In an effort to preserve a village in Japan, one woman makes it her mission to fill the town with unlikely residents, dolls. Welcome to Nagoro, a small village tucked away int the valleys of Shikoku Japan, where dolls officially out number human residents.
The work is part of a project by long-time resident and artist Ayano Tsukimi. She returned to the village after an 11 year hiatus to discover that most of the town had left for larger cities and bigger opportunities. The sad little town is itself dying with a population of 35 residents.
While she was gardening one day, Ayano had to construct a scarecrow to keep out potential pests. While she was creating the scarecrow she was struck and how much it looked like her father, and she had an idea to replace the other friends and family the town was missing with similar dolls.
Over 350 dolls and a decade later, she continues to populate the dying town with dolls. She feels its important to the memory of that person, so she continues to populate the town with these “new residents”. So if you ever find yourself in Nagoro you may see some of the residents of the town working in the fields, fishing in the rivers, or spending time hanging out with the other residents around town.