- "Calmness can only be attained when you immerse yourself in a state where your thoughts are absent from everything except peace."
- —Shiju Shūdō to Kentaro Hiroshi.[src]
|Romanji||Way of Honor|
|Notable Members||Kentaro Hiroshi, Shiju Shūdō, Garrett Sheppard|
- The dying flame... or a renewed spark? -- Kenji-Taichō.
The Yuengiri (所以義理, Way of Honor) is an ancient philosophical approach to swordsmanship which originated with the Yellow Dragon God, who passed along his doctrine after narrowly defeating Hakyoku, resulting in the latter being sealed beneath the Ōryū Temple. For millennia the Yuengiri oversaw the seals though the Yuengiri themselves where almost slaughtered at the hands of Averian, who reportedly acted under orders of The Outsider knowing that it would free Hakyoku. Kenji Hiroshi, Maki Zhijun, Yoshiaki Hiroshi and Shiju Shūdō oversaw a revival, though the Collapse has once again left the future of the Yuengiri in doubt, for only three recognized masters of the form are left alive: Kenji, Shiju and Kentaro. Although intended for swordsmanship some have managed to apply the principles of the Yuengiri philosophy to Hakuda, chief amongst them being Garrett Sheppard, who was widely regarded as Kenji's final student before the onslaught of The Collapse.
Overview & history
The Yuengiri of old where noted for their extreme mastery of both Zanjutsu and Jinzen, the latter of which enabled them to see the past unclouded when they crossed blades. They held leading positions in the Shino Academy following its creation, but none served in the Gotei 13 of that time, for they believed them to be nothing more than a bunch of bloodthirsty killers. The massacre of the Quincy also offended the Yuengiri as it went against their notions of peaceful coexistence. The fact they practised a form of Zanjutsu that was best described as "graceful" and "dancelike" when all others of their time utilized maximum brutality, served to differentiate them from the crowd. Their style, dubbed the Wan'nesu, was also the one style the first Kenpachi, Yachiru Unohana, never learned, or even showed any interest in.
The Yuengiri where cut down in their prime by Averian. The Arrancar wiped them out when his Battle Doll, Himuro Kyousuke, was discovered to be a spy. Prior to his defeat at the hands of Garian Shinjo, who held the Yuengiri in high regard, Himuro slaughtered all but a single infant and the child's grandfather. This child, born of a Shinigami mother and a Quincy father, was known as Kyoaku. Kyoaku grew up and was bequeathed of all his grandfather's knowledge, and was acknowledged as the final hope for the survival of the Yuengiri. Following the birth of Kenji Hiroshi, which also resulted in the death of Kenji's mother Aiko Shiba, Kyoaku received grievous injuries defending Kenji from his amnesiac father Dastan. On his death-bed Kyoaku, resolving to save the Yuengiri in the only way he knew how, sealed his conciousness within the infant he had saved, becoming a part of his latent spiritual powers. Kenji would later revive the Yuengiri within Horiwari, fulfilling Kyoaku's dream.
The Collapse once again left their future in doubt. The Yoshiaki-trained Shiju Shūdō and the Kenji-trained Kentaro Hiroshi are the only known masters of the Yuengiri philosophy who are active at present, and Kentaro admits that his working-experience is limited in comparison to his father and Shiju. He does, however, practice their philosophy, and Shiju finished his training off immediately after the Collapse. Garrett Sheppard was likewise a practitioner of the philosophy, though he had only been so for a year, albeit he had been trained personally by Kenji. Kentaro explains that the Yuengiri practice "harmony in all things", noting that the training hones ones senses to a superhuman level, enabling them to communicate with the spirit that resides in all things and manipulate it to form their unique "Battle Aura". The masters of the style are even capable of manipulating this soul in a manner similar to Fullbring, though Kentaro claims the Yuengiri only borrow, with Shiju noting that stealing breaks any connection established.
