The Historical Steps of The Former Nara Prison,
symbolizing the Transformation of the Age

The Former Nara Prison was born in 1908 (the 41st year of Meiji) to represent the modernization of confinement facilities in Japan. The Prison, having played its role as the oldest prison in this country for more than one hundred years, was designated as a cultural asset, and it is now underway to a newborn hotel. Let us review the history of The Former Nara Prison, whose steps coincided with those of modern Japan.

Chronologic History of
The Former Nara Prison
BLACK:Main Events, Within and Without Japan RED:The Course The Former Nara Prison Followed

1613 The Nara Magistrate's Office (aka Nantocho Magistrate's Office) was founded on the premises of the present Nara Women's University. Jailhouses were built in the northern areas of the Office called Kita-uoya-nishi-machi and Hanashiba-machi.
1853 Perry's visit
1854 Convention of Kanagawa
The end of Tokugawa's seclusion policy, toward the opening of Japan to the world
1858 The Japan-US Friendship and Trade Treaty (Ansei treaties)
This was allegedly an unequal treaty because it approved US consul's jurisdiction, while denying Japan's tariff autonomy
1867 The return of political power to the Emperor, ending the Tokugawa Shogunate
Born Keijirou Yamashita
1868 The start of the Meiji Government
1869 The transfer of the central government to Tokyo(Tokyo, now the Capital of Japan)
1870 The proclamation of the new law Platform in substitution for Karikeiritsu
1871 The start of the Ministry of Justice
The transfer of part of the Nara Magistrate's Office, now designated as a judicial memorial
The Nara Confinement Station built in Naramachi-o-aza- Nishisasahoko
1872 The proclamation of prison-house rules
1875 Compilation of the(old) Criminal Law started, toward the modernization of the legal system
1880 Nara Park, well-known for its deer , opened
1881 The Nara Confinement Station was renamed the Nara Confinement Substation
1882 The(old) Criminal Law was substituted for the new law Platform
1885 The Cabinet system started, in substitution for the Grand Council of State
1887 Mr. Ryouichi Miyaji took office as the first Chief Jailor (until the 26th year of Meiji)
1889 Promulgation of Constitution of the Great Empire of Japan
1894 The Outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War
The recovery of consul's jurisdiction
1895 The end of the Sino-Japanese War
1896 The first Olympic Games opened (in Athens, Greece)
1900 The Bureau of Prison established
1901 The first stage of the Prison Reform Plan passed the Parliament; Construction work for the Nara Prison started at its present site. Mr Keijirou Yamashita was commissioned to manage the construction work affairs of the Confinement Station.
1904 The outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War
1905 The end of the Russo-Japanese War
1908 The enforcement of the present Criminal Law in substitution for the older one; The proclamation of the Prison Law
1908 The completion of the Nara Prison(in Hannyaji-cho)
1909 Official business started at the newly built Nara Prison
1910 The nominal maximal capacity of 650 prisoners (at that time) was at one time exceeded by the actual number of 935 prisoners
a model of the Nara Prison was exhibited at the British-Japanese Exhibition to let at home and abroad see Japan's modernized prison.
1912 Meiji 44 / The first year of Taisho
Factory Building and Cookhouse added.
1914 The outbreak of World War I
1918 The end of World War I
Factory Building II and Study Room added
1922 The proclamation of the Juvenile law
1922 The Nara Confinement House renamed the Nara Prison
1923 The Great Kanto Earthquake
Storehouse added.
1926 Taisho 15 / The first year of Showa
1931 Mr Keijirou Yamashita passed away
The Manchurian Incident
1934 New Interview Room added
The Muroto typhoon caused enormous damage, collapsing the Martial Arts Practice Hall, etc.
1936 The February 26 Incident
The reconstruction of the Martial Arts Practice Hall
1941 The start of the Pacific War
1945 The end of the Pacific War
1946 The proclamation of the Constitution of Japan
1946 Nara Prison renamed the Nara Juvenile Prison
1948 The proclamation of the New Juvenile Law
1949 The proclamation of the Offenders Prevention and Rehabilitation Law
The start of the night education
The start of the social correspondence education
1951 The foundation of the Brass Band Club, as a basis of open treatment for prisoners, relying upon their self-restraint and responsibility
1954 The start of Nara Prefectural Nara Senior High School Correspondence Course (the present Nara Prefectural Yamato Central Senior High School Correspondence Course)
The start of Wakakusa Barber Training School, beginning vocational training school (hairdressing course)
1960 The first meeting of the Parent/Guardian association joined by 1998 guardians against 682 prisoners
1964 The Tokyo Olympic Games
1964 Designated as a Comprehensive Vocational Training Facility
1965 Enormous damage dealt by Trix
1970 Osaka World Fair
1972 Sapporo Olympic Winter Games
1976 The completion of an informational film:The Way to Rehabilitation---a Boy Prisoner's Heart
1977 The establishment and enforcement of Family Counseling manual
1978 Wakatake Ryo dormitory, a half-open living space, improved with the aim of enhancing the prisoners' sense of independence toward rehabilitation
1989 Showa 64 / The first year of Heisei
1991 The firstExhibition of Nara Reformatoryheld, aimed to be periodically opened thereafter
1995 The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake
1996 The opening of the Committee for Investigation and Conservation of the Nara Juvenile Prison
An extension of the premises toward the Western part of the site
1997 More than 80 graduates from the high school education course
1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games
An increase in the capacity of prisoners, up to 685
Damage by Vicki
1999 No.3 Training Field's Willowing Space burned down to ashes
2000 The Juvenile Law Revised
2002 The start of the meeting for the restart of the Committee for Investigation and Conservation of the Nara Juvenile Prison and for Consideration of Its Conservation and Good Use
2005 The 2005 Aichi World Exposition
2006 The enforcement of laws related to criminal facilities and treatment of prisoners, etc
The start of the supporting system for work finding
The start of guidance in repeated sexual-crime prevention
The opening of the Enlarged Study Conference for Guidance in Repeated Sexual-crime Prevention (first in Japan)
2007 The enforcement of laws related to criminal confinement facilities and the treatment of the confined
The start of the program for cultivation of social behavior(lesson of poems)
Subjects for the vocational training course enlarged to 16
2008 Revisionof the Juvenile Law
2008 The 100th anniversary of Nara Juvenile Prison
2011 The Great East Japan Earthquake
2013 Isolated showers of heavy rain caused damage, including the collapse of the ceiling
2016 The Parent/Guardian association disbanded according to the Prison's abolishment
2017 Designated as an important cultural asset
Abolished on March 31
2019 The Museum for Materials scheduled to open
2020 The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
2021 The Hotel scheduled to open