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.