Template:'''Shinigami''', known as Soul Reapers in the English dub, are a major group of characters in the anime and manga series Bleach. They are enforcers and psychopomps who all share similar supernatural powers.

Shinigami are departed human souls that have gained supernatural powers. As such, their bodies are composed of ectoplasm and they can only be seen by other spiritually aware entities, which excludes most humans. In the series, shinigami, as well as most other types of spirits, are quite capable of influencing their environment. Additionally, they can be injured and die like regular humans, though it takes considerably greater injuries for the latter to occur than it would in regular humans.

The most prominent supernatural power possessed by a shinigami is their zanpakutō, a supernatural sword generated from the shinigami's soul. Shinigami also naturally give off spiritual energy, which varies greatly in magnitude with the strength of a shinigami. A zanpakutō is a physical manifestation of this force concentrated into a blade.[1]

Shinigami operations are based out of Soul Society, which is the afterlife in Bleach. Travel between the human world and Soul Society is extremely limited and monitored, but some shinigami are stationed in the human world to carry out their duties and therefore must often travel between the two. In addition, it is a crime for a shinigami to remain in the human world longer than a certain time limit. A shinigami's duties include leading Pluses (ghosts) to Soul Society in a practice called soul burial (konsō), and the cleansing of hollows (evil spirits).[2] Later in the series, shinigami duties are clarified further, and it is revealed that they are also responsible for governing the flow of spirits between the human world and Soul Society.

Spoiler Warning: Spoiler details may follow.


The majority of training for individuals wanting to become shinigami is done through the Shinigami Academy. It is a six-year academy, during which time its students learn to fight hollows (see combat) and do soul burial duties. While it is not clear, this academy seems to have been founded by Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai about 2000 years before the main Bleach storyline.


The shinigami have four forms of combat: Kido, Hakuda, Hoho, and Zanjutsu.


Kido is a type of sorcery used by shinigami. They can be used for various purposes, such as healing, attacking, and restraining. Healing seems to be a more general skill, while attacking and binding require an incantation to be recited beforehand. kido spells are divided into two major groups: blast spells (破道 hadō?), used for direct attack, and binding spells (縛道 bakudō?), which are spells that restrain someone or have other effects. These forms of kido spells are performed by calling out a complicated and often long-winded incantation followed by the name of the spell, which causes an effect once the name has been recited. Lesser versions of the spells can be used by calling out the name alone, but their effectiveness is reduced when used in such a fashion. Though thier require a strong spirtual power, Hado and Bakudo.


Hakuda in Bleach is not elaborated upon. Special forces troops, especially those of higher ranks such as Soifon, are known to be well-trained in hand-to-hand combat.


Hoho, like hand-to-hand combat, is not elaborated upon. Flash Steps (shunpo), a movement technique that allows the user to move faster than the eye can follow, is implied to be part of this category.[3]


Zanjutsu is the most used form of combat among shinigami, since their zanpakutō is the most effective way of dispatching any given opponent. As the name suggests, it involves using a zanpakutō and its various special abilities to attack an opponent. In addition to its basic form, each zanpakutō has two enhanced forms: initial release (shikai) and final release (bankai), which change the sword's form to unlock its potential and that of its user.

Mizuki8D (talk) 22:28, November 13, 2012 (UTC) Mizuki8D

Operations and mission aids

To aid in their missions, particularly when said missions involve more than simply dispatching a Hollow, Shinigami have a number of unique items to assist them in their duties.

