"The Gotei 13... was not established for us to mourn over the dead or to lament about the destruction rought on Soul Society. We are... the shields of Soul Society. One step at a time, we shall move forward. We are, after all... the Gotei 13."
|English||13 Division Imperial Guards|
|Founder(s)||Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto|
|Purpose||Primary Defense/Offense force of Soul Society|
- "Dying to exterminate great evil. Know that this is the spirit of the Gotei 13."
- - Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto
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 rhombus, all the 13 Divisions symbols are placed within the rhombus on the back of the Captains haori.
The defeat of Datara Kawahiru left most of the Seireitei in utter ruin. The Gotei 13 had received assistance from the Order of the Seijin in restoration, and in regaining military strength. The two organizations then formed an alliance between the two, in order to respond quicker in situations like Sōsuke Aizen and Datara Kawahiru. However, during the war waged by Mūkade, the Seijin Order was destroyed with several of its members killed in the aftermath. In response, the new Captain-Commander Shunsui Kyōraku offered the surviving Seijin positions within the Gotei 13 in order to combine both militant and philosophical organizations into one powerful group.
The Gotei 13, in contrast to the normal operations of modern-day militaries, does not operate as a cohesive unit normally. The command of the divisions are generally left to the discretion of its particular Captain, who commonly runs it whatever way he or she sees fit, allowing for the change of a division's traditional duties to an entirely new set and even the creation of a separate institution connected to the division. The Gotei 13's main duty is to defend the Seireitei but they are also allocated districts in Rukongai to defend. In addition to these duties, Shinigami also have to deal with the business of being assigned to the Human World. Officially, the Kidō Corps, Onmitsukidō, and Central 46 are not part of the Gotei 13. However, as Kūkai Shibara is both the captain of the 2nd Division and the head of the Onmitsukidō, the Onmitsukidō is effectively under Gotei 13 control. In addition, the captain of the Kidō Corps has been known to obey summons and orders from the Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13.
The only general authority to call forth a combined front would be that of an edict from the Central 46 Chambers, or more often the Captain-Commander. It is not uncommon for captains to not see each other as a whole group for long periods of time, except for cases involving a threat to all of the Soul Society, a captain's punishment, or to a lesser degree, a captain's promotion. On a regular basis, the captains are spread out all across the Soul Society doing their divisions' duties, whatever they may be. They are, in fact, so far spread out that getting the Captains together as a group, or even getting their lieutenants together as a group, could normally take a day to accomplish.
The Gotei 13 is made up of thirteen components: They are split into thirteen divisions (hence the name), with several divisions having certain specializations. It 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 Chambers 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.
Each Division is made up of just over 200 Shinigami, with the Gotei 13's standing force being just around 3000 total enlisted troops. 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 an 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.
Divisions are identified by the flower design that acts as their own symbol that represents the division's primary role. 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.
- First Division: Chrysanthemum (Truth & Innocence)
- Second Division: Pasque flower (Seek Nothing)
- Third Division: Marigold (Despair)
- Fourth Division: Bellflower (Those Who Grieve Are Loved)
- Fifth Division: Lily of the Valley (Sacrifice, Danger, Pure Love, Humility, Sweetness)
- Sixth Division: Camellia (Noble Reason)
- Seventh Division: Iris (Courage)
- Eighth Division: Strelitzia (Everything is Obtained)
- Ninth Division: White Poppy (Oblivion)
- Tenth Division: Daffodil (Mystery, Egoism)
- Eleventh Division: Yarrow (Fight)
- Twelfth Division: Thistle (Vengeance, Strictness, Independence)
- Thirteenth Division: Snowdrop (Hope)
As with any militant organization, there are certain ranks that distinguish members based on senority, strength, and overall capabilities.
The Captain-Commander (総隊長, Sōtaichō; Viz "Captain-General"; Captain-Commander, Head-Captain in the English dub) is the supreme leader of the Gotei 13; the implication is that this is an ex officio or a primus inter pares position. The position requires the Captain-Commander to oversee the overall operations of the Gotei 13, Onmitsukidō and Kidō Corps when the well being of Seireitei and Soul Society is at stake. The only power the Captain-Commander is answerable to is the Central 46 Chambers.
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). A single Gotei 13 "unit" (隊) is estimated at about 200-500 troops. The Captains congregate together in the main hall of the First Division Headquarters to discuss important issues involving their specific divisions and matters that affect Soul Society. This council is highly formal with the captain-commander leading its proceedings. All captains are considered equal (with the exception of the captain-commander) and determine the course of their individual division unless dictated otherwise by the captain-commander. Votes are carried out via a unanimous consensus. 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.
