February 22nd is popularly known in Japan as ‘Cat Day’, but it also has another meaning. It’s also called ‘Ninja Day’ by some.
Koka city in Shiga prefecture was historically a ninja stronghold, so they celebrate this ‘Ninja Day’ more passionately than most. One of the ways they have marked it this year is the unveiling of three new Pokemon manhole covers in the city.
These popular attractions are called ‘Poke Lids’, or ‘Pokefuta’ in Japanese, and the Pocket Monsters chosen to star in each design are often selected because they have some sort of link to the town they will be situated in. In this case, the covers fittingly feature Frogadier, and the evolved form Greninja, the ninja-themed Pokemon.
There’s a design featuring Greninja using a throwing star.
One has two Greninjas looking mysterious in the moonlight, and the last design features both Greninja and Frogadier.
Greninja can use water to create throwing stars, just like the shuriken used by ninjas in the past. Throwing star motifs are used not just in the design itself, but also in a colourful ring around the manhole.