Kano Mochimitsu (狩野茂光)

Mochimitsu KANO (date of birth unknown - 1180) was a busho (Japanese military commander) in the end of the Heian period. He was a member of the local ruling family of Izu Province, who followed the Southern House of the Fujiwara clan. Although most of the family's territory was mountains and hills, they established the greatest influence in the Izu Peninsula since they had Makinogo, a famous meadow of Izu, and a lot of good horses. He belonged to the same family as Suketsune KUDO and Sukechika ITO. He was also called Mochimitsu KUDO. He was the father of Munemochi KANO, Yukimitsu KANO and Chikamitsu KANO.

The family's territory included the Izu-oshima Island; and when MINAMOTO no Tametomo was exiled to the Izu-oshima Island for the commitment to the Hogen War (1156), he was appointed the surveillance. Later Tametomo, who was still an exile, raised an army and led the local ruling families of the nearby areas to become independent, so Mochimitsu hunted him and forced him to commit suicide in 1170.

In 1180, when MINAMOTO no Yoritomo who had been also exiled to Izu Province raised an army to fight against Heike (the Taira family), Mochimitsu joined him and fought against Kagechika OBA and Sukechika ITO who supported the Taira family in the Battle of Ishibashiyama. He was defeated in this battle and killed himself. There is a theory that says that Mochimitsu was fat and could not run fast, hated to be a drag and asked his grandson Nobutsuna TASHIRO to assist him in committing hara-kiri by beheading him.

The Kano clan flourished from the Nara period to the conquest of Odawara as samurai family, and was one of the good families of Izu, and their descendants are still living in Izu at the present day.

[Original Japanese]