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Myth Hunters - S02E13

History . Biography . Documentary
 

The Tokugawa treasure legend is Japan's most famous story of its kind. The story is rooted in the 1860's, when the Tokugawa Shogun was about to be destroyed by the new, incoming Meji government. A high-ranking official in the shogunate ordered their gold coins to be buried in order to keep the treasure from falling into the Meji's hands, and to store military funds for a future attack against the government. Legend tells of a treasure worth ten trillion yen buried in Mount Akagi, in the Gunma Prefecture. The legend originated with Mizuno Tomoyoshi, born in 1851 as the third son of a Tokugawa retainer. Mizuno received a mysterious letter from a former neighbour, Nakajima Kurando, who was an employee in the financial magistrate as an investigator, who fought against the imperial forces and had been missing since 1868. Nakajima had an illicit relationship with Mizuno's mother, and as a result of his relationship he helped transport the gold from Yamanashi Prefecture to Mount Haruna during the first four months of 1868. However, when Nakajima later returned for the money in Mount Haruna it had been moved and he believed it was reburied on Mount Akagi. Legend has it that the local financial magistrate, Oguri, ordered the treasure to be moved to a more secure location. That final location was Mount Akagi, And there is a dark twist to the tale: to keep the location secret, the 1500 porters who helped dig and transport the shogunate's money had been killed and buried with the gold. After years of research Tomoyoshi used his own money to start digging in the most likely locations in 1888. The quest for the lost treasure of the last shogunate has driven three generations of the Mizuno family, down to the most recent "heir", Mizuno Tomoyuki who still digs around the mountains of Gunma today.

 
Episode Title: The Shogun's Lost Treasure
Airs: 2014-07-13 at 10:00 pm