Solitary Confinement

  • Reconstructed
  • Construction: 1912
  • Reconstruction: 1983
  • Floor area: 4.86m²
Pursuant to the Prison Act, which specified that it was desirable to provide each inmate with one cell, the Abashiri Branch of Hokkaido Prison had 16 chambers for solitary confinement. In 1912, when the Abashiri Branch was reconstructed after a fire, there were 34 chambers for solitary confinement. After the prison began to focus on penal practices aimed at rehabilitating inmates, the use of solitary chambers decreased because shared cells were important for inmates to develop social skills and because the management of solitary chambers was time-consuming.
The solitary confinement chamber at Abashiri Prison Museum was recreated with reference to records. It is a tile-roofed wooden hut with one earthen-floored room and one wooden-floored room that's the size of two tatami mats. Sunlight comes in only from the doorway and the fanlight.