Suzugamori execution grounds

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Suzugamori execution grounds

The Suzugamori execution grounds (鈴ヶ森刑場, Suzugamori keijō) were one of many sites in the vicinity of Edo (the forerunner of present-day Tokyo, Japan) where the Tokugawa shogunate executed criminals, anti-government conspirators and Christians in the Edo period. Others sites included Shibaguchi, Honzaimokuchou, Itabashi, near the Torigoe Myoujin shrine, in front of Saihouji in Kondobashi, and Kotsukappara.[1] The Suzugamori grounds were established in 1651 and operated until 1871. During this 220 year time period, an estimated 100,000 people were executed at Suzugamori.[2]

The site measured about 74×16.2 meters. It was located along the Tōkaidō near the entrance to Edo. Criminals were executed on the outskirts of the city to avoid the "spiritual pollution" of the city.[3] A memorial is currently located on a triangular piece of land where Kyu-Tokaido Avenue and Dai-Ichi Keihin Route cross, alongside Route 15 (the Number 1 Keihin Expressway) in Minami Ōi, Shinagawa, Tokyo. It is about a ten-minute walk from Ōmori-Kaigan Station on the Keikyū Main Line.[4]

At the time, Suzugamori was on Edo (Tokyo) Bay, and criminals were also executed in the bay. They were suspended upside-down, and drowned when the tide rose.

The first person executed at Suzugamori is thought to have been Marubashi Chūya, a leader of the Keian Uprising. He had already been killed but was drowned as an example to prevent similar uprisings. Other criminals executed at Suzugamori include Ten'ichi-bō and Yaoya Oshichi.

A few remnants are still on the site. Among them are a well, an iron post for execution by burning, and a stone base for erecting wooden pillars for crucifixion. (The stone base has been moved from its original position.)

References[edit]

This article incorporates material from 鈴ヶ森刑場 (Suzugamori keijō) in the Japanese Wikipedia, retrieved December 13, 2007.

  1. ^ Botsman, Dani (2005). Punishment and power in the making of modern Japan. Princeton University Press. pp. 20–23.
  2. ^ Nagamura, Kit (October 5, 2007). "All at sea in Shinagawa". The Japan Times Online.
  3. ^ Botsman, Dani (2005). Punishment and power in the making of modern Japan. Princeton University Press. p. 23.
  4. ^ "Why Not Visit One Hundred Scenes of Shinagawa? Part 12 – Minami-Oi and Katsushima Areas". Shinagawa City Office. Retrieved May 3, 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°35′30″N 139°44′11.2″E / 35.59167°N 139.736444°E / 35.59167; 139.736444