Episode 412 – …Don’t Do the Crime

This week, we’re looking at how the criminal justice system in Japan was remade to serve the interests of the imperial state–a process which laid the groundwork for much of how the justice system operates today.


Botsman, Daniel. Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan.

Schmidt, Peter. Capital Punishment in Japan.

Ansell, Ben W. and Johannes Lindvall. Inward Conquest: The Political Origins of Modern Public Services.


Sugamo Prison in 1945. Built in 1895, Sugamo was the nation’s showcase prison.
Tokyo Station. The bricks used here would have been made in the Kosuge prison factory.
An interior section of the Abashiri prison museum. Parts of the original buildings have been relocated to the museum and designated as cultural landmarks.
A diarama from the Abashiri Prison Museum.
Kosuge Prison in Tokyo in 1930. Both this building and the new, 1971 building are not the original one. However, Kosuge remains the site of Tokyo’s largest prison now that Sugamo is no more.

1 thought on “Episode 412 – …Don’t Do the Crime”

  1. The anime Golden Kamuy has a lot of the story take place at Abashiri Prison in the late Meiji Period.

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