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Horio Tadauji hailed from the lineage of Horio Yoshiharu, the inaugural lord of Matsue Castle. Following his father Yoshiharu's incapacitation in a tea ceremony altercation preceding the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Tadauji assumed his father's role in Tokugawa Ieyasu's Eastern forces. Post the battle, Ieyasu commended Tadauji for his commendable contributions and granted him 240,000 koku in Izumo Province (Shimane Prefecture).

Before committing to Ieyasu at Sekigahara, Yamanouchi Kazutoyo (Yamauchi Katsutomo) sought counsel from his confidant Horio Tadauji on the best course of action. Tadauji responded fervently and with great reverence, declaring, "I pledge my lands, my castle, my family, my food, my life, all I can give, without hesitation for the Tokugawa cause!" Touched by this, Yamanouchi decided to heed his friend's advice and joined the Eastern forces.

During the pre-battle assembly, Ieyasu received numerous declarations of loyalty, yet it was Yamanouchi's pledge that garnered the most attention. Faced with providing his own response, the less eloquent Yamanouchi simply echoed his friend Horio's impassioned declaration. "I pledge my lands, my castle, my family, my food, my life, all I can give, without hesitation for the Tokugawa cause!" Horio must have been astonished to hear his own words repeated by his less articulate comrade. Ieyasu, pleased with the sincerity and wholeheartedness, commended Yamanouchi for his resolute commitment, earning admiration from other leaders who cheered in approval.

While Horio Tadauji distinguished himself on the battlefield, his friend Yamanouchi played a lesser role, mostly observing from the sidelines. Tadauji succumbed to illness four years after the pivotal battle.

 


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