Soul Society

East Branch

Soul Society is an afterlife or spirit world. This is where Shinigami live and where most Souls live until they are reincarnated into the World of the Living. While referred to as Soul Society by its residents, this area is actually the East Branch of a larger Soul Society, with an area in Reverse London marked as the West Branch.


While the Soul Society has been described as something of a paradise, where nine out of ten times it is better than the World of the Living and hunger is never a problem, Soul Society is far from perfect. In fact, aside from the slowed aging and the lack of hunger, life there is much like that of the World of the Living.   Soul Society consists of the Rukongai, where souls live when they arrive in the Soul Society, and the Seireitei, which is at the center of Soul Society. The mode of life here closely resembles that of Feudal Japan.   The World of the Living and Soul Society are parallel to each other and are two sides of the same coin. Families separated by death are rarely reunited in the Soul Society unless they arrive in Soul Society together. People live nestled together like a family of strangers. One never gets hungry if they do not have spiritual powers and aging is slowed to a great extent, with lifespans of 2000 or more years not being unheard of, though such ages are limited to Shinigami or other Soul Society inhabitants with high spiritual power. Children can be born as they are in the World of the Living. People can also be killed as regular Humans are, though they are capable of surviving wounds that would normally be considered fatal. A soul that dies in Soul Society is reincarnated on Earth as a new Human with no past memories.  

Accessing Soul Society

Shinigami enter and leave Soul Society by unlocking the Senkaimon and using a Jigokuchō. Plus Souls, on the other hand, enter Soul Society through the ritual of Konsō. When people die, they are assigned a number to part of Soul Society according to when they died. Spirits can be born in Soul Society as much as in the World of the Living, with the Shinigami acting to balance the souls.   Intruders can pass through the Senkaimon in the same manner, but only in soul form. This allows spiritual beings to enter without permission. Humans can also use such a gate through the use of Reishihenkanki, which convert solid matter into Reishi.   Hollows can directly rip a hole to Soul Society from Hueco Mundo, or in the case of Arrancar, using Garganta.  

Laws & Punishment

  • The ultimate law is to maintain balance.
  • It is against the law for a Shinigami to give their spiritual power to Humans.
  • 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 to overthrow the balance of Soul Society. To do so is treason.
  • It is against the law to commit murder.
  • It is against the law to kill a Human that a Shinigami has not been ordered to kill.
  • It is forbidden for a Shinigami to acquire or attempt to gain Hollow-like powers.
  • It is a crime for a Shinigami to remain in the World of the Living 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.
  • It is forbidden for a Shinigami to intervene in anything that is related to Hell.
  • It is a crime to lose a sacred treasure.
  • It is against the law to alter the Dangai records.
  • Exile: Certain crimes allows for the punishment of exile, commonly stripping a Shinigami of their powers and banishing them to the World of the Living.
  • 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: Central 46 can sentence a Shinigami to be held in the Central Great Underground Prison for a set amount of time. The prison has eight levels in which prisoners are confined in based on the severity of their crimes.
  • Sealing: If a renegade Shinigami is resisting arrest and proves to be too powerful to be restrained or executed, they would be opted to be sealed away to prevent further damage.
  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 Sekkiseki stone. Hollows are then thrown into the pit with the criminals as the means of execution. The practice was considered too barbaric and discontinued, and the Spirit-Sealing Pits were converted into garbage dumps.
  • Sōkyoku: 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. 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.



The Rukongai is the largest portion of Soul Society and the most populated. It is divided into 320 districts, 80 in North Rukongai, 80 in West Rukongai, 80 in South Rukongai, and 80 in East Rukongai.  


The Seireitei is in the center of Soul Society, a circular shiro with four main entrances, each guarded by a Gatekeeper. The walls of the Seireitei are made of Sekkiseki stone, a material known to negate all Reiryoku. The stone also forms a spherical barrier around the city which stops anything spiritual from breaching it.


The military of Soul Society consists of three independent main branches: the Gotei 13, the Kidō Corps, and the Onmitsukidō.  

Gotei 13

The Gotei 13 is the organization that most Shinigami join. It is split into thirteen divisions, 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 is unclear if the other divisions have specializations. It should be noted that Yoruichi Shihōin is in charge of both the 2nd Division and the Onmitsukidō. The Gotei 13 seems to somewhat have superiority and little authority over the two other branches.  

Royal Guard

Also known as the Zero Division, the Royal Guard 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, Central 46 has no authority over this group.  

Kidō Corps

There is very little known about the Kidō Corps due to the secrecy in which they operate. All members of the Kidō Corps excel in kidō.  


There is very little information about the operations of the Onmitsukidō. The group is currently led by Yoruichi Shihōin, who is also the captain of the Gotei 13's 2nd Division.

Technological Level

One of the most unusual aspects of Soul Society is its technology level. While the lifestyle and culture are comparable to feudal Japan, Soul Society possesses a level of technology exceeding that time period. The Shinigami Research Institute has developed amazing technology, mixing technology with organic components. This technology allows for the creation of creatures that do everything from detecting spiritual energy signatures to allowing Humans to see a spirit without the use of a Gigai. They possess touch screens and databases which are in use for files and historical documentation storage found extensively in the Daireishokairō, which contains all the knowledge and history of Soul Society. View screen technology that is capable of sending signals to the World of the Living and Dangai, allowing for face to face conferencing. All manner of portable hand-held devices for tracking and communication purposes. Blending old traditions and ideas with new innovation, Soul Society is an enigma in this comparison.


  • Map of Seireitei
Geopolitical, Kingdom
Government System
Power Structure
Feudal state
Economic System
Related Ranks & Titles
Controlled Territories
Related Items


Soul King
Soul Society is maintained by the Soul King, whose existence is pivotal to the balance of the world as it regulates the flow of souls into and out of Soul Society, leaving administration to Central 46 and the Noble Houses. The Soul King lives in the Soul Palace in a separate dimension in the very core of Soul Society, which is protected by the Royal Guard. The Soul King does have a specific system of "specialty duties" which are actively carried out, but the exact nature of these duties is unknown. The dimension can only be opened with a tri-pronged golden key known as the Royal Key.The location of the Ōken is passed down verbally from one Gotei 13 Captain-Commander to the next.
Another part of the government are the Noble Houses, especially the five Great Noble Houses, which are considered to be the highest of them all. The lower noble houses all serve one of the five Great Noble Houses.
Judiciary Body
Central 46 serves 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 the Seireitei called Seijōtōkyorin 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.

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