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Jūshirō Ukitake (浮竹 十四郎, Ukitake Jūshirō) is the former captain of the 13th Division of the Gotei 13, the now-deceased Kaien Shiba once served as his lieutenant. He is a current Captain of the Zero Division.
Ukitake is a tall man who suffers from tuberculosis. This causes him to frequently have a sickly appearance and is what causes his pale complexion and white hair. Because of his illness, he often spends his time recuperating at Ugendō, his family's estate.
110 years ago he wore his hair in a long ponytail. Currently, his hair is worn long, cascading down his back almost reaching his waist. He wears it parted on the left side with one long piece that tends to fall over his right eye. His eyes are a hazel/brown color. Ukitake wears the common Shinigami uniform with a long sleeved captain's haori, with a red lining. He wears a narrow obi in which he secures his Zanpakutō.
His favorite food is Ume Ochazuke. In his free time he feeds the carps in the lake of Ugendō's garden and also trims the bonsai there, despite lacking the artistic sense necessary for the latter. He also writes a novel series titled "Rejection of the Twin Fishes!" (Sōgyō no Okotowari!), in which the lead character, Sōgyō, is fighting to save villagers from evil. Sōgyō's catch phrase is "I will reject them!" and it is immensely popular among children in [His favorite food is Ume Ochazuke. In his free time he feeds the carps in the lake of Ugendō's garden and also trims the bonsai there, despite lacking the artistic sense necessary for the latter. He also writes a novel series titled "Rejection of the Twin Fishes!" (Sōgyō no Okotowari!), in which the lead character, Sōgyō, is fighting to save villagers from evil. Sōgyō's catch phrase is "I will reject them!" and it is immensely popular among children in Seireitei.
Ukitake is well-respected and highly honorable, and always treats those around him with respect, even those who are weaker or not as highly ranked as he is. As a result, he can be easily approached by other members of Soul Society who seek favors or advice from the captain. Due to his high moral code, Ukitake will never let any harm come to either his underlings or those who attempt to protect them. He refuses to give up when he believes something is wrong and will break a rule to do what is right. He has the ability to correctly judge people's character, as noted by Yamamoto, and knows when they are lonely. He observes that before meeting Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends, Rukia often had trouble opening up about certain things and was very lonely, but sees a difference in her when she spends time training with Orihime.
In various Bleach omake chapters, Ukitake is fond of giving people strange or unwanted gifts for no apparent reason, particularly Tōshirō Hitsugaya because of their similar sounding names and hair color.
Due to his long-standing position with the Gotei 13, Ukitake is one of the most proficient combatants in Soul Society and always maintains a level of honor and integrity when engaging in battle, much like his best friend Shunsui. He refuses to fight in the presence of a child or even with a child, even if that child is a Hollow. He always maintains a semblance of respect for his opponent and is polite in combat situations. He also has a high measure of mercy, never taking the chance to kill Lilynette, but rather actually try to teach her how to be a better fighter, even though she was an enemy.
Jūshirō is the eldest son from the low-class aristocratic Ukitake family. He has five brothers and two sisters, whom he essentially supports by himself. He, along with Shunsui Kyōraku, was one of the first graduates of Captain Yamamoto's Shinou Academy and the first graduates to become captains. Furthermore, he was personally trained by Yamamoto. He and Kyōraku are the oldest captains amongst the Gotei 13, with the exception of Retsu Unohana and Yamamoto himself. It is stated that the four of them have been Captains of the Gotei 13 for at least 200 years as of 110 years ago before the current time.
Approximately 110 years ago, Ukitake is first seen arriving at the 1st Division Headquarters with Captain Shunsui Kyōraku and Lieutenant Lisa Yadōmaru of the 8th Division. He first asks about the whereabouts of the 12th Division captain. As Shunsui and Captains Love Aikawa and Shinji Hirako start a conversation about the status of the Gotei 13, he reminds Shunsui not to forget Captain Unohana as one of the captains from 100 years ago.