  • Jigokuchō: the butterflies that Shinigami use to lead them to the world of the living. they are also used as messengers in the soul society.[28]
  • Spiritual Limiter: All Shinigami captains and lieutenants have their spiritual energy reduced by about 80% when they enter the Human World by use of a spiritual limit, represented by a seal called the Gentei Reiin (限定霊印, "Soul-Limiting Symbol"), which resembles the symbol unique to their Division, in order not to cause unnecessarily high damage while there. In extreme cases, where their full power is needed, they can request a limit release. The command to release the seal is Gentei Kaijo (限定解除, "Limiter Release").[29][30]
  • Denreishinki: A vital tool for any Shinigami stationed in the real world, this variation on a cell phone functions both as a regular phone and as a communication line with the Soul Society. It receives information about the time and exact location of a Hollow's emergence via a Global Positioning System (GPS). A Shinigami's kills are also recorded in the phone and can be used as currency (according to the bounty placed on each Hollow).[31]
  • Gokon Tekkō: a glove which has a skull symbol on it, which can be used to force the soul out of a body.[32]Kisuke Urahara also has a skull symbol on the end of his cane, which can be used in the same manner.[33]
  • A large amount of newly manufactured Soul Candies.
  • Artificial souls: as the name suggests, are souls designed by Shinigami scientists to separate a Shinigami's spirit from a Gigai, should they be inhabiting one, or to evict stubborn spirits from their corpses if necessary. It is commonly called Soul Candy, as the Shinigami Women's Association complained that the name "Artificial Soul" was not cute and had it changed.[34]
  • Modified souls are artificial souls designed to enhance regular Human physiology, making them capable of battling Hollows equally. The mod souls are condensed into tiny, candy-like orbs and placed into corpses to achieve their function as soldiers to combat Hollows. The mod souls were exterminated after the experiment was halted due to ethical reasons, since they were intended to be used to reanimate Human corpses to use as weapons against the Hollows. But there are still a small amount left; namely Kon, Ririn, Kurōdo, and Noba.[35]
  • Kikanshinki (記換神機, "Account-Replacing Spirit Device"): a memory substitution device used on humans who have seen Shinigami or Hollows. Also called Kiokuchikan.[36] When used, a bird's head pops from the top of the device and produces a puff of smoke. The Human it is used on is knocked unconscious and wakes up a while later with a new memory. However, the new memory that the Human acquires is random and often based on the limits of what they will believe. For example, Ichigo's family merely believed they slept through a truck crashing into their house when it was used on them. Conversely, Orihime Inoue, who has a much more active imagination, believed that her house was attacked by a yakuza gunman.[37]
  • Mizuki8D (talk) 22:31, November 13, 2012 (UTC)

Government and law

Shinigami are unearthly beings living in a world ruled by a different logic than the World of the Living. They possess high Reiryoku and a body of Reishi. They are invisible to those without spiritual powers.[3]

When souls with exceptional spiritual energy train their bodies, they reach the level of Shinigami. The most talented of them become affiliated with various organizations like the Gotei 13and the Onmitsukidō. Sometimes, a Shinigami is born among the residents of the Rukongai, and in some rare cases from Seireitei.[4] Shinigami receive salaries, like workers in the living world[5][6] and also earn bounties for defeating Hollows.[7] Shinigami have a number of supernatural abilities:

Spirit King

Soul Society is ruled by the Spirit King, who commonly leaves the running of Soul Society to the Central 46 Chambers and Nobles. The Spirit King lives in the Royal Palace in a separate dimension in the very core of Soul Society, which is protected by the Royal Guard. The King does have a specific system of "specialty duties" which are actively carried out but the exact nature of these duties is unknown.[4] The dimension can only be opened with a tri-pronged golden key fittingly named the Royal Key (王鍵, ōken).[5] The location of this Royal Key is passed down verbally from one Gotei 13 Captain-Commander to the next, the current holder being Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto. According to Rangiku Matsumoto, no Shinigami has ever seen the king.


Another part of the government are the Noble Houses (Noble Families in the English version), especially the four Great Noble Houses, which are considered to be the highest of them all. The lower noble houses all serve one of the four each.


Central 46 (中央四十六, Chūō Shijūroku): The Central 46 serve the Shinigami royalty. They are made up of 40 wise men and 6 judges, selected from all of Soul Society. They are sealed into an enclave in Seireitei called Seijōtōkyorin(清浄塔居林) which no one else may enter, regardless of their military or civilian status. They act as a supreme judiciary organization whose authority puts it in direct control of the legal system. They handle all rulings on Shinigami and souls who have violated prohibitions. Their orders are absolute and no decision has been known to be overturned.


