The small hamlet of Nagoro on the Japanese island of Shikoku is currently home to less than 40 people, making it a largely uninhabited ghost town. But it’s not what isn’t there that makes the hamlet so strange… it’s what IS there. Because Nagoro is mostly inhabited by creepy handmade dolls, representing the dead and departed souls who used to inhabit the area.
As we spotted over on Thrillist, a 63-year-old artist by the name of Ayano Tsukimi returned to Nagoro 11 years ago, which was her hometown as a child. She was shocked to discover that very few people remained in the area, as compared to the hundreds that filled up the space when she was a kid. And so she set out on a mission to return the hamlet to its former glory, by literally bringing the dead back from the dead… as life-size dolls.
Over the last 10 years, Tsukimi has filled the island with over 350 hand-sewn dolls, which each represent a person who used to call Nagoro home. Whenever a resident moves from the hamlet or passes away, the elderly artist whips up a new doll in their likeness, referring to the creations as her ‘children.’
If you head over to Google Maps you can virtually hang out on the creepy island, and meet all the inanimate residents – who sit at bus stops, hang around in abandoned buildings and enjoy the peaceful landscape.
Creepy? Yea. Just a tad.