"A man's life is like traveling down a long road with a heavy load on his shoulders. The first time I heard that, I thought, "what a lame thing to say", but what do you know... there was a point to it. It's not really a burden. Everyone's got both hands full of something that matters. You just don't realize it when you're carrying it. It's only after it slips out of your hands that you realize how heavy it was in the first place. So many times, I thought I'd never carry a load like that ever again. And yet, before I realized it... I was carrying it again. I'd feel so much better if I just got rid of it. But I just can't bring myself to do it. Without those guys, just walking around isn't fun anymore."
|Manga - Anime|
|Race||Sōzōshin, Kitsune (Transcendent)|
Gotei 13 (loosely)
Eight Sage Fists (loosely)
|Previous Affiliation|| Kawahiru Clan|
Wolves of Yoshida
|Occupation|| Head of the Senjukuha|
Hakuda Instructor in Shinō Academy
|Previous Occupation|| Co-Leader of the Wolves of Yoshida|
Captain of the Eighth Division
Leader of the Visored Order
|Team|| Yonkō (loosely)|
|Previous Team|| Wolves of Yoshida|
|Partner|| Raian Getsueikirite|
|Previous Partner|| Senka Kururugi|
|Base of Operations||Senjukuha, Kabuki District|
|Marital Status||Widowed (Intimate with Rangiku Matsumoto)|
|Relatives|| Soul King (father)|
Tsuyuri Kawahiru (mother, deceased)
Kamui Kawahiru (brother)
Yukina Kawahiru (younger sister)
Shiori Miyamoto (wife, deceased)
Suzaku Kawahiru (son)
Kaguya Kawahiru (daughter)
Sayuri Matsumoto (daughter)
|Education||Shintai Sonjuku (Shōyō)|
- "Warring with heaven, the silver-haired demon god, who fights for his soul." - Seireitou-shishō
Seireitou Shōin Kawahiru no Jirō (河昼 次郎 松陰 精霊塔, Kawahiru no Jirō Shōin Seireitō) is a male Sōzōshin born of Kitsune lineage. Through his own efforts, he would manage to evolve into a Transcendent being and became recognized as an individual that rivals the gods. He is the leading titular character of Bleach Silver. Born as a child of the Soul King, through the phenomenon of tenson kōrin, Seireitou was conceived by Tsuyuri Kawahiru and is the twin brother of Kamui Kawahiru, while also being the older brother of Yukina Kawahiru. By way of this relation, he can also be considered a distant sibling to Yhwach. However, despite this, he did not inherit the power of the Soul King, and was written off as a child "never meant to be born". He was the first Captain of the Eighth Division within the Gotei 13, preceding Shunsui Kyōraku, as well as being the Division's founder; serving as the one that laid the framework for its existing foundation. Those who first joined him would become known as the Silver-Hairs Gang. He was known and feared throughout countless regions as the Shiroyasha (白夜叉 (シローやくしゃ), Shiroyasha; translated as "White Yaksha"); earned primarily during the events of the Quincy Blood War because of his demonic-like appearance on the battlefield as well as his white hair and white Captain's haori. During his tenure as a Captain, Seireitou was engaged to Senka Kururugi, and following her execution, he had rebelled against the Soul Society which culminated in his open defiance and subsequent defection from his post. Alone, Seireitou unintentionally would find himself on a pilgrimage to the Beast Realm. While there, he engaged in countless exploits and encountered all manner of spirits, which eventually led to him receiving tutelage by the ancient dragon, Kachōfūgetsu. It was during that time that he would fall in love with Shiori Miyamoto, who would become his wife and whom later returned with him to the Soul Society. Prior to his beloved wife's death, they had conceived two children; an elder son named Suzaku Kawahiru and a younger daughter named Kaguya Kawahiru, the latter of whom was believed to have died in a tragic incident. Upon his return to Soul Society, Seireitou would earn a name for himself as an undisputed master of Hakuda; defeating the greatest of all martial artists in legendary bouts, such as his fight with Yukara Shihōin for the title of Yonkō, and the battle with Shizuka Yuko that was elevated to the status of myth itself. In the end, he had conquered the world of martial arts and was left unopposed, becoming illustriously revered as the Soul Society's Hakuda Grandmaster (白打宗家 (ハッカダー・グランドマスター), Hakuda Sōke; Japanese for "Highest-Ranked of the Martial Arts").
Under the acknowledgement of the dragons, Seireitou was granted the name Fūrinkazan (風林火山, meaning "as fast as the wind, as quiet as the forest, as daring as fire, and immovable as the mountain") by his mentor Kachōfūgetsu, symbolizing him as one of their kin. When he first returned to the Soul Society, he had become a sort of wandering sage, educating those who lacked the necessary spiritual power to serve as Shinigami in the art of Hakuda. Throughout his travels, he was faced with a variety of dangerous opponents and their radical agendas, briefly including that of his own twin brother. Yet, he managed to overcome those tremendous obstacles time and time again, seemingly without consequence. However, Seireitou suffered due to the death of his wife by the hands of Datara Kawahiru, which left him in a forlorn state of mind for a long period of time. In crossing paths with Saori Sumeragi decades later, he managed to deal with his personal darkness and subsequently went on to create the Senjukha, serving as its head master. Stationed in the Kabuki District of Rukongai, he would live there together with Saori, as well as Botan Nakandakari, Kuniharu Inuzuri, and Rinnōbō Yoshioka, who came after as residents and masters of his school. Seireitou would only come to take on a handful of students in the centuries that followed, with his current resident disciples being Minato Kuramoto and Hinata Kusuhana. In addition, due to a significant decline in proper combat arts being taught to potential Shinigami students, Seireitou is often requested by Soul Society to serve as a Hakuda Instructor within the Shinō Academy on occasion and conduct martial art seminars. Though he does agree to these requests at times, Seireitou is rather reluctant to carry out these classes for whatever reason, even going as far as to orchestrate advanced classes so difficult that many students refuse to participate out of fear, just so he can avoid long teaching hours while still receiving compensation for his time. However, there are times when certain individuals, such as Yūshirō Shihōin and Kazui Kurosaki, endure the challenge of attending these seminars and sometimes pique Seireitou's interest enough to be trained by him personally.
His might as the strongest of all Hakuda masters had earned him the title "God-Slaying Fist" (神殺拳, Shinsatsuken). Seireitou is regarded as an absolute authority of the martial arts, respected even by the Eight Sage Fists. His prestige as an unrivaled master of the martial arts equates his status to a position of eminence in which many aspiring warriors wish to seize from him in their quest for recognition. By remaining at the top of his respective field of combat, Seireitou has caused many to seek his head while also prompting many to bow their heads in respect. This has led to him being regarded by several as something of a legend, right beside the folk-stories of Mimihagi, within all four regions of Rukongai, especially among those known as the Four Heavenly Kings. Both his capabilities and his experience is valued highly by the Soul Society, to such an extent that he is often requested by either Central 46 or Captain-Commander Shunsui Kyōraku for various tasks that require a specialized hand. These often involve anomalies within the spiritual realm that are of a volatile and mysterious nature that even the Shinigami themselves are ill-equipped to deal with the problem themselves. It is not uncommon for even the Royal Guard to approach him in certain matters. In this sense, Seireitou can be best regarded as a consulting affiliate of the Soul Society as a whole; of course, he is infamous for being difficult to work with and only helps when his personal interest has been piqued.
Seireitou is a fairly tall, slim, and fit man with a rather youthful face despite his age. He, unlike all members of his clan, possesses dark scarlet amber eyes, and also has long silver hair with a lavendar tint that hangs near his cheeks to frame his face. Most noticeably is his eyes, which are always kept half-way opened to imply a sense of boredom and uncaring. He also had, at one time, the addition of a long ponytail in the back of his hair. He wears a white Shihakushō uniform but it is customized and partly resembles a korean-style taekkyeon uniform with an upturned collar and hakama. He now wears a long, white robe over his normal hakama. Seireitou is later seen wearing a white hakama, instead of the black ones he was last seen in. Seireitou wears his robe open in a narrow 'V' down to his waist, closed to below the hips, then open again to the hem, which falls about mid-calf. His robe has long bell sleeves, into which he hides his hands like one does with kimono sleeves. The lining of the robe and edges or layers of the under-robe(s) appear to be black. From other examples, it is likely he is also wearing black tabi with white waraji. His Zanpakutō is not visible with this outfit; however, it is revealed that he wears it on his back waist at an angle, similar to Rangiku Matsumoto.
As a Grandmaster of the Seijin Council, he wears a tannish white uniform that extends past knee-length, seeming akin to that of a tunic. To keep the tunic in place, he wears a form-fit black obi which carries his Zanpakutō on the left side of his hip. He seems to retain a form of white hakama, though much less flowing as his previous attire. His uniform, seeming like a mix of a white tunic and traditional martial art attire, is very loose; as evident from his sleeves. Over this uniform, he wears a brown cloak that is complete with a hood, extending past his ankles. His facial expression seems strange; being one of intense sternness, yet with a whimsical calmness. In the Hell Tournament, Seireitou's hair had become longer and noticeably golden, as opposed to the lavender tint he sported in his silver hair in the fight against Kamui and Datara. He had abandoned the Seijin attire he wore previously, and now dons a dark purple kimono, with a light purple cloak over this. He explains that this cloak functions in a manner similar to Raian's black tenchcoat, in that it repels the effects of spiritual pressure. Seireitou has taken on a habit of wearing tomoe beads around his neck, which was a gift from Hazuma Kawahiru, allowing Seireitou to return to the Murinne Precipice World.
While he does seem to retain the two former uniforms at specific intervals, he seems to have adapted a unique uniform similar to a combination of Sōsuke Aizen's and Gin Ichimaru's upon his rebirth, and return to his allies. Kamui notes that it is almost exactly like the uniform that their father wore during his initial reign as Spirit King. Seireitou's attire consists of white sashinuki hakama, worn only by himself and Kamui, tied by a wide black obi around his waist which keeps his Zanpakutō fastened to his left hip; unlike most obi, it's belt ends hang downwards on the left side. The top consists of a thin white dobok, which splits downwards and apart evenly. Over this, Seireitou wears a long white robe that has similar bell sleeves to Ichimaru's former uniform. Leading up to his shoulders, both sleeves sport a thick long black bar running down the length of each white sleeve; these black bars are also shown to be on his hakama, running down the length of his legs on the outer edges. Similar to Aizen's uniform, Seireitou also possesses a white collar that is kept up, but only block the view of his chin area. The black bars that extend to the shoulders also run up the collar on each opposite side. It should also be noted that Seireitou's expression with this new appearance is more calm and peaceful, with an air of humility, further confirming that he has settled his despair. He later adapts a clothing style similar to the chinese shenyi.
After the nineteen-month timeskip, following Seireitou's reappearance in the series, he sports a similar appearance to that of his former attire nineteen months ago, with the addition of small armor plates around his shoulder. He has facial hair, in the form of a mustache and chin-hairs, almost similar to that of Shunsui Kyōraku. Despite his haori appearing to be very similar to his former one, Seireitou explains that the haori he wears is the one that Shōyō meant for the successor to the Seiten Shiranui-ryū, and that the one he wore nineteen months ago was merely a replica of the original haori. Unlike the replica, the real haori is crafted from a very rare material that is nearly impossible to find. The purpose of the armor plates are unclear, if they serve any. Underneath, Seireitou wears the same kosode that was worn by Shōyō in many of the flashbacks regarding the latter. These plates were later replaced with silver armour metal plates on both of Seireitou's shoulders that appear as collars surrounding his face and extend outwards down his arms, while also adding the metal band around his waist which connects to three individual silver armor pieces hanging from the front of his waist and on both sides of his hips; similar to the entire armored attire worn by Kyebaek Tae, which is said to be worn by "warlords of Soul Society's history" and may represent the assimilation of the "Shiroyasha" persona in its entirety, according to Saori Sumeragi.
When in the Human World, usually when frolicking among other humans or when deciding to engage other mortals he deems interesting in martial art sparring matches to test their mettle, Seireitou is known to take advantage of his Kitsune abilities as well as his complete control over his own body through martial arts mastery to craft himself in an entirely new appearance. While his choice of clothing is often random, typically featuring comfortable fitting robes found in the chinese martial arts, the most significant change is that he has appeared to age drastically while his hair has grown a bit longer and his facial hair has lengthened considerably. He takes on the alias, Yín Méi (銀眉 (イェン・メイ), Yinmei; Chinese for "Silver Eyebrows", a reference to Bái Méi), whenever in this form. As a Sōzōshin-born Kitsune, Seireitou is most commonly seen in his human-like form, despite the fact that the abilities of a Kitsune still present themselves in this aforementioned state through his Hakuda capabilities. However, he can take on his true form as a Kitsune upon personal preference, which was often the case whenever he invoked his innate Kitsune abilities prior to properly mastering them. In doing so, his hair lengthens and becomes far more untamed, with a pair of fox ears forming at the top of his head. Seireitou's eyes becoming a piercing yellow in contrast to the calm pale amber they originally were, while exerting an intense foreboding gaze from them, much like that of a predator seeking its kill. He is classified as a Kyūbi (九尾, "Nine-Tails"), and thus, nine magnificent white fox tails form behind him, completing his transformation. When completely revealing his Kitsune nature, he fully transforms into a large nine-tailed fox with snow white fur.
- "Not even I could have seen this coming. To think that for the sake of a single person, the head of that noble house would abandon his position. And for the sake of an unsavory bond, a band of barbarians no different than mountain-dwelling beasts would find a reason to pick up their swords. He is a man that I cannot comprehend... He defies all reason, that Kawahiru Seireitou. Without a doubt, it was his bad influence that influenced the stubborn streak in that sister of mine."
- —Micythos commenting upon Seireitou.
Without a doubt, Seireitou is possibly one of the most unusual characters in the series. He appears to shift from a wise master of the Shinigami arts to that of a naïve child that claims to have the soul of a boy within a man's body, back to that of a warrior who has faced down death his entire life and spends his days reflecting on those experiences, reverting to a man with the spirit and youthfulness of a young boy. Essentially, Seireitou prides himself in "being simple", and would often cause others to believe he himself is simple-minded. Yet despite how simple minded he appears at first, Seireitou would reveal himself to be a complex person with rather difficult to figure out views. One of the more noticeable traits of Seireitou is that he tends to act out of character, portraying traits of a manipulator like Sōsuke Aizen or the suspicious traits of a sarcastic man like Gin Ichimaru. Tetsuro Ryuzaki commented that Seireitou is unpredictable, and it is almost impossible to discern his thoughts or his motives. Seireitou himself claimed that his main characteristic is being "uncharacteristic". The only one who seems to understand his actions, most of the time, is Raian. In addition, despite his personality having different outlets, the one thing that has never changed in him is the beliefs that he lives his life by. While most appear to be very trivial, there is one that stands out the most, and serves as probably the most characteristic piece of who he is. Seireitou is a firm believer in the principle that the only thing worth protecting is "one's soul", a teaching that was passed down by his teacher, Shōyō. He believes that no matter what happens, so long as his soul exists, he can never be defeated. This unrealistic level of indomitable spirit allows him to overcome challenges that initially appear to be futile. Perhaps an extension of this belief is derived from the promise that he and Raian had made in the past. They had promised to never allow the other one to deter from their path, and if one of them should, the other would kill them. Seireitou states that this way of life is how all four of them, the Yonkō, have dealt with each other all their lives.
Using a medley of quotations (some of which appear not to have much meaning to them, or are merely used at random moments, having almost nothing to do with the situation), he has shown a remarkable ability to consistently shatter the perceptions of many people that he confronts but never appears interested in making someone, as he says, "see things his way". An example of this is that he had stated that if two people share very different views, its better they go their separate ways instead of attempting to reconcile matters. His knowledge of people's true personality appears to go beyond being simply a good judge of character. Despite Kamui's background as a threat to peace, and strong incriminating evidence, Seireitou trusts him with many important tasks. In addition to Seireitou's great trust in the power of one's soul, he also had a deep understanding of the power of love. This perhaps stemmed from the loss of his dearly beloved wife, Shiori Miyamoto, whom he lost in battle to Datara Kawahiru. He possesses incredible insight on people, often knowing if they are troubled or hiding something; he sometimes even knows what a person is thinking, scaring even Raian with his powers of perception. It is hard to recognize this wisdom due to his almost constant shift in attitude, usually displaying immature and childish trains of thought and actions, but it is through these misunderstood guises that his true self shines through in a most dazzling manner.
- "Most people that I confront are rather simplistic to describe, but you're a different story. You have a far more interesting rhythm. It's a tad illusive, scrambled up due to its poor form, making it harder to pinpoint. Something like jazz, perhaps? No, nothing like that. If anything, it's like the humming of a drunkard."
- —Shinsaku Kawakami analyzing Seireitou's behavior.
Adding to his potpourri of randomness that he considers a personality, despite his talk of morals and honor, Seireitou appears to be very willing to commit actions that would be considered criminal offenses. This makes him appear very hypocritical and he will attempt to justify his actions with several excuses, most of which appear not to really make any sense. When such thoughts are in his head, he reveals it through "evil"-like facial expressions, although these are very rare moments and usually serve only to unnerve an opponent. Despite resolving never to kill, he is shown attempting murder on more than one occasion. In addition, he has a habit of hitting people, even those he doesn't know, for very loosely-justified reasons; an example of this was shown when he met his Reigai version, when he slammed the latter's head into a concrete wall without even questioning the situation. This serves to exemplify that Seireitou is very open when it comes to feelings of annoyances, and will not hesitate to act on them. Moving on with his odd traits, Seireitou constantly uses many forms of innuendo in his speech, especially in the sexual manner, in his statements, annoying allies and enemies alike. His typical way of being very inconsistent with his actions gives off an initial impression of being heroic and honorable, later on revealing his motives to be self-serving. While infamous among many of his colleagues and subordinates alike for the selfish and narcissistic aura he gives off, but to those who truly know him, he is a man that always attends to those who need him. In the former regard, he and Kamui are considered the exact same. Although this immature persona can appear to be a negative trait, it is also seen in a more playful light. Subsequently, he is sometimes seen as "tongue-in-cheek" comical, and to another extent, very serious about his family and friends. He typically acts in a goofy, energetic and fun-loving manner, able to cheer up even the depressed Raian at times. Despite these traits, Seireitou is capable of easily frightening anyone when he is upset or enraged, sharing a similar trait with Saori Sumeragi. In regards to his eccentric behavior, Raian states that Seireitou has went through several painful events in his life, going on to say that his inability to protect many of his comrades in the the Quincy Blood War still haunts him, and as a result, he is very protective of his current friends. When someone close to him is in danger, Seireitou has no qualms about putting himself at risk to save them, if necessary, as seen when he prioritized the safety of Raian and his group first, over confronting Kamui head-on when his group confronted his entourage. Raian once mentioned to Hibiki Asakura that he had lost count of the amount of times he wanted to destroy the world, but that the entire time, Seireitou found a way to endure it even though he had more of a reason to hate the world than any of them. This statement was meant to refer to Seireitou's ability to wade through the experiences he had been dealt and still keep moving on with his life.
- "That man, as aloof as he may seem, is dangerous. He is unnatural in his cunning, it's almost as if he's reading your heart rather than your mind."
