For those like myself, who’ve consumed far too many horror movies, the obvious explanation for this rural Japanese bus stop inhabited by life size dolls is clearly a race of killer scarecrow-people. While I’m not quite ready to toss that theory, the Associated Press has a different story. They claim that 65 year old Tsukimi Ayano moved back to the tiny village of Nagoro to care for her aging father, and started making the dolls to replace the many residents who’ve died or moved away (but you’ll note that the AP don’t explicitly guarantee that the dolls do not come to life and murder remaining residents at night).
Nagoro is nestled in the mountains of Southern Japan, Nagoro, one of many rural villages de-populated due to Japan’s falling birthrate. So much so that the elementary school is shuttered, inhabited only by Ayano’s dolls.
Over the course of 13 years in the village, Ayano has crafted over 350 life size dolls, vastly outnumbering (the surely freaked out) remaining 30-some residents.
Her scarecrow village now attracts its share of tourists and gawkers, though I imagine most wisely clear out before nightfall…