In 1876, in the early years of the fledgling Meiji Government, it is believed that the former hatamoto (bannerman) Tomoyoshi Mizuno, who owned a money exchange business in Nihonbashi, participated in hiding the Tokugawa buried treasure while working under the kanjo bugyo (finance commissioner) Kozukenosuke Oguri.
Mizuno’s father-in-law Kurando Nakajima left a legal will to him.
In the will his father-in-law said, “Remember, Tomoyoshi, the buried treasure in Akagi is not a made-up story. The amount of treasure there is 3.6 million ryo [gold coins].”
Mizuno invested his money to buy up all of the area in Akagi, and with the help of more than 300 workers, began excavating for the buried treasure.
Mizuno acquired the “Taigiheiho hizusho” [Secrets of the Great Cause and Arts of War] and “Douban no chizu” [Copperplate Map], which were believed to show the location where the treasure was buried.
During 40 years of excavation at Akagi Mountain, Mizuno discovered a golden statue of Tokugawa Ieyasu but nothing more, eventually dying at age 78.
In the second generation, Yoshiharu Mizuno, who inherited the business of excavating buried treasure, discovered a statue of a giant turtle, 20 meters in length.
Together with his brother Aisaburo, Mizuno continued to excavate the neighboring area, where the turtle was discovered, which was first marked by Heiho Hachimon Tonko, for over 40 years, but he never found the buried treasure. The excavation business has since been carried on by a third-generation Mizuno, Tomoyuki Mizuno.