Meij Unv. Criminal Museum

Get the Flash Player to see this video.


Meij University Museum Criminal Materials (明治大学博物館・刑事部門) is a historical museum of traditional craft works and Japanese archeology that displays all kinds of police and justice related materials of Edo period, pre-modern era. It is one of zone of Meiji University Museum located in Tokyo. The exhibitions of this criminal zone are the tools of arresting criminals, investigations, punishments and executions. The purpose of these exhibitions is for studying Japanese history and classic culture, and understanding the right idea of human's right. the Guillotine and Iran maiden are only displayed here in Japan.

Visitor's Info.
Open: 10:00 to 17:00
There are a week close in August and end of the year.
Admission: Free.
Criminal Material Zone is located underground leve B2.

0. Tokyo Station.
1. use JR Chuo Line to Ochanomizu.
2. walk South (5 min.)


周围的地图 Meij Unv. Criminal Museum


Criminal Materials Zone displays all kinds of police and justice related material of Edo period based on the idea of "Human's right and freedom." Exhibitions start with arresting, investigations, punishments and executions.

Arresting: the tools of arresting criminals are original used for capturing Samurai during Sengoku Period. In Edo period, they are used to arrest criminals without injury.
Stuffs: "Tukubou" "Sasumata" "Sodegarami." "Jitte" for hand carry weapon. Jitte was also used for patrolling because it was the symbols of the law enforcement.

Investigation: Torturing for confessing their guilts.
Torturing takes "Muchiuchi" "Ishidaki" and "Ebizeme." Ishidakizeme used the wooden mat has sharp notched surface. The suspect was forced to sit on this mat. Then, a heavy stone plate placed over the legs. The weight of this stone plate is about 50 kg. When Ishidakizeme didn't make the suspect confess his/her guilt, police uses "Ebizeme."

This is the last torture called "Tsurushizeme." Because of brutality, it requires the permission of the chief council of the domain. It squeezes himself by his own weight. Sometime, the suspect falls unconscious.

Punishment: handcuffs and light I'mprisonment. The criminal must live with her hands cuffed for certain period.

Execution: The execution for the death penalty is mostly decapitation.
Before the execution, there are "Tataki" or "Nokogiribiki Shioki." Nokogiribikishioki is old way of punishment. There are saws, but they are not used sawing. It is used for shaming the criminal in front of public view. The criminal is left in that box for 3 days.

"Gokumondai" is a table with nails to place the head of criminals. The head of the criminal is exposed to public. Nails are used to hold the head.

Crucifixion is taken for felonious criminals. They use a spear to stab criminal many times. The corpse is exposed to public view for 3 days.

This is a burning to death is used for incendiary.

Modern execution: Decapitation is changed to hanging.

World Executions: Guillotine and Iron Maiden.

It is introduced in late 18th century, around French Revolution, in France.

Decapitation was common method for the execution in Europe. They use swords or axes for execution. However, it was not certain method of the execution, therefore, people invent guillotine for fair and clean death.

Iron Maiden is a imaginary torturing device. There is no credible proof that it is used for the execution. However, people in 19th century believed that it was used for the execution. Because the memory of the cruel executions of medieval period was still fresh for them.

Official web site :