The Edo Japan period, from 1603-1867, had a violent outlook towards the treatment of their criminals. The Tokugawa shogunate, the last feudal Japanese military government, maintained execution grounds for Edo, and also carried out many of the punishments inflicted on the perpetrators. The death penalty was a direct result of murder and arson. The shogun executed in various ways as seen in source a- these include boiling, burning, crucifixion, sawing, decapitation by sword and waist cutting, whereby you would cut the person in half at the waist. Prior to execution, a criminal would be paraded around the town and their head put on public display if they were executed by decapitation. However, punishments also existed for crimes requiring less severe punishments such as theft and brawls. These crimes were punishable by incarceration or flagellation. A punishment may be modified depending on which class of society you belong in.
Like many other societies, many of these punishments were used to instill fear into societies, preventing them from carrying out crime. Present Japan also possesses this outlook, however in a much more civilized manner- incarceration replacing execution and severe physically inflicted punishments. Society started viewing the punishments as well as the shogun unnecessarily violent, and this mounting pressure led to the government modifying punishments. Also, this large change of ...
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...n the Stuart period. Like Puritans with the Stuarts and Egyptians with their pharaohs, citizens were reformed due to their fear of punishments if they were not to comply with the laws. Crimes these days are carried out due to rebellion or peer pressure, whereas in Stuart times they were done in order to support for their family or overthrow the ruler (king).
There are many similarities and differences regarding punishment techniques and how they reflect changing societal views. Incarceration, being today’s most used punishment method, is a way of mentally reforming criminals to prevent them from carrying out the crime again. From theocracies to democracies, with their citizens changing societal views have evolved to create a more equal society with more humane punishments. Eras and societies demonstrating this change are Ancient Egypt, Edo Japan & Stuart England.
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