Tickling was a form of torture used in ancient Japan on nobility because it left no mark and recovery was quick. It was also used by Europeans as an effective torturing method. The restrained person, often a criminal, would have to suffer merciless tickling on his armpits, ribs, soles of his feet and other parts of his body. One widespread method was use of a goose feather, while British Medical Journal described tickling tortures which involved a goat. The victim’s feet would be dipped in salt water and the goat would be compelled to lick the salt. And then the process would start from the very beginning all over again.
Did you know that government in ancient Japan had the power to administer punishment to the convicts that were beyond the criminal code? This was called “shikei” – “private punishment”. One of these tortures included “kusuguri-zeme”, which translates as “merciless tickling”. Tickling torture resulted in vomiting, losing consciousness and other extreme reactions on a psychological level.