  • The ultimate law is to maintain balance.[6]
  • It is against the law for a Shinigami to give their spiritual power to Humans.[7]
  • It is against the law for a Shinigami to use forbidden Kidō.
  • It is against the law for any citizen of Soul Society to create weapons of a dangerous nature not sanctioned by the feudal government. To do so is treason.
  • It is against the law to attack a captain. To do so is treason.
  • It is against the law to commit terrorist action(s) or attempt overthrow of the balance of Soul Society. To do so is treason.
  • It is against the law to commit murder.[8]
  • It is against the law to kill a Human that a Shinigami has not been ordered to kill.[9]
  • It is a crime for a Shinigami to remain in the Human World longer than a certain time limit.
  • It is against the law for the Gotei 13 to meddle in the affairs of the noble families unless the family in question breaks one of the laws of Soul Society beyond a shadow of a doubt.
  • It is by ancient law that two Shinigami cannot hold the same Zanpakutō. They must fight for the honor of bearing the spirit, with the spirit going to the winner, and the loser being executed.[6]
  • It is forbidden for a Shinigami to intervene in anything that is related to Hell.[10]


  • Exile: Certain crimes allows for the punishment of exile, commonly stripping a Shinigami of their powers and banishing them to the Human World.
  • Detention: A punishment not well known among the citizens of Soul Society is the detention of Shinigami. It is commonly reserved for those who have either broken the law, quit the Gotei 13, or those who just seem dangerous and mentally unstable (as per the government's interpretation). This is carried out by the Onmitsukidō.
  • Imprisonment: The Central 46 can sentence a Shinigami to be held in the Central Great Underground Prison (真央地下大監獄, shin'ōchikadaikangoku) for a set amount of time. The prison has eight levels which prisoners are confined in based on the severity of their crimes. For the use of forbidden Kidō techniques,Tessai Tsukabishi was sentenced to be confined in Shugo, the 3rd level of the underground prison.[12] For the crime of treason, Sōsuke Aizen was sentenced to be imprisoned in Muken (無間, Voided Space), the 8th and final level of the underground prison underneath the First Division barracks.[13][14]

There are two known forms of execution in Soul Society:

  • Spirit-Sealing Pit: The Spirit-Sealing Pit is an ancient form of execution in which Shinigami criminals are thrown into a pit walled with sekki sekki rock – a type of stone that absorbs spiritual power, preventing those nearby from using their powers. Hollows are then thrown into the pit with the criminals as the means of execution. The practice was considered too barbaric and discontinued.[15] The Spirit-Sealing Pits were converted into garbage dumps.[16]
  • Sōkyoku (双殛, Twinned Punishment): The "ultimate punishment", Sōkyoku is a form of execution usually reserved for those with extremely strong spiritual powers, namely Shinigami captains. The Sōkyoku is a giant halberd that utterly destroys a soul on contact. When released, Sōkyoku takes on the form of a phoenix, its true form, called Kikōō.[17] The Kikōō has the destructive power of a million Zanpakutō, and that power is multiplied by a factor of 10 at the moment it pierces its victim. It was destroyed by Jūshirō Ukitake and Shunsui Kyōraku.[18]
  • Mizuki8D (talk) 22:37, November 13, 2012 (UTC)

The armed forces of Soul Society consist of three independent main branches: the Gotei 13, the Kidō Corps and the Onmitsukidō.

Gotei 13

The Gotei 13 (護廷十三隊, goteijūsantai; 13 Division Imperial Guards, or 13 Court Guard Squads in the English dubbed version) is the organization which most Shinigami join. It is split into thirteen divisions (hence the name), with several divisions having certain specializations. The 4th Division is the medical/supply division, the 11th Division is the combat division (specialization in swordsmanship), and the 12th Division is the research/scientific division. The 9th Division is in charge of newspaper and magazine-related duties. It's unclear if the other divisions are specialized, as the four above are the only ones who receive any significant attention apart from their members. Additionally, it should be noted that Suì-Fēng is in charge of both the 2nd Division and the Onmitsukidō. The Gotei 13 somewhat seems to have superiority and little authority over the two branches (i.e., Suì-Fēng, the Commander-in-Chief of the Onmitsukidō and Tessai Tsukabishi, the former Grand Kidō Chief). Royal Guard

Also known as the Zero Division, it is made up of former captains of the Gotei 13 who have been promoted to this level. Only captains of the Gotei 13 know of their existence. They are said to have considerable power and tactical knowledge. Only the Royal family presides over them, the Central 46 have no say in them what so ever.

Kidō Corps

Kidō Corps There is currently little information on the Kidō Corps (鬼道衆, kidōshū) (known as the Kidō Force in English), due to the secrecy in which they operate.[19]


Onmitsukidō There is little information about the operations of the Onmitsukidō. They are currently lead by Suì-Fēng, who is also the captain of the Gotei 13's Second Division. She succeeded Yoruichi Shihōin in both posts.


