Friday, May 2, 2014

Memory and Place and the Dollmaker

Last week, I taught a writing workshop on places/spaces that hold meaning and memory for us as individuals. Place has always been an obsession of mine, but I struggle to define the exact aspect that I’m drawn to. It’s not so much writing about travel or a specific destination. I’m always attentive to how our surroundings shape us, and vice versa (as well as the complex, layered histories constantly evolving around us). Where does a sense of place come from, I always wonder. Why are some places (spaces that we define as an area--it could be the corner of a room, a portion of a field, a certain doorway or street) so charged for us?

My friend Cortney shared something with me last night that is lingering in my mind (thanks, Cortney!).


The short documentary (by Fritz Schumann) shows us a glimpse of the life of Ayano Tsukimi. Tsukimi lives in Nagoru, a small village in which fewer than forty people live; Tsukimi has populated the village with hundreds of human-size dolls that she has created.

While watching the video, I kept wondering what it would be like to live in a near-ghost town. Tsukimi seems invested in maintaining this place, and keeping the memories (or the memories of the memories?) of the town intact through the dolls. Her love for Nagoru is evident--I wish I could hear more about her devotion to (as well as the the thoughts of the other thirty-some inhabitants regarding) this place.


  1. this was quite interesting. this conjured thoughts of the space i live in.

    gracias for sharing mi amiga

  2. Fascinating, Hannah. The doll she based on herself. . . I can't help but wonder how she will feel when the doll is no more (given that she says the dolls exist for three years max).

  3. I was curious of the same thing Maureen but i didn't want to get too deep in the psychology especially in the isolation of her world.


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