Captains determine the course, organization, tactics and policy of their division. The power a captain has over his/her division is absolute and cannot be questioned by subordinates or the captains of the other divisions. A captain can choose to change the division speciality (As Kisuke Urahara did upon gaining command). Due to captains having supreme authority in their respective division the divisions have become separate entities and not a cohesive military. In this way they only have the right to punish the actions of their subordinates and not those of other divisions unless in the instance that the division in question has no current captain or the subordinates actions are against the laws or rules of Soul Society.
Although not commonly stated, the true 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.
There are three different ways to become a Gotei 13 captain:
- Captain Proficiency Test (隊首, taishu): Passing the Captain Proficiency Test involves 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.
- Personal Recommendation: To have personal recommendations from at least six captains and approval from at least three of the remaining seven.
- Trial by Combat: To defeat a captain one-on-one with at least 200 witnesses from the captain's division. Kenpachi Zaraki and Kūkai Shibara are the only known captains to have achieved their rank using this method. This method is seen as being the exceedingly rarest of the three as well as the least refined. The method is commonly looked down upon by some captains as barbaric compared to the other refined methods. This method also allows one to bypass having the mastery of Bankai or other possible abilities that a captain would otherwise be required to have knowledge of, as it allows no judgement from captains who would require those skills as a prerequisite to join their ranks.
As with all military organizations, there must be someone who serves as the second-in-command in any case of emergency. They hold the title of 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.
Seated officers are the remainder of the officers in the Gotei 13 that hold ranks at or below 3rd Seat. Captains and lieutenants have the ranks of 1st and 2nd Seats, respectfully. Next to that, there are 18 more seats (3rd-to-20th). These ranks are somewhat analogous to junior officers or non-commissioned officers in modern military. 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. Seated officers often lead subunits within each division (for example, Hanatarō Yamada is leader of 4th Division's 14th Advanced Relief Team). Seated officers sometimes have shikai, but rarely do they have Bankai. However, a Seated Officer with Bankai is not unheard of.
- "Reason dwells on the cutting edge of their blade. Death is always with them. They are not afraid." - Tite Kubo
Main article: First Division The First Division (一番隊, Ichiban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. It is considered to be the leader division among all thirteen, as its Captain is the Commander of the Gotei 13 in its entirety.
No special duties have been noted for the 1st Division. The First Division is ranked highest among the 13 Divisions. Even subordinate members of the First Division are considered model Shinigami. Emergency must be dealt with swiftly; quick decisions and quick actions are essential. The division is able to ascertain a situation and mobilize quickly even before an order is issued. That is the true value of the First Division.
|Captain||Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto||? - 2003||Succeeded|
|Captain||Shunsui Kyōraku||2003 - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Chōjirō Tadaoki Sasakibe||? - 2003||Succeeded|
|Lieutenant||Nanao Ise||2003 - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Genshirō Okikiba||2003 - Current||Filled|
|Third Seat||Itoku Kawahiru||? - Current||Filled|
Main article: Second Division The Second Division (二番隊, Niban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. Because the Captain of the Second Division also leads the Onmitsukidō, their duties are directly tied in with the Onmitsukidō, each of the top 5 seated officers is in charge of a certain division of the Special Forces. At this time, it is known that the Captain is in charge of the Executive Militia, the Lieutenant is in charge of the Patrol Unit, and the 3rd Seat is in charge of the Detention Unit.
No special duties have been noted for the Second Division. Since the linking of the Onmitsukidō with the Second Division well over 110 years ago, its role may have changed from its original duty. The Second Division has been directly linked to the Onmitsukidō for well over 110 years ago by former Captain Yoruichi Shihōin who was Commander-in-Chief of the Onmitsukidō before being promoted to a Captain. As such the special operations of Soul Society has become the full measure of what the division involves itself in primarily. Members are tasked with assassination, policing, detention and message couriers.
|Captain||Senka Kururugi||? - 0925||Discharged|
|Captain||Yoruichi Shihōin||? - 1901||Dishonorably Discharged|
|Captain||Suì-Fēng||1902 - ?||Succeeded|
|Captain||Naoya Hōsōkaya||? - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Marechiyo Ōmaeda||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Lieutenant||Haruko Shihōin||? - Current||Filled|
Main article: Third Division The Third Division (三番隊, Sanban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. No special duties have been noted for the 3rd Division.
|Captain||Oboro Kurotsuchi||? - ?||Promoted|
|Captain||Gin Ichimaru||? - 1901||Dishonorable Discharge|
|Captain||Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi||1889 - 1901; 2003 - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Chikane Iba||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Lieutenant||Izuru Kira||? - Current||Filled|
Main article: Fourth Division The Fourth Division (四番隊, Yonban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. It is the division in which all healers are placed into. The Division is further divided accordingly into Advanced Relief Teams which have specific instructions, whether or not the relief squads are determined by Healing skill or area is unknown.