He is again seen waiting for the promotion ceremony to begin at the 1st Division Headquarters along with the rest of the assembled captains. He witnesses the arrival of the newly-appointed captain of the 12th Division, Kisuke Urahara.
The following day, he tries to persuade a then-reluctant Kaien Shiba into becoming his lieutenant. The two converse about the current happenings in Soul Society, including a young Gin Ichimaru, who happens to be a child prodigy surpassing the previous record set by Kaien himself. Kaien shrugs off any attempt Jūshirō makes at him being any type of prodigy. While visiting the Shiba residence, Jūshirō is shown to be quite popular with the servants, with Kaien noting that Jūshirō was still very charming and that he had a smile that made his servants blush. Jūshirō dismisses the compliment as he tries to remain humble about his notable quality.
9 years later, Ukitake is present at a emergency meeting called by Captain-Commander Yamamoto, where he decides to create a investigation team to locate the missing 9th Division squad members. When he gives out orders, Yamamoto orders him to guard the Seireitei. Jūshirō is seemingly stunned by Kyōraku sending Lisa to investigate the disappearance of the 9th Division captain and lieutenant.
Jūshirō, due to his illness, rarely was able to fulfill his role as captain on a regular basis, instead having Kaien fill the role under his guidance. Sometime later, when a then-unknown Hollow killed a squad being lead by Kaien's wife, Miyako Shiba, Kaien became enraged and wanted revenge. Despite this, Jūshirō tried to reason with him that nothing was known of this new Hollow. Kaien would not relent, so Jūshirō gave him the only information they did have, the lair of the creature. The following night, Jūshirō, Kaien, and Rukia Kuchiki travel to the Hollow's lair, and when they arrive, Kaien asks for permission to fight the creature alone, which Jūshirō allows. Kaien fights the creature until it uses its unique technique and destroys his Zanpakutō. Kaien then continues to fight the creature with his bare hands. Eventually, the battle starts to turn against Kaien, causing Rukia to try to go and assist him. Jūshirō stopped Rukia from assisting, explaining that Kaien was fighting for his honor. The Hollow's abilities ultimately allow it to possess Kaien, and Jūshirō began to fight it, although his illness got in the way and allowed the Hollow to attack Rukia. But at that moment, to both Jūshirō and Rukia's horror, Kaien took control and impaled himself upon Rukia's sword, thanking the captain for understanding the value of his honor and that of his wife's.
The 13th Division has never been the same following Kaien's death, being without its well-loved lieutenant and Jūshirō having to rely on Kiyone Kotetsu and Sentarō Kotsubaki, which usually ends in a comical disaster.
History From Original Bleach Story
Agent Of The Shinigami Arc
Ukitake first appears as Rukia's flashback when she is contemplating whether or not to help out Ichigo in his battle with Grand Fisher. It is clear from her memories that he was some sort of mentor to her and it is only later that we discover that he is, in fact, her Captain and she is part of the 13th Division.
Soul Society Arc
He is first physically seen when he is told of Aizen's apparent death by one of the messengers of Soul Society, being rather shocked when told. He later appears visiting the Shrine of Pertinence, where he stops Byakuya Kuchiki from killing Ganju Shiba, and question Byakuya's actions only to be told that special wartime orders has been issued. He later prevents Ganju and Hanatarō Yamada from getting killed for their crimes by having them locked up. After hearing of the execution date being moved up, Jūshirō tries to convince Byakuya to do something, but the noble seemed uncaring that his sister is dying sooner rather than later and in the stress of the situation Jūshirō shortly succumbs to his illness. Jūshirō decides to help save Rukia and tries to request a hearing with Central 46 (off screen) but upon being turned down, sets out to help using other means.