- —Renge Kondō
Seireitou's almost immature and free-spirited personality masks his sage-like and serious attitude, appearing in him when the situation demands it, accompanied with wisdom that has been attained through years of experience; this may be a contributing factor as to why many commonly acknowledge him as the "Fox Hermit" (狐仙人, Kitsunesennin; literally "Kitsune Sage"). Some state that he is probably unaware of this immaturity. However, Seireitou seems to give off the implication that he is aware of it, claiming that he acts in the aforementioned manner to keep matters around him from getting "too depressing". Raian, however, comically stated that Seireitou had suffered heat stroke at some point in his life. When appearing to be serious (although the term is used loosely), his statements still belie some sense of dry humor and even sarcasm. Seireitou appears to act mostly out of self-interest rather than any sort of philanthropy, whether the situation be trivial or life-threatening. Seireitou is expertly manipulative, prone to think several steps ahead of those around him and giving him a remarkable (almost annoying) talent for making subordinates act exactly as he wishes despite appearing not to have had a hand in their decisions. However, while these traits do have a place in his real personality, much of his outward persona can perhaps be considered an intentional facade perfectly designed to cause those unfamiliar with him to underestimate his remarkable intelligence and ability. At the core, he is a remarkably devoted commander whose primary focus and personal duty is to his friends and family. Though he hides it well behind a veil of cynicism and self-importance, Seireitou is a man who cares deeply about the people who trust and support him and goes to great lengths to ensure their safety and well-being, even at the risk of his own. As a man with considerable power, Seireitou considers himself a protector to those without and acts accordingly, earning the staunch loyalty of his most trusted compatriots. Despite his numerous complaints of having to lead, he has definitely shown himself to be a great leader. Seireitou has always been able to command the forces of the Gotei 13 in the battle against Datara, despite the separation of their ranks.
- "A man that acknowledged the weakness within him and searched for strength within himself. Reflected in those eyes is not a wall standing in his way, but rather it is the wall called his "limits". It's not against his enemy, it's for the sake of breaking through his limits that he is fighting. He is always fighting with his strongest enemy... Himself. Whenever he goes up against an enemy stronger than himself, he overcomes those limits. And he always gets stronger, even right in the middle of those fights. No matter how high you tower in front of him, he will jump higher."
- —Saori Sumeragi describing Seireitou's nature.
As stated by his twin brother, Seireitou's most remarkable ability is his will to succeed, pushing himself beyond his limitations, and never giving up even when the odds are stacked against him. Seireitou, for the most part, only fights to win, and usually will spare his opponents, despite initially claiming that he'd kill them. His will to win is often bordering on the extreme, displayed by the bright white glow of spiritual energy that emit from his eyes during such moments. In contrast to this, he appears not to bear much regret to when his opponent has died, whether by Seireitou's own hand or because of other reasons. His staggering power is simultaneously reigned in and enhanced by his fierce unshakeable conscience and indomitable spirit. Seireitou seems to be proud of his own power, but unlike Datara Kawahiru, he seemingly possesses no physical signs of arrogance or overconfidence. This great strength appears to have a hand in his interest in facing powerful opponents, subsequently contributing to an inability to turn down challenges, especially when it concerns a powerful opponent; although regardless, deep down, he is a man of peace, a trait that was influenced by that of his teacher. Although he is a fearsome fighter with nearly unmatched skills, Seireitou will typically use the guise of a coward most of the time to avoid needless bloodshed. However, in complete contrast, he is in fact willing to risk his life for almost anyone. He is typically described by others as lazy, unmotivated, and useless. Although, those same people also seem to note his kind, responsible, and unpredictable self. Despite the fact that he would normally act as a coward and allow others to handle problematic situations, Seireitou is quite aware of the fact that his power outmatches many of those around him and would not hesitate to remind others of this fact. Seireitou has shown himself to have a habit of referring to fighting as "dancing", using several dance metaphors throughout battle. Raian notes that one possible reason for this is because martial arts have always had a strong connection with dance and song.
- "There's nothing to worry about. You see, it's simply because I'm one hell of a master."
- —Seireitou responding to most concerns from his students.
In the position of an instructor, Seireitou is known to be capable of unspeakable brutality, both physically and mentally. Furthermore, he isn't very considerate of another's feelings of self-adequacy lack-there-of, portraying his signature sarcasm. It was because of this, coupled with his amazing capabilities as a teacher, that among those who have either trained under him or have heard about him as a mentor address him as the "demon teacher" (魔性使い, Mashōtsukai). According to Saori Sumeragi, whenever Seireitou says "Eh, I don't want to.", his stubbornness becomes unrivaled to the point where no amount of compensation can change his mind. His role as a teacher stems from his deep respect of his teacher Shōyō Shakyamuni, and out of memory of his teacher, he values the relationship between a student and their master above all others; becoming enraged that someone who would harm their student would call himself a teacher. In the "less-platonic" sense, Seireitou has considered himself an expert on women. The truth of this is very difficult to ascertain, as he seems to understand a great deal about a woman's thoughts, but at the same time reveals himself to say and do things that are inconsistent with his knowledge. This can be seen by the way he "mistakenly" insinuated Hisaya Urogataya's statement to mean that he, her, Jacqueline and Okiko could have a foursome; responses of which often tend to lead to death-filled stares from the women mentioned, save for Okiko in that particular scenario. Regardless of this ability, he is not one to commit to intimate relationships, most likely being a result of Shiori's death and the events that transpired from it. Nonetheless, he was more than adept at sweeping women off their feet, even if it wasn't intentional. Almost contradictory of this, however, Seireitou appears to be very willing to commit perverted acts, being labeled by many as a pervert. His normal use of dirty talk, scatological innuendos, and ability to find women in unstrategical places also seem to suggest this. In contrast to this, Seireitou is often considered by many to possess a very peculiar charisma that sets him apart from all others. A unique charisma that is disguised by his strange mannerisms and ridiculous actions but has always remained true and just. He also appears to have an obsession (or addiction) for sweet foods, once threatening to kill whichever one of his two students ate the last ice cream. This also seems to carry over to alcoholic drinks such as sake.
However, it should be noted that just as he demonstrates a darker side to him in terms of mentoring and combative situations, so too is there a maliciousness in how Seireitou deals with women he has personally noted to have taken an interest with. Ever since Shiori's death, the term "love" does not register to Seireitou when speaking of relationships that are not some form of parental relation or a master-student bond. Whether he does seek it and can not recognize it, or simply refuses to pursue it, still remains unknown, but what is clear is that throughout his life, he had slowly begun to delve deeper and deeper into his Kitsune self. One of the key aspects he demonstrates of a Kitsune is his extreme sense of being territorial. When there is a woman he has taken some form of interest in, usually that of a sexual nature, he pursues the woman like a predator hunts his prey. He loses interest if the woman is too willing but if there is a chase, he will continue deepening the pursuit until his Kitsune instincts finally are brought to the forefront that he seizes them as his own property; usually through repeated sexual conquest. While in the beginning, it was losing himself to his carnal Kitsune instincts that eventually led to the horrible mistake of him killing his beloved Shiori, in his despair and subsequent acceptance, he became at peace with his Kitsune self and those deeper instincts are now his completely. Even so, having forgone love as a forlorn enterprise, marking his territory via sexual consequence is how he establishes any sort of relationship with a woman that has piqued his interest. That being said, women like Saori and Botan Nakandakari hold a more special place in Seireitou's mind; to such a degree that he has come to accept them as close friends and comrades rather than perceiving them as sexual prey. That being said, even past females that had once worked together with him can eventually be turned into his prey; the prime examples being Kimiko, Sakura Hazumi, and Asaka Miyagi, all of whom succumbed to their deaths following the ravenous encounter. If the pursuit of the woman was one that satisfied his instinctive drive for a challenge and the eventual seizing of said woman was worthwhile, he will opt to continue revising them as many times as he wishes; continuing his ravaging actions until the encounters can not continue for some apparent reason. It is unknown how he goes about these pursuits, though simple assault does not seem to be an impossibility. While in some cases, these encounters led to the deaths of some of his partners, for one reason or another, and other situations have led to Seireitou simply losing interest (such as Amaririsu Itami), very few cases actually did result in the target woman actually falling to their own carnal desires and eventually succumbing to them as they welcomed the silver-haired man's repeated advances. Notable cases in which this latter result occurred would include Sara Miyake, Megumi Shimokawa, and Rangiku Matsumoto; the two former examples of which eventually led to their deaths due to eventually be smothered by Seireitou's spiritual pressure enhanced by his lust while the latter of whom resulted in the procreation of Sayuri Matsumoto. At one time, this aspect of his personality could be attributed to his innermost Shiroyasha, but it is arguably more tame as Seireitou never lowers himself to senseless violence during these pursuits. Nearly a century after Shiori's death, when he first began expressing his Kitsune instincts, he had sought out numerous females in both the Human World and Soul Society. It appears as though his current person of interest in this regard is Captain of the Fourth Division, Rikuri Ukitake, though any progress of this endeavor has remained to be seen.
It has been noted by both Kamui and Sōkudo that Seireitou houses two different persona. The first is his carefree demeanor, which is present consistently and makes up the majority of his personality and traits. This is often characterized by his moniker, "Silver-Hairs" Seireitou. However, Seireitou also possesses the trait of a brutal and unmerciful killer, characterized by his other moniker, Shiroyasha (白い悪魔, White Demon). Sōkudo claims that these two persona are at war within Seireitou, and have been ever since the death of Shiori Miyamoto. However, despite this claim, the "white demon" persona has been depicted several times before, most noticeably during the Quincy Blood War, when he was first given said title, and also shown whenever Shiori is brought up in a negative or demeaning manner.
- "An enigma like you, covered in blood just like a demon, thinks that he wields a fist to protect life, but in the end, you're walking a path of carnage. All for the sake of those friends of yours. But you should understand, that you share the same fate as a demon. Everything you love, the people you cherish, and even those you despise... It will all be torn asunder. You will be the only person left in this world, Shiroyasha."
- —Warkiller speaking of Seireitou, after being killed by him.
Through horrific circumstances throughout his life, having fought in a horrendous war and watching his formerly betrothed executed before his eyes, Seireitou had developed a sort of secondary personality within him that would rise to the surface whenever he would experience intense feelings of rage or sadness. Kamui, however, noted that this change in persona is most likely a reflection of his primal instincts due to the Sōzōshin blood coursing in his veins. While at first, Seireitou appeared to be completely unaware that he took on this sudden change, most likely due to being blinded by anger, he seems far more in control of these changes and aware of his actions during.
Whenever overcome by his Shiroyasha persona, Seireitou's personality utterly changes. He is no longer humorous nor eccentric, but instead becomes serious and apathetic. It is likened to that of Kamui's constant facial expression, exhibiting an immense shuddering aura of coldness from the depths of his eyes as noted by Raian Getsueikirite, whom could not read Seireitou's heart whilst the latter was in this persona, despite the bond the two share as friends. Raian described it as a strange and foreign darkness that surrounded the man's being, completely unlike that of Seireitou, while Saori Sumeragi expressed a fear so great that it threatened to overwhelm her and crush her entirely. Most noticeably, he develops an intense sadism that carries over into his conversations and even in his fighting. He demonstrates a complete and willing desire to preform certain acts during battle that would disgust or frighten almost any sort of opponent(s), such as castration and sadomasochism, to a point where it appears as though he finds some form of enjoyment and sexual ecstasy in seeking to preform such actions. Though generally wishing to inflict torture onto an opponent using his blade, he'll use his fingers to stab through an opponent's body and pull out a specific organ, such as aiming for the neck and pulling out their larynx or ripping out their spine part by part through finger-tip thrusts. He is willing to go as far as to tear off the reproductive organs of a male and shove it down their mouths or causing the sexual organs of a female to bleed out violently until they slowly pass out from hypotension shock and brutally violates their body. While doing so, his face reveals the incredible sense of pure ecstasy that he feels in the form of a frightening grin, doing everything possible to an opponent by forcing out every ounce of sickening pleasure and thrill he can from torturing them before utterly killing them in cold blood.
- "You have nothing to be ashamed of, that boy just happens to be a bit special. He's not like you, Raian-kun. Unlike your drive to protect your younger brother, Seireitou-kun does not have someone like that to protect. If anything, it was a matter of enduring for the sake of enduring. In order to live and in order to survive, that boy had no choice but to become stronger."
- —Shōyō describing Seireitou in his youth to Raian.
Born to the Kawahiru Clan as the third son of the King of Souls and Tsuyuri Kawahiru, Seireitou had never gotten to appreciate the benefits of being a full-blooded member of Soul Society's royal family. An incident had caused the young child to become expunged from Reiōkyū. Seireitou grew up under the care of Shōyō Shakyamuni, and was under the belief that his parents had abandoned him, though Shōyō attempted to persuade him that this was not the case. However, Seireitou continued to think this way, and as a result, he was apathetic toward most people in Rukongai who attempted to get close to him. Seireitou was raised in a dangerous era, war and conflict being a common sight in the Rukongai districts and beyond them. The fighting appeared to not have even a single instance of any ceasing. Under Shōyō, Seireitou became part of the Shintai Sonjuku school and studied under his mentor and father figure for most of his childhood and teenage years. While learning at the school, Seireitou eventually met Shiori Miyamoto, whom was studying under Shōyō around the same time as the former. The two, although meeting with a rocky start, became good friends who relied on eachother in tough times.
Under Shōyō, Seireitou had been taught all forms of Shinigami combat and how the four intertwined with eachother. Despite their differences, the combat styles all relied on eachother's teachings in one form or another. Once his initial training was finished, Shōyō would have Seireitou participate in missions that were in service to the warring districts. Because his experience was limited, many of his tasks were limited only to bodyguard duty and parcel deliveries. He often worked with Shiori, as they were quite the excellent team, but also had to work together with other students of Shōyō's. Senka Kururugi soon came into the picture, who's parents were nobles of the Rukongai village. Despite their interactions being limited, Seireitou and Senka began to develop feelings for eachother, to which Shiori showed contempt toward.
Before long, Seireitou had followed Shiori's example and entered the Shinō Academy, pending Shōyō's approval. At the Shinō Academy, Seireitou was admitted into the lowest class, being discriminated against as "scum of the Rukongai", along with Shiori and Raian. However, the trio proved themselves, and eventually were admitted into the top classes respectively. It was at this point that Seireitou and Raian began their rivalry, attempting to best the other in each class. Despite the two's equivocal skill in Kidō, Seireitou was able to best Raian in almost every class, earning perfect scores when Raian earned average scores. Handpicked from a class of other top students, Seireitou was assigned to receive special instruction. His sensei was Shōyō, his surrogate father, which surprised the young man, to learn that his caretaker was actually his teacher. Seireitou became even further distant from Raian when he met Kamui Kawahiru, Shōyō's assistant teacher who was also the current Captain of the Ninth Division. However, Kawahiru revealed that he was actually Seireitou's twin brother during their one-on-one training. Seireitou inquired why their parents had abandoned him, Kamui explaining that their parents had become involved in a civil war, and in order to protect their son, they had Shōyō take Seireitou to the Rukongai. Kamui goes on to say that because of this war, both of their parents were killed on the battlefield. Seireitou soon confronted Shōyō about this, but Shōyō refused to tell Seireitou anything, and because of this, Seireitou soon began to feel detached from his surrogate father.
Seireitou held only Kamui in regard from that point on, and accepted the latter as his mentor. He formed a powerful bond with his twin brother, but also a bitter rivalry. Kamui acknowledged the rivalry Seireitou felt, telling him, "We are brothers. I am the wall you must climb over, so you and I will continue to exist together." However, it was not long after that Seireitou began to see Kamui's true colors, discovering that everything he had told him was a lie. Kamui was forced to leave his captaincy under personal reasons, and confronted Seireitou, attempting to kill his younger brother. However, Shōyō came to his rescue, and chased Kamui off. Shōyō explained that he didn't want to tell Seireitou the truth, because it would have devastated him. He explained that Kamui was the one who led a massacre of the Kawahiru family, and killed his own parents. Sindae, realizing Kamui's intentions, requested that Shōyō take care of Seireitou. It was later revealed that Sindae managed to drive Kamui off, and the latter disappeared completely that night. Seireitou apologized to his mentor for making such a mistake, but Shōyō forgave him. This event deepened Seireitou's despair, but ended up deepening his relationship with Shiori. Before long, Seireitou and Shiori shared their first kiss.
The years then passed, as Seireitou graduated top of his class, and was placed in the Gotei 13 as the fifth Seat of the Eighth Division. He served under Captain Nagato Hiroshitaki. He formed a close relationship with his Capatain, but eventually ended up being the victim of betrayal yet again. Nagato revealed his true identity as Myoken, and attempted to use Seireitou to kidnap fellow Shinigami for experimentation. When Seireitou refused to comply, Myoken had attempted to kill the young silver-haired man. However, the combined efforts of both Seireitou and Shiori defeated the renegade Captain, and ended up running him out of his position. Pending an invesigation, Seireitou was acquitted for his charges for insubordination. With nobody better qualified for Myoken's former position, not even the lieutenant at the time, Seireitou attained the captaincy of the Eighth Division. This was because sometime before his fight with Myoken, he attained his Zanpakutō's Bankai.
As the new Captain of the Eighth Division, Seireitou took Shiori as his lieutenant and Setsuna Inoue as his eighth seat. Senka had attained the captaincy for the Second Division, and Raian obtained the captaincy of the Tenth Division. Seireitou and Senka's relationship began to flourish from when they were kids, but Seireitou was more of a bachelor, hitting on women all throughout the Seireitei. Things were finally at peace, as Seireitou worked with his comrades on several assignments. It was during this time that Seireitou took on six disciples, five of which would go on to found Kōmyōzankū. However, eventually, war approached. Seireitou had worked alongside his fellow comrades, including Hikaru "Shadow" Kurosaki and Sōsetsu Taneda. After almost an entire year of non-stop fighting between the opposing sides, the Shinigami were the decisive victors. Two years after the war, Shiori worked her way up to the position of the Fifth Division's Captain. The lieutenant position was open, as Seireitou appointed a man named Akujin. Even from the beginning, Seireitou had held suspicions about Akujin, not felt by his fellow Captains. However, these feelings were soon made out to be fact, as Akujin was caught red-handed by Seireitou and his comrades, undergoing Hollowfication experimentation. Akujin used this oppertunity to force the Hollowfication virus on the group, causing them all to undergo Hollowfication. Akujin was in leagues with the Fifth Division's fourth seat, Sōsuke Aizen, the latter being unknown in his involvement until later. Before long, Seireitou's group was found by the Ninth Division's squadron, and brought before the Central 46. When Seireitou was put on trial for gaining Hollow powers, he was stripped of his captaincy and sentenced to death. Just as Seireitou was about to be killed on the spot, during the execution that followed a week after the trial, Raian intervened and freed his friend, as the two attempted their daring escape. Raian led Seireitou to the outskirts of the Rukongai, where the others were also waiting. Because Raian's identity wasn't revealed, he stated that he'd stay back and keep an eye on Akujin. Now outlaws, Seireitou and his group were forced to flee to the World of the Living, not before Seireitou thanked his friend for his help in escaping.
They were hunted however, ironically by Raian's own division, causing Seireitou and Shiori to lose contact as they were forced to split off. Seireitou had not known what had happened to Shiori, as he made his way to Karakura Town. He used Kidō to hide himself, until he had crafted a Gigai that would cut off his spiritual power. He soon took up a job as a High School teacher, and settled into the life of a human. The life of a Shinigami, however, did not escape him. He soon made contact with former Captain, Shinji Hirako, a few years later. The two discussed the occurances reguarding both of their defections, only to come to the conclusion that Akujin and Sōsuke Aizen had been working together, side-by-side on the experiments. From there, the two Vizard had decided to work alongside one another in defeating both Aizen and Akujin, and clearing their names. It was also around this time that Seireitou encountered Sōsetsu Taneda once again. Seireitou had also begun to make plans to find his brother, Kamui, in the hopes of making the mysteries of his past finally come to light.
Main article: Bleach Silver
- "Martial arts is a power that can bring people together, allowing them to understand one another in a way that is impossible by any other means. That is the beauty of this art. A weakness cast aside in hatred is no power at all. Rather, through the bonds made from experiencing and understanding others, you can strengthen your weakness and turn it into something powerful. With that strength, you inspire others to do the same, and the cycle of martial arts allows people to grow as the martial arts themselves evolve throughout the ages. This is the essence of martial arts. This is Hakuda."
- —Seireitou asserting his paradigm of Hakuda.
