Faced With Declining Population, Japanese Village Is Repopulated By Scarecrows

The population of Nagoro, Japan has declined in recent years from 300 to just 30 people. Local artist Tsukimi Ayano has populated the village with scarecrows to replace some of the familiar community figures who are now gone.
August 28, 2016, 5am PDT | arielgodwin
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"Japan's population is declining. And the signs of that are easiest to see in rural areas, like the mountainous interior of the southern island of Shikoku. For example, the village of Nagoro used to have around 300 residents. Now it has 30," reports Ina Jaffe.

"Visitors know they've arrived when they see the three farmers in floppy hats resting against a telephone pole by the side of the road. They're always there. They're scarecrows, life-sized figures made of cloth and stuffed with cotton and newspapers."

"All of these figures are the work of 67-year-old Tsukimi Ayano. She's been making them for more than a decade," explains Jaffe, before describing more of what the scarecrows mean for the abandoned town, and the attention they've gained.

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Published on Friday, August 26, 2016 in NPR
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