'I Make Dead People': Japanese Town Replaces Dead People With Dolls

14/08/2014 16:43 | Updated 20 May 2015

In the village of Nagoru, Japan, life-sized dolls made to resemble the dead outnumber the people.

Ayano Tsukimi, 64, has dedicated the last 10 years of her life to her craft and has created enough dolls to populate the abandoned school in her village.

In a new documentary, The Valley Of Dolls, Tsukimi shares her world with Berlin-based filmmaker Fritz Schumann. She explains that she started by planting seeds in the emptying village. When the plants didn't take, she thought she needed a scarecrow so she made one to look like her father.

From there came the idea to recreate all of the people who once lived in the village.

"I thought people will get interested and take photos if I put dolls at the entrance of the valley. I put them on the field doing work, or waiting for the bus," Tsukimi explains.

Tsukimi says she isn't interested in "weird" dolls. Hers are made to blend into the scenery. Made from straw, rags and old clothes, the 64-year-old has turned over some 350 dolls by her count.

While she admits the faces are the hardest to get right, she says she's got a gift for grandmothers!

Before you label her work as kind of creepy, just watch one minute of the documentary and we're sure you will change you mind.

Watch The Valley Of Dolls here:


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