The 4th Division is the medical/supply division. They are responsible for both treating the injured and doing most of the manual labor, such as cleaning the Seireitei. The 4th Division is further divided into teams that have specific assigned jobs. Other division members use their spiritual power only for fighting. Members of the 4th Division possess spiritual powers that is used to tend to wounds and provide relief. They use these special powers and the benefits of their daily training to act with precision and speed to aid injured comrades. 4th Division administers emergency first aid to injured division members and transports them to the General Emergency Relief Station. In addition, the nurses who work in the Sōgō Kyūgo Tsumesho (綜合救護詰所, Coordinated Relief Station) have special shihakushō that are pink in colour with hats that are reminicent of nurse uniforms of the Human World. They are looked down upon by the 11th Division who usually bully them around because they believe that the 4th Division are just a weak medical team, as opposed to the 11th Division, which is combat-focused, although most members of the 11th Division are afraid of the Captain Retsu Unohana.
|Captain||Yachiru Unohana||? - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Seinosuke Yamada||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Lieutenant||Isane Kotetsu||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Lieutenant||Sayune Yukihara||? - Current||Filled|
|Third Seat||Hanatarō Yamada||? - Current||Filled|
Main article: Fifth Division The Fifth Division (五番隊, Goban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. No special duties have been noted for the 5th Division. The members of this division are all highly skilled, having been trained by a Captain who excels at everything, including battle readiness.
|Captain||Sōsuke Aizen||? - 2001||Dishonorably Discharged|
|Captain||Shinji Hirako||? - 1901; 2001 - ?||Succeeded|
|Captain||Renge Kondō||? - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Momo Hinamori||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Lieutenant||Kintarō Hijikata||? - Current||Filled|
|Third Seat||Sōjiro Okita||? - Current||Filled|
Main article: Sixth Division The Sixth Division (六番隊, Rokuban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. It is in charge of the Gotei 13's security and investivative missions. Subsequently, it is the division which leads the Abakushin'ō, which serves as an intelligence-gathering and crime-solving organization. It is led by the Division's Captain.
|Captain||Ginrei Kuchiki||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Captain||Byakuya Kuchiki||? - ?||Promoted|
|Captain||Suzaku Kawahiru||? - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Sōjun Kuchiki||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Lieutenant||Renji Abarai||? - ?||Promoted|
|Lieutenant||Shirosame Asakura||? - Current||Filled|
|Third Seat||Hinata Kūsūhana||? - Current||Filled|
|Fourth Seat||Sakura Mikazuki||? - Current||Filled|
|Fourth Seat||Gama Hiwatari||? - ?||Discharged|
|Fourth Seat||Masumune Asakura||? - ?||Dishonorable Discharge|
|Fifth Seat||Shinnyo||? - ?||Deceased †|
Main article: Seventh Division The Seventh Division (七番隊, Nanaban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. No special duties have been noted for the seventh Division. This division is made up of sincere, unpretentious people who live life with gusto, whom believe strongly in moral obligation and compassion. This ethos has been passed down through the ranks of the 7th Division.
|Captain||Hikaru Kurosaki||? - ?||Discharged|
|Captain||Love Aikawa||? - 1901||Discharged|
|Captain||Sajin Komamura||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Captain||Vacant||? - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Jin'emon Kotsubaki||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Lieutenant||Tetsuzaemon Iba||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Lieutenant||Tokiko Muyurikata||? - Current||Filled|
|Fifth Seat||Giryū Kōda||? - Current||Filled|
Main article: Eighth Division The Eighth Division (八番隊, Hachiban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. No special duties have been noted for the Eighth Division.
|Captain||Seireitou Kawahiru||? - 0925||Dishonorably Discharged|
|Captain||Shunsui Kyōraku||0925 - 2003||Promoted|
|Captain||Raian Getsueikirite||? - ?||Promoted|
|Captain||Lucius Ichimaru||? - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Shunsui Kyōraku||? - 0925||Promoted|
|Lieutenant||Lisa Yadōmaru||? - 1901||Discharged|
|Lieutenant||Nanao Ise||? - 2003||Transfered|
|Lieutenant||Dante||? - Current||Filled|
|Third Seat||Satoshi Konishi||? - Current||Filled|
|Fourth Seat||Takagari Hasami||? - Current||Filled|
|Unseated||Yūbi Shikizaki||? - Current||Filled|
Main article: Ninth Division The Ninth Division (九番隊, Kyūban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. The mission of the Ninth Division is to protect the Seireitei alongside the Sixth Division. It is always on standby for combat because it is the security force of the Gotei 13. Traditionally, Ninth Division has overseen arts and culture. For this reason, it is known to be in charge of the Seireitei news magazine. All the lieutenants of the divisions of Gotei 13 hand in their reports to them.
