- "After this, you will be forced to shoulder great responsibility. If you merely continue walking, you will find many things barring your way. What you do when that happens, is entirely up to you. I will not be able to guide you forever. So for now, I offer you these words. Fearing others, and picking up your sword to protect only yourself... Leave such thoughts behind. Wield your sword, not to defeat your opponents, but to protect your very soul."
- —Shōyō's teachings.
|Primary Function||Educating Shinigami|
Shintai Sonjuku (心体村塾, literally "Soul/Mind and Body Village School") was an institute founded by Shōyō. It remained as the last of several schools that taught their own principles of combat that were not subdued by Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto during the founding of Shinō Academy and the subsequent wartime events that followed.
Having been in Seireitei, Shōyō took in promising young children who would learn about the combative and educational aspects in order to become well-rounded individuals. It was here that the eighth generation of the Yonkō received their teachings and was the first institute to have its students become Captains within the Gotei 13. It was burnt down during the Wandenreich invasion and its teacher subsequently killed in future events by his own student.
It was later restored, in Part II of Second Act, by Raian Getsueikirite, another student of Shōyō, to be reused for its original purpose of training orphans to be Shinigami; being located in one of the most lawless regions of the Rukongai.
The school, according to Shōyō, stood for the purpose of spreading the teachings of the "soul protector". It was a belief that the power used by a person is meant, not to defeat an opponent nor to protect one's self, not even to cut away one's weaknesses, but to protect one's soul. Subsequently, it is meant to protect one's own soul: their pride, their morals, and their beliefs; to never yield to another's will. But most of all, to protect the fragments of one's soul, passed on to those that one would form bonds of friendship with. It treats the soul as an organ within the body that holds more significance than even one's heart or mind, and that as long as the soul exists, even if the body is crushed to pieces, one can keep fighting.
|Shintai Sonjuku Residents|
|Raian Getsueikirite||Head Instructor||Active|
Behind the Scenes
Similar to the inspiration behind Shōyō, the name of his school is derived from the Shōka Sonjuku (松下村塾), which was composed of the characters making up "pine trees" and "village cram school", run by the real life Shōin Yoshida, a distinguished intellectual from the end of the Edo period. He taught the historical Shinsaku Takasugi and the first Prime Minister of Japan, Itō Hirobumi. It also derives the first part of its name, "Shintai" (心体), which literally translates as "mind and body" or "heart and body", referring to the martial art belief that one must do things with the entirety of their being rather than doing things half-assed.