In The Brothers Kawahiru, Seireitou begins to settle into the peaceful married life together with Shiori Miyamoto, nearly ten years after the defeat of Myōken and Sydonay Senseirei. The two have been living in the nineteenth district of Rukongai where they have a moderate home and are raising their son, Suzaku Kawahiru. During a brief training session where Shiori was teaching Suzaku the basics of martial arts, Seireitou observing them closely, they are interrupted by the sudden appearance of multiple Shinigami that have been ordered to apprehend Seireitou on suspicion of being behind a recent terrorist attack on the Seireitei. Though refuting the claims, he agrees to go with them and meet with Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto. It is during a meeting with him and the other Captains that it is revealed the terrorist had a very similar reiatsu signature to that of Seireitou; according to Kirio Hikifune, the match was well over fifty percent.
The meeting is interrupted when shockwaves begin to rattle the ground like an earthquake. It is shown to be the cause of several Arrancar, many of whom Seireitou recognizes as being previously followers of Warkiller, along with a purple-haired man adorned in robes standing in front of them. He addresses himself as Kamui Kawahiru and states that he is Seireitou's brother. Though denying that to even be a possibility, the reiatsu match between them as well as his own claim to know nothing of his own bloodline beyond that of his Kitsune lineage, Seireitou attempts to attack Kamui head-on, though he is defeated with ease. While unconscious from the barrage of Kamui's destructive spells, the Arrancar that had accompanied him proceed to engage in battle with the Captains and other officers. Battlefields are drawn all throughout the Seireitei, and over the course of the fight, Kamui manages to ascend into the Soul King Palace. Eventually regaining consciousness, Seireitou tries to make sense of the situation at hand, leading to a couple skirmishes against the remaining Arrancar. He eventually encounters Yamamoto, who had just finished off several Arrancar with a sweep of his flames, and demands answers as to the identity of this Kamui who calls himself Seireitou's brother. Though claiming to not know much, Yamamoto explains to him about the Kawahiru Clan and the children of the Soul King; information that even Yamamoto himself had not know until recently. Declaring that he would move ahead to stop Kamui, Yamamoto reluctantly utilizes the Ōken that is bequeathed to the Captain-Commander so that Seireitou would be granted passage to the palace.
Finally making his way to the platform of the Soul King Palace, Seireitou is surprised to see an unfazed Kamui standing before the defeated Royal Guard members. After a brief conversation in which Kamui provides some exposition on his motives, the two proceed to battle, with the skies lightning up and the palace cities trembling in the wake of their attacks. It is during this battle that Seireitou reveals his trump card: the Kata of the Dragon, which he developed through his training under Kachōfūgetsu. However, even with the benefit of the dragon essence supporting him, neither side appears ready to fall. They both unleash vicious attacks on one another, and during their exchange, Kamui appears stunned with the thoughts of his past and the brief moments he managed to see Seireitou when the latter was but a newborn and Kamui himself was a young child. Distracted by these visions, Kamui is overwhelmed by Seireitou and subsequently surrenders; promising that he would return one day to settle this conflict between them, before entering into a portal and leaving. The battle-worn Seireitou descends to the Seireitei where he learns that the Shinigami have vanquished the last of the Arrancar and proclaims that Kamui retreated after declaring surrender.
- "Back then, I only cared about protecting two things. But I was forced into a situation where I had to pick one. I tried to save both, but it was no better than throwing them both away."
- —Seireitou speaking of Shiori and Suzaku, his late wife and estranged son respectively.
In the Thousand-Year Blood War, unbeknownst to Seireitou and Saori at the time, the Wandenreich waged their war against the Soul Society; first by invading the Seireitei, leaving much of it in ruins upon their retreat, and second by returning to kill the Soul King as well as finish off the Gotei 13. The death of the King by the hand of Yhwach caused tremors to rumble all throughout the Soul Society, which was immediately picked up on by Seireitou and the other Masters of the Senjukuha. Being born of the Soul King, Seireitou could recognize what the cause behind the earthquakes was, subsequently making plans to head back to the Seireitei along with Saori and Rinnōbō Yoshioka. Of course, upon arriving, they found it almost impossible to penetrate the barrier shielding off the Seireitei — now occupied by Silbern — which made it nigh impossible for them to enter the fray and get involved. As luck would have it, however, the battle was not to last too much longer, as once the final defeat was issued to Yhwach and the end of the war came, the barrier had also come down to reveal the devastated Quincy buildings which were slowly receding back into the Seireitei structures. In his inquiring of the events that had transpired, Seireitou came to learn that the Soul King, who was essentially his father, was killed during the battle. Though Saori and Rinnōbō offered their condolences, Seireitou shrugged them off, remarking that the Soul King was never anything resembling a father to him. Similarly, his mother Tsuyuri met her end to the hands of the Quincy invaders when the Royal Palace was overtaken, but Yukina managed to survive.
In Opposition against the Shiroyasha, Seireitou faces off with a multitude of opponents looking to test their might against the Hakuda Grandmaster.
- "Would you quit blabbering? You bastards sound like dogs in heat. By all means, keep yammering, but I'm just going to tune you all out."
- —Seireitou defending Minato Kuramoto from a band of Arrancars during their first encounter.
- "Don't waste your time trying to understand me, you still have work to do. Your disciple can still become stronger. However, he could go the wrong way, like I did. Hopefully, he will listen to you... the way I could not."
"This is the end for you... and the only words you have are of concern for the son you abandoned?"
- —Hōsen Kuramoto and Seireitou after the former's death.
In The Darkness Cometh, the existence of the L'Obscurité threat had become far more apparent that it was determined that actions needed to be taken. Learning of their intentions, Seireitou and the other masters of Senjukuha held a discussion between the five of them. Seireitou often tried to isolate himself from matters he had no personal interest in, even if it meant destruction of the world would be a consequence of his negligence. However, among those that Mūkade listed as the members of the organization's head, the Ikken Kyūkage, a member by the name of Hōsen Kuramoto immediately caught Seireitou's attention. He confirmed the suspicions that he was in fact the father of Minato but it was clear that he had something personal invested in this particular individual, which even Saori did not know. Leaving it at that, it was a situation that the Gotei 13, still trying to rebuild its ranks after the war against the Wandenreich, would simply be unable to handle on its own. Therefore, it was agreed that they would take the information they obtained from Mūkade and make the first move themselves so as to bring the Ikken Kyūkage down. They had also agreed to keep the plan secret from Minato and Hinata, though Minato had overheard the plan from outside the walls.
On the morning they prepared to set out, Minato confronted Seireitou and the others about their intentions and demanded that he come along with them. However, Seireitou told him it wasn't his time to fight an enemy like this, and that he was best to defend the dōjō along with Hinata while they were away. Although reluctant to agree, Minato nodded in response. Making their way into the Dangai world, Saori and Rinnōbō utilized their abilities to locate the exact coordinates where Mūkade told them to look and managed to discover the hidden Kyōgoku there. They proceeded to forge ahead with a path and broke into the space that concealed the organization's headquarters, Susuki Castle. Of course, it was not as much of an infiltration as they would have liked, as their presence was almost immediately picked up upon by the members of the Ikken Kyūkage. According to Mūkade, the leader went by the name of "Kurama" and the goal was to take him down.
Going their separate ways in pursuit of the determined plan, Seireitou made his way for the east corridor of the castle and made his way down the hallway. He picked up on the spiritual pressure of his fellow comrades and the battles they had just engaged themselves in, only to run into Hōsen Kuramoto. The two hold a brief conversation, in which it is revealed that Hōsen was actually the first student Seireitou ever took on, back before he had even become a Captain and still served as one of the two leaders of the Wolves of Yoshida. Unable to guide the young Hōsen due to the fact that Seireitou simply had not the skills at the time to serve as a good teacher, Hōsen was disillusioned by the notions of peace and tore away from him. Seireitou regarded Hōsen as his greatest failure as well as one of his greatest regrets. In a strange shift of topic, Hōsen asked if his children were still doing alright; referring to both Minato and his older sister, Takara Kuramoto. Seireitou answered simply with a nod before Hōsen initiated the offensive. The two of them engaged in a series of fist to fist clashes with the ground beneath them shaking under the force of their attacks.
The battle would soon be interrupted by the appearance of Minato, who, along with his team and Hinata, followed them and used the portal left behind by Saori and Rinnōbō. Minato demanded to know if it was true, that Hōsen was indeed his father and that he did abandon their family all those years ago, to which Hōsen confirmed with a casual remark. Enraged, Minato attacked Hōsen, only for the former's strikes to be swatted away. In the midst of his aggressive assaults on his absentee father, Seireitou took advantage of an opening and struck down Hōsen with a violent attack to the chest, as the latter fell to the ground on his back in defeat. Minato lashed out in anger at Seireitou, stating that it was his duty to take revenge on his father for what he did, but Seireitou retorted by explaining that it was Hōsen's intention to fall by his own hand. He went on by explaining that Minato was far too young to have allowed his hands to be bathed in the blood of vengeance and that Hōsen being killed by Seireitou in front of Minato while the latter seethed with hatred was the best option in order for Minato to move on without having committed such an act. Seireitou went on to say that he and Hōsen agreed to this, revealing that he knew that Minato would follow him and the other masters. With his dying breath, Hōsen spoke with Minato and expressed his remorse that he was unable to find a better way to approach the situation. Despite the fact that Hōsen contributed to the plan made by L'Obscurité, he tried to break ties and even managed to form a family before being forced back into their ranks, lest they threatened to kill Hōsen's newborn child and young daughter. Seireitou then demanded Minato leave and return to his team who needed him right now. Though reluctant, Minato agreed, leaving behind trying to hold back his tears. In Hōsen's final moments, he asked his former mentor to take care of his children and to continue serving as Minato's instructor.
Seireitou continued to advance, eventually crossing paths with Botan who managed to defeat her adversaries a little while ago. She said that Kuniharu, Rinnōbō, and Saori were still locked in battles across Susuki Castle, but she went forward once she picked up on the one they believed was the leader. Wasting no time, the man known as Kurama Kawahiru walked down the long flight of stairs leading up to the next level of the palace and stared down the two martial art masters. Experiencing flashbacks from the time he faced Datara Kawahiru, Seireitou ordered Botan to leave him to Seireitou, as he did not want a repeat of the moment when he lost his beloved wife. Agreeing to leave them, Botan exited the room to provide help to the others, as Seireitou and Kurama began their fight. Both stood as Grandmasters of the Hakuda craft and their battle reached a level of intensity that forced them to break straight through the roof of the palace as they ascended to the skies above. During their match, Seireitou came to learn more about the motives behind Kurama's plans and the purpose behind L'Obscurité, but regardless of the reasons, Seireitou was determined to win and put an end to the pain that was inflicted onto his former student and his current student. Though the two seemed evenly matched, Seireitou took the lead when revealing the unique nature behind his perfection over the third realm of Hakuda, Kihaku. Though the battle continued to be hard-fought, the conclusion of the fight eventually came with Seireitou's victory and the annihilation of Kurama. Though this was cause for celebration, one of the remaining members of the Ikken Kyūkage, Yáng Zhū, set into motion a spell that was designed to essentially self-destruct the entire Valley of Screams where Susuki Castle was based. As the dimension slowly began to crumble away, the masters as well as Minato's group and Hinata managed to reach the spot where Saori and Rinnōbō prepared the portal for a return to the Soul Society. All that was left was for Seireitou to reach that point, but on his way there, he was stopped by Seimei Abe, who thanked him for putting an end to Kurama's nefarious plans. However, Seireitou rejected his gratitude, stating that his only reason for coming here was to settle a past problem, obviously referring to Hōsen, and that Kurama "just happened to be there". Shrugging off the remark, Seimei turned away and replied that their paths would cross again, as Seireitou paid it no heed and went off to escape the collapsing dimension with the others.
In Served Cold, the enigmatic bounty hunter known as Vengeance challenged Seireitou in order to kill him on the part of multiple clients that desire the Shiroyasha's death for the crimes he committed in the past.
- Hanullim's Sheath (シースされて究極の, Hanullim no Saya): Hanullim's sheath can deflect or resist spiritual energy attacks with the barrier used to contain its power. However, the sheath can only withstand a limited number of attacks. The sheath is capable of resisting any amount of offensive force; however, if that force is used continuously then the sheath will crack. This is why it was able to hold off Raian's Zanpakutō on its own, since it was an attack that was only unleashed once, but couldn’t hold off Kamui's Kidō since he was unleashing them constantly. The sheath can also summon Hanullim to itself, as seen when Seireitou was trapped inside the cage of kidō with only the sheath. It was created from an ancient tree bark that grows only in Asadal. Though Seireitou no longer wields Hanullim as a blade, he is known to keep the sheath itself at the Senjukuha; however, he did at one time claim that he threw it out after "spilling hot miso soup" all over it.
- Seohak (천주학 (睿智天の原), Sōhaku; Korean for "Heavenly Learning"; Japanese for "Wisdom of the Heavens"): The Zanpakutō of his mentor and grandfather, Shōyō, Seireitou procured the blade after his master's death and has kept it within the confines of his own school to this very day as his most precious treasure and keepsake. It is a standard katana with a dark brown hilt with a white diamond design that runs up and down the hilt. Its crossguard is shaped like four gold flower petals, circling around in between the blade and the handle. Though the spirit within the Zanpakutō has long since passed away when Shōyō had left this world, due to their incredibly close relationship, Seireitou has noted that he can often feel remnants of his master's presence within the blade. He normally conducts his occasional meditation ritual while sitting before the blade itself.
Powers & Abilities
"What is this... abysmal feeling? I can see the exorbitant spiritual force emanating from his person. His entire body is illuminated with an intense white aura, carrying with it such strength that it threatens to swallow up the entire land around us... When I attempt to feel out his power, I already know the promise of death such strength represents. But despite the immense power I can feel out, there's an eery calm to it. At the same time as I can assess the danger, it also feels like nothing is there; as if there isn't anything that could pose a threat. Almost as if... it were the essence of nature itself."
By his standing as a former Captain of the Eighth Division, and as one of the four Yonkō, Seireitou's power and abilities are said to be unrivaled by anyone who came before him or anyone since. During the Quincy Blood War, flee-on-sight orders were given should the enemy ever see him appear on the battlefield; even to those brave souls that dared to confront the man, the very presence of the silver-haired Captain caused all of them to cower in fear, prompting them all to subsequently attack him at once for their lives, only to end in a bloody massacre. His abilities, as of now, have advanced to the point that even Hanzei Kurokami believes that no one of the current generation will be able to surpass him, and that he has become equal to his teacher, Shōyō. Seireitou's overall power and infamous status are so great that his name alone is enough to incite terror in those whom would be considered his enemy. He proved to be so overwhelmingly powerful that without even using the full extent of his power, he was able to nearly kill several opposing Sternritter from both the past wars and the thousand-year following conflicts, stand toe-to-toe with Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto single-handedly (though the elder was also holding back his full strength), and easily overwhelm multiple Captains of various generational ranges in their Bankai states with ease, leaving all those who served as witnesses in awe at his might. By the standards of Otoya Kurogane, who has managed to discern the relative power level of even the strongest that the Soul Society has to offer, Seireitou's own power stands in a class all its own.
Transcendent Spiritual Power: As one of, if not the strongest Sōzōshin alive, Seireitou possesses absolutely monstrous spiritual power. According to Sorata Nekoi, Seireitou's reiatsu has an overbearing power which is unlike anything or anyone else in Soul Society, to the point where he even considered as something completely unrelated to reiatsu. His spiritual power has a presence which, according to him, feels as if it's trying to stifle his very existence. Koga Tensei compared the feeling of Seireitou's reiatsu as if the "weight of the skies" were on his shoulders. In terms of coloration, his spiritual energy is pure white, occasionally producing lavender bioelectrical sparks of reishi discharge, making a deep crackling noise when Seireitou focuses his energy. His body glows bright white when this is preformed, as his energy interacts with the energy in his surroundings, changing their properties in a very minimal way, most likely due to his Zanpakutō's nature. Similar to Raian Getsueikirite, when unleashing a strong enough surge of energy, Seireitou's reiatsu will often take the appearance of a fox's head. His very presence can cause even the most skilled warriors to lose their breath. During his battles in the war, Seireitou's moniker, Shiroyasha, was evident the moment the former entered battle. The sheer force of his spiritual energy raining down on the battlefield, the enemies staring on in a mix of fear and despair, as the Shiroyasha's very spiritual power would be the first wave of attack, followed by the onslaught. Allies alike would watch on in absolute shock, being enveloped in an "ocean of energy" that would surround them entirely. Seireitou's spiritual pressure has the additional effect of affecting entire areas to the point of disrupting energy attacks from enemies, as well as affecting others from seemingly miles away. Eventually, during the years following his resignation as a Captain, Seireitou's training had elevated his power to the point at which allowed him to contend with Datara Kawahiru on an equal level. However, there was something new about the white-haired man's spiritual power. As he spent a century together with the Dragons, his own spiritual nature became far more aligned to nature, developing a far more tranquil feel to it that would have no effect on the area around him. In being tied to the natural world around him, Seireitou's own energy would give life to his surroundings, allowing plants and flowers to bloom forth in conjuction with his will. Swearing to never allow himself to harm nature, and toiling in the forests and fields for an entire century, nature itself rewarded his devotion by granting him its protection; something which manifests itself in a variety of ways, most commonly so by allowing Seireitou to gain energy from his natural environment. Furthermore, it would possess a sort of healing effect toward those around Seireitou whom he favored as comrades, though this healing ability would influence him the most. Merely releasing a degree of spiritual pressure from his centre would be enough to slowly heal and recover from even grievous injury. Following the nineteen-month timeskip, Seireitou's spiritual power has risen further, prompting Hanzei Kurokami to compare the former to Shōyō in the latter's prime. The overwhelming levels of energy that Seireitou obtained prompted him to use special "reiryoku cuffs" to seal away a large bulk of his full power, hindering him to one-tenth of his true capabilities. Training under immense gravitational pressure in Asadal resulted in Seireitou's spiritual power levels to rise exponentially, though the full extent of his spiritual power at this point is unknown. Despite his full power being unknown to all those around him, Raian noted that his current power, with the reiryoku seals active, is almost equal to that of his unsealed energy level prior to his Asadal training. Considering that the reiryoku seals themselves have been enhanced to seal even more energy from within Seireitou after his training only hints to an absolutely god-like amount of energy that is sealed within his being by the new cuffs, waiting to be released at the moment Seireitou deems the power necessary. Unlike other individuals, even among those of the highest skill class, Seireitou's spiritual power reached peaks where it no longer manifests in the same manner that spiritual pressure normally does, as it instead appears as a coat of shimmering white energy of almost mystic properties. Seireitou claimed that his power at this stage reached a degree that his training with the Dragons finally presented itself in its entirety. Therefore, it can only be inferred that his power is akin to that of the natural world and even the cosmic energy filling the universe. While his energy can still be felt, it has been stated that it would be pointless to attempt gauging the level of Seireitou's power, as it possesses the same attributes as nature itself; so vast that it can be simply regarded as immeasurable, that any individual that tries to sense the depths of his power will only find themselves lost in its vastness.
- Sphere of Influence (勢力圏, Seiryokuken)
- "With just a single breath, that man could snuff out every life near him if so inclined. Every step he takes is like a tiger walking across a room of rabbits. They know by instinct to fear him."
- —Bianca Sayuki remarking upon Seireitou's fear-inducing strength.
- Fear-Inducing Reiatsu: Seireitou's reiatsu carries such a tremendous intensity about it that it can induce feelings of terror within those who are unfortunate enough to get close enough to him. It has been shown that merely glaring into the eyes of an opponent is enough to render their confidence and composure asunder to the point of collapse. An opponent who looks upon the powerful entity that is Seireitou may find themselves lost in the sight of a massive kitsune visage, which is the personification of the silver-haired warrior's power. But this is but the surface; the manifestation of the man's most tame energies. When in his Shiroyasha state of mind, just as his entire alignment changes, so too does the nature of his very reiatsu. It literally inflicts all those who feel the force of Seireitou's reiatsu with a deep sense of fear, slowly forcing them to surrender their composure to instinctive fear toward Seireitou himself and everything around them, causing those who feel the brunt of the spiritual pressure to begin allowing despair and doubt to seep into their minds and forces them to unintentionally lose control of all rational thought. He can even make victims suffer through hallucinations of all sorts of things, such as swords being thrust through their necks or the limbs of their body being ripped off. This is often referred to as imposing onto his victims the "white curse" (白憑拠, Shirahyōho). He has proven that through this proverbial "white curse", he can rouse the chaos within the souls of others that engage him in combat or those that he has wounded severely. In most cases, such intense fear thrown at a normal victim would result in instantaneous death, their heart being incapable of dealing with a shock of such intensity. However, an individual's willpower can be used to resist this fear-inducing reiatsu to an extent, but it seems that even the strongest of opponents eventually succumb to the fear in direct proportion to the length of time they spend under the influence of the Shiroyasha's spiritual pressure.
