Facing Forward: Project for the Observance of Beautiful Utility Poles

A project is underway in Japan right now called the “Walk Facing Up: Citizens Project for Utility Pole Removal.” http://mudenchuka.jp/
The project suggests removing utility poles in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics because the poles would not be fitting for international tourists to see when visiting traditional Japanese buildings and scenery.

However, utility poles and power lines share an inseparable bond with Japanese homes and the landscape, and it could even be said that, ever since the Meiji era, scenery that includes utility poles is part of a uniquely Japanese tradition.

Places with powerlines are always places where you’ll find people living their lives. In some ways, you may even think of them as being like blood vessels. You could say they show that a person (or village) is “alive.” To pointlessly remove all of them based on just one subjective opinion is strange, I think.

I drew this illustration in response to the movement to remove powerlines.
“Powerlines extend everywhere and at their ends are the lives of people and our beloved Mt. Fuji.
Living and breathing here are myself and girls in school uniforms. This scenery is the Japan we love.”

Do those of you in other countries see utility poles as being in the way?
Or, do the utility poles themselves give the scenery a Japanese feel?

2 comments

  • Also I agree, every time I see pictures of Japan these are there as part of the landscape.

  • I certainly agree with you; I think that it's the simply and humble things that put me most at ease. With that in mind I don't think the utility poles should be removed; in a sense they're apart of Japanese culture and life as you stated. ^^

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