Tsuba with motif Samurai fighting a wild boar, possibly representing Daimyo Horio Yoshiharu
during the Azuchi–Momoyama and Edo periods. He was appointed to the position of one of three chūrō (arbiters) by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and was the first leader of the Matsue clan. He was also known as Horio Mosuke (堀尾 茂助).
After seeing Yoshiharu wrestling a wild boar, Toyotomi Hideyoshi brought Yoshiharu into his service. Yoshiharu served Hashiba Hideyoshi (Toyotomi Hideyoshi) when Oda Nobunaga attacked Inabayama Castle.
Horio was involved in various battles such as the Battle of Yamazaki and shined as a retainer of Hideyoshi. At the Battle of Shizugatake in 1583, he killed Saito Toshikazu after he attempt to scroll past Hideyoshi’s lines. In 1590, Hideyoshi awarded him 120,000 koku at Hamamatsu, Tōtōmi Province because of the credit for the siege of Odawara. Horio Yoshiharu, Nakamura Kazuuji and Ikoma Chikamasa were appointed the three chūrō by Hideyoshi in his last years, and participated in the Toyotomi administration.
Yoshiharu switched his allegiance to Tokugawa Ieyasu after the death of Hideyoshi. In 1599, he transferred responsibility as head of the family to his son, Horio Tadauji, and was given 50,000 koku as a domain to live after retirement at Fuchu, Echizen Province.
In 1600, Yoshiharu took part in Ieyasu’s force. He killed Kaganoi Shigemochi, who killed Mizuno Tadashige on August 27 at Chiryu, Mikawa Province, but was injured by Shigemochi. Because of that, he could not take part in the Battle of Sekigahara on October 21. However, Ieyasu gave him 240,000 koku at Toda, Izumo Province after the battle, because Yoshiharu had killed Shigemochi and Tadauji had substituted the performance of exploits at the battle on his behalf.
In 1604, Yoshiharu’s son, Tadauji who had succeeded him as head of his house died young, and his grandchild, Horio Tadaharu succeeded to a house. Tadaharu was so young (9 years old) that Yoshiharu ruled as a godfather until his own death. Yoshiharu was popular and was so calm that he was called Hotoke no Mosuke (仏の茂助), which means that Yoshiharu was a saint of a man.