Over the past few years, there has been a huge decline in the Japanese population. Rural and hilly areas have been on top in the list of areas that reduce the human population. Located in the mountains of western Japan, a rural village of Japan named Nagoro also called the valley of the dolls is a traditional Japanese village that had a population of more than 300 people. Now there are only 27 people who are living their lives with struggling and loneliness. Below is Japan age demographics.
According to 2014 estimates, 33.0% of the Japanese population is above the age of 60, 25.9% are aged 65 or above, and 12.5% are aged 75 or above. People aged 65 and older in Japan make up a quarter of its total population, estimated to reach a third by 2050.
Loneliness is always tragic to all and we all do not want to live alone for a long time. So a woman living in Nagoro discovered the only way to deal with loneliness.
To reduce loneliness in the village, a local resident Tzukimi Ayano decided to make a human-sized doll and placed them on the streets, outside the house, on the bus stand, at all places in the school. They say that people start feeling more lively after seeing human sized dolls. It give them the experience the crowd. They stopped feeling lonely. About 270 (10 times) dolls are staying in the village with 27 humans. All this started 16 years ago when Ayano made his first sample and dressed it in his father’s clothes and placed it in the garden so that the seeds planted in the garden could be prevented from eating birds. A person who saw it in the garden thought that it was indeed my father. He said Hello, but it was a human-sized doll. It was ridiculous.
To make dolls, she prepares a doll using wood sticks, newspaper to fill the body, clothes for skin and wool weave for hair. To make them look ordinary, they make pink colors on the lips and cheeks with makeup brushes. These human-shaped dolls can be seen around every nook in the village. She can be the best teacher to teach “How to make a life-size doll”.
Ayano says that there is no child left in the village and the smallest member there is 55 years old! “People have left slowly to work in cities. Most people do not want to come back here now. Now this village is alone. When gradually life becomes more lively with the help of dolls then I thought to make more dolls.
Looking at the depopulation in rural areas, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised to revive the areas outside of Tokyo so that billions of yen can be spent on them.
Takumi Fujinami, an economist at the Japan Research Institute, says, “To cope with depopulation, we need people to go to deep-populated areas. But it is very difficult to recover the population. If there is work to increase income for the youth in rural areas then circumstances can improve.
However, by the name of dolls, Nagoro has become a tourist attraction! Now Nagoro is can be considered one of the Japanese villages to visit. She says, now many tourists came here every year. I hope Nagoro will be alive again and many people come here to live here.
This is not only the situation in Japan. Many other countries like India are also suffering the same issue. Young people are leaving old ones behind in villages. But Japan challenge is not getting over by this. The fertility rate is also getting down by the years. We can understand by this graph that the current population of Japan is getting reduce day by day. Why does Japan have a low birth rate? There are many reasons.
Despite all the problems, Tzukimi Ayano has found her own ways to fight this challenge. Tzukimi Ayano, You Give Us Hope.