Dolls of Nagoro

Written by Alana Jolley

January 27, 2015

Dolls of Nagoro

Dolls of Nagoro are like dolls you have never seen before.  You can’t buy them in a toy store or over the internet. Nor will you find them sitting on the shelves of collectors, or in carefully curated museums.  The Nagoro Dolls represent their own culture in appropriate dress and work spaces.  They seem to blend into the environment where their counterpoints once lived.  But even the Nagoro Dolls do not live forever, as the artist explains.

The Dolls of Nagoro represent real people who once lived in the village of Nagoro, Japan.  The artist who creates these dolls, Tsukimi Ayano, grew up in the village and moved away, but later returned. She decided to keep the individuals she has known alive, even as the population in her beloved valley declines.

The village once was thriving with industry and many people.  Today there are less than 50 people in the village.  Ayano made a scarecrow to put in her garden; and it gave her the idea to create special dolls to represent real people who lived there.

It is always interesting to learn where artists get the inspirations for what they create.  The full story of the Nagoro Dolls is found in the Vimeo film linked here. You may need to copy (Control C) and paste (Control V) the link into your browser.


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