This manhole cover is from the same village as the bullfighting one, Tsuma on Dogo, the largest of the Oki Islands. This one shows a marine connection, a fairly common theme in Japanese manhole designs. It shows flying fish and squid.
The flying fish is the Prefectural fish of Shimane. The first time I saw some I thought I was watching a flock of small birds flying close to the water..... then they disappeared!!
A good place to see them is on the ferry over to the Oki Islands. If you stand in the bow and look forwards you will see them flying out of the way of the path of the boat, often flying for 50 metres. The world record flight time or a Japanese flying fish is 45 seconds.
The Japanese catch and consume a HUGE amount of squid. It's eaten raw as sashimi ( a little chewy but OK), dried and shredded as a snack with alcohol, boiled, grilled, fried,.... in fact any way you can imagine and probably a few ways you can't imagine. In the Iwami area it is a matsuri speciality (photo above), grilled with a sauce of sake and soy sauce.
More from the Oki Islands