Traditional TV Dramas Jidaigeki - Mito Koomon (Mito Mitsukuniko)
Jidaigeki teaches values for Samurai and All
Jidaigeki and Traditional Japan
Mito Koomon (AKA - Tokugawa Mitsukuni)
This past weekend, I decided to take a trip to a place call Mito city located in Ibaraki prefecture, north – north - east of Tokyo and with a train, it takes a little over an hour with rapid express or bit more than 2 hours with local train. The cost is 3,510 yen or 2,210 yen respectively.
There is a famous TV series Jidaigeki call “Mito Koomon”, which I love watching. Mito Koomon is a retired Daimyo, which is a powerful territorial lord. According to the local people whom I spoke to about Mito Koomon, when he was on active Daimyo, he used to travel around and meet all types of people, from the politically influential, powerful and wealthy merchants to ordinary people thus, they say, the TV series started depicting him going around Japan with his two samurai helpers after he retired from his position. The story takes us to many different cities, different people but the theme remains the same and he comes across powerful and wealthy people who use their power and influence to take advantage of weak, poor and helpless. Of course he along with his travel party remedies the ill and makes it right. While doing so, you can view pre – Edo period Samurai activities, sword fight, etc. The story always involves bad, good, sad, happiness and really highlights the humanistic views on helping each other and it is as usual a good teaching moments for the parents to the kids.
While I was in Mito City, I visited several places and one of the places I visited was Mito Koomon museum and it illustrated his characters, history and described local scene. Sadly, I discovered that Mito Koomon did not live in Mito but about an hour north of Mito, near present Hitachi city area. There is a lake on southern end of Mito City call Senba Lake and on the western end of this lake there is a Mito Koomon’s statue and a small museum. On the eastern end of this lake is an art museum and they were displaying “Tenshin” art during my visit. I recommend viewing Mito Koomon Jidaigeki as well as visiting Mito City. Oh by the way, there is a park call “Kairakuen”, which has 3,000 plum trees as well as other beautiful historical facilities. I read on the information sheet that this park is one of the 3 most famous parks in Japan. The region is famous for Plum trees and there is Plum festival is going on until the end of March. Based on what I observed during this weekend, I would estimate that the full blossom should take place between March 21st to March 30th every year, so this should be an important facet of a March Japan Travel itinerary.