Nagoro, Japan: The Ghost Town Populated With Dolls

December 9, 2015

In the small Japanese village of Nagoro, humans are being phased out of the population in favor of something slightly more creepy: dolls. Ayano Tsukimi, one of the village's few remaining human occupants, makes life-sized dolls to replace the dwindling population of her hometown. Many former inhabitants of Nagoro have left the small town to move to cities; the village does not even have a convenient store. Not many people move to Nagoro either, but when Tsukimi, who had moved away for some time, moved back to her hometown, she realized new inhabitants weren't replacing the elders who were dying in the small village.



Tsukimi’s knack for doll making was incidental, however. She was doing some planting and the the seeds did not take. She decided to make a scarecrow in the image of her deceased father and the project was born. Tsukimi began replacing all the deceased and departed people of Nagoro with dolls in their likeness. 



Tsukimi positions the dolls in places where the actual person would have been. She makes the dolls of cloth and stuffs them with straw as a scarecrow. She finishes by dressing the doll in old clothes that pay homage to the doll’s likeness. 



Now people come to visit the ghost town only populated with dolls to take pictures of Tsukimi’s work. You can even watch a short documentary about Tsukimi’s motives and process here.