- Wan'nesu (ワンネス, The Oneness): The actual physical Zanjutsu form practised by the Yuengiri. The Yuengiri of old favoured choreographed forms as an aid to meditation; often lapsing into a trance-like state as they performed predetermined kata. In battle the form was described as "dance-like", "precise" and "graceful" with no wasted movement, and used only the absolute bare-minimum of force to achieve their goals. In the modern age however the philosophy itself is focused on more than the actual form itself, with most of the existing practitioners adapting the tenants to their own preferred styles.
- Calmness (平気, Heiki): the first tenant of the Yuengiri and, arguably, the core of the entire philosophy. The Yuengiri strife for complete calmness and oneness with nature, which Shiju described as harmony during his teaching of Kentaro, which is required to utilize more advanced applications. Shiju inferred that it was the distress Kentaro felt following the Collapse that prevented him from manifesting his Battle Aura, for the discord in his own heart meant he was unable to maintain the proper harmony in regards to the three ways of body, mind and soul.
- Way of the Body (体道, Taidō): The body, representing the physical and mortal aspect of an individual, ties in with discipline. Discipline is training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement, and was described by Kenji as the "first milestone" regarding the Wan'nesu. The body tenant was expressed mostly through physical training, with the advanced application of Battle Aura uses the body tenant more-so-than any other tenant, whilst still requiring harmony.
- Way of the Mind (神道, Shindō): The mind, representing the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences. It is to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought, whilst being aware of one's true self. It was extreme adherence to this tenant in accordance with the body, particularly knowing oneself, that enabled Kentaro to master his Bankai so swiftly. It also serves to bind the body and soul together, thus bringing harmony between body, mind and soul which the Yuengiri strife for.
- Way of the Soul (霊道, Reidō): The soul, representing the central or integral part of an individual, is the vital core of a person, commonly expressed as a person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity. The advanced application of Soul Manipulation uses the soul tenant more-so-than any other tenant, whilst still requiring harmony.
- Jinzen (刃禅, Blade Zen/Sword Meditation): the second tenant of the Yuengiri and, like Calmness, one of the core tenants of the entire philosophy. Kentaro explained that it was the Yuengiri's approach to harmony and nature which enabled him to master Bankai in so swift a time-period.
- Kyōmei (共鳴, Resonance): an ability of the Zanpakutō first discovered by the Yuengiri that allows one to see the past of another when their Zanpakutō cross blades. Kentaro has taken this basic ability to a completely new level, albeit unconsciously, which allowed him to not only view the past but also "read the heart" of his opposition, possibly providing him hints to that person's future goals and plans, as shown during one skirmish with Averian.
- Battle Aura (一戦霊気, Issenreiki): the most recognizable ability of the Wan'nesu. Each Battle Aura results from a perfect harmony between the mind, soul, and body principles, and is unique to each practitioner, and cannot be replicated by copying abilities or outside sources. The Battle Aura generally forms a shroud around the user with a number of associated benefits; some are suited for offence whilst others are defensive in nature, with others possibly being supplementary in nature.
- Kenji's Battle Aura: Kenji, for example, named his Battle Aura Shishō (四象, Four Symbols), and claimed that, unlike the one wielded by Yoshiaki, his was geared solely to battle. It enabled him to enter a series of stances and utilize a number of additional combat forms. One such was Suzaku which set his blade aflame through sheer speed and friction.
- Yoshiaki's Battle Aura: Yoshiaki, on the other-hand, assumed a form not unlike that of a fallen Tenshi with black-as-night wings which quickly became his go-to form for battle. This led to the false assumption that he was once an inhabitant of Tougenkyou and a user of Wisdom, which he did not always deny. This Battle Aura allowed him access to flight and a myriad of feather-based abilities which he commonly combined with Kidō to overwhelm his opponents from afar. In addition, by wrapping himself in these wings, Yoshiaki was capable of limited teleportation.
