In a shrine beside a temple in Kyoto there are a large number of small effigies. They are dressed in hats and scarves and assembled in rows. They commemorate aborted foetuses. In the absence of proper contraception, the Japanese for centuries have had to use abortion and, in the past, infanticide to control their population. These 'water children' (who return to the water world at abortion) are a source of great sadness in Japan.