Picture: Fritz Schumann/screenshot
Picture: Fritz Schumann/screenshot

Ayano Tsukimi is a 67-year-old woman who lives in a small village called Nagoro on a southern Japanese island, and she likes to make dolls.

Tsukimi has spent the past 14 years making life-size dolls in memory of all the people who die in her village - which is almost two hours away from a hospital.


Picture: Fritz Schumann/screenshot

In a short documentary videoIn Valley of Dolls by Fritz Schumann she said:

I thought we needed scarecrows so I made one doll looking like my father.

Tsukimi has made approximately 350 dolls - over 300 more than the population of her village (which is 37 and dwindling).

The dolls are reminiscent of those found in Shinto shrines, which are scattered densely all around Japan as a way to honour both the dead and kami, or 'gods.'

Picture: Fritz Schumann/screenshot

The facial expressions are the hardest part… the lips are difficult.

Picture: Fritz Schumann/screenshot

She places the dolls - which last around three years - all over the village in day-to-day positions.

Picture: Fritz Schumann/screenshot

Such as doing a spot of farming...

Picture: Fritz Schumann/screenshot

Or studying in class...

Picture: Fritz Schumann/screenshot

But, umm, isn't this a tad creepy?

Tsukimi concludes in the video:

Some [people] may feel frightened because they look so real.

I don’t think dying is scary.

Picture: Fritz Schumann/screenshot

Watch Schumann's video below:


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