A wander up the stairs into the well maintained cemetery with a number of new plots suggested the temple's influence almost certainly extended beyond the village. New plots don't necessarily mean someone has died recently, it's quite common for people to make a better grave for ancestors if they have the means to do so. (That's at least true for Akita, perhaps less so in major cities.)
|Looking down from the temple - food stalls at the bottom left|
|The cemetery up the hill|
|This family plot has gathered old grave markers / memorial stones|
of the family and put them on top of the newly built one.
|A very touching reconstruction of a jizo.|
|Very old jizo... how old I have no idea.|
http://www.akitabi.com/bohi/tahouin.html Some information about tahouin in Japanese here