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Scarecrows
Chapter 2 from volume 4 of the Horror World of Junji Ito Collection, The Face Burglar .


PlotEdit

The people of a rural village turn out for the funeral of Yuki Numata. Yuki's boyfriend Toshio goes to her grave with flowers, but her father violently attacks him and blames Toshio for her death. Numata steals a scarecrow from the nearby field and places it next to the grave as it "keeps pests away" and he hopes it will scare away Toshio.

Over the next few days, the scarecrow's appearance changes to look like Yuki. The villagers soon discover what has happened. Numata believes that her soul inhabits the scarecrow, and found that when he tried to take it home, it changed back into an ordinary scarecrow. Soon, everyone begins putting up scarecrows in front of the graves of their loved ones. All of them change to look like the dead person.

Toshio falls asleep in the graveyard and dreams about Yuki, asking if he will still marry her even though she is a scarecrow. When he wakes, he can't remember going to the graveyard at all, and wonders if her spirit lured him there. Suddenly, the scarecrows come to life and chase him. He runs but is cornered by Yuki's scarecrow. When Numata goes to Yuki's grave to bring a jacket to keep her scarecrow warm, he finds Toshio dead and pinned underneath the scarecrow.

Meanwhile, against her husband's wishes, a woman had put up a scarecrow for her child who drowned in mysterious circumstances. They find that the scarecrow has adopted an evil, hate-filled expression. It suddenly comes to life and attacks the woman's husband (who had been the boy's stepfather), causing him to fall off a wall to his death and confirming her suspicions that he murdered her son. 

Numata stands in silence as the scarecrows become still again.

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