In episode 24 of the Japanese anime Shin Atashin'chi, around 13:45, a boy on the verge of tears collects a heap of dirt or sand with his hand while holding a sack in the other. This happens in reaction to hearing that his secret love interest finds an older boy attractive.
I assume this is a metaphor for somebody in despair or with their hopes shattered.
Is this interpretation correct?
Is the act a reference to a Japanese fairy tale, story, myth or legend?
Or is he digging his own grave because he is preparing for death from sadness?
The episode is focused on the sport of Baseball. I mention this after reading the answer.