- "It's Seireitou-san, hands down. You saw what he did today, right? That total rampage he went on? The boldness he had in that surprise attack on the Quincy? That utterly demon-like fighting style that even the warrior clans of the noble houses can't even come close to? None of our enemies or allies can beat that guy."
- —The first Eighth Division generation commenting on their Captain's strength.
Immense Strength: Perhaps due to years of combat experience and time on the battlefield, Seireitou has a very large degree of physical strength, most commonly displayed by his ability to fight back his opponent's attacks with a single arm. Repeatedly, he has shown clear evidenced of his strength from acts like kicking Hikaru through a building and slamming Ryan over his shoulder with one hand in their battle, as well as when he grabbed Ryan's sword barehanded and reeled both him and the sword in for an attack. His great strength is shown during his fights with Raian holding off bladed attacks by force alone and even battling back his Bankai's spiritual attack. He had dispatched two of his opponents with presumably little effort, both of which were presumably Captain-level. Seireitou's strength is so immense that when he threw Raian, he was unable to recover due to the air pressure being too hard on his body. With a single downward chop, he was able to snap Mashiro's sword's blade in two. Seireitou was able to effortlessly cut through the sword and wrist of Kensei's Bankai. After overcoming his despair, Seireitou dramatically increased his overall physical prowess. This is shown by the fact that he can, through sheer force, completely overwhelm the Shunkō-enhanced Raian with no adverse effect to himself and also effortlessly destroy even a fully-powered Hado #90 spell. After training in the Murinne, Seireitou's strength allowed him to completely shrug off the force of a point-blank Getsuga Tenshō by Raian, while the latter was in Bankai. According to Saori Sumeragi, Seireitou has reached the perfect balance between speed and stamina with strength and durability, having conditioned his muscles through years of unique and unusual training methods. It is because of this that he boasts such unrealistic strength, without having a large-built body. He is like a piece of steel itself. Resilient and impenetrable, Seireitou's durable strength is so great that it is almost impossible for any blade to cut through his body nor to pierce it efficiently. He can withstand being struck by the well-executed swing of a sword without yielding any form of damage, even if he is dealt repeated attacks from all sides. Seireitou can go so far as to block the bladed assaults of his opponents with his bare hands, as if he were actually engaging them with a sword himself. His skin also takes on selective properties of metal, to the point that attacks composed of lightning are essentially useless against him and it also allows him to withstand heat to a far higher degree than even the strongest of spiritual beings would be capable of. This physical durability is often likened to the Arrancar's hierro, which compresses their reiatsu for the purpose of providing them with a hardened skin that'll protect them from enemy attack. As high-density spirits, the Arrancar are known for having incredible physical strength that overwhelm Shinigami. In a straight physical fight, the Arrancar are the superior species because of their strength and dense spiritual power. Using his mastered reiatsu control and absolute self-control, coupled with his tremendous physical strength, this allows him to essentially treat his physical body and his reiatsu as a single entity, Seireitou can actually reel inward his spiritual pressure completely, achieving a strength and durability that reaches transcendent levels. Even an Arrancar's hierro pales in comparison to his body when under this condition. During this time, one finds it impossible to feel Seireitou's reiatsu for as great as it actually is, due to the fact that it has been completely reeled inward and condensed onto his physical body as a sort of armor. It is as if the very will of Seireitou as a martial artist is what protects him from the attacks of his foes. The sheer magnitude of Seireitou's physical strength is displayed through countless moments in the series, most often implied by his tendency to always hold back during one-on-one fights; when the situation demands further strength, his blows are capable of tearing through the muscles of a Shinigami's body. The mere thrust of his hand is enough to impress the very shape of Seireitou's hand onto any surface that may be within the range of his strike's pressure. And with it, all targets within the scope of his hand are crushed along with it, smashed into the surface or sent flying through the air; their bones and muscles forced to the breaking point and horribly damaged from just attempting to resist the force of the strike. These become physical strikes that can be used to completely demolish victims before Seireitou, effectively conquering all that lay before him. Whenever handling most opponents, Seireitou elects to keep his fingers completely loose while engaging hand-to-hand combat. This allows him to utilize the sufficient level of strength necessary to handle the threat, per all of the aforementioned examples. It is basic knowledge among martial artists that it is important to keep one's fingers closed in order for the muscles running down through the arm all the way down to the fingertips are kept tight when delivering a hand strike or blocking an assault, so as to maximize the use of physical strength. In Seireitou's case, he keeps his fingers loose so as not to overdo the release of physical strength. However, when the opportunity should arise that greater strength is necessary, he may decide to tighten his fingers together. With any normal warrior, this wouldn't result in any major change, but because of his absolute levels of strength reigned in from centuries of martial arts training, pushing his physical body to predefined limits and beyond them, he can be thought of as nothing less than a true monster; an absolute force of nature. And therefore, the simple act of tightening his fingers together enhances the level of physical strength to an almost ridiculous precipice, as a mere swipe of his open hand with tightened fingers is enough to create a massive shockwave of reiatsu and brute force. Releasing his "reiryoku cuffs" causes Seireitou to unlock the true reserves of his physical strength, as the cuffs restrain him to using only about one-fourth of his actual might. When this occurs, the Sōzōshin's true strength is revealed, capable of unleashing strikes with such force, they decimate anything and everything within their line of range. Even without making direct contact, Seireitou was able to tear through Mūkade's Bankai structure with ease after releasing his reiryoku cuffs.
Hyper-Speed Combat: Seireitou's body movements appear as mere blurs, if anything else. Even within the use of a technique, Seireitou's immense physical strength coupled with his uniquely-toned musculature allows for his legs to produce instantaneous movement and allows him to react within a split second; developing an almost god-like speed that even Mūkade's strange ability to track speed and movement couldn't keep up. With his arsenal of kicks, strikes, punches, and throws, Seireitou's speed at the utilization of these aforementioned techniques is nearly god-like. Most opponents are unaware that Seireitou had carried out his technique until they become aware of the damage that he has wrecked upon them. Because of this, Seireitou's Hakuda speed allows him to even take on users of Bankai one-on-one, while still appearing to have the advantage. The speed at which Seireitou attacks is unprecedented, as a single punch from the viewpoint of any other opponent can conceal nearly a hundred hand strikes simultaneously. With incredibly agile and quick footwork, contending with Seireitou in any form of hand-to-hand combat is usually a short bout in which the challenger is utterly overwhelmed and defeated. This sort of speed is very useful against multiple opponents, allowing Seireitou to effortlessly wipe out a battalion of warriors in no more than a split second. Seireitou's speed is so great that it seems as though he possesses a form of teleportation as he moves in the blink of an eye, simply "appearing" solidly instead of shimmering for a second like those who utilize Shunpō. This allows him to move fast enough to easily parry a close-range killing blow by a Captain-level opponent. Seireitou manages to move at exceedingly incredible speeds, quick enough to appear behind Kamui's back and effectively counter him before the former could even turn to face him. He is capable of effortlessly dodging simultaneous attacks at close range and the evasion of Bankai-level techniques. He moves so fast that opponents commonly do not know his movements until after he has made them and is skilled enough in his movements to evade at high speeds even when being attacked from behind. Ideally, his motions are far too difficult to predict until after the movement is carried out. During a fight with Raian Getsueikirite and Shinji Hirako in Soul Society, although Seireitou states that Raian's overconfidence and Shinji's weak resolve was impeding their performance, Seireitou was able to easily outmaneuver both opposing Shikai (despite Kagemusha and Sakenade's hypnotic powers) and mask-enhanced speed to the point he could casually lay a finger on Raian's forehead and still dodge a point-blank Cero from Shinji, who had his fist against Seireitou's back. By rapidly increasing the speed at which each step is done at exponential levels, he can push himself to move at beyond god-like speeds. Seireitou reveals to have a very fluid mastery of this, shown by his ability to invoke himself into high speeds as if it was second nature, despite the tendency for other users to end up with their legs broken due to inexperience. With such movement speed, he can easily match and possibly surpass the speed associated with Shunkō. These rapidly-increasing steps cause multiple sounds to occur, in contrast to normal stepping movements which produces a single light sound. Substances beneath him, such as tatami mats, appear to explode with each of his steps. In some cases, one can produce a spark of spiritual energy, similar to that of a Fullbringer's Bringer Light, and even burn the ground beneath him with each step. However, by accelerating his steps, force is exerted with each step, and with each step, more and more stress is exerted on the legs while using their spiritual energy to accelerate at god-like speeds. But through his self-control, he is able to muffle the sound of his movements if need be so as to remain undetected by most opponents. Although he has studied primarily in Shinigami combat, Seireitou has taken to studying the technique, advantages, and flaws of various other speed enhancement techniques, despite not being able to preform them himself. This knowledge has led to the creation of master-level Hohō techniques that are unique to Seireitou alone. Most specifically, he has studied the Quincy technique, Hirenkyaku. He has an interest in how they use their manipulation of reishi that allows them to "glide" rather than "step" when moving, and when faced against master-class opponents, adopts his movements to Quincy-style technique. In one instance, Andreas Nikolai noted that Seireitou was "moving less like a Shinigami and more like a Quincy". It is through such an action that he has essentially achieved a "constant Shunpō", as coined by Raian, which allows him to "glide" with his movements instead of having to step, as demands the style of Shunpō. However, most noticeably, when the technique is initiated, it almost appears as though Seireitou has disappeared, fading away when he begins the movement. This is due to him entering an opponent's blind angles, making it near impossible to register him via eyesight. Although he is much too fast to spot, even through the trained eyes of Dante Mecacci, the brief moments where his presence is visible, it is noticed by few that a spark of white light is generated at his feet. It is presumed that he uses that aforementioned cycle of spiritual energy to essentially "skate" through the "clouds of reishi" around him, while coupled with various acts of acrobatics, makes his movement impossible for even other master-class Hohō users to keep up with him or even make contact. In addition, Seireitou claims that this manner of movement makes his center of gravity an illusion, a claim which was proven in the former's fight with Kyebaek Tae.
- "When you trace back the branches and leaves, reaching all the way back to the roots becomes possible. That is when you start to understand it all."
- —Seireitou describing the method of reconstructing observed technique.
Tremendous Insight: Despite his laid back attitude, Seireitou has repeatedly shown himself to be a perceptive and insightful man as well as being very detail oriented when it comes to fighting. He notices his opponent's mannerisms and discerns with ease the reasons behind those actions and the weaknesses and strengths of his opponents. Seireitou has an undeniable talent for thinking things well in advance as well, make decisive and accurate decisions quickly in battle, and able to perceive any situation at hand. He generally has shown himself to also be a crafty tactician from how easily he can deceive both allies and enemies. Seireitou has a great talent for analyzing and observing everything in his presence, allowing him to quickly understand a person's pattern of thinking to better manipulate them and seemingly always be aware of any danger. He also has very good insight on people, often knowing if they are troubled or hiding something; he sometimes even knows what a person is thinking, which seems to scare Minato. Seireitou has been shown to be very observant of his opponents' abilities and powers, even going as far as to use it against them. He is highly intelligent, possessing a genius-level intellect, and is capable of devising and executing strategies with incredible speed and precision. He has also shown to be a very perceptive and analytical man from how quickly he can analyze an opponent's power and attack patterns to ultimately make them useless against him. He is able to quickly determine a person's battle style after a single glance as well. After doing this, he can quickly place himself several moves ahead of his opponent and formulate the best counter-strategies. In addition, Seireitou has shown great ability in manipulating others to do his work for him. He easily outmaneuvers and tricks Mūkade on two instances in his fight with him. Seireitou is very resourceful, able to use a wide array of unorthodox tactics to accomplish his goal. Through his heightened level of perception as well as the tremendous degree of experience he has acquired throughout his lifetime, Seireitou is able to recreate and reconstruct skills and techniques based upon very little knowledge gleaned from his experiences. It is through this that Seireitou uncovered the secrets behind many ancient martial arts that were thought to have been lost to history for centuries by only going off minimal available information about them. Of course, while this is debatable as to whether he has recreated accurate accounts of those lost arts or not, it was stated by an old master of a long forgotten martial art style within the Soul Society that it would be impossible for Seireitou to have known how to execute one of the advanced techniques from his style when he himself, who had invented the style, had not taught anybody in several centuries. He has shown himself highly capable of figuring out the mechanics behind advanced techniques within many martial art styles by only observing the style's basic fundamentals and then putting together the most logical outcome that would result from continued mastery of that style. It is through this that even if he is unfamiliar with the skills of somebody seeking tutelage under him, it would not take very long for Seireitou to devise the best method to further that individual's skill. He can even notice the unnecessary and obsolete techniques that may exist within an individual's style and formulate a more condensed form that significantly enhances its efficiency as a fighting style. During battle, Seireitou often uses misinformation, disinformation and an analytical knowledge of a person's nature to help lull an opponent into a false sense of security and possibly make them carelessly over-confident. He also takes drastic strategies to often confuse and force the hand of his opponents.
- Battle-Forged Visual Nullification: Unlike his brother, Kamui Kawahiru, or that of Yhwach, whom were all born as offsprings of the Soul King, Seireitou did not inherit the same future-telling abilities associated with their unusual double pupil eyes. It was through several centuries of training and experience, in having mastered the discipline of Hakuda Zanshin, that Seireitou eventually came to develop what is best regarded as battle-forged precognition. According to Kyebaek Tae, those who have fought in various life-or-death matches cause those who survive to develop a unique form of clairvoyance that comes about from an almost superhuman level of perception. However, what Seireitou has developed from his years of battle goes far beyond even that degree. His precognition derived from his experiences allows him to anticipate and instantaneously perceive the intentions and movements of his opponents effortlessly. He merely needs to register an opponent in thought alone. From observing their stance, he can immediately glean the knowledge of their potential physical movements that they can possibly take in their next action. Derived from the sight of their existence, the feel of their presence, the smell of their bodies, the spiritual power radiating from their center, the smallest twitch in their expression or body movements, the acknowledgement of their emotional state, and even beyond that; a cornucopia of knowledge and information that rivals the power of Yhwach's "The Almighty" and Kamui's inherited abilities; making it possible for Seireitou to render almost any power he comes across useless the moment he faces it in combat or even experiences it from the sidelines.
Legendary Hakuda Grandmaster
- "If all you do is strike, you still have not truly exchanged blows with your opponent. When engaging the opponent in battle, you must reach out and touch their heart. Otherwise, it is impossible to threaten your foe's life in the true meaning of the word. "Mind, skill, and body." All martial arts share this concept. Through the martial arts, you aim to learn about your foe while also to understand yourself. It is essential that it comes from the heart."
- —Seireitou's belief in battle and his teachings of Hakuda.
Among the four Yonkō, Seireitou is known as the respective master of Hakuda; the Shinigami system of hand-to-hand combat. He is regarded as having completely mastered all aspects of the martial arts, and in doing so, he has achieved complete mastery over his own being. Even among other Hakuda Masters who have consistently demonstrated extraordinary feats of strength, speed, and technique, Seireitou still stands in a class of his own when it comes to the martial arts; having shown himself capable of effortlessly defeating even those the world would regard as standing among the best of the best. His unrivaled level of Hakuda has earned him the highly sought-after title of "Grandmaster" within the field. It has been said that Seireitou has taken the prowess of Hakuda to plateaus that have transcended the boundaries of previous theory and concept; becoming an embodiment of Hakuda that is unsurpassed in every and all martial arts, thus having achieved absolute martial condition. His skill has garnered a legendary status among others who also are considered of the Grandmaster class, going as far as to be often referred to as the "God of Martial Arts" (武道神, Budōshin; literally meaning "Martial Arts God"); a status that many seek to seize from him. Ichibē Hyōsube, a powerful entity in his own right, once commented upon Seireitou's unrivaled and almost godlike Hakuda prowess, remarking that he is "not just a martial artist, but rather is martial arts itself — an absolute force of nature."
General Hakuda Prowess: Known throughout the land as the Hakuda Grandmaster, as the one who has mastered all martial arts and the way of the self, Seireitou's Hakuda stands in a class all its own. It is considered something truly frightening when this man raises even a single finger with the intention to strike; as though a heathen had spouted blasphemy toward a sacred deity and those devout to said god shutter to think how their deity will retaliate. For whatever reason those of the martial arts world consider this man to be the honored leader over all practitioners and the precipice for all those that seek to master the hand-to-hand combat arts aim to reach, whether it be because of his knowledge or application, it is meaningless to debate. If a Master is one that has completely familiarized themselves with a craft to the point that they are permitted to turn those teachings into unique styles, then the true definition of a Grandmaster is one that no longer requires maintaining a style; every move is conducted with an innumerable amount of principles from thousands and thousands of different martial arts to such a degree that it is nothing short of perfection, all reigned in and condensed onto a way of being and a way of behavior, rather than a style of fighting. It is because of this that when Seireitou engages in Hakuda, his movements are no longer mere techniques, but methods of behavior themselves, that have reached such perfection that they can be considered a true zen of martial arts themselves. When one reaches this precipice of skill, the true stature of a Hakuda Grandmaster, the motive and intention of his movements reach the pinnacle of expression. The mere thrust of a single finger, normally meant to pierce a target, is akin to the strongest of spears when executed by Seireitou. Being struck by the edge of his hand, designed for normal practitioners to cause some form of specific damage that could possibly slash, is the same as being cleaved in twain by a master swordsman's blade. And the punch of this Grandmaster, if one were to consider a normal Master's punch to be like that of a thrown rock or boulder, is nothing less than the equivalent of a cannon smashing all opposition. Whether close up or at a distance, Seireitou's punch is a weapon of pure destruction. Eradication is to be expected when on the receiving end of this man's punch and one would be wise not to give this man a reason to curl up his hand. Similarly, this man's kick is like that of a tempest; blasting apart everything within its range and leaving naught but devastation in its wake. And when all of these methods of fighting are put together, Seireitou is nothing short of a force of nature in combat. A flurry of fists and a wave of kicks — it would be no different than attempting to conquer a maelstrom of razor hail or a tsunami capable of wiping out an entire community; leaving nothing but rubble in its wake. The force behind Seireitou's attacks carry strength enough that even the laws of spacetime bow to its might. A swing from his fist can cause distortions in the wake of its force. And accompanied by his reiatsu, the force of Seireitou's attacks can easily be mistaken for Kidō blasts due to the appearance they can take; that is, of course, dependent on whether or not the foe is of great enough skill to even perceive the shape of such immensely fast and strong strikes. Not even the Captains of the Gotei 13 dare to push this man to such a point, if simply out of fear for what this man is capable of inflicting upon their precious Seireitei. Of course, this is merely in regards to the man's method of hardness, and in reality, perhaps the true danger lies not in his destructive force but rather the definition of softness that is prominent in the martial arts that emphasize the method of guidance and direction. There is a simple fact that should be known to all. And feared by all. Hanzei Kurokami stated that a martial artist of Seireitou's caliber makes the reach of his arm a barrier of sorts, subsequently stating the fact that if one were to enter this "barrier", Seireitou would be capable of defeating his opponent instantly. If Seireitou is to lay a hand upon your body, the fight is over. Your defenses will be neutralized, your center of gravity compromised, and whether your fate is to be smashed apart, rendered asunder, or thrown away like a rag doll, one thing is clear; that unfortunate fool will never forget that this man's title is well-deserved, and that his skill is real, no matter how much of a mystery and a nightmare it may seem. Opponents that foolishly attempt to reach out and strike at Seireitou will find their center of balance quickly compromised, their equilibrium disrupted, and their entire beings thrown down; all in the same instant as they attempt to somehow understand what had just transpired. Even as a small child, he was able easily defeat several adult Shinigami without even a scratch, despite having only began his training under Shōyō. This implies that, despite all the work he had put into his martial arts, he has always had a natural talent. Seireitou also seems to prefer applying a playful method of combat while holding back pure brute force, often being seen attacking opponents from aerial standpoints, but will commonly resort to stationary attacks that allow him to wipe out an opponent without warning. He has been shown to take down nearly fifty Onmitsukidō members with only Hakuda. He has been shown easily taking on the likes of Espada-level Arrancar as when he brutally defeated Xerxes Averian, whilst in the latter's Resurrección state, and was subsequently regarded by Almayo Vinas as highly dangerous. He can catch the attack of a Captain-level opponent with strict ease, making someone of that level look like a beginner when compared to his skill. Seireitou is also capable of delivering powerful blows that can smash through Espada-level hierro and block every single one of the multiple punches and kicks from several highly-skilled opponents. As of more current chapters, Seireitou seems to have foregone the need for a blade, relying solely on his martial art ability. He is capable of ending fights rather quickly, using only his expert timing and powerful arsenal of kicks and hand strikes. Saori Sumeragi has stated in many instances that Seireitou's hand-to-hand abilities make him appear as a "blade"; swift and agile, with no wasted movement, which makes it impossible for any opponent to find even the slightest of openings or instances of weakness in his martial art attacks. Without even needing to analyze a target's body, due to having an incredible unrivaled knowledge of both physical and spiritual bodies of various beings, Seireitou can instantaneously crush an opponent's bones to absolute dust, rendering their limbs moot as they collapse into a pool of their blood and cartilage without causing any actual harm to their outer body, no longer possessing any frame to hold everything together. He can even deliver strikes that can destroy the spirit energy flow points, such as the Saketsu and Hakusui, sealing away the power of a Shinigami or Arrancar. Even the Zanpakutō themselves shatter before Seireitou's strikes. Raian, a fellow Yonkō, noted that Seireitou's level of hand-to-hand skill and capability makes fighting him at close-range no different from suicide. Despite the seeming recklessness of his actions, Seireitou is able to remain focused enough to not lose his edge in battle, but rather enhance his already formidable prowess. Even against Kurama Kawahiru, the leader of L'Obscurité and a fellow Hakuda Master, he was able to defeat and ultimately kill (albeit unintentionally) the warrior despite the grievous wounds he received from him, which is a testament to his skills. According to Raian, he does not depend on emotions such as anger but rather reveals these emotions in order to "put his opponent's heart off-guard and strike back without mercy". Raian often noted that Seireitou's most fearsome attribute in his Hakuda was neither power nor technique, but rather his unrivaled tenacity. This was best shown during his fight against Seimei Abe, allowing the latter to deliver a killing strike that would have normally annihilated anybody else and suffered several life-threatening blows, in order to set-up his positioning for a decisive strike.
