Mito was once a stronghold of the Tokugawa clan, so obviously there's a castle, right? Unfortunately, Mito Castle was bombed to pieces in WWII. This gate did survive, however, and you can see it today on Mito Castle Ruins Street, right next to the high school. See here for a tour of the castle site. Photo.
A yakuimon is a specific type of gate, described here. For defensive purposes it was not the best design, because the large overhanging roof tended to block the defenders' view of the enemy's approach.
The character 門 is pronounced mon, and means gate. It is probably the easiest Japanese character to remember because it looks just like what it describes, and is the basis of a lot of kanji related to doors and coming and going. Good word to know at the airport too.
The soccer season is half over in the places where they play from March to November. After 21 games Mito HollyHock sit eleventh out of twenty-two clubs, with 9 wins, 4 draws and 8 losses, and a goal difference of +2. This is an improvement on last year, when they finished 17th.
Our men in Ireland, University College Dublin AFC, find themself in eleventh place as well, which is a bit worse for them because there are now only eleven clubs in the Premier Division, twelfth-place Monaghan United having dropped out at the half for financial reasons. But it means that UCD and everyone else in the division are safe from relegation this year.
Pohang Steelers are off last year's pace, and currently sit in seventh place in the K League.
Montreal Impact are eighth out of ten clubs in the MLS Eastern Conference, but they're ahead of Toronto FC, which is the main thing.
Today is Fair Saturday in Greenock.