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Gotei 13
Kanji 護廷十三隊
Romaji {{{romaji}}}
Headquarters Soul Society
Affiliation Soul Society
Purpose Elite guard of Soul Society

The Gotei 13 (護廷十三隊, goteijūsantai; 13 Division Imperial Guards, or 13 Court Guard Squads in the English dub) is the organization which most Shinigami join, and one of the three main branches of military in Soul Society. It is split into thirteen divisions (hence the name), with several divisions having certain specializations. The Gotei 13 is subservient to the edicts of the Central 46 Chambers. They also have no jurisdiction over any of the noble families. The symbol of the Gotei 13 is a 8 pointed star, protected by 4 flower-like symbols, some captains haori carry the symbol, the number of their division located below it. The Kido Corps, not officially considered as part of the Gotei 13, is still under the authority of the Central 46, and works together with Soul Society, it is why it is actually here, but officially, both Kido Corps and Omnitsukido are not part of the Gotei 13.


The Gotei 13 is made up of thirteen components: They are split into thirteen divisions (hence the name), with several divisions having certain specializations. The Gotei 13 is led by the "Captain-Commander", who has the statuary authority to conduct all the affairs of the Gotei 13; while deferring to the authority of the Central 46 in matters involving Soul Society. As with any army, the Gotei 13 has ranks. There are 20 ranks for officers but no ranks for non-officers. The lower the number is, the higher the rank. The ranks and their descriptions are below, from highest to lowest in terms of strength. The Court Guards are an organization with a merit-based hierarchy. They have disposed of the system of rank based on seniority. Abilities are the only thing used to determine one's rank.

The 13 divisions of the Gotei 13 have a rough number of about 150 per division, after most of their Shinigami got destroyed by the Quincy. The Shinigami are typically recruited through the Shinigami Academy. However, it must be noted that not all graduates make it into the Gotei 13. Graduates from the Academy are required to sit an entrance exam for the Gotei 13 and only those who pass are allowed to join. The entrance exam can be taken multiple times.

The Gotei 13 serves as a military force with its primary responsibilities consisting of:

  • The defense of the Seireitei, the center of Soul Society.
  • The deployment of Division members into enemy territory for combat operations.
  • The deployment of Task Forces as defensive measures in the world of the living.
  • The guiding of souls to the Soul Society.

Each of the 13 divisions in Gotei 13 have their own symbol that represents the division's primary role, which all seem to be based on flowers. When a power limit is placed on a captain or lieutenant, their symbol appears on a certain part of their body until the limit is lifted. Each symbol also has a specific meaning.

Division Flower Meaning
1st Chrysanthemums Truth and Innocence
2nd Tulip Seek Nothing
3rd Marigold Despair
4th Bellflower Those Who Grieve Are Loved
5th Lily of the Valley Sacrifice, Danger, Pure Love, Humility, Sweetness
6th Camellia Noble Reason
7th Iris Courage
8th Bird of Paradise Everything is Obtained
9th Buttercup Oblivion
10th Daffodil Mystery, Egoism
11th Yarrow Fight
12th Thistle Vengeance, Strictness, Independence
13th Summer Snowflake Hope


A Captain (隊長, Taichō; lit. Unit Commander) is the leader of one of the thirteen divisions (with the special case of the Commander-General).

Captains are generally the most respected Shinigami within the Soul Society, with the Kidō Corps, and Onmitsukidō leaders possibly being on equal status. With one exception, all captains are able to utilize the final stage of their Zanpakutō, and are more powerful than even their lieutenants. Knowing Bankai gives captains an average of five-to-ten times the strength of Shinigami who are unable to perform it. They have also extensively-trained, if not mastered, their Bankai, allowing them to actually use the enormous power effectively in battle. Most captains are also skilled in the use of Flash Steps, Kidō, and generally have extensive knowledge of Shinigami history and battle tactics. All of these factors create a huge power-gap between captains and lower-ranked officers.

