Hidden Japanese Village where Dolls Replace the Departed.
Nestled in the hidden valleys of Shikoku, Japan, is the village of Nagoro. Its remote location has led its residents to leave for big cities in search for work. With not even a local store, there’s little reason for immigration, so as residents die there is no one left to fill their void. Nagoro is slowly shrinking.
The work is part of a project by longtime resident and artist Ayano Tsukimi who returned to the village after an 11-year absence to discover many of her old neighbors and friends had left for larger cities or simply passed away. The town itself is dying with a dwindling population of about 35 people.
Ayano Tsukimi (64) is living in Nagoro, a village in eastern Iya on Shikoku, one of the four main islands of Japan. Not many people are still living there. For those who die or move away, Ayano Tsukimi is making lifesized dolls in their liking and puts them in places that were important to them. The dolls are scattered around the whole valley.
She is married, but her husband and daughter are living away from her in Osaka. She’s living alone with her 83 year old father in the house of her family.
Berlin-based filmmaker Fritz Schumann recently visited with the 64-year-old artist and shot the documentary short above.
All images copyright Fritz Schumann.
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