Kiryu Rokuro (桐生六郎)

Rokuro KIRYU (year of birth unknown - October 13, 1183) was a person who lived during the later Heian period. He was the retainer of Toshitsuna ASHIKAGA and his son Tadatsuna ASHIKAGA.

Tadatsuna lost the Battle of Nogimiya, and he stayed in Tatsuoki, Yamagami Village, Kozuke Province. Tadatsuna's retainer Rokuro was his only attendant and they hid for several days, but Rokuro admonished Tadatsuna to go along the Sanin-do Highway towards Kyushu (March, 27, 1183).

MINAMOTO no Yoritomo dispatched Yoshimochi WADA to kill Toshitsuna, but on October 8, 1183, Rokuro told Yoritomo through Yoshimochi that he had already killed his master Toshitsuna bringing his head to Yoritomo in a pledge of loyalty to Yoritomo. Additionally, on October 11, he told Yoritomo through Kagetoki KAJIWARA that he wanted Yoritomo to allow him to serve as a gokenin (an immediate vassal of the shogun in the Kamakura and the Muromachi periods) in recognition of his work in destroying Toshitsuna and bringing his head.

On October 13, Yoritomo said to Kagetoki as follows:
Killing a hereditary master cannot be justified and I don't see any praiseworthiness in what he did.'
Remove him now.'
Kagetoki killed Rokuro and placed his head nearby Toshituna's head as a warning to others. Yoritomo told Yoshimochi to forgive any family members and retainers of Toshitsuna including members from the Kiryu family as long as they would surrender to Yoritomo.

[Original Japanese]