It is not commonly stated but in truth the power of Soul Society lies in the Captains of the Gotei 13, as they are the leaders of its military arm. With them at full strength Soul Society is safe and near unbeatable, if they are broken their strength dwindles making them highly vulnerable. To be a Captain, a character must meet the following requirements

  • Achieved, and possibly mastered, Bankai.
  • Passed one of the three different methods of attaining the rank officially.
    • Passed the Captain Proficiency Test, which includes having reached Bankai as a requirement for passing. The passing of the test must be witnessed by three other Captain, one of which being the Commander-General (see above). Most Shinigami become Captains this way, so this is the standard method.
    • Have personal recommendations from six existing Captains and approval from at least three of the remaining seven.
    • Defeat a captain one-on-one with at least 200 witnesses from the captain's division. Kenpachi Zaraki is the only known current captain to have achieved his rank using this method.

The Commander-General is the leader of the Gotei 13. He or she is the Captain of the 1st Division. This position is not meant to be used lightly, and using it for a character will put you at risk for criticism from other users.

A Lieutenant (副隊長, fukutaichō; Vice-unit Commander, often translated as Vice-Captain) is the 2nd seated officer in a division.

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. They generally only know the Shikai of their Zanpakutō, but are still 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. They generally only know their Shikai, but in some cases may know Bankai, but rarely have mastered it.


Division Captain Shikai Bankai
1st Division (Captain Commander) Kenshin Iaiseiei N/A N/A
2nd Division (Onmitsukidō Chief) Chiyome Mochizuki Kikuhachi Not Yet Revealed
3rd Division Attōmai Kōkawa Bontenōtō Unknown
4th Division (Head of the Medical Relief Division) Tamashi Hiroka Kyūnin N/A
5th Division Dyan Arashi N/A N/A
6th Division Shizuka Kuchiki Murasakiiro no Kasumi Murasakiiro no Kasumi Waikyoku
7th Division Kokurou Kakyoin N/A N/A
8th Division Seishima Tsumaki Fukai Mori Not Yet Revealed
9th Division Hajime Ryūmonki N/A N/A
10th Division Kaori Fuchibachi Tenchichōkyū Tenchi Rasetsu Karayo
11th Division Amajin Temukai Zangetsu Tensa Zangetsu
12th Division Kaito Kurui Yūdaisuto Hanbakufū no Kōshōten
13th Division Asuka Tenraiseki N/A N/A


Division Lieutenant Shikai Bankai
1st Division Chuushin Kokoromi N/A N/A
2nd Division Muneshige Hanzō N/A N/A
3rd Division Sugeibi Kūtōhi N/A N/A
4th Division Ise Yoshimichi N/A N/A
5th Division Kirei Usuikikan N/A N/A
6th Division Toyotomi Kuchiki Unknown Unknown
7th Division Ekei Kuchiki N/A N/A
8th Division Oichi Tsumaki Tanerin, Hekireki N/A
9th Division Kyūzō Hashidojin N/A N/A
10th Division Kūrōdo Hyōkishi N/A N/A
11th Division Miyuki Yūakubi N/A N/A
12th Division Hiyori Sarugaki (Reigai) Kubikiri Orochi N/A
13th Division Eishabu Tatsuneji N/A N/A

Seated Officers

Division Name Seat
1st Genshirō Okikiba 3rd Seat


3rd N/A N/A
4th Kiso
5th Rangiku Matsumoto 3rd Seat
6th N/A N/A
7th Harumi Muruiyama 4th Seat
8th Tankahi Yokumoriki 3rd Seat
9th N
Tenma Suiwana
4th Seat
5th Seat
10th N/A N/A
11th Machishi Konikari
Harutō Mukagami
3rd Seat
4th Seat
12th Nozomi Kujō N/A
13th Hidetomo Kajōmaru 6th Seat


  • The description for the Organization comes from different parts of the Gotei 13 page on The Bleach Wikia. Thus, credit goes to whoever did that.