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There’s no doubt that crows are some of the smartest animals on the planet, so we have to admit that we’ve always found it kind of funny that they’re fooled by something like a scarecrow. Silly birds, those things look nothing like real humans! Unless you’re out driving around Japan’s Shiga Prefecture and happen upon Nobuou Onishi’s farm. Then even careful humans might be fooled by his incredible scarecrows.

In fact, Onishi’s scarecrows are so realistic–and have captured so much attention–that he’s been requested to create an installation for the Borderless Art Museum NO-MA in Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture. Check out some of the photos from Onishi’s farm below to see if you can believe your eyes!

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Now, we’re sure that our dear, brilliant readers would never be fooled by something like scarecrows up close, but we think that Onishi’s creations could fool nearly anyone from a distance. Especially if you were driving by in a car!

And it turns out that Onishi sees multiple people a day stop and come back for a better look after driving by his field or home. Glancing at the photo below, we have to admit that, were we the ones driving, we’d do the same thing. From a car window, these scarecrows would look just life-like enough that we’d be freaked out that they weren’t moving!

▼Also, we’d want to find out where they got all those dope hats.

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As for how Onishi came to have his yard and field filled with 10 times as many scarecrows as anyone could possibly need, it seems that making scarecrows became Onishi’s hobby after he retired. The older gentleman originally made a single scarecrow for a plot of land not far from his house and it got such a good response that he decided to make another. And another. And another!

▼”Don’t mind me. Just act natural…”

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Eventually, Onishi even started filling up his own yard with the scarecrows, including everything from the creepy girl with the video camera above to the police officer below…and even someone pouring a beer. How rude of them not to share!

So, how in the world does he create these life-like scarecrows? And how many people with pediophobia (fear of dolls) have suffered panic attacks when they accidentally wandered through his garden?

▼”Freeze! Doll police!”

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Well, we can’t answer the second question (though we’re hoping it’s “zero”), but we can tell you how Onishi made his uncanny scarecrows. The first thing is the most obvious: He uses lots of old clothes and hats. But what really gives the fake people their human-like appearance is their skeletons. Not to worry, though, he’s not stealing bones from the morgue; Onishi uses wood in place of femurs and bolts to hold them in place under the old clothes. Finally, he says giving all of the scarecrows handcarts and tools makes the scenes look all the more authentic. Keep this in mind for your Halloween decorations!

▼Just imagine a fake-blood-coated head instead of a pot.

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It turns out that scarecrows aren’t the only things Onishi makes either. Apparently, he has become so used to the crowds that flock to see his creations that he’s actually started making presents like keychains and vases for his fans.

And, that’s not the only service he provides for his “customers.” Onishi also does an excellent job keeping repeat viewers entertained by creating seasonal variations of the scarecrow scenes.

▼Are you not entertained?!

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▼Say, got another one of those for us?

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But this year, Onishi is creating on a particularly special scene at the Borderless Art Museum NO-MA in Omihachiman City in Shiga Prefecture. The exhibit opened last month and is set to run until November 24, so if you’re in Japan this autumn, you’ll have a chance to check out Onishi’s showcase.

As for how this scarecrow exhibit came about, it turns out that a curator for the museum got lost and found himself driving though the country. Happening upon the retired man’s work entirely by accident, the curator was so impressed he decided that Onishi should be featured in their Borderless Art Museum NO-MA.

▼We look forward to seeing this in the Louvre some day!

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▼It makes more sense than some Pollack paintings, too.

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As for his motivation, Onishi says that he keeps making the scarecrows since it makes him happy to see people smiling. As long as his creations are giving people a little joy, the retiree said he wants to keep putting them out.

▼Stop being so cool, Onishi! We can’t take it anymore!

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For more information about Onishi and the Borderless Art Museum NO-MA, be sure to check out their website.

Address: 16 Nagahara-cho Kami, Omi-Hachiman-shi, Shiga-ken 523-0849
Telephone number: 0748-36-5018
Hours: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Website directions: no-ma.jp

After checking out Onishi’s exhibition, there is a lot more to do in Shiga Prefecture, too. You can marvel at some carved bananas, visit a cat island, get some snapshots of a Gundam grave marker, or simply wander around an empty shopping mall!

Sources: Borderless Art Museum NO-MA, Naver Matome, Sankei, Ojisan no Life Work, Yahoo! Japan News
Images: Miyuki no Ohana-batake, Toshokan no koto to tabemono no arekore