- Kentaro's Battle Aura: Kentaro's Battle Aura manifests as black markings which spread across his body in a flame-like pattern, momentarily increasing his base speed, strength and durability, though at first it seemed to cause him pain. As he matured he was fit to enhance his power by specific increments, which was reflected by how far the markings spread across his body; an entire full-body covering indicated one-hundred percent, whilst an arm would be a lower overall percentage, thus achieving less power but allowing Kentaro to control his power output. This is achieved by absorbing the ambient reishi from the atmosphere which is then applied to the skin. His Battle Aura is unique in the sense that he can impart these markings to people and objects directly connected to him, which seems to provide them the same advantages Kentaro himself benefits from, without losing them himself.
- Shiju's Battle Aura: Shiju's Battle Aura manifests as a cloak of white energy tightly wrapped around his body, which commonly appears as a change in the pigmentation of his skin to a pristine white. Shiju's Battle Aura is noted to enhance his overall perception and reflexes considerably. He manages to achieve this through the unique composition of the aura, which creates a thin film of spiritual energy around his body that is directly in contact with his senses. Using this and his already enhanced physical abilities, he manages to seamlessly avoid even the most complicated movements with precise timing, leaving his opponent exhausted while at the same time remaining the Calmness that the Yuengiri practice ardently. That being said, he can conversely make use of the Battle Aura's advantages by understanding exactly how an opponent moves through flowing the aura and coating his blade with it, altering its direction ever-so-swiftly and silently to overwhelm his opponent.
- Sanada's Battle Aura:
- Soul Manipulation (霊操縦, Reisōjū): the most difficult ability of the Wan'nesu. A Yuengiri can manipulate the soul that reside in all things. It enables them to temporarily empower themselves by utilizing the power inherent in these souls and drawing them into their being, forming a temporary bond. An extreme example of this is Kyoaku's usage. He not only manipulated his own soul by sealing it into an infant Kenji, but also retained his conciousness, personality and memories as well, allowing him to live-on as a part of Kenji's spiritual power even after the death of his physical body. Kentaro, notably, was able to heal his injured body by communicating with the spirits in nature and asking them to help him.
- Armory: (兵器廠, Heikishō): one of the newest additives of the Yuengiri philosophy created as an alternative to the established Battle Aura, which was perfected by Van Satonaka and further refined by Ashido Kanō for use by the next generation. Kentaro notes that it was originally conceived by Rozeluxe Meitzen. It is a technique which channels the strength and memory of one's bonds into a raiment of power which is worn like a Clad-type Fullbring, providing the user with powers similar to the person said bond is with. Unlike the Battle Aura, which rarely has more than one form and set of associated effects, Armory has as many forms as the individual has bonds, though only one raiment can be utilized at any given time.
- Ashido's Armory: Thus far Ashido has demonstrated two different forms of Armory. The first is brought forth by the bond he created with Rukia Kuchiki, whilst the second is brought forth by the familial bond he shares with his younger brother Jinta. When in use the first provides Ashido with various ice-related abilities, which mimic those of Rukia's Zanpakutō, whilst Jinta's provides him with various flame-based powers.
† = Deceased.
- Kenji Hiroshi
- Van Satonaka
- Meian Shiba †
- Maki Zhijun †
- Kentaro Hiroshi
- Shiju Shūdō
- Sanada Shirono
- Yori Hisagi
- Garrett Sheppard (Hakuda centric approach)
Appearances in other media
- The Yuengiri play a smaller role in the site-wide Fanon Canon project. The concept was introduced in Towards the Future: Cave of Fulmination, where it was revealed that the Fanon Canon versions of Kenji Hiroshi and Van Satonaka where practitioners of the style.
Behind the Scenes
- The Yuengiri draw inspiration from two sources. The first is Fullbring from Bleach itself, and the second is Senjutsu from Naruto, though certain elements are also inspired by Samurai Deeper Kyo.
- Kyōmei is based directly on a concept seen in the second Bleach movie.