On the basis of a plan provided by the Home Ministry in 1880, lookout stations called guard huts were built at prisons across Japan. These huts were placed at inmates’ workplaces and beside the entrances to each building for keeping watch on inmates as well as on visitors from outside. The guard huts varied in design depending on the prison. The kind of hut shown in the photo was built at eight places in Abashiri Prison. The hut was used until around 1985, when it was moved to the place shown in the photo.