Image: Moyamensing Prison, 1875, Source: Philadelphia And Its Environs, And The Railroad Scenery of Pennsylvania by J.B. Lippincott & Co 1875.

On July 30, 1872, the delegation visited a Philadelphia prison. At the entrance gate houses overlooked large iron doors, and imposing stone walls created the perimeter. The main holding cells were located in a two-story stone building at the center of the prison yard. The delegates saw that the facility was not overly crowded, and inmates were all housed in individual cells measuring roughly six by nine feet. The prisoners spent their days working on many tasks, including creating shoes and weaving straw mats. Upon reflection, once back in Japan, Kunitake Kume noted that the prison systems in Britain, France, and the United States were very similar.

Image: Moyamensing Prison, Philadelphia, 1896, Source: Library of Congress.

Kume, Kunitake. “THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” Japan Rising: The Iwakura Embassy to the USA and Europe, edited by Chushichi Tsuzuki and R. Jules Young, 96. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511721144.