I left Yokohama for Tokyo and I had the difficult task to choose one (!) museum to go to before my family arrived in Tokyo. I promised not to bother them with archaeology, so I had to choose wisely. I could go to the Ichao Iseki-Koen (but it is a kofun period site and I am more a Jomon period person), the Kokugakuin University museum (actually I tried to go there on the late afternoon when I arrived in Tokyo, but a security guard of the Kokugakuin High School swore that there is no such museum in Shibuya-ku and I was stupid or exhausted enough to believe him, silly me, of course there is one), the Tokyo National Museum (but then you can’t take photographs in this kind of museum), or the Meiji University Museum. In the end I decided to go to the Meiji University Museum (in spite their English webpage being
total crap somewhat unattractive), and a wise decision it was. There was such a wealth of Palaeolithic artefacts, that I was completely overwhelmed. Apart from a mass of artefacts there were also many posters and photos which explained the sites and the interrelations with other sites very clear cut. They also had enough Jomon, Yayoi, and Kofun period stuff to make everybody happy (that is people like me, not my sons of course). And of course there is the torture 'Crime and punishment in Japan' section of the museum.
Have a look at some of the treasures the museum had to offer (no, I didn't take photos of all the torture scenes). Here are different Palaeolithic sites in Japan and their characteristic tools:
whether stone, obsidian, or rock chrystal, they certainly knew how to knap:
these are my favourite Palaeolithic tools, the tanged scrapers:
A rare embryo magatama from the Amataki shell midden:
A latest Jomon dogu from Northern Honshu (Kamegaoka):
Footed Bowl, latest Jomon from the Sanno site:
The haniwa from the Funazuka Kofun, Ibaragi Pref.:
These plaques from different shell middens are especially intriguing. Some are made of clay
but others of stone:
For photos of the Criminal and Justice section see the blog entry 'torture porn' from Tokyo Scum Brigade (http://tokyoscum.blogspot.com/2009/11/torture-porn.html).