The head of the special forces is called commander-in-chief (総司令官 sōshireikan?). The leaders of each on the five divisions are ranked as corps commander (軍団長 gundanchō?), the real-life equivalent being Lieutenant General. Although it is unknown how other ranks work in the special forces, like in Gotei 13, the leader of the forces generally also commands its top division, which is the Executive Militia, but unlike in the Gotei 13, the force commander has several bodyguards.


File:Keigun uniform.png

Although the general special forces uniform appears to be the standard shinigami uniform, the Executive Militia uniform is different from the Gotei 13. Overall, it resembles a ninja uniform. It has no visible white undergarments and the sash is dark as opposed to white. A headpiece covers the bottom part of the face and sometimes the top, but not the eyes; they wear no sandals, but only socks, and tight bands are on the legs and arms to keep the clothes from moving too much, which both are presumably for silence of movement. In the anime, members of the Executive Militia also wear their head covering on the top, not just the bottom and wear a black sash instead of a white one.

The leader of the militia wears the same uniform, except that the shoulders and back are exposed. The reason for the empty space is the shunkō (瞬閧?, lit. flash cry) technique, an advanced technique that combines hand to hand combat and demon arts and causes high spiritual pressure to accumulate at the shoulders and back, blasting away the fabric at the shoulders and back.[4]

The Correctional Force uniform is radically different. The soldiers wear a white uniform, a long piece of headgear, and a backpack.[5]

Gotei 13


The Gotei 13 (護廷十三隊 goteijūsantai?) the organization which most shinigami join. It is split into thirteen divisions (hence the name), with several divisions having certain specializations. The 4th Division is the medical/supply division, the 11th Division is the combat division (specialization in swordsmanship), and the 12th Division is the research/scientific division. It's unclear if the other divisions are specialized, as the three above are the only ones who receive any significant attention apart from their members.


As with any army, the Gotei 13 has ranks. There are 21 ranks for officers but no ranks for non-officers. The ranks and their descriptions are below, from highest to lowest.


The Sōtaichō (総隊長?, lit. Commander-General) (some fansub and scanlation groups have translated it as Captain-Commander, presumably to avoid confusion) is the leader of the Gotei 13 and the Captain of the 1st Division; the implication is that this is an ex officio. The current holder of this title is Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai.

Unit Commander

A Taichō (隊長?, lit. Unit Commander), commonly referred to as Captain, are the leaders of the other twelve divisions. While "captain" is not an accurate translation of the rank, it's also appropriate according to the size of the unit they lead. A single Gotei 13 'unit' (隊) is somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 troops. Viz renders the units as 'companies' rather than the widely accepted 'divisions' because captains lead companies in real life. However, given that each Captain in Bleach leads a major part of a military wing or corps, they could be division commanders or Generals. Most literally, the name simply means 'unit commander', which could be practically any officer rank.

Captains are generally the most respected shinigami in Soul Society, with the Central 46 Chambers, Demon Art Corps, and special forces leaders possibly being on equal status. With one exception (Kenpachi Zaraki), all captains are able to perform the final release of their zanpakutō and are generally much more powerful than even their lieutenants. Knowing the final release gives captains on advantage five or ten times the strength of shinigami who are not able to perform it.[6] Their final release is only a fraction of their overall power (albeit a large one), however. They have also extensively trained, if not mastered, their final releases, allowing them to actually use the enormous power and size of their final releases effectively in battle. Most captains are also skilled in the use of flash steps, demon arts, and generally have excellent knowledge of shinigami history and battle tactics. All of these factors create a huge power-gap between captains and the lower levels.

There are three different ways to become a Gotei 13 captain:[7]

  1. To take the captain proficiency test (隊首 taishu?), which requires the ability to perform the final release. Presumably, most shinigami become captains using this method. At least three existing captains, including the Commander-General, have to witness the test.
  2. To have personal recommendations from at least six captains and approval from at least three of the remaining seven.
  3. To defeat a captain one-on-one with at least 200 witnesses from the captain's division. Kenpachi Zaraki is the only known captain to have achieved his rank using this method.
Vice-unit Commander

Fukutaichō (副隊長?, lit. Vice-unit Commander), more commonly referred to as Lieutenants, are the 2nd seated officers in each division. Because captain describes the unit commander, vice-captain is the most literally accurate translation that most fansub and scanlation groups use. The Viz manga translation renders the rank as the similar but somewhat longer "assistant captain", while the English dub of the anime uses the term "lieutenant". Although this does not apply to modern armies, traditionally, in real-life armies, the lieutenant has been the adjutant of the captain (as is the case for fukutaichō and taichō in Bleach). Therefore, lieutenant is the correct real-life equivalent of this rank. Holders of this rank in Gotei 13 have also been called adjutants.

