With its fascinating mix of exhibits across three departments – commodities, criminal materials and archeology – this basement attraction in the huge Meiji University building is one of Tokyo’s best secret museums. The first section is dedicated to traditional Japanese handicrafts such as pottery, indigo-dyeing, bamboo work, washi paper and lacquerware.
The next section, which is also the highlight, is where it gets really interesting. It reveals the torture procedures used in the second half of the 18th century to punish criminals, such as haritsuke (crucifixion), gokumon (displaying the head publicly after a decapitation) and ishidaki gougu (putting large rocks on the knees of a sitting person).
As a contrast, there are also some historical Western torture instruments including the iron maiden and the guillotine. There are English explanations, too, should you want to read up on all the details.