2014.11.24 scarecrows yahoo blog 2

Living in the Japanese countryside has many advantages, from access to the freshest produce to breathing clean air, but for many who love the big city, the slow-paced lifestyle and lack of attractions can make rural life quite boring.

But one Japanese man living in a town outside of Fukuoka in southern Japan is showing us life doesn’t have to be boring when you have access to several dozen scarecrows, old softball uniforms and an open rice field. Every November after the rice is harvested, he dresses scarecrows up as softball players and has them “play” a month-long game, keeping score the entire time.

Local scarecrow aficionado Shinji Kuboi first came up with the slightly unsettling idea when he came across 20 elementary school softball uniforms at the local community center that were about to be thrown away. And when the 63-year-old construction worker realized his friend would have an empty rice field after the harvest in November, he naturally came up with an idea to dress the scarecrows in the uniforms and move them around every day to make it look like they are playing a softball game, albeit very slowly. Kuboi even found mannequin heads to put on top of the scarecrows to give them that extra lifelike feeling.

▼ Because why wouldn’t you have creepy human-like scarecrows play softball in an empty field?

2014.11.24 scarecrows goo blog 2Photo: goo blogs (ozadesuyo1940)

▼ A closer look at the face of one of the softball scarecrows

2014.11.24 scarecrows goo blog 3Photo: goo blogs (ozadesuyo1940)

Kuboi’s scarecrow softball game has been going on in Iizuka City in Fukuoka Prefecture every November since 2012. Besides the players, he also has set up a cheering section for scarecrows to cheer on their favorite team. The display gained enough popularity that he got a donation of 10 more softball uniforms and has been able to increase the roster to 30 players.

▼ Clearly, 20 of these scarecrows were not filling the creepy quota for Iizuka City

2014.11.24 scarecrows yahoo blog 3Photo: Yahoo! Japan blogs (kwkt66)

▼ What they lack in noise and movement, these loyal sports fans make up in perseverance

2014.11.24 scarecrows yahoo blog 1Photo: Yahoo! Japan blogs (kwkt66)

▼ A tense moment on home plate

2014.11.24 scarecrows yahoo blog 2Photo: Yahoo! Japan blogs (kwkt66)

▼ The scoreboard for the month-long game

2014.11.24 scarecrows yahoo blog 4Photo: Yahoo! Japan blogs (kwkt66)

Locals seem to love the annual softball game, with some telling a local newspaper that they look forward to it every year. But we assume these are not the members of the community who pass by the scarecrows at night when, as many netizens noticed, the game takes on a slightly more frightening look.

▼ Don’t worry, it’s just a softball game in complete darkness between two teams of humanoid scarecrows in the middle of the night. Wait, did number 12 just move?

2014.11.24 scarecrows aoki 1Photo: Twitter (aokijuntarou)

Kuboi said he’s glad to bring a little joy to his town, and has even proposed a scarecrow softball tournament with other cities. While this year’s game is now drawing to a close, start making plans to visit Iizuka next November as part of your tour to Fukuoka for a softball game you won’t forget.

Source: Nishi Nippon Shimbun, Hamsoku