Soul Society
Soul Society.jpg
Kanji 尸魂界 (ソウル・ソサエティ)
Romaji Souru Sosaeti
English Dead Spirit World
General Information
Type Monarchy
Head of State Soul King
Legislative Branch Kidō Corps[1]
Judicial Branch Central 46[1]
Military Branch Gotei 13[1]
Kidō Corps[1]
Royal Guard
Wing Bind (West)
Societal Information
Capital Seireitei (East)
Reverse London (West)
Currency Kan[2]

Soul Society (尸魂界 (ソウル・ソサエティ), Souru Sosaeti; Japanese for "Dead Spirit World") is the afterlife. Souls that die in the Material World are sent to Soul Society and live there until their reincarnation. The Soul Society is protected by Shinigami and ruled by the Soul King.

Soul Society is known to be divided into two branches. They are known as the "East Branch" (東梢局, Tōshōkyoku; Literally meaning "Eastern Office"), which oversees Japan, and Soul Society West Branch (尸魂界・西梢局 (ソウル・ソサエティ ウエスト・ブランチ), Souru Sosaeti Uesuto Buranchi; Japanese for "Dead Spirit World Western Office"), which oversees London.


Early history

In ancient times, before the separation of Soul Society, the Material World, and Hueco Mundo, the universe existed in ambiguity and the cycle of souls in chaos. It remained this way for one hundred million years, until Hollows were introduced to the cycle and began to devour Humans, which slowed the circulation down. Eventually, many of these Hollows cannibalized one another, forming the first Menos. The universe reacted to the creation of such a being and gave way to the Soul King, who destroyed the Menos Grande and allowed the cycle of souls to resume.[3]

Unfortunately, the Soul King's method of destroying Hollows (which very much resembled the Quincy) threw the cycle into further chaos. In response to this, five powerful individuals—those who were the ancestors of the Four Great Noble Families and an unknown fifth—rose in opposition to the Soul King's actions, each with their own motivations. Regardless of their varying motivations, these early nobles ultimately decided to split the world in three: a world of order, a world of implementation, and a paradise of sand for Hollows. But, in order to accomplish their vision, they needed the power of the Soul King.[3]

The Shiba Family ancestor was the only one of the five to speak out against the plan, but they were soundly ignored. The Soul King was captured, hacked up, and his remains were restrained in a crystal. Then, his power, "The Almighty," was used as the keystone to create the three worlds: Soul Society, the Material World, and Hueco Mundo. Meanwhile, the pieces that were gouged out of the Soul King's body fell into the Material World and Soul Society. This became known as Soul Society's "original sin" (原罪, genzai).[3]

Quincy Blood War

Approximately 2,100 years ago, Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto founded the "Genji School." At some point, he also founded the Gotei 13.[4][5] Nearly 1,100 years later, he became its General-Commander.[6] Around this time, Soul Society was invaded by the Licht Reich, ruled by the Quincy king, Ywhach.[7] The Quincy were soundly defeated, but Yamamoto failed to kill their king.[8] The surviving Quincy retreated to two locations: some fled to the Seireitei and created the Schatten Bereich—a pocket dimension within the Seireitei's shadows—which they used to hide from the Shinigami.[9] Others fled to and hid themselves in the Material World.[Notes 1]

Quincy Genocide

200 years ago, Soul Society carried out a genocide of the Quincy in order to prevent them from unbalancing the world. When the surviving Quincy in the Material World were discovered, the Shinigami pleaded with them to stop their eradication of Hollows. However, not only did the Quincy refuse to stop, their numbers in the Material World increased. Most of the remaining Quincy in the Material World were killed during this genocide.[10][11]

Hollowfication Incident

110 years ago, Kisuke Urahara became the Captain of the 12th Division and started the Shinigami Research and Development Institute, which would be charged by Yamamoto himself with finding a way to strengthen Shinigami souls.[12] Around the same time, Sōsuke Aizen began his earliest Hollowfication experiments.[13]

Nine years later, with the help of Kaname Tōsen and a young Gin Ichimaru, Aizen Hollowfied three captains, three lieutenants, and the vice-captain of the Kidō Corps, creating the Visoreds. Captain Urahara and Tessai Tsukabishi arrive to rescue their comrades, only to be framed by Aizen and expelled by the Central 46 for Hollowfication experimentation.[14]

Access to Soul Society

Soul Society and the Material World are on opposite sides of one another, with the Dangai and Hueco Mundo existing in the space between them. To access Soul Society, one uses a Senkaimon (穿界門; Literally meaning "World Penetration Gate") and a Hell Butterfly to guide them. Hollows and Arrancar can access Soul Society with a Garganta (黒腔 (ガルガンタ), Garuganta; Spanish for "Throat", Japanese for "Black Cavity").[15]


Soul Society functions similarly to feudal Japan. The Shinigami live within the Seireitei, while the average Soul lives in the Rukongai. The districts closer to the Seireitei are generally more prosperous and the people there live in relative comfort. However, the outer districts are poverty and violence stricken. Despite this, souls (without spiritual power) will never go hungry. Families separated by death are rarely reunited in Soul Society and, therefore, souls cluster together and live in makeshift families of complete strangers.[1][16]

Soul Society also has an aristocracy. The Four Great Noble Families occupy the Seireitei along with the Shinigami, as well as many minor noble families, and have considerable political clout within Soul Society's government.[1]

Women are generally looked down upon in Soul Society and are not seen as typically being capable of climbing the ranks of the Gotei 13. It was said that Miyako Shiba, wife of well-respected Shinigami Kaien Shiba, struggled a great deal to climb the ranks because of her gender.[1]


Main article: Law in the Soul Society

Though the Soul King is the official monarch of Soul Society, the Central 46 governs all of Soul Society. They adjudicate the law and pass sentences on criminals. It consists of forty elders and six judges whose orders and commands are absolute and are to be taken without question.[14][1]


Main articles: Gotei 13, Kidō Corps, and Onmitsukidō


Soul Society is a vast dimension that is on the opposite side of the Material World and is known to be separated into two districts: an east and a west.[1][17]

Eastern Soul Society consists of its capital city, the Seireitei (瀞霊廷, Court of Pure Souls), and the surrounding Rukongai (流魂街, Wandering Soul City; Viz "Wandering Soul City").[1]

Western Soul Society consists of Reverse London and its surrounding areas.[17]



  1. We know this because of Quincy like Masaki Kurosaki and Uryū Ishida.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Bleach: Official Character Book of SOULs
  2. Bleach chapter 13
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World III
  4. Bleach chapter 105
  5. Bleach chapter 504
  6. Bleach chapter 394
  7. Bleach chapter 631
  8. Bleach chapter 489
  9. Bleach chapter 547
  10. Bleach chapter 45
  11. Bleach chapter 46
  12. Bleach Chapter -107
  13. Bleach Chapter -105
  14. 14.0 14.1 Bleach Chapter -98
  15. Bleach: Official Character Book 2 MASKED
  16. Bleach chapter 12
  17. 17.0 17.1 BURN THE WITCH
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