Nagoro is a village hidden in the valleys of Shikoku, Japan, that once hosted a thriving community of around 300 people. Today the place is populated with just 35 inhabitants and few hundreds of life sized dolls scattered around the whole valley.
The dolls’ creator is Tsukimi Ayano (65) who creates them to replace old neighbors and friends that had left for larger cities or simply passed away. After herself living few decades in a large city such as Osaka, Tsukimi Ayano moved back to her natal place 12 years ago. She is married, but her husband and daughter are living in Osaka. She lives with her 85 year old father in the house of her family.
The unusual, but impressive project first began with a scarecrow resembling her father which she positioned in a vegetable field that she tried and failed to get started. It was only then that she was struck with the idea to recreate the village she once knew.
Ayano not only creates the doll to physically resemble the former villagers, but she places them in a place she feels is important to the memory of that person. Around 350 of the giant dolls can be seen in and around Nagoro in various places such as in the bus station, on the riverbank, on the field, right beside the roadside etc.
“As much as I would like the village to come back to life, I accept that it’s not going to happen. In 10 or 20 years’ time, there will be no one left (…). It’s very sad, but times are changing and we have to accept that this is the way things are going to be’’, declared Ayano to The Guardian.
Bellow you can see a beautiful short documentary made by Berlin-based filmmaker Fritz Schumann.
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Originally posted 2016-01-29 20:06:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter