This Japanese Village Is Filled With Hundreds of Dolls Posing Like Real People and They’re All Made by One Woman

Nagoro, nestled on the eastern shores of Japan’s Shikoku Island, stands as a testament to the ingenuity and heart of one woman, Tsukimi Ayano. As the village’s population dwindled over the years, Tsukimi embarked on a mission to combat the encroaching loneliness by populating Nagoro with lifelike dolls she lovingly crafted herself. What started as a humble effort to protect fields from pests with scarecrows evolved into a remarkable project honoring the departed and breathing life into the village once again. Each of Tsukimi’s creations, fashioned from straw, newspaper, and old clothes, holds a name and a story, carefully cataloged to preserve the memory of those who once walked the streets of Nagoro.

Today, Nagoro has transformed into the “Village of the Dolls,” captivating visitors from around the globe with its surreal yet enchanting ambiance. The meticulous placement of Tsukimi’s creations throughout the village, engaged in everyday activities reminiscent of its former inhabitants, blurs the line between fantasy and reality. As travelers traverse the winding roads of the Iya Valley to reach this remote hamlet, they are greeted by the silent yet expressive gazes of the ‘kakashi’, each one a testament to Tsukimi’s dedication and the enduring spirit of Nagoro. With its annual doll festival drawing enthusiasts and curious wanderers alike, Nagoro has emerged not just as a tourist destination but as a vibrant testament to the resilience and creativity of rural communities in the face of change.

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