Hori Kagemitsu (堀景光)

Kagemitsu HORI (year of birth and death unknown) was a samurai who lived toward the end of the Heian period. He was a retainer of MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune. His common name was Yataro.

His detailed genealogy is not known, but it seems that he served Yoshitsune from very early age as the retainer trained from boyhood. It is also said that he was a reincarnation of Kichiji KANEURI for the reason that he was described as 'a gold dealer' in "Heiji Monogatari" (The tale of the Heiji).

According to "the Azuma Kagami" (the Mirror of the East), Kagemitsu started to Kamakura on June 21, 1185 as an envoy of Yoshitsune and sent the following message to Yoritomo, the elder brother of Yoshitsune: 'on the 21st we will arrivie at Sako Station with the father and son of TAIRA no Munemori and TAIRA no Kiyomori who are captives of the Battle of Dan no Ura and we will arrive at Kamakura tomorrow.'
However, MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, the elder brother of Yoshitsune, sent Tokimasa HOJO to the inn at Sako and let only TAIRA no Munemori enter Kamakura. Yoritomo sent Tomomitsu YUKI to Yoshitsune as an envoy and let him tell Yoshitsune that Yoritomo did not allow Yoshitsune enter Kamakura without authorization from Yoritomo and Yoritomo wanted Yoshitsune to stay where he stayed then and come to Kamakura when he was ordered to come to Kamakura.

On July 26 along the way to return to Kyoto because of not being permitted to enter Kamakura by Yoritomo, Kagemitsu killed TAIRA no Kiyomune on a sword at an inn of Shinohara in the Omi Province by order of Yoshitsune.

On December 3 of the same year, he accompanied Yoshitsune who came into collision with Yoritomo and left the capital. Yoshitsune and his party broke up when the ship destined for Kyushu was wrecked by rainstorm; at this time Kagemitsu was still with Yoshitsune along with Musashibo Benkei, MINAMOTO no Aritsuna, and Shizuka Gozen. Kagemitsu who was hiding himself in the capital was arrested by Arisue KASUYA, a direct retainer of Yoritomo in Kamakura, on November 9, 1186. Kagemitsu confessed that Yoshitsune was hiding at Kofuku-ji Temple in Nara and that Kagemitsu communicated with FUJIWARA no Norisue as a messenger of Yoshitsune ("Gyokuyo" [Diary of FUJIWARA no Kanezane]).

There are various theories about how he ended his life and it is not clear.