Unrivaled Fighting Spirit: In spite of his vast degree of strength, speed, and skill, Seireitou was recognized as the Hakuda Grandmaster first and foremost because he alone possesses the strongest of all tōki (闘気, "Fighting Spirit"). A will that is driven by a reason, whether an aspiration or a person, is one that is dependent on that source. The tenacity of that will is proportional to the nature of that reason and to the degree at which that aspiration is carried out or that person is protected. But such a thing can not be considered authentic. While one's will can be reinforced by the presence of others or the existence of ideals, its true strength only comes from within that person, and nowhere else. "I fight because I want to." That's all it is for Seireitou Kawahiru. It is born from nothing more than the will to fight and train for fighting and training's own sake. He is not someone that becomes stronger nor trains to become stronger for the sake of another, but rather, he is a warrior that fights solely through his self-interest. It is a pure desire that is not tainted by the notions of victory or defeat. As a martial artist, in both the vein of a warrior and a teacher, he seeks the evolution of his skills and the martial arts themselves out of nothing but growth for growth's own sake. The true martial artist is not concerned with winning or losing, of living or dying; to them, the battle is everything. An independent fighting spirit that stands as an indomitable pillar all its own can never be toppled over, for the very idea of falling over does not exist for it. It was Raian Getsueikirite that would often note as to the Shiroyasha's most fearsome trait, his fighting spirit; one that enables him to adapt to an opponent(s) at a rate that is considered almost unrealistic. Ironic for one that is not concerned with victory or defeat, it is because of this nature of his that Seireitou almost never loses to the same opponent twice, if not once at that. One infamous instance of this, in a battle over a millennia ago, that could be said to have been the birth of the Hakuda Grandmaster of Soul Society, is the fight between Seireitou and the former Hakuda Yonkō, Yukara Shihōin. Initially overwhelmed by the rate at which the latter's power was increasing throughout their fighting, Jinsuke Kuchiki, who served as a witness to the fight, noted that it appeared as if Seireitou's own capabilities were seemingly increasing at a rate surpassing that of Yukara's own, despite heavy injury, to the point of tipping the tide of the battle in his favor. He would go to remark upon how monstrous an individual that Seireitou had to be to adapt and improve at such frightening rates, despite the grievous injuries he was sustaining at the same time. That is the greatest strength of Seireitou, the god-slaying fist, whose unrivaled tenacity and will becomes actual strength, and just as his will knows no bounds, so too does his physical strength reach limitless plateaus. His strength is absolute in that it seems to be a never-ending reservoir of unimaginable depth. It is a strength that has allowed him to fend off the forces of nature that even the greatest of beasts fear, ripping away that which cannot be touched — thoughts and concepts themselves — while managing to resist forces with his bare hands that no mortal could ever hope to stand against; reaching absolutely limitless peaks so long as the silver-haired master's spirit continues to fight. Only someone who had abandoned victory, one that had abandoned the promise of escaping this battle alive, could have been improving themselves in the midst of such life-or-death situations. This is simply not a man that can be defeated by delivering a critical blow nor inflicting some kind of grievous wound, for his indomitable will surpasses even his own survival instincts; his fighting spirit spits upon laws of nature themselves and allows him to leap over the abyss of death. Simply put, his heart is incapable of being stopped no matter what the circumstances.
Master of the Martial Arts: While Seireitou prides himself in acting under the principle of the "style of no style", carrying himself as a person with uncharacteristic characteristics, he is known to possess a vast arsenal of Hakuda styles that he has either collected from other sources or invented himself, which fall under specific categories; not simply as offensive or defensive. Whether they be hard-type or soft-type, set in the physical or seem almost spiritual in nature, many of them being broad in their strength and application, ranging from the basic to the advanced, Seireitou's level of skill with each of them is enough to consider each and every one of them lethal; so far so that each offensive technique could quite possibly end the life of almost any equal or lower strength foe should it connect directly, while his defensive techniques are considered nigh impenetrable, creating a space around his being that makes all aggressive attempts on his person ineffective. He has claimed to Minato Kuramoto that the primary goal in all of martial arts, and subsequently in Hakuda itself, is the protection of oneself and their allies; in other words, defense. In specific regards to the aforementioned, he has made it clear that he has had a hand in formulating and mastering several thousand different defensive techniques that all find their origins in one of the countless martial arts he has mastered. While most of Seireitou's Hakuda styles fall under the various unique martial arts that have either been lost to history or remain today as modern physical arts, many of his Hakuda styles are commonplace, being methods that fall under one of the many martial arts that he had mastered in the process of becoming a Grandmaster. Karate, Jujutsu, Taekwondo, Muay Thai; whether they originated from the past or were codified in the modern age, Seireitou would possess them under his belt. It is noteworthy that many of the techniques he employs, more so the basic ones, are generally nameless or are simply not named by Seireitou when being used. In addition to the standard techniques he employs, Seireitou's level of mastery and his years upon years of training has resulted in the formation of several hundred different techniques unique Hakuda techniques only to him and him alone. While many of them find themselves being derived from techniques learnt prior by Seireitou, nearly every single one of them finds some form of connection to one (or possibly a combination) of the numerous martial arts he wields mastery in. Additionally, there are also techniques within his repertoire that normally act in setting up for Seireitou's plan of action when it comes to certain opponents. In this sense, they are likened to the pieces of a chess game, as certain techniques help to set the stage for a finishing move. Despite this, however, they can work in individual manners, ending an altercation with a single technique. Many of these techniques also happen to serve healing purposes, allowing for such things as bone-setting and other associated treatments. It appears many of these are rather unique and strange in their operations. In fact, it has been said that many of the techniques appear to be nothing even related to Hakuda. Those that were invented by Seireitou were created as a result of his unusual methods of martial arts training. Saori has hinted that some of them have to do with manipulation of his being. As the highest degree of martial arts master, Seireitou has taken to creating various styles of Hakuda in order to bestow these teachings onto others. Each of these styles reflects some measure of Seireitou's own beliefs and unique teachings. He generally uses these creations to properly train those under his wing, with the shining jewel of these efforts — the Shōin Shiranui Style, in other words — being reserved only for those students that have impressed him and interested him the greatest over all others seeking his guidance. However, that is not to diminish the value of the other styles that the silver-haired master has created, for each of them had been designed to teach a fortified and concentrated system of martial arts tailored to specific strengths.
In being the Grandmaster of Hakuda, Seireitou has mastered all of the hand-to-hand combat styles as well as all of martial arts in their entirety, though a majority of this knowledge is suppressed into his subconscious along with his Shiroyasha persona, due to the lethal nature that they all carry, keeping only a few hundred or so styles to his conscious awareness. Seireitou prides himself in being a martial artist of the old and the new, having mastered long lost art styles that many have even barely heard of, let alone have seen or learned. It is stated by Hōsen Kuramoto that a master of Seireitou's level is capable of closing in the range of his attacks, and then extending the range at almost instantaneous instances. As such, he can effortlessly extend or minimize the range of his attacks, making it nigh impossible to catch him off-guard. Likewise, he is capable of shifting his fighting style between hard and soft styles almost instantly. Having been training Minato to better adapt to seemingly any situation, Seireitou has showed himself accustomed to countless fighting styles and techniques, stemming from basic but outlawed techniques to highly-advanced ones. This is shown by his capability of turning many seemingly basic techniques into fatal one-shot attacks, such as when he used Front Kick, it was able to completely crush the ground beneath him, as well as generate a massive shockwave of pure force in the direction of his opponent, which shocked Minato greatly. In addition to this reserve of never-ending knowledge of martial art styles, due to his years of experience, he can copy any martial art technique of even the greatest of master-class fighters, no matter how unique it is to the opponent, which has helped in the development of his personalized fighting style. Acting to his preference of airborne fighting, he normally uses the circular kicks found in certain ancient martial arts in addition to his immediate changes in momentum in order to deal surprise attacks added with an immense burst of strength and speed that supplement the already massive force generated by his own muscles. One of the most impressive feats of his skill is that he was able to break through sekki-seki stone with very little effort. In essence, Seireitou's kicks are capable of breaking bones and destroying joints effortlessly from as far as a distance, using only the sheer air pressure accompanied by his attack, tearing through substances such as concrete and steel with ease. However, his strikes are not limited solely to brute force, as they can even be used for something as gentle and precise as to block the swing of an opponent's sword, subsequently knocking the blade out of their hands by aiming for their grasp or their wrist. In the modern arts, kicks and strikes are generally more straight-forward, and Seireitou's ability to switch from both the ancient to the modern is a direct result of his hard-to-soft and soft-to-hard capabilities.
Mastery of the Self: At its core, the martial arts are a fighting force dependent upon the degree to which the master is capable of controlling their own body and self-existence. This is born from the discipline of Hakuda Taisabaki. Therefore, a Grandmaster is one that has perfected control over themselves to a point that they become the architects of their own self. From their hair, nails, muscles, veins, and even their organs, all things are within the realm of their manipulation. Seireitou, through the efforts of his training, had eventually managed to achieve an absolute sense of complete self-control over himself; having gone through countless trials to tame, not only his body, but his mind and soul. Seireitou's body and mind are weapons that can not be taken; they can not be conquered except legitimately in battle against a foe that has somehow surpassed his own precipice of skill. He is capable of controlling his own state of existence. It is not an exaggeration when calling Seireitou a true "force of nature", for his body and mind are instruments of his will; that is the extent to which his mastery over martial arts has reached. Similarly, what also gives rise to martial arts and their evolution is the degree to which one has mastered their spiritual body's natural capabilities. Martial arts is the act of mastering the control of one's body, and Seireitou's control over his body is so great that he is capable of twisting his body and bending his legs in ways that would surprise many Hakuda martial artists, among even Captain-class Shinigami. Likewise, acrobatics are not a difficult thing for him to accomplish, making both of his students doubt he is even a real person, or even maintains a solid form, whenever he demonstrates these capabilities. He is able to effortlessly tighten his muscles to make his body as tough as steel while allowing himself to remain relaxed enough to breathe and move his limbs and body effortlessly, doing so at speeds so great that it can be accomplished right at the instant an opponent's attack nears his person.
- Perfected Movement Control: The key principle of movement within the martial arts is to have control over the mind and body, to an extent that it becomes possible to unify their passive and active intentions so that the body moves with thought as opposed to at different intervals. When these two are in dissonance, not only does the efficiency of the martial artist's actions fall behind, but they can be easily read and predicted by an opponent during battle. It is through Seireitou's absolute mastery over his own self — mind, body, and spirit — that every part of him moves in unison. Of course, for most masters, this requires concentration and being rendered off-guard can cause the unification of mind and body to collapse. However, for Seireitou, the act of moving in unison is second nature to him, such that he does not require a conscious effort to keep control of every aspect of his being. When mastered to the extent he has acquired, the next stage is to act without mind. Seireitou has explained that by the time sensations pass through the senses to the mind, so that a response can be generated, a crucial amount of time has already been lost. Ideally, what one should want is for each and every part of their body to react, respond, and move independently without losing unity. This can only be done when natural command of the self is achieved. When the self is mastered to a great enough extent, it is possible to utilize this control in order to throw off the opponent's senses. One can make those aspects of themselves from which information can be gleaned — breathing, patterns in movement, flow of spiritual energy — behave in such a way that their opponent's mind will subconsciously consider it useless information and will therefore ignore how those aspects act. This allows Seireitou to move in such ways that can go beyond what an opponent may expect given the prior motions conducted, but also makes it possible for him to move and act without requiring previous thought. Even if the opponent never allows him to leave their line of sight or the reach of their Reikaku, they will find that they cannot track their actions and it becomes nigh impossible to predict what they will do. His movements are entirely natural and serve as proper responses to the situation as he perceives the circumstances rather than needing to consider and make plans to deal with the situation.
- Vast Anatomy Knowledge and Application: Drawn from this immense knowledge of the body, including that of its anatomy, Seireitou demonstrates a great skill in martial art styles focusing upon joint holds, throws, and even locks; those found in Hakuda Kin'na. These are forms of neutralization for Seireitou that, when one considers his master-level ability, make it possible for him to effortlessly manipulate the joints of a target's bones. This can be used to either break an opponent's joints, thus dislocating certain joints such as the shoulders and knees, at close range. This is demonstrated by a "bad habit" he has of dislocating an opponent's wrist whether they place their hands on him, often warning Minato to never sneak up behind him and tap his shoulder. However, even when this happens, he can effortlessly realign the joints with a simple flick of his expert technique. Despite being a generally consistent proponent of peaceful resolution against an opponent, the methods of which Seireitou manipulates (usually which results in joint dislocation) the bone joints can be seen as brutal while having a swift elegance. Even what may appear as a gentle tap to an opponent's ankle covers up the true incident of the bone snapping in two because of a forceful attempt to dislocate the ankle joint. Regardless, his technique is flawless, and can even predict the exact location at which he breaks the joint. His skill also carries over to the medical field as well, his intricate knowledge of pressure points and bone joints allows him to preform bone setting and acupuncture with minimal effort. Such skills are attributed to Seireitou's ability to recognize the weak point, or vital point, of his target, in order to manipulate those joints or pressure points. Similarly, in the heat of combat, those are the result of his ability to judge an opponent's "blindspot" (殺し, Korui). Seireitou has demonstrated his mastery of this ability to Minato by moving through a large crowd of people and not once was his presence registered by a single person. As mentioned before, Seireitou uses these capabilities for healing purposes as well; focusing on acupuncture primarily. By aiming for key meridians of the opponent's body, via palm thrusts, Seireitou can alter the course of energy flowing around the opponent and through the opponent, essentially weakening their subsequent counterattacks or chances of continuing the fight. By doing so, the effects that can occur can end up weakening the joints (affecting flexibility) or causing a disruption in their internal and external energy patterns (such an action can cause one's spiritual energy to surrender to a stronger, more resolute one, making an opponent's attacks unable to cause damage, and even disrupt their ability to gather spiritual energy, such as the case of Quincy).
Mastery of Hard and Soft: When it comes to the martial arts, they can be divided into two categories: the "hard type" and the "soft type". Within Hakuda, these two are often classified under Hakuda Atemi and Hakuda Aiki respectively. Most martial artists generally fall into one of these two types, but for someone at Seireitou's level, he has mastered both types to such an extent that he can employ both of them individually or together in frightening applications.
- Hard-Type Hakuda: By its very name, Hakuda is an art that centers on striking methods; the "hard type", which focuses on direct combat as opposed to indirect interaction. Of course, the name is fundamentally misleading, but it is definitely true that martial arts is founded upon the idea of conquering one's adversary. Thus, to overwhelm the opponent and subdue them, perhaps even to the point of taking their life, the body of the martial artist must be forged in such a way that it can attack with sufficient efficiency to produce those results. Throughout the ages, techniques and methods have risen in an attempt to create a perfect style of sheer force, weaponizing the body in a manner no different than the blade of a swordsman or the spell of a sorcerer. However, upon reaching the zenith of Hakuda, one eventually realizes that it is unnecessary to master techniques. True mastery of the self — in other words, a genuine mastery over Hakuda — is demonstrated by the ability to develop techniques on the fly, when their need arises, and once they have served their purpose, they are forgotten. The Hakuda Grandmaster is one such martial artist who can produce hundreds upon thousands of martial art techniques, forms, and styles in the midst of fierce battle. He is like water, his strikes take shape as the circumstances demand just as water takes a form depending upon its container, and as the situation changes, his strikes change to reflect those occurrences. Given Seireitou's ability, as the one regarded as greatest of all Hakudaka, his strike methods are as limitless as the number of stars in the night sky. Some may seem simplistic, executed with such force and precision that they may be mistaken for sorcery, while others manifest in completely unusual manners that most spectators would find it impossible to define nor to explain. Of course, there are limitations as to what his strikes can do, as in the end, the body produces physical, mechanical, and concussive force. There is no going around that basic understanding. While he cannot control the quality of that force, at least at this realm of Hakuda, what he can control is how that force is expressed. Intention and action are unified. As a result, the strike manifests through his body in whatever way he intends without fail, in perfect harmony, thus producing an emitted force based upon that exact intention, no matter how complex. Rather than a fist that crushes, Seireitou's fist can become a strike that radiates out, disrupting the target with vibrational force. When Seireitou strikes in such a manner, it is possible for him to deliver a blow akin to sending forth earthquakes reverberating through the body of his victims. Even if the body appears unharmed, tremendous internal injuries can be sustained within an instant. The nature of these strikes is disruption in every sense of the word. In the same sense, this disruption can be implemented in a defensive capacity as well. By meeting force with force, it is also possible to neutralize the opponent's force using one of equal magnitude but opposite direction and angle. Neutralizing the force (hua), also known as melting or dissolving the offensive, refers to when pure force is directed toward him and subsequently neutralized by causing it to literally melt before him, with conceptual or intangible forces appearing to have liquefied before ever reaching Seireitou's person. It was shown that when another martial artist engaged Seireitou in combat and sent forth rippling displays of distorting force, Seireitou was able to have them melt and neutralized the offensive as they appeared as ripples in space around his body. Instead of radiating out, on the other hand, the force can instead be emitted in a more precise fashion, almost akin to a drill as it pierces through its target. The intention to pierce through the opponent is the same as the idea of a blade's thrust. The level of precision that goes into such a strike is far beyond the realm of crushing force. No matter the opposition, if the will to pierce through is great enough, the strike will make it through. Seireitou's thrusts allow him to pierce through even the mightiest barriers, the strongest of shields, and the most sturdy of armors. These are by no means different, as a piercing thrust can also radiate outwards, being projected from Seireitou's body in order to eviscerate an opponent from afar. The same applies to any possible method of emitting the force behind his strike, for Seireitou is limited solely by what he can realistically visualize the force behind his strike enacting upon its victim. One may begin to question at this point, "this may be sufficient against standard martial artists, but what of opponents who possess powers that are magic or spiritual in nature?" More often than not, the primary reason for this question comes from the idea of what can a martial artist do against something that is inherently intangible, such as illusions. A normal martial artist would find themselves at the mercy of such opponents but Seireitou is beyond such limitations. His mind, body, and spirit are unified as one entity and reigned in by his mastery. Similarly so, the body's fist and the mind's thoughts are also therefore one and the same. The thought becomes the fist and the fist becomes the thought. If his mind can interact with it, if his spirit can interact with it, so too can his body do the same as a result. Thus, the body transcends its physical limitations, allowing for Seireitou to strike at the intangible in the same way he strikes at the tangible. Illusions can be torn apart with his fists alone. Magic forces can be contended with no different than the fists of an enemy martial artist. Even space and time, conceptual constructs such as them, can be interacted with through his strikes. Simply put, whatever Seireitou can understand or perceive is subject to his strikes.
