Nagoro, an untouched Japanese village located in the remote area of the Iya Valley, became famous after the number of life-sized dolls outweighed the local human population.
Nagoro village is situated on Shikoku Island, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands and its living population is of only 51 people. However, the village is also home to some unique type of inhabitants: over 150 dolls that resemble former residents.
Each doll is made in real-life size and represents a person who has moved away or died, according to the international press.
The dolls are made by a local woman, Mizuki Ayona, who is using straw, rags and old clothes. The lifeless residents are placed around the village, with one of the dolls sitting inside the abandoned school, after its last student died.
In the mean time, a queue of dolls can be seen at a bus stop, while others sit on gates and climb on fences. There are also “farmer” dolls placed next to straw bundles and “elderly people” who sit and watch the world go by.
Toursgallery.com, a small group tour operator in Japan, offers trips to Nagoro.
“It is one of those places that are very difficult to get to, and we are predicting in the next four years it will be abandoned, as everyone is moving away or dying,” the company’s director Ken Osetroff said. “You cannot find it on a map.”
“One lady makes the dolls; they do not have much to do in the town. These somewhat realistic figures can be seen in fields, houses, schools and other places where the original people lived and worked,” Osetroff added.