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Nagoro or Nagoru, now known as Nagoro doll Village (Japanese: 名頃かかしの里) is a village in the Iya Valley on the island of Shikoku in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. It is known for the large number of realistic dolls positioned throughout the village, which have made it a tourist attraction.

The village is located on Route 439 in the Iya Valley,[1][2] a remote mountainous area. It formerly had about 300 inhabitants, but the decline in Japan's population has caused that to fall to 35 by January 2015[3] and 30 as of August 2016.[4] Tsukimi Ayano, whose family left the area when she was a child, moved back to Nagoro in the early 2000s to look after her father, and made a doll in his likeness that she placed in a field; she has since made more than 400 including replacements, and about 350 are in the village.[4][5] Many are also likenesses of residents or former residents, while others are invented people. The village school, which closed in 2012, includes a large number;[2][3][4][5][6][7] in one classroom, two children are self-portraits by the last two students to study there, who dressed them in their own clothes.[4] Others include three men sitting at the base of a telephone pole on the outskirts of the village, a man fishing in the river, a group in a bus shelter,[4] and utility workers performing roadwork.[5] The village has become a tourist attraction[2][8] and is known as Nagoro doll Village.[1][7]

The nearby Nagoro Dam [ja] was completed in 1961 and is used for hydropower generation.[9]


  1. ^ a b Rowthorn, Chris (2015). Japan (14th ed.). Footscray, Victoria: Lonely Planet.
  2. ^ a b c Rao, Mallika (2014-05-06) [2014-05-01]. "In This Abandoned Japanese Village, The Life-Size Dolls Outnumber The People". Huffington Post.
  3. ^ a b McCurry, Justin (2015-01-07). "In ageing Japanese village, dolls take place of dwindling population". The Guardian.
  4. ^ a b c d e Jaffe, Ina (2016-08-26). "A Dying Japanese Village Brought Back To Life — By Scarecrows". Morning Edition. NPR.
  5. ^ a b c Grundhauser, Eric (2015-03-23). "Toys Are Us: The Japanese Village Where Dolls Outnumber People". Slate.
  6. ^ Souppouris, Aaron (2014-05-02). "Explore the hidden Japanese village where dolls replace the departed". The Verge.
  7. ^ a b Sim, David (2015-03-16). "Village of the scarecrows: Residents of Nagoro in Japan are being replaced by life-size straw dolls". international Business Times.
  8. ^ Schneider, Kate (2013-06-21). "Creepy or cool? Village of life-sized dolls in Nagoro, Japan".
  9. ^ "Nagoro Dam". Structurae. Retrieved 2016-08-30.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°51′21″N 134°01′11″E / 33.855910°N 134.019827°E / 33.855910; 134.019827