His new plan sets around unsealing the Shihōin Shield, an artifact belonging to the Shihōin clan that is in his possession for unexplained reasons. Using this device, he arrives at the execution site, almost too late and destroys the Sōkyoku along with Shunsui Kyōraku. The two are then faced by Yamamoto, until Kyōraku grabs him and both of them run away, together with Kyōraku's lieutenant Nanao Ise. They are however caught up by Yamamoto who, after almost choking Nanao with his spiritual pressure, releases his Zanpakutō. Ukitake notes on on how long it has been since he last saw that battle stance and on the urges from Yamamoto both of them releases their Zanpakutō in order to fight on equal ground with their former teacher, resulting in a large explosion as they clash.
The battle is however short lived and is suddenly stopped when the 4th Division lieutenant Isane Kotetsu reveals to all of Soul Society that Sōsuke Aizen is a traitor, something Ukitake appears quite shocked to hear. When Aizen is captured, he seems genuinely put out that the former Captain has become 'this corrupt' and voices his opinion on the matter while Aizen is escaping with Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tōsen. Aizen only responds by saying that Ukitake is arrogant, revealing his plan to sit on the throne of heaven. As a thanks for helping save Rukia, Ukitake later gives Ichigo Kurosaki a badge that permits him to legally hunt Hollows in his home town and allows him to transform into his Shinigami state, officially making him a Substitute Shinigami.
He later makes a reappearance alongside Shūhei Hisagi, discussing Rukia's friendship with Orihime and Shūhei's new job as his division's temporary leader. This again shows how even lower ranked members of divisions other than his own seem able to approach him for advice and such due to his compassionate and honorable nature.
Fake Karakura Town Arc
He then appears during the Arrancar battle. He is shocked by Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's initial, swift actions, wondering if such harshness was necessary. When the pillars are successfully defended, it appears he is ready to fight Lilynette Gingerback and Coyote Starrk alongside Kyōraku. He appears surprised by Starrk's request to "pretend to fight" and thought Shunsui was going to comply due to his amusement and usual laid-back attitude. This shows that even he is shocked by Shunsui despite them being friends for centuries. Ukitake then takes to meditating atop one of the buildings of the town, where he was questioned by Lilynette on why he isn't fighting as well. Ukitake tells her two on one wouldn't be fair, Lilynette tells him that it doesn't matter and Starrk is strong and Kyōraku is as good as dead. Ukitake, with a smile, assures her that Kyōraku is strong too and that her concern is appreciated, and he'll pray that his friend wins. Ukitake then tells her as she is just a child, she has no place in the battle, which enrages Lilynette to the point where she screams at him and says Arrancar don't have ages. Ukitake explains that he can't fight since she looks like a little girl to him. He further tells her if she tries to fight him, he will force her to leave, and that she should "go home and play with a ball."
Lilynette feels Ukitake is patronizing her and proceeds to pull her Zanpakutō out of its resting place, which is one of the horns on her helmet-like mask. She then tells him she will fight him. Ukitake appears somewhat annoyed at this. Ukitake is then seen blocking Lilynette's attacks with his Zanpakutō while looking fairly unamused at her futile attempts. She then blasts him with a Cero, which has no effect on him. He then comments on how he has seen many Cero blasts in his time, and hers is immature at best and not even on par with a Menos. He then tells her to just go home, as he doesn't wish to fight her any longer. Ukitake is later shown continuing his battle with Lilynette. It is revealed that he was able to steal her Zanpakutō. He continually avoids her comical assaults, all the while chiding her for not putting her heart into her attacks.
When Starrk finally calls back Lilynette, so as to release his true form, Kyōraku, sensing that the true battle is about to begin, throws his kimono to Ukitake and informing him that they were now "fighting for keeps". Ukitake then watches in shock as the Primera releases his true power and Shunsui Kyōraku releases his own Zanpakutō.
After watching the battle unfold between Shunsui and Starrk, Ukitake releases his Shikai and jumps in front of Shunsui. He uses a huge energy blast to negate Starrk's Cero Metralleta. Starrk side steps the blast and wonders if it was a Cero.
