Tsurushi (Japanese: 釣殺し), or "reverse hanging", was a Japanese torture technique used in the 17th century to coerce Christians ("Kirishitan") to recant their faith. Both Japanese and Western Christians are known to have been submitted to the torture. As the tortured was held by the feet with a rope, one of the hands would be held tight with a rope, but another would be left hanging freely, so that a sign could be made by the tortured that he was willing to recant.
The technique was said to be unbearable for those submitted to it. The body was often lowered into a hole, itself often filled with excrement at the bottom. Typically, a cut would be made in the forehead in order to let blood pressure decrease in the area around the head.
The lives of Christians who recanted were spared, but most refused to deny their faith.
- Boxer, C.R. The Christian Century in Japan, 1549–1650. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1951. ISBN 1-85754-035-2 (1993 reprint edition).