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Heike Shige

Age: Over 500 (appears to be in 20s to 30s)
Profession: (supposed) Nobleman
Weapon(s): Biwa

Heike Shige is the leader of a band of zombie-like workers, who have been mining for the legendary gold of the Heike clan for 500 years. Some unearthly quality of the area's mushroom population preserved them long after their bodies expired. Shige and his men believed only five years had passed, when in fact they had been mining for five hundred years.

Shige, believing himself a descendant of the Heike (which Jin proves wrong at the end of the episode.), thought to eventually use the gold to defeat their ancient enemies the Genji clan. He claimed (apparently in truth) that his biwa could summon the stars from heaven to strike his foes. When he encountered Mugen, Jin and Fuu, he offered them 10% of the treasure in exchange for their help at the quarry. This would have been a fortune if the gold were truly there. Shige's quixotic quest came to an end, however, when Fuu discovered the nature of his men. During the ensuing confrontation, Jin discovered that Shige was not a true descendant of the Heike. This led to the zombie workers themselves turning on their would-be leader. Seeing his plans come to nothing, Shige at last unveiled his ultimate weapon, and indeed summoned a meteor upon the entire area. Mugen, Jin and Fuu may have left by the time it arrived, since they survive for the next episode. The ultimate fate of Shige and his men is not known (presumably they were annihilated in the impact.)

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