- Soft-Type Hakuda: In contrast, the methods of countering an opponent's action through indirect means, known as the "soft-type", is about the joining of energies rather than the opposition of energies. If Hakuda Atemi is to tear the world apart, then it is Hakuda Aiki — the art of joining energy — that brings the world together. It is often disregarded and abandoned by many martial artists, who value the act of striking over the act of unifying. In truth, the principle of aiki is crucial to the mastery over martial arts, for it is only when the forces of hard and soft, yin and yang, are brought together that true perfection is attained. Many are incapable of understanding this, but the Hakuda Grandmaster is no such individual. Seireitou's skill over the art of aiki is such that the instant he manages to seize control of the battle, victory is nigh assured regardless of the circumstances. Aiki is a principle built upon three aspects: understanding, which is achieved through sufficient mastery of Zanshin, blending and merging into the flow of a target, and finally, domination through disruption and conquest of the flow. Of course, in order to truly comprehend this concept, one must first define what exactly is the flow. Martial arts of the novice stage consider the flow to simply refer to the pace of the battle, in which understanding, blending, and then dominating the pace of battle allows them to achieve complete victory. However, this is only a small aspect of aiki. The flow is left to be determined by the martial artist, for whatever they identify as the flow, it can be conquered through aiki. Seireitou has mastered this art to a level where even the smallest opportunity to seize control is enough to achieve dominance. For the Hakuda Grandmaster, the flow can be viewed as many things. It can refer to the cycle of energies in the world around him, it can mean the rhythm of another person's behaviors, thoughts, mannerisms, and actions, or it can even be the progression of events that occur one after another before Seireitou. And yet, with his level of mastery, to engage these flows is nothing but a natural forethought to him. One can not fight against the current surrounding them. If they do, no matter their effort, they will find themselves torn apart. By moving with the current, becoming a part of it and mastering its flow, then even the mighty current will bow to their whims. Aiki's pursuit is to enter and merge into the flow that is identified and understood by the martial artist. While it is an act that requires a high degree of focus and concentration to accomplish for even masters of the Hakuda craft, it is a feat that Seireitou can achieve within an instant so long as he obtains a sufficient level of understanding. It is natural to him to do so, to tremendous effect yet with a subtle grace, like a masterful dancer moving themselves across a busy dance floor full of others dancing about; partnering up with each one as he passes through the floor as though he were a natural part of the process entirely. For a run-of-the-mill master, they would view a dancer of their choice, watching closely as they sway and move in the manner of their choosing, most commonly to the song playing, and once they feel comfortable, they would jump in and join in the dance as that individual's partner. Such would be a proper analogy to describe the role of aiki within martial arts. But for Seireitou, who himself is an embodiment of martial arts, it is a natural aspect of his being to move with the flow around him. The dance itself is a natural part of his being, and with the same intention, he can whisk his way into the motions of the dancer of his choosing without requiring a thought. It isn't a case of preparation beforehand nor of guessing, but simply that the notion of entering the flow is so natural to Seireitou that it is no different than breathing. Through his mastery, the ability to merge into the flow is not limited solely to the martial arts, for what is truly happening is a merger of hearts, of bodies, of minds. A waltz of the souls. No matter what craft his enemy may utilize, the notion of connecting with another soul is so natural to him that even facing an opponent of unfamiliar skills causes no interruption in his process. Seireitou has demonstrated aiki by walking through an entire crowd of people without ever being noticed or acknowledged by a single individual. His ability to adapt to the circumstances and blend into the flows around him makes it possible to perform even the most difficult and nigh impossible feats as if they were a natural act. Once such a connection is made, it may take time for other Hakudaka to establish a feel of control over the flow, so as to draw the designated flow into their own rhythm and thus maintain control. However, as can be expected of the Hakuda Grandmaster, this feat is as equally natural as the other aspects of aiki, and once the flows have been merged, it is like being drawn into the fierce flow of a mighty river or the pull of an ocean current as one is drawn into the vast openness of the sea; Seireitou's flow becomes the current in which all other flows find themselves naturally drawn down, just as the fish instinctively know to swim upstream. Blending with the flow of an opponent — that is, to say, their nature and actions — grants a sort of connection between them and Seireitou.
- Unifying Hard and Soft: Of course, while the waltz of souls between them can fluctuate between Seireitou intentionally following their lead or them being drawn into the intentions of his own movements, dominance over the "battle paths" (戦道, Sendō) is established. Within combat, the battle paths refer to every instance in which the engagement distance, or maai, between warriors can potentially be. Whatever the ability or craft used, the concurrent paths and potential paths always exist in some manner. Aiki is the act of attaining control over these paths through the act of blending with the flow. In doing so, Seireitou's attacks follow no pattern of their own. They are all natural responses to the opponent's flow, their own actions, and as such, for an opponent to attempt to overwhelm Seireitou is for an opponent to overwhelm themselves. They can try to take control of the fight but all they will accomplish is to chase after their own tails. As the fight prolongs, they are drawn deeper and deeper until they find that they have lost their way and have become nothing more than a leaf washing along the river's path. Being in command of the battle paths, Seireitou's actions can enter any of them on a whim, for his movements no longer need to follow the predicted pattern of battle. The result becomes a sort of conceptual sphere that encircles Seireitou, encompassing all of the battle paths and the potential paths that they can become. There is no stance taken when enacting this sphere of control, as it does not take any discernible nor studied body position and often changes in response to the situation. Anything that enters within the designated radius of influence from Seireitou's center is vulnerable. He explains that it is meant for "occupying an enemy's territory" and to a master of his stature, any enemy that enters this space is almost guaranteed to be defeated. It is likened to a physical usage of shogi, a game which involves positioning yourself at a point where you are at the greatest advantage. It is seen as a large sphere of reiatsu that surrounds the entire influential space. Hōsen Kuramoto, being a master of Hakuda in his own right, saw no reasonable opening when initially confronting Seireitou, feeling almost frightened at the size of his sphere of influence; as if knowing that all manner of opposition that were to move within its range would be crushed without fail. The final stage of aiki would be to eventually disrupt the flow and completely decimate the opponent. What is essentially the idea behind the third level of aiki is utter disruption and destruction of the target's flow or movements. While it hasn't been outright used by Seireitou in any notable confrontation, he expresses that it serves as a true finishing move, especially in his hands. Destroying an opponent's flow is nothing short than to eradicate their existence. Everything that ties them together becomes unraveled as they are obliterated in the folly of their defeat. The leaf that is carried upstream, forced to follow the river's current, finds itself being tossed off the waterfall, crumbling away in its tremendous force as it is rendered onto nothingness. This is the fate of those that are conquered by the Hakuda Grandmaster's aiki.
- Mastery of Power Types: A major aspect that constitutes the nature behind the hard or soft style is the "kei" (勁, "power"), or jing as the chinese martial arts known it; the intention behind the action. It refers to the idea of how one wishes to transmit power through their technique, and depending upon those intentions, it is from there that hard-type or soft-type can be determined. As the Hakuda Grandmaster, it goes without saying that Seireitou has mastered the concept of kei, allowing for his actions to carry out phenomena that would ordinarily be considered impossible based on the physical act. Being able to fluidly opt between soft-type and hard-type, all while constantly altering the kei, is what makes Seireitou's Hakuda so dangerous to tangle with, regardless of the method. With his mastery over kei, Seireitou can enact any sort of force through his techniques. Though kei can determine whether hard-type or soft-type is invoked, it is also possible to generate even greater forms of kei by combining both hard and soft. For instance, the act of luring (yin) is the initial active use of soft-type, which is intended to pull in forces thrown toward Seireitou and leading them in a path that the latter desires. This can often be either proceeded or followed by the act of accumulation (xu), in which energies and forces are gathered together and layered together in some form. While the act normally does not demand any physical motion, if the force is of great enough density, then maintaining his lead over the forces often demands that he engage in classic martial art movement, similar to a kata, that symbolizes his intentions in directing the gathered forces.
Instantaneous Technique Creation: The degrees to which Seireitou's Hakuda talents can be applied know absolutely no limits, fitting his title as the one and true Hakuda Grandmaster. It is at a level where he rightfully earns the rank of "Takemusu" (武産, meaning "to give birth to martial arts"); one that contributes to the martial arts, rather than simply learns from them. The Hakuda Grandmaster is one that has mastered the very pinnacle of martial arts and moved beyond all established limitations, further ascending to greater heights. Achieving a mastery of his level renders the study of techniques themselves as insignificant, for Seireitou is the very embodiment of martial arts, and can therefore spontaneously use and create martial art techniques for any given situation during the heat of battle. A technique is created for that moment, and then forgotten in the next, for there is no need to hold on to that transient existence for a greater technique can be created in the same manner when the demand for it is presented. If the need to study and master techniques is akin to the need for a bridge to cross a river, then Seireitou is one that can walk on water, for to cross the proverbial river is something that he can accomplish only with the actualized intention of crossing. After all, if one can walk on water, then what need is there for a bridge? He is his own bridge. Rather than needing established techniques during a fight, what Seireitou performs during battle is the founding concept upon which the technique is based upon.
Foundation of Hakuda
- "I already know the outcome if I fight him. I can tell from his punch how hard he has trained. He's only been punching with that single hand, not because he's underestimating me... but because he's thrown that punch for so long so many times that he's perfected it. I already know what awaits me if I were to get hit by his fist."
- —Datara Kawahiru noting the degree to which Seireitou has conditioned himself.
Ikkotsu (一骨, "Single Bone"): When a martial artist becomes a true master, it is not through acquiring the most advanced techniques but by developing the most basic of principles into absolute strength that cannot be overcome. The Hakuda Grandmaster of the Soul Society is not someone that is respected and feared because he possesses a thousand techniques, but simply because he is strong with even the most fundamental of martial art technique. That is what the Ikkotsu is to Seireitou. It is just a punch. Nothing intricate, nothing complex. That's all it is. But that one punch incorporates the millions of years of development that the martial arts have gone through. The teachings of every martial art style, every system of combat, every technique and maneuver — the Ikkotsu is a crystallization of martial arts in their entirety. It is perhaps why the technique itself is known to very few within the Soul Society. Simply put, the Ikkotsu is not something that can be taught, for every Ikkotsu is different for every martial arts master. The punch is a reflection of what they have seen when faced with the summit of martial arts mastery. Even among other Hakuda masters, they train their punches every single day with the aim to one day achieve the perfection of the Ikkotsu technique. As the man that stands above them, Seireitou's Ikkotsu itself is a strike in its own class.
What makes the Ikkotsu the pinnacle of martial art development lies in the most minute of details that are involved with its execution. Every single factor, from the stance adopted by the body, the movement of the legs, the turning of the hips and the shoulders, the extension of the arm, the clenching of the fist, the thrust of the punch itself, and everything in-between; each and every part adopts the sheer magnitudes of martial art theory and combines every significant feature into that single strike. These are all factors that are not always consciously controlled and cannot be so easily fine-tuned. It is a feat acquired through experience and the application of knowledge obtained throughout countless centuries of combat. It cannot be stolen nor mimicked, the level of skill that such a punch demands is simply far too great to copy. Behind Seireitou's fist lies every single opponent he has ever encountered, an embodiment of all his victories, all his defeats, and each lesson he had gleaned from them, which has risen the Hakuda Grandmaster to the apex of the martial arts summit that he now occupies. It can no longer be said that Seireitou uses the Ikkotsu, but more accurately, every punch that Seireitou throws is the Ikkotsu.
Seireitou's punch is the concept of strength itself crystallized into physical form, and as such, it is not something that is thrown without proper cause. The Ikkotsu is a power that can warp space and time at the peak of its execution, shattering apart the very air around him, which spells instant death for nearly any opponent that dares stand before it. As someone that values life, Seireitou must consciously restrain his own might in order to avoid such an outcome. He must instead opt for the use of a jab, a punch in which only the arm is involved rather than the entire body. The difference between a street fighter's punch and a martial artist's punch can also be considered an equivalent relation between a jab and a true punch. Therefore, for Seireitou to jab, it means he is not fighting as a martial artist but as a common brawler. In other words, he is not taking his opponent seriously. When jabbing in the most casual manner possible, his striking power is weakened to even less than a hundredth of its true capability, but the sheer volume of force that it still retains behind it is not to be underestimated. Seireitou's jab has the strength to deal a decisive blow to an opponent of nearly equal or lesser power, causing all organs within the point of contact to rupture indefinitely. With a similar degree of power, a jab from Seireitou dealt to a direct location such as the head or the arm, would cause the entire limb to collapse onto bloody pieces. Even as a jab, his strikes maintain frightening potency. Even from a distance, the Ikkotsu distorts the air by way of pure brute force, causing a wave of air pressure to crash into his target. The air bends and snaps to accommodate this distortion of space, smashing apart the target and victim without prejudice. Because of the nature of his strike's strength, normal spiritual attacks are rendered useless against it, as the distortion of space and the air bending around to fill in the vacuum make it difficult for anything to pass through it unscathed, much less at all. Due to his jab's enormous offensive power and quick speed, it can also double as a seemingly impenetrable defense, able to destroy or disrupt any attack before it hits Seireitou. In addition, because his punch works in this manner, it can even bypass normal defenses.
It is possible for the Ikkotsu to be used in other ways depending upon how the hand is formed. After all, though the basis for Ikkotsu is a punch, it is, in actuality, a strike created by a single hand. It can take any form the martial artist wishes, for they have mastered martial art theory to a point where any teaching can be applied to any technique without difficulty. This would hold very little meaning to mere practitioners, but to Seireitou, the very act of changing the positioning of his fingers or the way he shapes his hand can produce entirely different yet equally viable methods of attacking; for instance, tegatana (手刀 (てがたな), "Hand-Sword") is the act of shaping the martial artist's hand flat so that it resembles a bladed weapon. Whereas a classical Ikkotsu is thrown with the mindset of "crushing", the tegatana is a strike thrown with the mindset of "cutting". By holding his hand in this knifehand gesture, he can swing the Ikkotsu across in the direction of his target and everything in the wake of his hand's arc is slashed apart no differently than if it were done by an actual blade. It is capable of reaching an incredible range, completely slicing apart all things in its path. Similarly, just as it is not limited solely to the act of a standard punch, the Ikkotsu is also not limited only to the hands. It can be conducted by the legs as well. The Ikkotsu is not a technique for Seireitou but the very act of striking itself, for it has become second nature to him. For the Hakuda Grandmaster, it makes no difference if its by his hand or by his leg; even a nukite or a headbutt can be the Ikkotsu. As such, the Ikkotsu can also be performed as a kick, enabling him to unleash tremendous whirlwinds of force.
- "I can't move... It feels like I've been chained down. My body is reacting, it refuses to get near his fist... That fist represents the certainty of death."
- —Ichigo Kurosaki's instincts warning him of the danger behind Seireitou's real punch.
Although the Ikkotsu possesses such strength and versatility for Seireitou, every case discussed so far has only been in matters where he has consciously held himself back. But the true terror lies in when he decides to throw a serious punch. The "true strike" is an Ikkotsu in which Seireitou devotes his entire being into every strike he throws, turning it a "martial artist's punch". The difference between his jab and his serious punch is so vastly different that it can be compared to night and day. The entirety of his essence is concentrated into that single strike with every move. For normal humans, this simply means utilizing all of their muscles in that single punch, but for a spiritual being like a Shinigami, their reiatsu is also a part of their physical strength and as such, it is also a factor when utilizing this sort of serious strike. When Seireitou throws a serious Ikkotsu, it is not just his physical might but also the vast weight of his spiritual pressure that is behind it. The enormity of his strength and the massive weight of his reiatsu which follows his body is such that a serious strike carries a magnitude that is capable of literally cracking dimensions themselves. Streaks of white reiatsu follow every serious Ikkotsu, delivering such tremendous power that anything within its path is vaporized. It becomes possible for such enormous volumes of pressure to eventually have an effect on the surrounding area, altering air currents and even influencing weather phenomena. When witnessed from afar, the serious Ikkotsu almost resembles a Cero, blasting through everything that stands before Seireitou's fist. Such an act spells unavoidable death for all but the most powerful of adversaries.
Sōkotsu (双骨, "Double Bone")
Mastery of Reiatsu: Among the Zankensoki, it is typically Hakuda masters that make the most use out of their reiatsu as a means of combat. They cultivate and refine their technique through Reiatsu Kimeru, which translates into a means of deciding how spiritual pressure is utilized and applied. They are able to create a limitless degree of methods in which to utilize their reiatsu, ranging from basic expressions to the most advanced applications. As Hakuda is an art that must come from the heart, the use of spiritual power through the martial arts is limited only by its wielder, and the Grandmaster of Hakuda himself is capable of feats are beyond the imagination of other martial artists. Through years of training and battle experience, coupled with immense levels of self-control and tempering of his spiritual prowess through Hakuda, Seireitou possesses a nearly perfected form of control over his spiritual pressure.
Reiatsu naturally is emitted from the body as the active form of reiryoku. However, the degree at which it is released, as well as the amount, the behavior, and the rate of expansion and contraction, are all factors that can be controlled through Hakuda training. Because reiatsu, much like the body's own movements, can be read and predicted, being unable to efficiently mold and channel it is akin to telegraphing your intentions to the opponent. Keeping reiatsu close to the body and not allowing it to streak behind during actions, for example, allows a martial artist to avoid being detected by an enemy; a feat accomplished through reiatsu control. Being in complete harmony with mind, body, and soul also means that reiatsu no longer functions separately than the physical body but moves naturally together with it. Therefore, for someone like Seireitou, the transition from concentrating to releasing reiatsu is instantaneous, such that when Seireitou flexes his spiritual pressure, he can unleash tremendous degrees of force within the same instant, while it would take even a seasoned master a couple seconds if not moments to build up a similar expenditure. With a stare, Seireitou is able to emit a highly refined discharge of immense spiritual pressure that can almost immediately knock out most warriors who lock eyes with him, possibly even causing some kind of brain damage as a consequence. The most minimal movement can carry a massive discharge of spiritual pressure, leveling entire concrete structures, but can even be unleashed in refined manifestations as well, with a single touch of his finger being enough to send intense waves of vibrational spiritual force coursing through his victims. Because the process is instantaneous, using Reikaku to anticipate Seireitou's actions is an nigh impossible feat. The moment one tries to do so or even considers doing so, the action has already been carried out, making the very act of sensing him to anticipate his move a pointless endeavor.
