02 Japanese Culture

Mito 水戸

In Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Tokugawa Nariaki, the feudal lord of the Edo period, founded the Kodokan as a place for samurais of the prefecture to study and practice martial arts. Nariaki also created Kairakuen garden as a place of relaxation for the samurais. It is said that samurais enjoyed shogi and igo while watching the scenery in this garden. Even after retiring from being the feudal lord, Nariaki played an important role as a central figure in the Sonno Joi movement, or the movement of driving out foreigners in order to prove their loyalty to the emperor in the late Edo period.


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