Two situations that reveal key insights into the villagers' culture and society are the destruction and consequent reconstruction of the shrine and their attempts to fill the bottomless hole. The first reveals the ultimate superficiality of religion, and the second symbolizes the villagers' inability to confront the consequences of their behavior.
In the wake of the typhoon, the villagers realize that their local shrine has been destroyed. However, as they attempt to remember how long the shrine had been there or even what the purpose of the shrine was, Hoshi highlights that the shrine is ultimately a superficial object. It holds no deep significance for the villagers, and the religious rituals held within it were merely a way to distract their minds from larger issues facing their world.
Similarly, the bottomless hole is a fascinating insight into the character of the villagers. They are initially hesitant around the strange new phenomenon, but as soon as they realize it can be exploited for financial and social benefits, the villagers no longer heed any consequences their actions may have. This recklessness for short-term gain is reinforced by the short story's ending, where it is implied that whatever the villagers have put into the hole will soon rain down upon the city.