Taira no Kagekiyo (平景清)
He served and worked for Heike, but he was referred to by the name of the Taira clan as he was exiled from the capital; he was from the Fujiwara clan in Ise Province (the Ito clan), a descendant of FUJIWARA no Hidesato. His real name was FUJIWARA no Kagekiyo (Kagekiyo ITO). He was commonly called Kazusa no Shichiro; he was the seventh son of Kazusa no suke (Assistant Governor of Kazusa Province) Tadakiyo. Shinano no kami (Governor of Shinano Province) in 1180, Hyoe no jo (Lieutenant of the Middle Palace Guards).
He was so valiant that he had the name 'Aku (bad) Shichibe.'
He was active in the Genpei War in the end of Heian period. Shikoro biki' (amour-pulling); he tore MIONOYA no Juro's amour by his hand, in 'Yumi Nagashi' (The Dropped Bow), the number thirteen of "Heike Monogatari" (The tale of the Heike), was especially famous. It is said that he was captured after he was defeated in the Battle of Dannoura, and died at Tomoie HATTA's house where he refused to eat; some say this is not true.
It is assumed that 'Aku' (bad) of 'Aku shichibe' doesn't refer to a bad person, but to a valiant person in the same manner as a 'villain.'
It is said that the name of 'Aku shichibe' came from the suspicion he had against his uncle who he killed, Dainichibo Nonin who harbored him, after he was defeated in the battle of Dannoura. However, it is widely accepted that Nonin's death was by disease or accident in recent years.
Although he existed, he was such a mysterious person that many of his legends are found in various places, however, he was not treated as a so-called Heike no Ochiudo (fugitives from Genpei War). Maybe for that reason, he was set as a central character in various stories.
Main dramas in which TAIRA no Kagekiyo appeared
The classical performing arts in which Kagekiyo appears are called 'Kagekiyo staff.'
Noh (Noh play), Yokyoku (Noh song)
Daibutsu kuyo (Dedication ceremony for the Great Buddha) (Konparu school) "Nara-mode"
Kowaka-mai (story-telling with a simple dance)
Joruri (dramatic narrative chanted to a samisen accompaniment)
Shusse Kagekiyo; Kagekiyo Victorious (Monzaemon CHIKAMATSU)
Kamakura sode nikki (Literally, Kamakura sleeve diary)
Daibutsuden Bandai no Ishizue
Dannoura kabuto gunki (The War Chronicles at Dannoura)
Musume kagekiyo yashima nikki
Kabuki (traditional drama performed by male actors)
Kagekiyo (Kabuki) (Kabuki Number eighteen, selected by the seventh Danjuro ICHIKAWA.
Rakugo (traditional comic storytelling)