Mitsuke means a gate equipped with a guardhouse to capture espionages.

Updated: Jun 19

The huge Edo Castle is said to have fifty-five gates, and thirty-six of them standing along the inner and outer moats are mitsuke-gates. Mitsuke-gate means a big gate with sentries to detect anti--government forces. Ten of thirty-six mitsuke-gates still remain as they were. Four of thirty-six, already gone though, remain as place names such as Akasaka-Mitsuke, Yotsuya-Mitsuke, Ichigaya-Mitsuke and Kuigai-Mitsuke. The picture shows the remains of Akasaka-Mitsuke gate near Akasaka-Mitsuke subway station. Most parts of the gate were destroyed by urbanization though, a part of of the stone walls and foundation are seen.


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Masahisa Takaki.




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