One day in the small village, I met many human-like scarecrows and I started taking self-portraits with them (you can find my previous posts here and here). After that, I directly talked to the only one scarecrow artist in Okuharima Scarecrow village (Himeji, Hyogo pre, Japan) and became his disciple. I asked him how to make scarecrows and I created a scarecrow that looks just like me.

More info: chika-usui.net | Instagram

I named this scarecrow Chinatsu another way to read Chinese characters of my name Chika. I’m the only scarecrow photographer and creator in the world now and as a Goodwill Ambassador for Okuharima Scarecrow village, I’m doing daily efforts with Chinatsu.

In fact, these photos visualize the social problems that Japan has. The story behind the scarecrows is depopulation problems, birth rates and an aging population in Japan. Currently, Japan is facing those problems and the scarecrows are the ones that symbolize those problems.

The population of the village is only 9 now and the average age of the villagers is over 80. The scarecrows are made and set up to attract more people to the village (with more than 130 scarecrows in the village now). It is true that this is a serious problem for Japan, therefore, I would be glad if I could create an opportunity to attract as many people as possible through my photos.

I and scarecrow Chinatsu are planning to go to Paris this November! I’m looking forward to our travel story.