- "Do not seek the aesthetics in waging war. Do not seek virtue in death. Do not think your life is your own. If you wish to protect each of the heads of the five court nobles, then you must slaughter every foe from under the shadow of the leaves."
- —Excerpt from the old edition of the Shinō Academy Shinigami regulations.
|Notable Members||Tsunayashiro Clan|
|Former Members||Shiba Clan|
The Noble Houses (貴族, Kizoku) of Soul Society are the collective aristocracy that govern all cultural, social and governmental aspects associated with the Seireitei and Rukongai. As such, their word carries the greatest weight within Soul Society, even to the point where they hold significant albeit varying influence over Central 46. Neither the Gotei 13, Kidō Corps, nor Onmitsukidō are permitted to interfere with their affairs without special clearance and tangible evidence to wrongdoing; the act of which is tantamount to treason.
- Family Head (当主, Tōshu; literally "Head of the House"): The leader of the clan.
- Prince (王子, Ōji) or Princess (王女, Ōjo): The familial heir to the clan, usually the child of the current head.
- Chamberlain (城代, Jōdai; literally "Castle Keeper"): A high-ranking vassal to the clan that manages the household.
Four Noble Houses
The Four Noble Houses (四大貴族, Yondai Kizoku; literally "Four Great Noble Families") are the highest ranked of all the noble houses and the most revered. They were once the 'five' noble houses, but this was prior to the fall of the Shiba clan. The nobility of Soul Society began with them millennia ago, and it is said the Soul Society itself was built by the hands of the five ancestors who first forged order into the chaos. They are;
Shihōin Clan (四楓院家, Shihōin-ke; literally "Shihōin Family")
Kuchiki Clan (朽木家, Kuchiki-ke; literally "Kuchiki Family")
Tsunayashiro Clan (綱彌代家, Tsunayashiro-ke; literally "Tsunayashiro Family")
Urahara Clan (浦原家, Urahara-ke; literally "Urahara Family")
Fēng Clan (蜂（フォン）家, Fon-ke; literally "Fon Family")
Kasumiōji Clan (霞大路家, Kasumiōji-ke; literally "Kasumiōji Family")
Ise Clan (伊勢家, Ise-ke; literally "Ise Family")
Lesser Noble Houses
Kyōraku Clan (京楽家, Kyōraku-ke; literally "Kyōraku Family")
Former Noble Houses
Shiba Clan (志波家, Shiba-ke; literally "Shiba Family")
Ryōdoji Clan (龍堂寺家, Ryōdoji-ke; literally "Ryōdoji Family")