Fritz Schumann The Iya Valley and the river that runs through it.
Fritz Schumann Ayano Tsukimi sits with her creations.
Fritz Schumann Tsukimi's dolls in a classroom of a shuttered school.
Fritz Schumann The dolls are made of wood, cotton, old paper, and donated clothes
Fritz Schumann The lips are the hardest to make.
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Fritz Schumann Dolls sitting in front of a closed shop.
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Fritz Schumann Tsukimi sits with the doll she made of herself.

Valley of the Dolls

Japan's Disappearing Villages

The small town of Nagoro is dying. Only 35 people still live in this remote part of Shikoku, one of the four main islands of Japan. Nagoro is one of 10,000 villages throughout the country that are expected to disappear in the coming decades due to urban migration. One resident, however, is trying to fight the emptiness of her hometown by creating life-sized dolls of those who either die or move away. Ayano Tsukimi’s dolls now outnumber the villagers ten to one.

Read Fritz Schumann's "Valley of the Dolls: Japan's Disappearing Villages"

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