Mimitsu (美々津)

Mimitsu is a place name in Hyuga City, Miyazaki Prefecture. It is Mimitsu-cho in the addressing system.

It is a port town at the mouth of Mimi-kawa (Mimitsu-gawa) River.

In the Edo period Mimitsu flourished as the port where wood brought from the inland along Mimi-kawa River was reloaded.

In a short period immediately after haihan-chiken (the abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures) it was the seat of the governmental office of Mimitsu Prefecture.

Under the town and village system it became Mimitsu Village and Mimitsu-cho after 1889, but it was integrated into Hyuga City in 1955.

In 1986 it was selected as a national preservation district for a group of historic buildings.

Mimitsu Station

Legend of Eastern Expedition
As legend has it, Mimitsu is known as where Emperor Jinmu set off for his expedition to the east. Neither the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters) nor the Nihonshoki (The Chronicles of Japan) mentions Mimitsu or a place identifiable with it. The Kojiki mentions Hyuga Province and the Nihonshoki gives no account.

Local Lore
In the local lore Emperor Jinmu's ship left Mimitsu on the first day of the eighth month in the old calendar. (According to the Nihonshoki he departed on the fifth day of the tenth month in the old calendar).

Although the emperor was planning to leave the port on the day at noon, seeing the wind shift, he decided to depart earlier in the morning, so he went to each house, saying, 'Okiyo, Okiyo' (Get up! Get up!). So Mimitsu celebrates the Okiyo Festival on the first day of the eighth month in the old calendar. The emperor had no time in repairing a loose end of his kimono, so he had it stitched standing up. This is why the place is called 'Tachinui no Sato' (the place where the emperor had his kimono stitched standing up). The inhabitants hurriedly prepared red-bean and rice cakes instead of rice cakes which they wanted to make for the emperor who was to depart at noon. The red-bean and rice cake is called 'Tsukiiremochi' which has been Mimitsu's speciality up to this day.

Tateiwa-jinja Shrine has 'Jinmu-tenno Onkoshikakeiwa' (a rock on which Emperor Jinmu took a seat). Emperor Jinmu who sat on this rock gave orders at the departure of his ship. The shrine's name, 'Tateiwa,' derives from this legend and the shrine enshrines the emperor and Sumiyoshi Sanjin (three deities of Sumiyoshi), guardians of sailors.

Commemoration of the 2600th Anniversary of Japan
In 1940 a ship called 'Okiyomaru' was built by the Navy Association of Japan, Dainippon Kaiyo Shonendan (National Association of Naval Youth) and Osaka Mainichi Shinbun as a part of the commemoration of the 2600th anniversary of Japan. She followed the course of the eastern expedition by Emperor Jinmu, sailing from Mimitsu to Nakanoshima, Osaka City (Osaka Prefecture) to offer a sacred shield to Kashihara-jingu Shrine.

In 1942 a stone monument for commemorating the birthplace of the Imperial Navy of Japan and a monument in the shape of a stockless anchor were built. The inscription on the stone monument was written by Mitsumasa YONAI, Prime Minister and Full Admiral. Although it was partly damaged by the Allied Forces (World War II) during the occupation period, it has been restored.

[Original Japanese]