Magazine

Mar 16, 2015

The Village Of The Scarecrows

The Village Of The Scarecrows

Tsukimi Ayano made her first scarecrow 13 years ago to frighten off birds pecking at seeds in her garden. The life-sized straw doll resembled her father, so she made more. Today, the tiny village of Nagoro in southern Japan is teeming with Ayano's hand-sewn creations, frozen in time for a tableau that captures the motions of everyday life. Nagoro, like many villages in Japan's countryside, has been hit hard by inhabitants flocking to cities for work and leaving mostly pensioners behind. Its greying community is a microcosm of Japan, whose population has been falling for a decade.

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A general view shows the mountain village of Nagoro on Shikoku Island in southern Japan February 24, 2015. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A vehicle drives past scarecrows sitting outside a closed down shop in the village of Nagoro on Shikoku Island in southern Japan February 24, 2015. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Local villager Ayano arranges scarecrow in village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A woman pushes a wheelbarrow past scarecrows in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Local villager Ayano props up scarecrow in village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Scarecrows stand in a field in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Scarecrows sit in at edge of a field in mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Tsukimi Ayano carries a scarecrow to place it on the road leading into the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Tsukimi Ayano arranges a scarecrow, which represents her father, in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Scarecrows hold fishing rods in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Scarecrows sit in front of a shed in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Tsukimi Ayano arranges a scarecrow at a bus stop in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Scarecrows sit in front of a house in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Scarecrows representing former pupils and a teacher sit in a classroom in a closed down school in the village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Tsukimi Ayano stands in a classroom with scarecrows at a closed down school in the village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A scarecrow representing a pupil holds a book in a closed down school in the village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Scarecrows representing pupils and a teacher sit in a classroom in a closed down school in the village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A scarecrow representing a teacher sits in a classroom in a closed down school in the village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A scarecrow is reflected in a window next to a letterbox in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Tsukimi Ayano walks towards a scarecrow, which she made as a likeness of herself, in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A scarecrow is arranged to look as if it is plowing a field in the village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A scarecrow stands in a field overlooking the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A scarecrow sits on a tree in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A scarecrow sits in a field in the village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A scarecrow is seen outside the house of Tsukimi Ayano in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A scarecrow is pictured in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A scarecrow is pictured in the house of Tsukimi Ayano in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Tsukimi Ayano sows an ear onto a scarecrow in her house in the mountain village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Tsukimi Ayano serves tea in her house in the village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Tsukimi Ayano steps out of her house in the village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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A scarecrow lies behind a shed in the village of Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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Scarecrows are seen at sunset in Nagoro THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

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