Friday, May 22, 2009
This is the draincover for Nichihara in Shimane, located on Route 9 about halfway between Masuda and Tsuwano. In 2005 it became part of Tsuwano. The design shows a catfish and some sweetfish (ayu). The Takatsu River that flows through Nichihara has a reputation for being one of the cleanest rivers in Japan, and a lot of people come here to fish for the sweetfish. Thats probably why the catfish is so happy.
I passed through the town on a walk from Tsuwano to Masuda, and saw the draincover just in front of an abandoned Pachinko Parlor.
The parlor is no longer there. Probably a convenience store or a new pachinko parlor has replaced it.
According to ancient beliefs, a giant catfish that lives underground is responsible for causing earthquakes. A fascinating article on the catfish in Japanese folklore.