Meet the Ghost Dolls of Japan
For years, one of the last residents of Nagoro, Japan has devoted her time to making life-sized straw dolls of the people who used to live here. Somehow, it’s touching and a little terrifying all at once.
Get Way Off the Grid
You'll find Nagoro in Shikoku, Japan. This small village is isolated and remote, driving the people who were born here to leave and seek out new adventures and opportunities.
Memories of the Past
Ayao Tsukimi is a former and current resident of Nagoro. She left her village and returned many years later to find that many of the people she remembered were gone.
The New Residents
But not forgotten. Tsukimi has devoted her time to repopulating Nagoro, but not in any traditional sense. She's filling the empty town up with dolls.
The Dolls We Live With
The straw dolls are posed to mimic everyday life. So when you walk through the village and see a group gathered together on a bench, look twice. They might just be inanimate.
They are scattered throughout the town, life-sized reminders of the real people who used to live here.
Tsukimi makes her dolls out of straw and old clothing, and she has to replace them regularly because they wear out over time.
Get a Look at the Valley of the Dolls
You can always go into the remote valleys of Japan to see this interesting little village in person, but it's also possible to see many of the figures using Google Street View.
Current Population, Living and Doll
There are about 350 dolls living in the village currently, more than the number of flesh-and-blood people in Nagoro. The current population is right around 35 as of January 2015.