Kaneuri Kichiji (金売吉次)

Kichiji KANEURI was a merchant who lived in the late Heian Period, and it is said that he lived by trading gold produced in Oshu region in the capital, Heiankyo (present Kyoto). It is said that he helped MINAMOTO no Yoshitsune who was going down to Oshu Hiraizumi (Mutsu Province), seeking refuge with the Oshu Fujiwara clan.

As no historical document is available to prove whether a person called 'Kichiji' was a real-life figure, it is considered that he is not more than a legendary person and his details are unknown. However, it is evident that gold was produced in the Tohoku region at that time, and it was traded in Kyoto. It is natural to imagine that traders of gold like so-called Kichiji came up to Kyoto from Oshu.
Therefore, at present, it is often considered that a collective form of such merchants might have been created as a fictitious personality of 'Kichiji KANEURI.'

It is said that he was attacked and killed by robbers in the vicinity of Myojin, which was on the border of Shirakawa and Sakai, when he was peddling on the road, and his body was buried there. The place, where he was killed, came to be called Kawagohara (literally, leather bag field), derived from an oral tradition that a leather bag was snatched away from him.

There is another theory that later Kichiji KANEURI came to be called Kagemitsu HORI and became a retainer of Yoshitsune.