"Shinigami are called such because they truly are gods of death. Not only is this because they transcend death but also because they alone possess the means of protecting others from death as well. Life exists in everything; our souls, our swords, and even our ideals. So those that wish to protect others from death, or wish to protect their ideals from fading out, or even those that wish to protect one's soul from corruption and decay... are all true examples of Shinigami. So long as they carry a desire within their hearts to protect something from death, even without some commander or ruler to serve, they can each develop into their own idea of Shinigami."
|Manga - Anime|
|Previous Affiliation||Shintai Sonjuku|
|Previous Occupation||Founder of Shintai Sonjuku|
|Previous Partner||Hanzei Kurokami|
|Base of Operations||None|
|Relatives||Tsuyuri Kawahiru (daughter)|
Kamui Kawahiru (grandson)
Seireitou Kawahiru (grandson)
Shōyō Kawahiru (河昼 倡佯, Kawahiru Shouyou) was a legendary Shinigami that once served as a member of the Royal Guard. As the one who first managed to master all four of the Zankensoki, he became known as the "Great Master" (大師匠, Daishishō). He would go on to found the Shintai Sonjuku and taught many prominent individuals such as Seireitou Kawahiru and Raian Getsueikirite who would become known as the "students of Shōyō" (松陽の学生, Shōyō no Gakusei).
- "I arrived here after hearing about a corpse-eating demon... Would that be you? A rather cute demon. Did you also take that from a corpse? A lonely child stealing from corpses in order to protect himself, is it? That's very impressive. However, you will no longer need that sword. A sword that is swung only in self-defense, while fearing others, should be thrown away. I shall give you my sword. If you wish to properly learn how to use that sword... then come with me."
- —Shōyō speaking to a young Seireitou, when they first met.
Powers & Abilities
- "Kawahiru Shōyō... He was known to be the only one to have ever gained the highest level of proficiency in all aspects of combat, holding the status of a true Grandmaster. Without him, it is said that the Soul Society would've continued to exist as nothing more than a collection of uncivilized huts. No one, whether they came before or after his time, has ever come anywhere close to his level of power... nor his intellect. It is no surprise that his final students turned out to become as powerful and feared as they are now. Shōyō left his legacy in both of their hands... and each carry a piece of that man's supreme greatness."
- —Kurama Kawahiru speaking of Shōyō.
Unrivaled Spiritual Power: Shōyō possesses a considerable amount of spiritual energy, being both the most respected teacher in all the Soul Society, as well as holding the position of Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13, if only for a short while. Seireitou and Hikaru were able to sense its strong presence from several kilometers away. Raian was also stunned by the level of Shōyō's power when he was near the latter during a battle, watching as Shōyō killed several powerful Hollows with one swing of his sealed Zanpakutō. When releasing his spiritual pressure, it can cause a shockwave strong enough to affect a considerable radius. Shōyō's spiritual power has the same effect as his Zanpakutō, as it is elemental representative of fire. He would tend to glow with a destructive white aura which has the potential to destroy and disintegrate everything around him even without the use of his Zanpakutō. However, with his innate peaceful persona, he would rarely ever allow his spiritual power run rampant.
Genius Intellect & Wisdom: Shōyō was not only arguably the most powerful Shinigami of his time, but was also a genius whose intellect and perception had no equal; capable of devising elaborate plans to defeat seemingly unbeatable foes. His vast and extensive knowledge on subjects such as love and his acceptance that there are worse things than death makes him wiser than the Captain-Commanders of the past by vast amounts. He was very knowledgeable in regards to various techniques, able to quickly recognize and how to undo them. When the sword demon known as Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto threatened to destroy him and all he held dear if he did not submit to his group, Shōyō could deduce only two possible responses. The first was to hand himself over, to protect the lives of his students in turn, and the second was to stand against the man and fight him. In truth, the second option was actually quite possible. Shōyō bested the powerful Yamamoto in combat prowess, and victory would assuredly be his in a fight between the two, but the gap between them was not so great that Shōyō would be able to defeat the General without severe repercussions in the process. He was wise enough to determine that the death of Yamamoto to someone like Shōyō, who had no intention of procuring the territories that the sword demon had already conquered in the wake of his military campaign, would create a massive power vacuum in the Soul Society and chaos the likes of which had never been seen in the past several centuries would run rampant in the spiritual realm, for those factions originally suppressed by Yamamoto would rise once more to fight for control of Soul Society. All that would result in was a world far more dangerous for those he loved, especially his dear students, which is why he decided upon handing himself over willingly. Raian Getsueikirite often noted that his master was never the one to behave rashly and his actions were always conducted as though they were perfect; never a movement was wasted and nothing was ever overlooked, for Shōyō could discern all things with very little effort.
Ryūsei Kentaibu (流精体剣舞, "Flowing Soul, Sword and Body Dance"): That which is known to have made Shōyō so prominent as a true master of the four Shinigami combat fields, the Ryūtai Kenbu is a form of physical combat that perfectly merges together both the highest levels of Hakuda and Zanjutsu mastery into one unstoppable fighting force. It was due in part to this unique style that Shōyō was able to acquire the Yonkō of Hakuda title from its previous holder, for it was said to be a style in which the sword was used as a "stand-alone sharpened fist" while the rest of the body behaved as one would normally fight as a martial artist. It was often remarked upon by those enemies who witnessed it in use as the "black ship" (黒船, Kurofune) of the enemy forces, due to being believed to be able to secure victory for whichever side wielded it. Wielding his sword in one hand, Shōyō fought with his entire person, displaying a medley of advanced acrobatic kicks and single-handed strikes which accompanied his sword strikes as well. This was considered highly unconventional by specialists in the two aforementioned fields, but its effectiveness could never be questioned for even the most skilled of those specialists fell before it. Shōyō taught the Ryūsei Kentaibu as the primary style of the Shintai Sonjuku, and most prominently, his students Seireitou Kawahiru and Raian Getsueikirite were said to have taken the original craft and altered it to better suit their individual fighting styles; in particular, the Ryūsei Kentaibu was said to have laid the groundwork for the creation of the former's Shōin Shiranui Style.
For the manifested spirit of Seohak, see Seohak (spirit).
Seohak (천주학 (睿智天の原), Sōhaku; Korean for "Heavenly Learning"; Japanese for "Wisdom of the Heavens") is the name of Shōyō's Zanpakutō, the spirit of which is Benzaiten, the goddess of all things that flow; water, words, music, and even knowledge itself. It's sealed state consists of a dark brown hilt with a white diamond design, going up and down the hilt. It's guard is shaped like four gold flower petals, circling around in-between the blade and the handle. It is a standard katana when sealed.
- Shikai: Under Construction
- Shikai Special Abilities: Under Construction
- Shinuchi: Not Yet Revealed
- (To a younger Seireitou) "Monsters are destined to rampage until the very end. People who become monsters are no longer people. But those who have become monsters can become people once again. That which cuts away their sins and saves their soul... is another person. Even I, as a monster... It was because of people like you and Raian-kun that a monster such as me could become a person once more."
Behind the Scenes
His name, Shōyō (倡佯), literally translates as "wanderer".