"I used to think that I was surrounded by amazing people who didn't have any fear. But that isn't right. Everyone has their own fear. You grab it in the palm of your hand. Do not be swallowed by it, and do not ignore it. Just walk with your fear. And together we'll protect them. Under the name of the Gotei."
|English||13 Division Imperial Guards|
|Founder(s)||Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto|
|Purpose||Primary Defense/Offense force of Soul Society|
The Gotei 13 (護廷十三隊, Goteijūsantai; literally "Thirteen Division Imperial Guards" or "Thirteen Court Guard Squads") is the mainstream military organization of Soul Society composed entirely of Shinigami, stationed within the city of Seireitei; its counterparts being the Onmitsukidō and the Kidō Corps. Having been founded by the great sword demon, Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, who was once said to have set the land ablaze with a mere swing of his blade and all beings feared none other more than him, the "Balancers" of Soul Society, those that belonged to the organization's first generation, were as fearsome as they were effective in maintaining order. The fruits of their labor was an era of peace that had been unseen in the vast history of Soul Society, but that peace was threatened a thousand years later with the resurgence of the Quincy; their campaign of destruction bringing forth the death of their beloved leader as well as the deaths of several high-ranking officers. Somehow, the Shinigami emerged victorious once again, but at a great cost. Leaving their once-grand army of over six thousand officers reduced to a mere fifth of those numbers, the Gotei 13 were forced into a new era of change in which many were made to compromise their former selves in order to maintain their power and influence. Now led by Yamamoto's successor, Captain-Commander Shunsui Kyōraku, the Gotei 13 moves forward onto an uncertain future.
- Main article: Gotei 13
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 rhombus, each of the 13 Division Captains have their Squad's corresponding symbol within the rhombus on the back of their Captain's haori.
Almost all members of the Gotei 13 wear the standard Shinigami Shihakushō (死覇装, lit. "Garment of Dead Souls"), which consists of a white shitagi (下着, "under clothing"), a black kosode (小袖, "small sleeve"), a black hakama (袴), a white hakama-himo, white tabi (足袋, "foot pouch"), and waraji (草鞋, straw sandals). Each kosode has a small patch with the owner's division embroidered on the inside. Lieutenants will occasionally wear an armband (usually on their left arm) with a wooden badge that carries their division's symbol and number. They are required to wear this badge when summoned to a meeting.
In addition to the uniform mentioned above, (with the exception of the Lieutenant's armband) Captains wear a white haori (羽織) over the usual Shihakushō, with the number of their division on the back. Some Captains wear a long sleeved haori while others wear a sleeveless version, and either is considered "proper." The underside of the haori is color specific to each Captain's Division.
Gotei 13 officers, particularly Captains and Lieutenants, often customize their uniform to suit personal tastes, and this is an acceptable practice. (E.g., all members of Squad 9 wear sleeveless kosode.)
- ↑ Bleach databook; 13 Blades, 'walk under two letters'