Lieutenants function as executive officers for their division, taking care of or supervising day-to-day operations. They (along with their captains) are not assigned to one specific squad.[1] They generally only know the initial release of their zanpakutō, but are the second strongest in their division. In the case of a division captain's death, departure, or other circumstances making him unable to perform their duties, the lieutenant acts as the substitute captain until another can be assigned.

Seated officers

Seated officers are the remainder of the officers in the Gotei 13 who hold ranks at or below 3rd Seat. Captains have the rank of 1st Seat and lieutenants are 2nd Seat. Next to that, there are 18 more seats (3rd to 20th). There seems to be a distinction between senior and junior seated officers, just like in real-life armies. In the Gotei 13, only one person can hold a senior officer rank (such as 3rd or 5th seat), but there are several holders of junior officer ranks (e.g. 20th seat). This may vary from division to division however, as there are two 3rd Seats in the 13th Division. In Japanese, the rank is usually spelled using the seat number followed by the word seat [for example, 3rd Seat (三席 sanzeki?)].


File:Captain uniform.jpg

Most Gotei 13 personnel wear the standard shinigami uniform, called shihakushō (死覇装?) - a white undershirt, a black kimono and hakama, and a white sash. Lieutenants sometimes also wear an armband which carries their division symbol and its number. They are required to do this when they are summoned to a meeting.

Captains wear a white haori over the usual black shinigami clothes, with the number of their division on the back, inside the Gotei 13 symbol (a rhombus).

Gotei 13 officers, particularly captains and lieutenants, often customize their personal appearance or that of their uniform. Some of these modifications include:

  • Captain Retsu Unohana of the 4th Division wears an obi sash rather than a standard one.
  • Captain Byakuya Kuchiki of the 6th Division wears an extremely expensive scarf named Ginpaku Kazahana no Uzuginu around his neck and shoulders.
  • Captain Shunsui Kyōraku of the 8th Division is probably the most flamboyantly dressed of the captains, always seen wearing a straw hat and a gaudily-colored haori over his uniform.
  • Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya of the 10th Division has a sword band wrapped around his back, which is made from a long, pale-green cloth connected by a gold clip with star patterns engraved on its face
  • Captain Kenpachi Zaraki of the 11th Division wears a jagged edged haori, unlike the other captains, which was taken from the previous captain.
  • Lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe of the 1st Division wears a jinbaori over the shihakushō.
  • Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto of the 10th Division wears a top that is deliberately loose and hangs open to reveal her ample bosom. She wears a pink scarf or stole, and wears her lieutenant's badge around her waist with her sash, tied in a bow.
  • Lieutenant Nemu Kurotsuchi of the 12th Division has a very abbreviated outfit: the hakama is absent, leaving her in something of a mini-skirt version of the kimono that is belted at the waist.



Each of the 13 divisions in Gotei 13 have their own symbol that represents the division's primary role, and in turn, each symbol has a meaning. For instance, the 11th Division symbol is a rhombus with 7 stars and means 'fight' while the camellia symbol of the 6th Division means 'noble reasoning'. The meanings of all the symbols have not been clearly revealed. All of them seem to be based on flowers. Below is a list of the flowers for each division.

Division 1 Centaurea or Chrysanthemum[citation needed] Division 8 Strelitzia[citation needed]
Division 2 Cyclamen[citation needed] Division 9 Lotus[citation needed]
Division 3 Cornflower[8] Division 10 Daffodil [8]
Division 4 Gentian[8] Division 11 Yarrow[citation needed]
Division 5 Lily of the Valley[citation needed] Division 12 Dianthus or Thistle
Division 6 Camellia [8] Division 13 Snowdrop [8]
Division 7 Iris plant[citation needed]

Captain and lieutenant listings


Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto - Captain of the 1st Division and the Captain - Commander of the Gotei 13 (Deceased)

Suì-Fēng - Captain of the 2nd Division and Commander-in-Chief of the Onmitsukidō

Yoruichi Shihōin - Former Captain of the 2nd Division and Former Commander-in-Chief of the Onmitsukidō

Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi - Captain of the 3rd Division

Gin Ichimaru - Former Captain of the 3rd Division and former Lieutenant of the 5th Division (Deceased)

Shūsuke Amagai - Former Captain of the 3rd Division (Anime only, deceased)

Retsu Unohana - Captain of the 4th Division

Shinji Hirako - Captain of the 5th Division

Sōsuke Aizen - Former Captain of the 5th Division, also Former Lieutenant of same Division (Sealed & Imprisoned)

Seigen Suzunami - Former Captain of the 5th Division (Video game only, deceased)

Byakuya Kuchiki - Captain of the 6th Division

Ginrei Kuchiki - Former Captain of the 6th Division

Sajin Komamura - Captain of the 7th Division

Love Aikawa - Former Captain of the 7th Division

Shunsui Kyōraku - Captain of the 8th Division

Kensei Muguruma - Captain of the 9th Division

Kaname Tōsen - Former Captain of the 9th Division, former 5th Seat of the same division (Deceased)

Tōshirō Hitsugaya - Captain of the 10th Division

Kenpachi Zaraki - Captain of the 11th Division

Kenpachi Kiganjō - Former Captain of the 11th Division (Deceased)

Mayuri Kurotsuchi - Captain of the 12th Division, former 3rd Seat of same division, also the President of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute and former Vice President thereof

Kisuke Urahara - Former Captain of the 12th Division, former 3rd Seat of 2nd Division, also former President of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute

Kirio Hikifune - Former Captain of the 12th Division before being promoted to the Royal Guard

Jūshirō Ukitake - Captain of the 13th Division

Tessai Tsukabishi - Former Captain of the Kidō Corps

== Lieutenants ==

Chōjirō Tadaoki Sasakibe - Former Lieutenant of the 1st Division (Deceased)

Marechiyo Ōmaeda - Lieutenant of the 2nd Division

Marenoshin Ōmaeda - Former Lieutenant of the 2nd Division (Retired)

Izuru Kira - Lieutenant of the 3rd Division

Chikane Iba - Former Lieutenant of the 3rd Division

Isane Kotetsu - Lieutenant of the 4th Division

Seinosuke Yamada- Former Lieutenant of the 4th Division

Momo Hinamori - Lieutenant of the 5th Division

Renji Abarai - Lieutenant of the 6th Division

Sōjun Kuchiki - Former Lieutenant of the 6th Division (Deceased)

Ginjirō Shirogane - Former Lieutenant of the 6th Division (Retired)

Tetsuzaemon Iba - Lieutenant of the 7th Division also the President of the Shinigami Men's Association

Jin'emon Kotsubaki - Former Lieutenant of the 7th Division

Nanao Ise - Lieutenant of the 8th Division also the Vice-President of the Shinigami Women's Association

Lisa Yadōmaru - Former Lieutenant of the 8th Division

Shūhei Hisagi - Lieutenant of the 9th Division

Mashiro Kuna - Former Lieutenant of the 9th Division

Rangiku Matsumoto - Lieutenant of the 10th Division

Yachiru Kusajishi - Lieutenant of the 11th Division also the President of the Shinigami Women's Association

Nemu Kurotsuchi - Lieutenant of the 12th Division also the Vice-President of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute

Hiyori Sarugaki - Former Lieutenant of the 12th Division

Rukia Kuchiki - Lieutenant of the 13th Division

Kaien Shiba - Former Lieutenant of the 13th Division (Deceased)

Hachigen Ushōda - Former Lieutenant of the Kidō Corps


  1. ^ Although they are sometimes used interchangeably in fansubs and scanlations, a squad in Gotei 13 should not be confused with a division. A captain (taichō) leads a division, while squads (units of 10 or so troops) are led by a seated officer, possibly as low as a 20th seat. This is further complicated by the official English dub, which labels divisions as squads.


  1. Bleach anime; episode 36, as explained by Kenpachi Zaraki.
  2. Bleach manga; chapter 1, pages 19-20.
  3. Bleach anime; episode 61.
  4. Bleach manga; chapter 158, pages 15-16.
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Charbook
  6. Bleach manga; chapter 120, page 10.
  7. Bleach manga; chapter 146, page 1.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Bleach promotional poster series clearly displaying the division flowers.
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