Mito Castle

   Mito Castle was originally constructed in1193 by Baba Kojiro Sukemoto, the mayor of this region appointed by Minamoto no Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura Shogunate.  In 1426, Edo Michifusa attacked and took control of the castle.  Then, in 1590, in the Warring States period, Satake Yoshinobu advanced to Mito and ruled the whole city.  Satake developed Mito into a huge castle town.  However, only 10 years later, Tokugawa Ieyasu won the Battle of Sekigahara and became the first emperor of the Tokugawa Shogunate.  The Satake clan was demoted to Akita, in the northern part of Japan, and the Mito branch of the Tokugawa clan began to govern Mito until 1868.  The Mito Tokugawa was one of the three biggest branches and produced great celebrities such as Tokugawa Mitsukuni (also known as “Mito Komon”).  After theMeiji period started, Ibaraki opened schools on the site, including Mito First High School.  Unfortunately, most parts of the castle were burned and destroyed around the end of the Edo period and during World War II.  There are moats and only one gate left, called Yakuimon.


Yakuimon Gate

   Yakuimon Gate is the only remains left of Mito Castle.  After Mito Castle finished its role, Yasuda Tadanori, the first governor of Ibaraki, moved Yakuimon Gate to his house.  Then, the gate was moved to Gionji temple and miraculously survived the Air Raids in 1945.  The temple contributed the gate to Mito City, and it was moved back to the former site of Mito Castle, that is, the campus of Mito First High School now.

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