Kamo Serizawa was born on September 2, 1826 in Mito, Ibaraki, Japan. "Kamo" means goose or duck in Japanese which was an odd name to call oneself at the time. His full name was Serizawa Kamo Taira no Mitsumoto (Serizawa - family name, Kamo - given name, Taira - family clan name, Mitsumoto - formal given name). Kamo was born as the youngest son and his childhood name was Genta. He had two older brothers and an older sister. He was educated with the Sonnō jōi ideals (meaning revere the Tenno (emperor) and expel the foreigners) and swordsmanship since childhood at Kodoukan which was a state school in Mito. Mito is a sub-branch of the Tokugawa family and it was considered the motherland of the Sonnō Jōi ideology and was a center of support for the Tennō and the Imperial court, which helped fuel the Revolution.