Seireitou's control over reiatsu is such that he can release and mold his power with minimal effort. His spiritual pressure is a part of his own body, like an additional limb, and can be used as a weapon during combat. Not only can he manipulate the rate and consistency at which it is released, but Seireitou can also determine the form that it takes, whether he releases it in bursts, as overwhelming waves of force to serve as his fists, or even as defensive layers to serve as his shield. His active reiatsu, to those who can actually see it and perceive it, can appear as though it were swirling waves of energy that can be controlled either by his thoughts or by the movements of his hands. As a part of himself, his reiatsu can serve as a means of scouting out the surrounding areas around him, letting him pick up on things that he would normally have missed or been unable to determine otherwise. Seireitou has also demonstrated rather unorthodox methods of directing his spiritual pressure for unconventional purposes, such as imbuing a small part of it into the patchwork of an enemy's Kidō spell, yielding a brief disruption in its uniformity, in order to utilize his reiatsu as a sort of scouting probe; with the purpose of gauging the properties and quality of the spell's nature as well as the level of threat it presented. He is capable of exerting his pressure outwards as a feint, with such potency that most common opponents are fooled into believing he actually preformed an action. Even if his power is initially released as subtle waves of force, they can instantaneously become crashing waves that demolish everything in their wake. In a similar vein, coursing his spiritual pressure harmlessly through the body of his victim and then allowing it to become a crashing force can allow him to ignore certain targets while only destroying the intended target. Seireitou's mastery of Reiatsu Kimeru is such that he can even alter the nature of his released spiritual pressure at any moment, not only its behavior. This has allowed him to perform a variety of feats, even enabling him to match the same wavelengths, density, and potency of a Hollow or Arrancar. He has demonstrated this by having his body radiate with an aura akin to a Cero, producing a subtle eerie humming sound, as it simply fades in and out instantaneously as needed. Seireitou could even release bursts of reiatsu, in the same vein as the beams fired by Arrancars and Hollows, which follow the arc of his body's motions much like the Cero utilized by Tier Harribel.
Beyond releasing and controlling reiatsu, being able to control its flow is also an aspect of Reiatsu Kimeru. As many often state, spiritual power flows from the soul outwards, changing from passive reiryoku into active reiatsu. The reiatsu of a Shinigami will continue to ceaselessly flow, for as long as the heart is still beating. If the heart beats, then it is an impossibility for the reiatsu to cease. This is because the ebb and flow of reiatsu is the same as the breath of its wielder. If there is no breath, then there is no life, and as such, as long as there is life, reiatsu will continue to flow. With this understanding in mind, Seireitou's mastery of reiatsu control has allowed him to fully dominate the flow of his own reiatsu, to a point that he can even function in what can only be called a state of death, as he can stop the flow of his spiritual pressure entirely. But he is not limited solely to his own. Mastery over reiatsu as a concept enables him to influence not only his own reiatsu but also the reiatsu of his opponents; no different than manipulating an enemy's joints or striking their pressure points. Through mere touch, he can temporarily halt the flow of their own spiritual power, to the point of causing them to lose consciousness. If he is capable of imposing his control over their reiatsu, Seireitou could choose to permanently stop its flow, in which their heart stops beating until their life fades away. However, this application of reiatsu control becomes more effective when used against free-flowing reiatsu; in other words, reiatsu that has been released from an opponent rather than reiatsu surrounding their bodies. This enables Seireitou to capture his opponent's reiatsu, reshape it, and utilize it as his own weapon. To a true master such as himself, such an act can even be applied to techniques of reishi and reiryoku as well. As a facet of mastering Kiai, the skill of molding spiritual power can be further developed in battle through the higher realms of Hakuda, such as Kiroku.
- "Sword of Hanullim" (魂元の剣 (ハナリムの剣), Hanarimu no Tsurugi): At one time, Seireitou possessed a Zanpakutō named Hanullim, but after ascending to the realm of a true Hakuda master, he had assimilated the developed power of the Zanpakutō back into his own soul and had become a complete entity. While Seireitou could always create swords and other associated constructs out of reiatsu, through the Reishuken that he himself created — a solid shimmering blade of white spiritual energy that originates from his hand, which is held in a knifehand — he has also demonstrated the use of an enhanced version of this technique which he refers to as the "blade of Hanullim". It possesses a far more intricate appearance, appearing as a golden blade of reiatsu that is bathed in a green aura, with ephemeral markings that appear along the upper edge. The blade itself possesses no unique abilities, but its sheer power far exceeds anything produced by the standard technique.
- Instantaneous Expanding and Contracting
- Hoshikudaki (星砕, "Star Destroyer"): Seireitou's own personalized form of the Reihai technique which allows him to bring out the maximum potential of his reiatsu, the Hoshikudaki is an ultimate battle aura that clings to his body with an overwhelming ferocity rivaled only by the unusually calm nature of his spiritual pressure. He refers to it as the pinnacle of both power and control. Rather than being considered a classical technique, the Hoshikudaki is simply the act of Seireitou concentrating his reiatsu to a higher level than his standard base power; something that is reserved for opponents that prompt him to bring out even more power than that which he naturally emits.
Perfection of Kiai
Within Hakuda, there are four realms that encompass the teachings of all martial arts. The first realm, Kiai, is the state where all Hakuda practitioners begin their journey, and yet, it is rare for even one in a thousand to ever truly grasp Hakuda at this fundamental level. Mind, body, and soul — the realm of Kiai trains one to bridge together these three aspects of self until there is no distinguishing between them. They are united in every sense of the word. For one to be called a master, they should be able to engage the principles of Kiai as though it were second nature. As the Hakuda Grandmaster, Seireitou is no exception, and demonstrates perfection over this Hakuda realm in how his entire existence operates as a single entity. Uniting his aspects of self is an act that demands no conscious effort, a result of his millennia of Hakuda training and combat, which enables him to produce physical phenomena originating from within the mind as a thought or the soul as a belief through his own body as a martial art.
Aspect of the Body
- Shintai Seiatsu (神体制圧, "God-Body Control")
- Independent Action and Response
- Control over Instinct
Aspect of the Mind
- Muken (無拳, "Empty Fist"; literally "Fist of Nothingness"): Those who master Kiai have ascended beyond the realm of standard hand-to-hand combat and have reached a precipice far beyond basic comprehension; a result of one unifying mind, body, and spirit. Thought becomes action itself. Muken, therefore, is an embodiment of that principle, in which Seireitou has become a martial arts master of such a level that he no longer needs to throw a punch with his physical body. Thought alone becomes his "fist". Distance is no longer a factor. So long as it is within the grasp of his senses, he can strike at it with his mind. Muken is a strike that is removed from the law of causality, as it eliminates the need for intention to instruct the body to strike, for the intention itself becomes the strike. In doing so, the warrior no longer becomes a simple fighter, but a weapon of force in its purest sense; a force of destruction taking the form of a single man that can level armies with a glance. The attack can come crushing down and tears apart any and all opposition that should meet Seireitou's perception, annihilating anything that is regarded as a danger by him without prejudice. Muken itself is a fist that is not of the body, but of the mind. It is a conceptual attack being materialized into the world by Seireitou's own will as a martial arts master. Therefore, the scope of what Muken can strike is limitless. So long as it can be perceived as something that can be attacked, it will be smashed apart with overwhelming force. Elements of nature and conceptual forces are no exception. Even illusions can be broken. Kidō collapses before it. Seireitou has demonstrated the Muken's reach by crushing a powerful Haien that took on the form of a massive wave of flames without fear of its great heat. There was no need for him to be concerned. Muken could tear apart not only the flames themselves but the heat that was emanating off of them. The technique's true scope, however, is not in its offensive potential but rather than it is a materialization of Seireitou's own will. Therefore, Muken is not just a mere technique but a martial art teaching, which can be applied in various mediums beyond mere striking. Particularly, among these applications, being able to instead use Muken to redirect opposition rather than directly confront it is a version of Muken that Seireitou refers to as the "flowing hand" (流手, Ryūshu). Rather than using Muken as a strike, it is instead used as a redirection technique, which employs soft-type martial art principle over hard-type. By using this flowing hand tactic, Seireitou can redirect certain attacks, such as energy produced by Zanpakutō, Kidō, or even techniques like Cero, with a mere glare; the same way he is able to strike with the standard Muken. Such an act makes it possible for him to capture an opponent's own energy and utilize it for himself in the moment of conflict. It can be visualized as the standard Muken being a punch whereas the flowing hand technique is a block or a throw; both of which are techniques utilized by the hands, and therefore, can be conducted through Muken. In theory, Muken itself can become an embodiment of all martial art teachings.
- Shukuchi (縮地, Reduced Earth): Upon reaching the pinnacle of Hakuda, the need for footwork becomes negligible. Within the martial arts, the prospect of movement is centered around the maai, which refers to the distance between combatants, and the entirety of movement becomes focused on how best to conquer this engagement space. Of course, in the case of most martial artists, their mind tends to move faster than their body, which allows their intentions to be read and therefore their movements can be anticipated. Maai is a battle of physical and mental distance as well. But when mind, body, and spirit are mastered to the fullest and are embraced in a perfect union, the line between movement of the body and the materialization of intention is nonexistent. Once the intention to cross a distance is invoked, the action occurs instantaneously. Thought becomes movement itself. This is known as the art of reducing earth, the Shukuchi, a technique regarded in legend by the gods who first utilized its ability; as achieved through the skill of a Hakudaka of Seireitou's prowess. It is by no means an act of enhancing speed nor is it mere teleportation, for what it actually happening is the instantaneous shifting of position as though no actual distance was covered. Nothing appears possible to hinder the Shukuchi's motion; distance itself is of no consequence to this technique, as even massive distances of spacial separation are nothing to this technique. The benefit of this motion technique is that distance can be crossed with excluding time itself as a factor. Ichigo Kurosaki, when brought to another location by Seireitou via the Shukuchi technique, described the experience as such. Within a split-second, the two of them arrived in a barren wasteland, far away from the grassy knolls where Ichigo could see the sekki-seki castle known as Seireitei; where he had just stood not even a second before this change of scenery. Though, the transition felt... weird. The moment he had realized Seireitou touched him, his vision was quickly blinded by what appeared to be a river of various colors; some he knew and some he hadn't ever laid eyes upon before. It has seemed as though they were swimming in this river of colors, but before he comprehended such a thing, they had arrived in their destination. A strange feeling indeed... It was no flash step that the silver-haired man had just used to bring them to their location. It was more like... teleportation than anything else. Whether a vast distance or even a short one, time becomes nonexistent as the distance is crossed instantaneously. The technique reveals to possess the ability to even allow Seireitou to escape the space-time techniques utilized by Senzui Kururugi, despite the latter already being in physical contact with him. Even when he is in contact with another person or object, he is still able to utilize the technique and, if he so wishes, can teleport other objects as well. It goes without saying that the technique completely surpasses any form of Hohō, as it is a domination over the engagement distance between fighters imposed by Seireitou's Hakuda rather than accelerated movement.
Aspect of the Soul
- Ryūshin (竜心, "Dragon Heart")
- Uchū no Myaku (宇宙の脈, "Pulse of the Universe")
- Significance of Stance: All movements, all form, starts at one's stance and it determines to what extent and nature one will behave. A stance is essentially the art of distribution, foot orientation and body positions adopted when attacking, defending, advancing or retreating. However, this is merely on the physical level. Stance is, in and of itself, a state of being that the martial artist enters during a battle that alters the behavior of their movements that adapt to the circumstances. From one's stance — at the root of all martial art — there lies the possibility for all things to bloom forth. The importance of posture is something all martial artists train every day to achieve, so as to enter certain combat paradigms when those particular moments arise. The very concept of a stance lies in its purpose of creating a frame; a groundwork from which a martial artist may proceed to act. It is the very basis of Hakuda's method of creating shape and manipulating form. On the level of souls, it becomes a conceptual power, as the idea of stance permits one to ground themselves in their own established reality. By anchoring to reality through the stance, illusion-based powers and even reality-warping abilities are rendered useless when inflicted on Seireitou, as he has grounded himself in the unaltered reality. He becomes the immovable mountain that pays no heed to the wind that demands it to topple over, regardless of how fierce it howls. Stance itself can therefore be considered the configuration of one's soul during any particular moment of a battle. Beyond that of reality anchoring, stance can have an effect on Seireitou's reiatsu as well, as spiritual power itself originates from the soul. Adopting an offensive stance or a defensive stance, for instance, can enhance the effectiveness of his reiatsu in matters of attack or defense respectively, allowing him to further fortify his own strikes or even increase his durability when taking on an opponent's own attacks. Such an act has enabled him to weather through abilities of considerable might that would have possibly managed to severely injure him otherwise. For Seireitou, the idea of stance is a natural flowing concept that requires no preparation, no need to ready the mind or spirit, for his mastery is at a level where such things are unnecessary. It is second nature to him. His ability to shift into whatever stance may be required is done in such a fluid manner that all stances appear to be the same, for in truth, they are no longer different phases of a martial artist's intentions to act but simply a natural response to whatever circumstances may arise.
Perfection of Kiroku
Beyond that of Kiai, one finds themselves within the realm of Kiroku. By unifying the three aspects of self, characteristics of the soul and mind now can manifest onto the body itself as physical phenomenon. Power itself can be cultivated through the adoption of ideas and concepts from other sources. Martial arts, at their core, have always been about learning from every experience, and at the Kiroku level, experiences themselves become pools of wisdom and knowledge from which power itself can be drawn from. Ki itself is cultivated from those sources and is integrated into the martial artist's own style. For most Hakudaka, it is mere mimicry, in which they attempt to copy the behavior of an animal or the elements of nature. However, for Seireitou, his Kiroku is nothing so shallow. What he does is not mimicry but recreation. No matter the concept, that which is adopted by the Hakuda Grandmaster is not a copy but a recreation of the concept that aims to surpass the original principle. In essence, Seireitou transcends the concept itself, turning it into a power all his own. He has managed to develop and refine his Kiroku to the point that the entirety of his mastery over the second realm of Hakuda is embodied by nine distinct techniques that are referred to as the "Shiroyasha's nine tails" (白夜叉の九尾, Shiroyasha no Kyūbi).
Takemikazuchi (化身刀 (タケミカヅチ), literally "Turning the Body into a Sword")
Izanagi (誕身神 (イザナギ), literally "Birthing Gods from the Body")
Izanami (受身闇 (イザナミ), literally "Accepting Darkness into the Body")
Hyakki Yakō (百鬼夜行, "Night Parade of One Hundred Demons")
Unnamed Ryūmyaku Technique
Perfection of Kihaku
Nigimitama no Mukei (和御魂の無形, "Empty Form of the Tranquil Spirit")
Kushimitama no Hakei (奇御魂の破形, "Detaching Form of the Wondrous Spirit"): After his departure from the Soul Society, Seireitou settled in the Beast Realm where he had eventually sought training under the dragon, Kachōfūgetsu. It was during this time that he came to master many of the higher level disciplines of Hakuda and started down the long trek toward becoming a Grandmaster. He was also taught in the ways of the dragons. After a rigorous period of earning his trust, Kachōfūgetsu taught Seireitou much of the dragons; their culture, their history, and their mannerisms. Seireitou was even fortunate enough to encounter other dragons that were closely associated with Kachōfūgetsu. Though many of Seireitou's most commonly used Hakuda techniques are derived from his training under Kachōfūgetsu and the dragons, none more so honors his mentor than this kata. Assuming the millions of years of existence and reflecting that culture in his soul, his body shifts into a new form in which he becomes close to an actual dragon. There are actually two stages to the Dragon Kata, a humanoid form and a serpentine dragon form, with the humanoid form being his most favored. Taking a breath and shifting his stance into the kata, though generally considered a superfluous action that is relatively unneeded, his body is briefly bathed in a pale blue light that causes his already transformed blue hair to shimmer brightly as his eyes shift into an intense yellow. His arms and legs are covered in bright blue dragon scales which shimmer from the might of his spiritual power. What seems to undergo the greatest change is the nature of his reiatsu. Seireitou's power had already existed at a level where it normally could not be sensed by even those of the spiritual realm, but the feeling that it inflicts upon others is notably different. While the Dragon Kata was developed through the encounters of multiple dragons, its core derivative is Seireitou's relationship with Kachōfūgetsu. As such, the nature of his reiatsu becomes exactly like that of a life dragon; carrying with it the essence of nature itself, as though Seireitou's presence and the trees, plants, and other wildlife around him are all interconnected. Wherever Seireitou walks while in the Dragon Kata or whatever area he comes into contact with, life begins to spring up all around him. The flowers blossom, plants and trees continue to grow at a considerable pace, and similar examples of natural phenomena all start to occur without the need for Seireitou. He has shown the capability to actually manipulate certain aspects of the plants he gives life to, even to the point of creating massive vines to ensnare his opponents, and plants growing forth and moving about by following the motion of Seireitou's body. He has shown the ability to also manifest other aspects of natural phenomena, such as lightning. Seireitou's punches no longer unleash physical force but instead discharge powerful bursts of lightning which are reminiscent to the breath of a dragon. These strikes are instantaneous and brief discharges, appearing very similar to that of Hiryū Gekizoku Shinten Raihō; a spell that was actually developed based upon a dragon's breath. It has been explained that dragons are, by their nature, not brutish nor violent. Under normal circumstances, it would be considered very strange for a Hakuda specialist to perform a kata based upon a being who is entirely devout to the magical arts. The Dragon Kata is not one that emphasizes the strength of a dragon, but in martial art terms, it characterizes the kiai or "spirit" of a dragon. Every time that Seireitou strikes, the discharge of lightning is accompanied by what can be regarded as the cry of a dragon itself. The lightning produced is of an entirely conceptual nature, as if the magical presence of a dragon has been transformed into a martial artist, and thus, its natural powers are being channeled in the same manner a martial artist would channel their own strength in battle. It is for this reason that the power exhibited by Seireitou in the Dragon Kata is centered entirely upon the spiritual aspects of martial arts rather than the physical concepts. Similarly, the same can be said for when Seireitou utilizes the second form of the Dragon Kata. Flowing outwards, a streak of spiritual power falls in his wake and manifests into the serpentine form of a massive white dragon with light blue scales. He appears as though he were a white and blue colored version of Kachōfūgetsu himself. Just as in the case of the humanoid form, the power gained through performing the Dragon Kata is to perform a kiai that mimics the roar of a dragon. As a result, Seireitou's kiai while performing the Dragon Kata manifests as the breath of a dragon. With a mighty roar, Seireitou unleashes an intense white burst of reiatsu that dominates the reishi in the vicinity of his kiai and simply is forced to move in the direction of the roar as it fuels Seireitou's kiai. The tremendous force behind the kiai behaves like that of an intense flame that incinerates everything before it onto mere ashes.
Sakimitama no Ryūkei (幸御魂の流形, "Flowing Form of the Providing Spirit")
Aramitama no Senkei (荒御魂の殲形, "War Form of the Rough Spirit")
Aramitama no Magakei (荒御魂の禍形, "Twisted Form of the Rough Spirit")
After the eventual parting with Hanullim, his Zanpakutō, Seireitou had now completely devoted himself to the practice of Hakuda. His vast power and skill in the field had reached such a point that he was renowned as the foremost master of the craft in all of Soul Society. Seireitou was now capable of tapping into latent strength and deep immense power located in the recesses of his soul through his own efforts, allowing him to access his Shinuchi state. Having come to fully master the form, it no longer exists as a conventional transformation, but rather for Seireitou, it represents him reaching his full might. When he pushes himself to his utmost limits, his soul as an indomitable martial artist that instinctively challenges his limits responds in kind by essentially transcending him and subsequently causes him to enter the Shinuchi form. It is said to be a manifestation of his martial spirit that takes on a physical form and given actualization. Seireitou's spiritual power reaches a heightened plateau where most individuals are incapable of sensing him, almost akin to that of the dragons or the kami themselves, unless he intentionally lowers himself into their dimension so that they can spiritually perceive him. Despite this, it seems that his power has a strange presence to it that still interacts with those that cannot understand it. What seems to be consensus among those within its presence is that it is noticeably overbearing but has absolutely no orientation. The harder somebody attempts to comprehend it, the further from understanding they will be. According to Seireitou, his power is the purest representation of the martial arts essence itself; when an intention is not given to it, the very existence of martial arts is but a concept that encompasses both everything and nothing.
