Mito Hollyhock got its start in 1991, under the club name "Prima Ham Football Club". After several successful seasons in local leagues, the team finished second in its regional competition in 1996 and gained admission to the JFL. Following its admission to the JFL, Prima Ham FC changed its name to Mito Hollyhock, and adopted a JFL charter in the town of Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture (about 75 km northeast of Tokyo).
The team took its name from the Holly tree -- the prefectural flower of Ibaraki -- which is where the club is located. Its mascot is a dragon named "Holly-kun" and the dragon symbol features prominently both on the team's emblem and its flag.