Item #300 刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]. TOKUGAWA SHOGUNATE.
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]
Remarkable Illustrated Manuscript of Japanese Criminal Procedure as Practiced Before the Meiji Restoration.

刑罪大秘録 [Secret Manual of Criminal Prosecution]

Fascinating manuscript vade mecum to the process of gimmi-suji, or the interrogation of suspected criminals in order to obtain confession. At the dawn of the Tokugawa feudal regime in 1600, judicial torture in Japan was legal by force of customary law, which differed from region to region. By the mid to late eighteenth century, efforts were made—perhaps by a team of bugyo (feudal magistrates which functioned as both prosecutors and judges)—to standardize the practice of judicial torture, and homolgate the procedures as a text, which became known as the Keizai dai hiroku. The earliest known manuscript dates from about 1814, and copies are known that date from 1836 and 1865, just three years before the collapse of Shogunate. No early printed copies are known; the first appeared in 1997, and was a facsimile of the 1836 manuscript held at the national Diet Library in Tokyo. Our manuscript dates from 1855, and is illustrated by rather crude hand-colored ink drawings of restraint tortures, tattoos that identified criminals and their crimes, executions, and even floor plans of prisons, which were entirely designed to facilitate the process of interrogation. The text discusses who may be tortured, and who may not be—pregnant women, those under 15 or over 70, the infirm. The punishment for the illegal administration of torture was death, even though death itself was a legally permissible outcome of torture. Interrogation to extract a confession, or romon (restraint or imprisonment) was de rigueur for any number of crimes which required a confession to prosecute, but only the most serious offenses—murder, arson, forgery, trespassing—demanded gomon, or more refined and excruciating tortures. Our manuscript is largely consecrated to gomon, and concludes with gokumon, or beheading and the subsequent display of the criminal's head in a public place. A most fascinating "secret" illustrated manual of criminal procedure before the legal reforms that began with  the Meji Restoration in 1868.

Japan: 1855.

Fukurotoji four-hole pouch binding, 229 x 160 x 11 mm. 62 double leaves, text in Japanese in a single hand in carbon-based ink, with a few corrections in a somewhat later hand in a red-tinged ink, without borders, text justification 198 x 140 mm et infra, illustrations without justification rules. Contemporary binding a bit worn and soft, manuscript daisan present but partially detached, red silk sewing thread renewed, titled in manuscript on tail edge of text block. Interior: Wormholes pierce the upper cover and continue through the first third of the text block, diminishing at about the 24th leaf; a second worm gallery affecting about ten leaves in center of text block; a third gallery affecting fore-margin of 15 leaves towards end of volume; a few tiny wormholes to fore edge. Some worming affects text, otherwise a clean, complete copy of a work that has survived in limited numbers due to extensive use.

Provenance:

Unidentified period hanko in vermilion ink to first page; signature of an early owner on last page; another signature, inked out and illegible, to same page. 

Abe, Haruo, "Self-Incrimination in Japan and the United States," The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science, Vol. 46, No. 5, Evanston: Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, 1956, pp. 613-20 and passim; Ishii, Nihon Hoseishi Gaisetsu, Tokyo: 1948, pp. 472-4; Botsman, Daniel, Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan, PUP, 2005, p. 20.

Item #300

Price: $6,200.00

Status: On Hold