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When someone died in one of these mountain villages, a Kushimi doll was made. They were made from straw, earth or cloth. The hair of the deceased was weaved into the straw of the Kushimi doll and then dressed in their kimono. The doll was then fixed onto skewers and placed before a shrine at the edge of the mountain, where it would be enshrined for up to one month after the person's death. During that time, the dead were thought to stand between the village and the mountain (where a cave that led to the land of the gods was thought to be) as a protective deity. After the period of time passed, the doll was cast into the river behind the shrine along with various offerings. The dead would then take the village's evil upon themselves and head to the land of the gods.
In the Manor Of Sleep, Kushimi dolls can be seen in the Spirit Tree Courtyard surrounding the Spirit Tree. Situated before the Rift Shrine, they represented the Shrine Carpenters, who were sacrificed to contain the Unleashing. The dolls marked the border between the living and the land of the dead located below the Engraving Shrine and were considered protective deities for the living.
Similar dolls are enshrined on the walls of the Doll Altars. They represent the pains of the Worshippers, which were engraved onto the Tattooed Priestess, and are appeased by the singing of the Handmaiden's Song.
- Miku Hinasaki mentions to Rei Kurosawa that the Kushimi dolls depicted in the photograph accompanying the Skewered Dolls Note are similar to the legends of the "Straw Dolls" passed on in Tōno, a city in the Iwate prefecture of Japan.
- A similar folk practice to the Kushimi doll, called the Igushi doll, is mentioned in the game as being the spirit of a person who died young and was deified in the mountains.
- In Northeastern Japan, it is said that if a straw doll is tied to a tree and a nail is driven through its chest, illness, disease, and sickness can be prevented. In addition, if a ritual is performed and the doll is placed in the northeastern part of the house, then demons (鬼, oni) can be driven away.
- ↑ "Skewered Dolls", Fatal Frame III:The Tormented
- ↑ "Impalement Tome", Fatal Frame III:The Tormented