Scarecrow Village Where Giant Dolls Have Replaced Human Residents

The scarecrows dotted throughout the village.Photo: Getty Image

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Nagoro, Japan Sunday October 30,2022

Japan’s Scarecrow Village is filled hundreds of giant life-size dolls who have replaced human residents.

In the village of Nagoro, Japan, you’ll spot plenty of the residents watching the traffic go by, working in fields or heading to the shops.

The village may appear to be busy, but these residents aren’t alive; they’re scarecrows.

Dubbed the ‘Cursed Village’, Nagoro is filled with approximately 350 life-size scarecrows, who from afar could be confused for real people.

Giant dolls replaced dwindling population. Photo: Getty Images

In fact, they outnumber their fellow human residents by ten to one. The scarecrows aren’t intended to be spooky – but there’s no denying that there is something a little unsettling about a whole town filled with giant life-size dolls.

There are all sorts of ‘residents’ you can spot throughout the village; classrooms filled with ‘children’ and ‘teachers’ in the local school, ‘locals’ hanging out in the bus stops or on the front porches of the buildings, and ‘farmers’ hard at work in the fields.

A ‘teacher’ at the classroom. Photo: Getty Images

There are all sorts of ‘residents’ you can spot throughout the village; classrooms filled with ‘children’ and ‘teachers’ in the local school, ‘locals’ hanging out in the bus stops or on the front porches of the buildings, and ‘farmers’ hard at work in the fields.

Other highlights include dolls dancing together at a party, as well as workmen wearing hard hats taking a short break and enjoying some fresh air outside of an abandoned house.

Tsukimi Ayano

Crafts hobbyist Tsukimi Ayano is the ‘Scarecrow Mother’ behind these weird and wonderful creations.

Tsukimi was born in Nagoro but moved away, eventually returning in 2002.

Upon her return, she found that most residents had left to work in the city, and the population number continued to dwindle as older residents passed away. (In 2019 it was estimated that there are less than 30 people still in the village).

To make the town feel busier, Tsukimi began creating life-size dolls of the residents to populate the streets and surrounding countryside.

For example, the elementary school closed its doors, but today you’ll still find its classrooms filled with students and teachers in lessons.

She also created some dolls in tribute to deceased residents.

Every autumn, the village hosts a Scarecrow Festival complete with a photo competition (the winner receives their own scarecrow), as well as scarecrow-making workshops.

It’s not the easiest destination to reach, as the village boasts a remote location in the Iya Valley in the Tokushima Prefecture, but that hasn’t deterred visitors.

A cross section of scarecrows

Although it wasn’t initially intended to be a tourist destination, in recent years the village has become a hit with international visitors who make the trek to see the dolls.

The village has also featured on TV, including 2014 documentary Valley of the Dolls, as well as an appearance during an episode of James May’s travel series Our Man in Japan.

However, there is a way to get a taste of what’s on offer. That’s because some of the roadside scarecrows are visible here on Google Maps, in Street View

Credit: Mirror UK

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