What makes his Shinuchi so unique is that it does not present itself in the same way as a standard transformation normally would. Rather than an explosive sequence of spiritual power as he enters the Shinuchi form, it starts by simply manifesting as a faint hue that surrounds his body and subtly shrouds him. This only occurs when he begins to push himself to his limits and a subsequently strong desire within him flares to the forefront as he pushes himself further, reaching the pinnacle of his power and moving beyond that point. Seireitou's Shinuchi is not meant to be something that is apart from him nor a separate source of power that he must expend effort in order to reach, but it can best be described as the point in which Seireitou demonstrates his fullest capabilities. His clothes are generally darkened and take on a more grayish black color, along with a black hakama, held together by a firm rope belt around his waist. A black mantle with burnt edges is draped over his shoulders, that stays connected together by what appears to be a tomoe necklace. The most drastic change that occurs is that Seireitou's hair has lengthened considerably and transforms from its natural white color to an intense silver with a noticeably shimmering tint. His bangs from each side appear to be far longer and hang out freely. As his form is the reflection of his innermost Kitsune nature, he prominently features fox ears and a long fox tail; both being noticeably silvery platinum in color. His eyes change color as well, from their abnormally grayish white to a resolute dark yellow, but retain an abnormal mystic white hue to them whenever Seireitou releases his spiritual power. They give off an apathetic feel to them, with Saori Sumeragi noting that she could feel the "solitude" behind them; being unable, for the first time in their experiences together, to tell what Seireitou's heart was conveying despite their close relationship. It seems that his personality also changes as drastically as his appearance, as shown by his much more stern contrast in both facial expression and in verbal expression; perhaps signifying that he is devoting the entirety of his being to a single thought. At will, while in this form, Seireitou can generate nine sapphire tails from behind him, presumbly forged from his heavy spiritual power, that blatantly resembles the tails of a fox.
Katsujinken (活人拳, "Life-Giving Fist")
Satsujinken (殺人拳, "Killing Fist")
Former Powers & Abilities
Main article: Seireitou Kawahiru/Former Powers & Abilities
- "From the start... I was born in your soul, Seireitou — a soul that knew nothing of kindness or longing. A soul alone from this world. But then you started to form these precious bonds. Your teacher... your lover... your rival... One by one, your soul formed these interactions. And you became stronger. You had wished to fight alongside them, to protect them. But fighting brings only pain and loss... Eventually, you would have lost these friends you formed such strong bonds with, and you would fall into despair... and lose your life. I took every possible path to prevent this outcome. Denying you my power, giving birth to the darkness of Shiroyasha within you... but you persevered. No matter how many paths I blocked off from you, you never failed to find an alternate route. I hated you for that. I hated you. And I continued to hate you, while watching you fight on and advance. And... before I knew it... I began to find myself cheering you on. Crafted in the image of your brother, it makes sense that I would go to such lengths to prevent you from becoming strong enough to enter battle. But you are no longer that wavy-haired child, huh? It is time for me to leave the master's seat."
- —Hanullim parting ways with Seireitou.
Hanullim (魂元 (ハナリム), Hanarimu; Korean for "Source of all Being", Japanese for "Soul Origin"): The manifestation of his Sōzōshin powers as well as his status as a Kitsune, Seireitou's Zanpakutō was regarded in the history of Soul Society as one of the most powerful among all other Zanpakutō yet also its most malicious; a fitting companion for the man renowned in legend as the White Demon that struck fear in the hearts of his enemies. Even when it would remain in its sealed form, a powerful aura of pure intent surrounded the Zanpakutō which tended to fluctuate in its nature. Its power was respected so highly that most opponents feared its strength; to such a point that legions of enemy forces would actually retreat upon hearing its release command. In his younger days, Hanullim took on the form of a nōdachi in its sealed state; possessing a white hilt sporting unique complex shapes on it. But as he changed as a person and feverishly pursued the art of Hakuda, so too did his Zanpakutō reflect this change and lost its sword form. That which was once known as Hanullim now exists as a pair of black tekkō arm protectors which are worn consistently and are normally hidden under Seireitou's bell-shaped sleeves. The arm guards would lose their blackness and become a pure white whenever the presence of Hanullim would make itself known; reflecting Seireitou's spiritual power coloration. At the edge closest to his hands, the left tekkō sports two kanji that stand on opposite corners of one another; Aramitama (荒魂) and Nigimitama (和魂). On the right tekkō, in the exact same manner, the characters for Kushimitama (奇魂) and Sakimitama (幸魂) are etched onto it. These four represent the ideals of courage, camaraderie, wisdom, and love respectively. The meaning of the symbols lies in the belief that when all four of these traits are united in one person, they unite to form a powerful balance within the soul that can be used for good or evil.
Seireitou and Hanullim have always shared a peculiar relationship. Due to its malicious nature, Hanullim was always a Zanpakutō that tried to obstruct Seireitou in a generally progressive manner as the centuries went by. While he always seemed to work alongside his master, Hanullim never seemed to open up to Seireitou, despite a clear willingness to fight off his enemies together with him and to grant him access to the sword's abilities. But even so, the two had a strained relationship that never seemed to improve. Hanullim's interference and blatant attempts at darkening Seireitou's heart during the most inopportune moments was an issue that needed to be resolved. It was due to this conflict that Seireitou pursued the solitary craft of Hakuda so that he could reduce his use of Hanullim, thus preventing the trickster Zanpakutō from interfering in his affairs. This began to create a distance between them that had lasted for many centuries, almost spanning a thousand years, but Hanullim continued to keep his eye trained on his master.
It was only in the years following the incident with Datara Kawahiru that Hanullim had finally revealed his true motives to Seireitou. Much like the relationship between a martial arts master and their disciple, Hanullim's role in Seireitou's life was to push him to grow and become stronger by any means necessary; even if it meant sending him to the very brink of his humanity. It was this relationship between the two that allowed Seireitou to realize his true power as a Hakuda Grandmaster, and once he managed to pave his own way, he had accomplished all that Hanullim wanted of him. It was finally time for the two to part ways, just as the disciple who has completed his master's teachings must now depart and continue down his own path, becoming stronger on his own. In vanishing from Seireitou, Hanullim left him with its power, in order to inherit them as his own strength. It is because of this that Seireitou can no longer access Shikai and Bankai. The tekkō that once housed Hanullim's inner spirit is no more than a mere trinket to serve as a memento of the spirit that served as his final teacher, though Seireitou continues to wear them often.
Main article: Seireitou Kawahiru/Relationships Being a man whom values his bonds, Seireitou has formed several unique and interesting friendships, alliances, rivalries, and even enemies due to his actions and viewpoints. Interestingly enough, several female characters in the series have possibly developed romantic feelings for him despite his strange and eccentric persona, though most likely a result of his inwardly compassionate nature.
Seireitou is not known to be close with his immediate family. He is estranged from his "father" and his mother for obvious reasons. While he is known to have had a lover, with whom he unknowingly bore a child, Seireitou was married only once. His wife, Shiori, had been killed during the events of Datara's campaign of warfare. He is also known to be on rocky terms with his son Suzaku, although the latter seems to have much respect and admiration for his father while the former cares deeply for his son; despite the both of them being incapable of portraying this father-son care for one another. Similarly so, with the only daughter he had intentionally conceived, Kaguya, he was under the impression that she had died long ago, which was a part of the animosity Suzaku felt toward his father. He has also conceived an illegitimate daughter that was the result of a drunken exchange between himself and Rangiku Matsumoto.
During the Quincy Blood War, Seireitou was known as "Shiroyasha" for many frightening reasons, including his bloodthirsty battle-loving attitude and desire to cause vicious injuries upon his victims; although one of the most fearsome reasons was due to the methods of torture he undertook with his captured enemies. Severe physical and mental degrees of torture were par for the course, but particularly so, he was known to violate many of his female victims, with the sadist intent of crushing their spirit to the very core. It is unknown how many Quincy women during the war were violated in this manner, though many survived those incidents as they were thrown back for their fellow Quincy to recover, only for it to later be revealed that some of those victims ended up pregnant from the bouts of torture; very few, if any, actually surviving giving birth due to the extent of the injuries they sustained. Several offspring born of these violent unions include that of Bambietta Basterbine and Meninas McAllon, among many others; although it is unknown if Seireitou ever became aware of each and every one of these bastard children.
Appearances in Other Media
Anime Omake Segment: Sei-san no Kyōshitsu
Seireitou is in charge of the Sei-san no Kyōshitsu (の教室, literally "Sei-san's Classroom"), an omake segment that airs at the end of some chapters in the series. It is where he outlines various facts about characters in the series, as well as instructs the audience in subjects not fully covered in the actual chapters themselves, teaching it to a classroom full of the main characters dressed in school uniforms. Similar to Gin Ichimaru's Arrancar Encyclopedia, many sketches will usually start with a surprise guest(s) for that segment announcing the name of the sketch, at which point Seireitou will give a short course on a specific topic, such as the character in question's standard abilities. Once Seireitou has finished, the person that announced the name shows up to comment on the topic, usually resulting in a humorous retort by Seireitou. During these segments, he also answers fan mail. On occasion, Seireitou will be "out sick", in which one of the other three Yonkō will substitute for him, typically Raian Getsueikirite, which almost always leads to a humorous subsequent scene involving Seireitou realizes who's substituting for him.
- (To Raian Getsueikirite) "It isn't a sense of justice. Fighting powerful opponents and protecting those close to me is how I live my life. It is the path of which I have chosen to walk. If you measured good and evil deeds by current laws, I would be responsible for many crimes. Simply put, I don't care about right and wrong, but only about what is interesting. That's why I only take on fights which pique my interest. It isn't justice whatsoever. If it means saving the life of a friend or advancing my own power... I'll do whatever it takes to win. I don't and will not play fair. I'm a dishonest cheat who hates losing."
- (Regarding Shiori Miyamoto) "I've decided to stop whining about what I've lost before... in order to focus on what I have now. I'm going to become her guardian and become the strongest so that things will change for the better. Perhaps it's selfish of me... but I no longer want to have to... see her cry any more. If it means changing this entire world, even if it requires the most violent means possible, so that she'll never have tears for me to wipe away any longer, then that's good enough for me."
- (To Hikaru Kurokami) "Quit being stupid... and stand up already. Instead of spending time hoping you'll die beautifully, you might as well keep fighting to see another beautiful tomorrow."
- (To Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, during the Quincy war) "If you believe that I serve as a Captain of these Divisions so that I can protect the civilization that you and the rest of these murderers have so painstakingly worked toward creating, you're dead wrong. From the very start of all this, I've sought only to protect Shōyō-sensei... and also, Raian-san, Senka-chan, Hikaru-san, and even Hibiki-san. Do not forget that it is akin to blackmail that you got me to go along with your little "Gotei" group. You had best not forget your place when speaking with me, old man. I have no qualms about killing every last man, woman, and child that dares to swear loyalty to you. I will smash to bits this entire Seireitei if I'm driven to."
- (To Shunsui Kyōraku) "A warrior has only one job on the battlefield. And that... is to win. There is no such thing as a "good side" or a "bad side" during a conflict. When at war, both sides are in the wrong. You must shed the childish thoughts of respect and honor... and become a demon. That is the only way to survive on this battlefield."
- "You should know better than to corner an animal like a fox... we have a tendency to show our teeth."
- (To Datara Kawahiru) "Get up, you miserable fuck! It's time you learned why you're not in our league!"
- (After refusing the Royal Guard's request) "Sorry, I'll have to pass on that. My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and because of that, I am therefore excused from having to save the Soul Society."
- "Since you're so willing to use such a killing move... then I shall use my own killing move as well."
- (To Kurama Kawahiru, about Shōyō) "Perhaps you're stronger than I thought... But that's no excuse. Even as things stand, I can feel the same chills up my spine from back in the day. It's as if he's scolding me... even in death. "To have trouble with such an opponent, I don't remember raising such a coward!" is what he'd say."
- (To Miharu Kurosaki, about Takahashi Ishikawa) "I think I'll go home to take a nap before setting out to kill Takahashi myself. Maybe even have a cup of sake before then. Sounds like a good idea. If someone just so happens to defeat him before then... well, so be it."
- (To Tome Kūgun) "You fight only with instinct. Perhaps, in some ways, that is an admirable trait in a Hakuda fighter. But not a Master. Masters are those who abandon reason, instinct, logic... and even truth. For those are nothing but limits that restrict the Master. The way that you fight is akin to that of a mutt blindly following the word of its master. That's what you are, a puppy-dog. Without even considering the circumstances, you charge in headfirst, letting your instinct be the master calling the shots. But you see, demons think a bit differently. Not bound by instinct. We're fully aware of the damage we cause... and enjoy every moment of it. The mistake you made, puppy-dog... was stepping into the ring with a demon. You're out of your league here, hound."
- (Speaking to several opponents) "In the past, only Raian-san was able to handle by attacks and repel them with any success. It's a shame he isn't assisting you all. But that has its benefits as well. Because if it's just me... the collateral damage won't be too severe. Won't have to worry about redrawing any maps."
- (To Gekkō Kirameki) "Killing has never been something I've been capable of doing on a whim. In this sole regard, I am different from Raian-san. However, my pride as a martial artist prevents me from operating under such a principle when confronted by an opponent who is prepared to put their soul at risk. With such spirit opposing me, I will never regret... wearing the title of murderer."
- "I'll never be able to protect anything? Hardly. Even with my hands stained with blood, I can still protect that which I want to protect."
- (Regarding the students of Senjukuha) "You can spread all the rumors you want about me. I'll honestly just shrug it off and be on my way, but pointing your swords at my students is something I will not tolerate. If need be, I'll even overthrow the government you all so closely guard."
- (To the Gotei 13, regarding Raian) "The two of us are no different now than how we were back then. In order to become the sort of Shinigami which we envisioned, we have been fighting ourselves. However, the version of Shinigami that he became, I cannot accept it. Therefore, I have to be the one to stop him, even if it means striking him down. Because the only one capable of understanding how he feels is me. What we hate in this world, what we love... It's the same. You guys aren't qualified to cut him. No matter what happens, I will protect the soul of that man's disciple... Getsueikirite Raian of Shintai Sonjuku... as both his comrade and as the disciple of Master Shōyō... Kawahiru Seireitou. That's... the kind of Shinigami I decided on being."
- (Referring to Shōyō's teachings) "As we live, we carry our weaknesses with us. Whether that is a character flaw, something to do with our appearance, or perhaps our own surroundings, we all carry a self that cannot be compromised with. Because of that, we suffer. That's just how it is, there's no escaping that. But that isn't the only way in which a person can struggle. You can also suffer by resisting those weaknesses. Instead of simply suffering by their weakness, they can face it head-on and suffer while trying to change it. That's what that man taught me. People... have more freedom than I thought."
- "Try to hit me then, if you're so sure of your skills. Send the next attack right here, right for my heart. Make sure to aim real good this time... because if you miss, I'm crushing your skull in the next instant. Don't forget who you're dealing with. I am the Soul Society's Hakuda Grandmaster... Kawahiru Seireitou."
- (To Kentarō Akiyama) "Martial arts was born out of the very instinct of humanity. A need to defend themselves, to ensure survival. They transcend language and culture, belonging to no one nation but to all of us. They provided a means for people to connect with one another. Martial artists are able to communicate simply by the exchange of fists alone. Despite the innate fragility of mortals, they are capable of standing back up in times of hardship, and strive to fight in order to change themselves. You dare stand before me and trivialize their efforts? You dare to speak, with the sound of such defeat in your voice... while holding the title of martial artist?! You've lost your way. You're... unsightly."
- (Reminiscing about when he first founded the Senjukuha) "Do you know why I started this school? It was because I had nothing. I had lost my wife, my kids, my friends... Everything was gone. And all that was left was me. What I could do; my skills, my abilities, whatever. There was no deep purpose to it, I didn't feel like teaching any grand philosophies or meaningful ways of life, so I taught whatever anybody wanted from me; whether that was to learn a craft that would help them in their daily routine, or if it was ways to torture or kill somebody that had wronged them. Pretty messed up, right? But that was me, somebody that was seriously messed up inside. And that seemed to attract others like me, other messed up people, and somehow... one way or another, we managed to help each other find our way after being lost for so long. I think that's what this school eventually ended up becoming, a place for people who were lost to find their way again."
- (To Minato Kuramoto) "There was a time when I felt the same way you're feeling right now. Once I lost everything and learned how terrifying that could be, I kept living an empty life, with no meaning or name of any kind. But the ones who gave meaning to the empty me once more were the people who'd become a part of me at some point. Some really audacious pests barged their way into my life, and before I knew what was going on, they had given meaning back to this empty vessel. Minato, the thing you have to understand is that in this world, you'll sometimes meet some really meddlesome people who will, even without asking, give you the love you need. And for someone like you or me, who understand the pain of loss and the darkness that comes from that, meeting such a person is a very blissful thing."
- (To Minato) "I was never the hero type. Sure, I had people I wanted to protect, and even now that's true, but what I always desired most was to challenge and surpass my limits. I wanted to see the world that lies beyond all strength. There was nothing noble about any of it. And when I began to pass on what I knew to the next generation, I wanted to see how far they could go as well. That had eventually become the purpose behind this cultivated power of mine. When choosing my students, it didn't matter if they were a hero seeking to defend the world or a villain aiming to destroy it. What was important to me was for my abilities to be carried forward. So long as I could do that, I'd have no regrets. Maybe the next idiot will actually do something noble with it."
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 611, page 17
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Bleach roleplay; Crossroads Collision, When Titans and Gods Clash!
- ↑ Bleach roleplay; The Invincible Duo vs the Gravity Force
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Bleach story; Origins 2
- ↑ Bleach story; Memoirs of the White Demon: Chapter 1: Interrogation
- ↑ Rikuri Suigyoku's Personal Thoughts On...
- ↑ Bleach story; First Escape: Memories
- ↑ What's Your Character's PL? Ask Otoya!
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Bleach story; Return of Datara Chapter
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Bleach story; Kawahiru Birthright Chapter
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Bleach roleplay; Fists of Calamity! Two Grandmasters Collide!
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Bleach roleplay; The Final Test
- ↑ Bleach roleplay; Served Cold
- ↑ Bleach roleplay; Swans and Demons
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Bleach roleplay; Opposition against the Shiroyasha
- ↑ Bleach story; Nurturing the Black Blade
|Co-Leader of the Wolves of Yoshida|
| Succeeded by|
|Captain of the Eighth Division|
Founding - 1000 A.D.
| Succeeded by|
|Leader of the Silver-Hairs Gang|
Founding - Present
| Succeeded by|
|Yonkō of Hakuda|
1230 A.D. - Present
| Succeeded by|
|Hakuda Grandmaster of Soul Society|
1602 A.D. - Present
| Succeeded by|
|Head Master of Senjukuha|
1695 A.D. - Present
| Succeeded by|
Behind the Scenes
According to the author, Seireitou would be voiced in Japanese by Sugita Tomokazu, the seiyū for Gintoki Sakata from Gin Tama. He would be voiced in the English dub by Jason Douglas, the english voice actor for God of Destruction Beerus from the anime film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods; Ogata Isshinsai from the anime series, Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple; and Gildarts Clive from the anime series, Fairy Tail.
While Seireitou is his first name and Kawahiru is his last name, his full name is Seireitou Shōin Kawahiru no Jirō. Kawahiru no Jirō means "second eldest son of the Kawahiru family" whilst Shōin means "pine trees in the dark", which was the name given to him in birth by his mentor and grandfather, Shōyō. and serves as a foil to the latter's own name which translates into "pine trees in the sunlight". The name Shōin was derived from Yoshida Shōin, whom is one of the author's most respected role model. Seireitou's first name means "guardian of the spirit".
The image depicting Seireitou in the Jinki Fragments arc was drawn by Zanpakutō-Leader on DeviantArt, formerly known as Cayossj2.