Born in Nagoya, Mizuno studied English and Chinese in China in 1871. He accompanied Kabayama Sukenori on an inspection tour of Taiwan in 1873, as an interpreter, and was involved in the Japanese punitive military expedition to Taiwan the following year.
In May 1895, he was appointed the first Chief of Home Affairs of Taiwan, landing at Keelung on July 6 that year along with Kabayama, who had been appointed the first Governor-General of Taiwan. Mizuno resigned from his position in Taiwan shortly afterwards, returning to Japan in 1897 and becoming a representative in the House of Peers.
Following Mizuno's death in July 1900, a bronze statue of him was erected in Taipei's Maruyama Park. The sculpture, designed by the Tokyo-based artist Naganuma Moriyoshi, arrived in Keelung on April 7, 1902, and was formally unveiled on January 18, 1903.
- Suzuki Eka, "Building Statues of Japanese Governors: Monumental Bronze Sculptures and Colonial Cooperation in Taiwan under Japanese Rule," presentation at 2013 UCSB International Conference on Taiwan Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara, 7 Dec 2013.