|Captain||Hibiki Asakura||? - ?||Discharged|
|Captain||Kaname Tōsen||? - 2001||Dishonorably Discharged|
|Captain||Kensei Muguruma||? - 1901; 2002 - ?||Succeeded|
|Captain||Hisōka Kūrūme||? - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Mashiro Kuna||? - 1901||Discharged|
|Lieutenant||Shūhei Hisagi||? - Current||Filled|
Main article: Tenth Division The Tenth Division (十番隊, Jūban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. No special duties have been noted for the 10th Division.
|Captain||Ryun Seijūrō||? - ?||Discharged|
|Captain||Raian Getsueikirite||? - ?||Promoted|
|Captain||Tōshirō Hitsugaya||? - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Rangiku Matsumoto||? - Current||Filled|
|Third Seat||Nanako Ōmura||? - Current||Filled|
Main article: Eleventh Division The Eleventh Division (十一番隊, Jūichiban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. It is the direct-combat Division with a specialization in swords-only combat, forgoing the other Shinigami arts and thereby being one of the most specialized divisions in the Gotei 13. The division's doctrine of dominating in battle is what appeals to its members; they believe that fighting is what makes life worth living. This is what separates 11th Division from the others and makes them the strongest division. Everyone in the 11th Division are highly skilled in fighting. They believe if they are going to die anyway, go down fighting gloriously. The division is also setup so that to become the Captain of the Eleventh, the candidate must do so through the third method of becoming a captain, killing the previous captain in front of 200 members of the Division, which is almost the entire Division. Upon defeating the previous Kenpachi, the new captain takes on the name of Kenpachi or the best swordsman of each generation. Since the rise to captain status of the current Kenpachi, an unofficial rule has been added that says to be a true member of the Eleventh Division, one's Zanpakutō must be a melee-type.
|Captain||Kenpachi Kuruyashiki||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Captain||Kenpachi Azashiro||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Captain||Kenpachi Kiganjō||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Captain||Kenpachi Zaraki||? - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Yachiru Kusajishi||? - Current||Filled|
|Third Seat||Ikkaku Madarame||? - Current||Filled|
|Fifth Seat||Yumichika Ayasegawa||? - Current||Filled|
Main article: Twelfth Division The Twelfth Division (十二番隊, Jūniban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. This Division develops new technology and spiritual tools and its been the home of the S.R.D.I. for 110 years.
The 12th Division has been directly linked to the Shinigami Research and Development Institute over 100 years ago by former Captain Kisuke Urahara. As such technological and scientific research has become the full measure of what the division involves itself in primarily. Members are tasked with research and collection of data and samples, something both the current and previous Captains are very enthusiastic about, though not to the same extreme.
|Captain||Kisuke Urahara||? - 1901||Dishonorably Discharged|
|Captain||Mayuri Kurotsuchi||1891 - ?||Succeeded|
|Captain||Nōyori Kuroitsuki||? - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Hiyori Sarugaki||? - 1901||Discharged|
|Lieutenant||Nemu Kurotsuchi||? - ?||Succeeded|
|Lieutenant||Takashi Asama||? - Current||Filled|
|Third Seat||Kenage Seiketsu||? - Current||Filled|
|Fourth Seat||Sara Miyake||? - Current||Filled|
Main article: Thirteenth Division The Thirteenth Division (十三番隊, Jūsanban-tai) is one of the Gotei 13 divisions. No special duties have been noted for the 13th Division.
|Captain||Jūshirō Ukitake||? - Current||Filled|
|Lieutenant||Kaien Shiba||? - 1891||Succeeded|
|Lieutenant||Rukia Kuchiki||2002 - Current||Filled|
|Co-Third Seat||Kiyone Kotetsu||? - Current||Filled|
|Co-Third Seat||Sentarō Kotsubaki||? - Current||Filled|
|Sixth Seat||Hidetomo Kajōmaru||? - Current||Filled|
|Unseated||Ryūnosuke Yuki||? - Current||Filled|
|Unseated||Shino||? - Current||Filled|
Most Gotei 13 personnel wear the standard Shinigami uniform, called Shihakushō (死覇装, Garment of Dead Souls). This consists of a white shitagi, a black kosode, a black hakama, a white hakama-himo, white tabi, and waraji. The black hakama also has its owner's division insignia emblazoned on the inside, though it does not appear to have any significant reasoning other than minor security authorization. Lieutenants sometimes also wear an armband which carries their division symbol and its number, usually on their left arm. They are required to do this when they are summoned to a meeting, but it seems that it is rarely compulsory.
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). Some captains have long sleeves, while the others do not. It also seems that the color of the underside is division--or at least captain-specific--as every captain has a different color of it.
Behind the Scenes
While this is a fan-made version of the canon Gotei 13, this page will feature many new ideas and concepts in the organization and development of the military forces and division specialties.