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Abashiri Prison (Japanese: 網走刑務所, Hepburn: Abashiri Keimusho) is a prison in Abashiri, Hokkaido that opened in 1890. The northernmost prison in Japan, it is located near the Abashiri River and east of Mount Tento. It holds inmates with sentences of less-than ten-years.[1]

Abashiri Prison
Abashiri prison.jpg
LocationAbashiri, Hokkaido, Japan
Coordinates44°0′59.7″N 144°13′51.8″E / 44.016583°N 144.231056°E / 44.016583; 144.231056Coordinates: 44°0′59.7″N 144°13′51.8″E / 44.016583°N 144.231056°E / 44.016583; 144.231056
StatusOperational
Opened1890
Managed byMinistry of Justice

Contents

HistoryEdit

In April 1890, the Meiji government sent over 1,000 political prisoners to the isolated Abashiri village and forced them to build roads linking it to the more populous south.[2] Abashiri Prison later became known for being a self-sufficient farming prison, and cited as a model for others throughout Japan.[2][3]

Most of the prison burned down in a 1909 fire, but it was reconstructed in 1912.[3] It took on its current name in 1922. In 1984, the prison moved to a modern reinforced concrete complex.[2]

Due to the 1965 film Abashiri Prison and its sequels, the prison became a popular tourist attraction.[2] The prison is also known for its wooden nipopo (ニポポ) dolls carved by its inmates.[4]

Abashiri Prison in June 2010.

MuseumEdit

 
The inside of the original prison house, one of the Important Cultural Properties at the Abashiri Prison Museum.

In 1983, older parts of the prison were relocated to the base of Mount Tento and operate as a museum called the Abashiri Prison Museum (博物館網走監獄). It is the only prison museum in the country.[2] As of 2016, eight of the buildings preserved at the museum are designated Important Cultural Property by the Agency for Cultural Affairs,[3][4] while three are registered Tangible Cultural Property.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Inmates in Hokkaido raise beef cattle to learn about value of life". The Japan Times. 2015-06-23. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Abashiri astounds with its ice and convict connections". The Japan Times. 2013-03-24. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  3. ^ a b c "道内の文化財を訪ねて 旧網走監獄 静かに光差す舎房 /北海道" (in Japanese). Mainichi Shimbun. 2016-06-12. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  4. ^ a b "国の重要文化財指定へ!事務局長に聞く「博物館網走監獄」の楽しみ方" (in Japanese). Hokkaido Relations, Inc. 2015-12-29. Retrieved 2018-03-07.

External linksEdit