The Horikawa Family (堀河家)

The Horikawa family were kuge (court nobles) and held the house status of the Urin family. They were related to the Takakura line of the Northern House of the Fujiwara clan. The karoku (hereditary stipend) during the Edo period was 180 koku (32.47 cubic meters). After the Meji Restoration, the head of the family was bestowed the title viscount.

They were not related to the Horikawa family founded by MINAMOTO no Michitomo of the Murakami-Genji (Minamoto clan) (that ended during the Muromachi period).

Michitomo HORIKAWA, who was the son of Nagaie TAKAKURA and had been adopted to Chikauji MINASE, was alienated from the Minase family after the adoptive father had a biological son, left the family, became a monk calling himself 'Saiun,' went to Togoku (Kanto region), and stayed under the protection of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA. In 1585, Michitomo went back to his hometown as Ieyasu was officially called to Kyoto, and he was given the family name Horikawa and allowed to found a new family upon the recommendation of Ieyasu. However, Michitomo had already become a monk, so Yasutane, Michitomo's oldest son, inherited and founded the Horikawa family. In addition, later, Nobutaka, Michitomo's second son, founded the Higuchi family.

The one kanji character of Yasutane HORIKAWA's name, 'yasu' (康), was a gift from Ieyasu TOKUGAWA (徳川家康), Yasutane became Jikkonshu (the family on friendly terms) of the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), and later, he was promoted to Chunagon (middle counselor). After Yasutane, the heads of the family were promoted to Sangi (councilor) that was their hereditary court rank and government post.

Chikayoshi HORIKAWA (the son of Yasuchika HORIKAWA) and his son, Yasutaka (they are brothers on the pedigree record as Yasutaka is recorded as the adopted son of Yasuchika, who is in fact Yasutaka's grandfather) participated in 'Teishin hachiju-hachi kyo ressan jiken' (Demo of eighty-eight retainers of the Imperial Court) with Tomomi IWAKURA, who was the younger brother of Chikayoshi and the heir of the Iwakura family. As Yasuchika's daughter, Motoko HORIKAWA won Emperor Komei's favor and had an imperial princess, Yasutaka was promoted to Jiju (chamberlain). The members of the family played the central roles at the Imperial Court of Emperor Meiji: Tomomi IWAKURA became Udaijin (minister of the right) and Yasutaka HORIKAWA held Jiju.