Meiji University Museum

Meiji University Museum 明治大学博物館

The Meiji University Museum in Ochanomizu is a free museum in the basement of the Academy Common building on the university's Surugadai campus in central Tokyo.

The Meiji University Museum has a very diverse collection of exhibits ranging from the history of the university itself, to archaeological remains, to a quirky section on Edo Period punishments and instruments of torture.

Meiji University Museum, Ochanomizu, Tokyo.
Meiji University Museum, Tokyo
Meiji University Museum, Ochanomizu, Tokyo.
Japanese Crafts, Meiji University Museum, Tokyo

Exhibits

The Meiji University Museum is divided into three departments: the Criminal Materials Department, the Commodities Department and the Archaeology Department. The exhibits from these three departments form the permanent collection of the museum and have explanations in Japanese and (some) English.

The Criminal Materials Department run by the School of Law focuses on crime, punishment, trial and torture. On display are original and replica devices for catching criminals in the Edo Period, books and wood-block prints demonstrating punishments and several means of execution from Japan and overseas. These include a French guillotine and the Iron Maiden of Nuremberg, plus a gibbet and wooden cross for crucifixion from Japan. Various wooden kosatsuba (notice boards) are also on show. These detailed laws (and punishments for breaking those laws) and where placed at the entrances to towns and villages.

The Commodities Department, representing the School of Commerce, presents a rich and varied collection of traditional Japanese crafts, the production of which has been in decline since World War II and the advance of machine manufactured goods. On display are beautiful lacquer ware, textiles, ceramics, kokeshi dolls, metalwork including Japanese kitchen knives, brushes used in calligraphy, washi paper and items made from wood, wicker, bamboo and hemp. Manufacturing processes and raw materials are also explained in photographs and wall panels.

Meiji University Museum, Ochanomizu, Tokyo.
Japanese Crafts, Meiji University Museum, Tokyo

The Archaeology Department, managed by the School of Arts and Letters, has an excellent collection of both original and replica pieces from the early history of Japan spanning the period from the Paleolithic to Kofun eras. Remains from four important archaeological sites are on display. These are the Iwajuku site in Gunma, the Sungagawa site in Saitama, the Natsushima shell mounds in Kanagawa and the Izuruhara site in Tochigi Prefecture. Exhibits include pottery, roof tiles, Haniwa terracotta figurines, bronze swords and bells.

On site is also a small museum shop selling stationary and clothing. The museum also stages temporary exhibitions.

Meiji University Museum, Ochanomizu, Tokyo.
French Guillotine, Meiji University Museum, Tokyo

Meiji University Museum Tokyo Hours

Open 10am-5pm daily including Sundays and national holidays. The museum is closed over the New Year period (12/27-1/7) and Obon in mid-August (8/10-16).

Admission

Free admission.

Access

Meiji University Museum
1-1 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8301
Tel: 03 3296 4448

Meiji University Museum is a short 3-minute walk from JR Ochanomizu Station (on the Chuo-Sobu Line), 8 minutes from Jinbocho Station on the Toei Shinjuku Line, Mita Line and Hanzomon Line and 6 minutes from Ochanomizu subway station on the Chiyoda Line.

Meiji University Museum, Ochanomizu, Tokyo.
Iron Maiden, Meiji University Museum, Tokyo
Meiji University Museum, Ochanomizu, Tokyo.
Edo Period Book Detailing Punishments and Torture, Meiji University Museum, Tokyo

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