Shunsui begins to speak but Ukitake cuts him off explaining that he shouldn't complain because the Arrancar are double teaming him and his coming to his aid is only fair. Ukitake then comments that besides that Shunsui doesn't seem to want to use his Bankai. Shunsui assures him that he will eventually. Ukitake however retorts that it would be best to not reveal his Bankai in front of everyone.
Ukitake continues by saying that in any case his powers are better suited for this sort of fight. Starrk interrupts by asking Ukitake how did he fire a Cero. Ukitake plainly says "who knows maybe he'll figure out if he does it again." Determined to figure out Ukitake's power Starrk fires again much to Lilynette's protest that it's most likely a trap. No sooner does he fire a large Cero, that moments later, comes right back at him, to which Starrk dodges. He fires again and notices the same result. He uses Sonído to get closer to Ukitake and then explains what he has learned of his ability. Ukitake is surprised that he figured it out after only three attacks. Starrk then expresses that he is glad that Ukitake's power isn't to reflect any and all attacks back at his opponent. Starrk surmises that if Ukitake has to absorb the attack first, there has to be a limit to what can be absorbed. He then tells Ukitake that he doesn't think he'll be able to absorb the attack if he fires 1,000 shots at once.
Before Starrk can fire, Shunsui appears behind him and tries to cut of his head, but Starrk dodges and fires a large Cero which Shunsui also dodges. Then seemingly out of nowhere a Garganta begins to open, surprising the three combatants. Ukitake asks Shunsui if it's someone new. Shunsui responds by asking if Ukitake thinks it's someone who could back up the top three Espada, as he hopes it isn't. When the Garganta is fully open, Wonderweiss Margera walks through. Ukitake and Shunsui both question who he is while Starrk, just as surprised to see him being accompanied by a huge hollow, simply says his name.
While Ukitake's attention is on Fūrā, Wonderweiss attacks him from behind, impaling him in the back and out through his chest with his hand. Seeing this, Shunsui goes to attack the Arrancar, but is quickly shot at point blank range in the back by a Cero from Starrk. They are both seen falling out of the sky to the city below.
- Bleach: Ketsurui: Tragedy of Dawn
- Bleach: Ketsurui: Undisputed Defeat
- Bleach: Ketsurui: The Shadow of a Memory
- Bleach: Ketsurui: Deicide
- Bleach: Ketsurui: Deicide II, Dawn of the Demon
Powers and Abilities
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: While in battle his power is said to be stronger then any other. His power is unrivalled by anyone who came before him or anyone since.While hating the concept of having to engage in a fight, Ukitake is presumably one of the most proficient swordsmen in all of the Soul Society, as demonstrated from his ability to hold his own against Yamamoto. The unique shape of his sword and it's corresponding abilities make his form of fighting unconventional amongst the Shinigami forces, but shows the skill of his abilities in this art.
Flash Steps Master: He is masterful in the art of Flash Steps as a captain. He is able to gain sufficient ground when trying to put distance between himself and General Yamamoto when being chased through Soul Society.
Immense Spiritual Power: As one of the strongest and oldest Captains in the Gotei 13, it is safe to assume that Ukitake has tremendous spiritual power. He is not overwhelmed by the spiritual pressure of General Yamamoto as most people would be in the situation.
Enhanced Durability: Ukitake has shown himself able to hold his ground in battle. He was able to remain relatively unscathed despite taking devastating attacks from General Yamamoto, whose Zanpakutō is the most devastating in all of Soul Society in terms of destructive power. He has also shown to effortlessly block Lilynette's Cero with his bare hand, even though he himself admits it was not even of Gillian-level power.
Kidō Master: As a captain, Ukitake is shown to have above-average knowledge of Kidō, as displayed when he assists in the resealing of the Jōkaishō. He also aids in the opening of the Senkaimon. He is able to perform fairly high-level spells without incantation, and he can easily use Kidō in battle, such as when he used Seki against Lilynette Gingerback.
Sōgyo no Kotowari (双魚理, Truth of Pisces): Ukitake's Zanpakutō resembles an average katana with a rectangular bronze cross guard and dark red handle.
- Shikai: Its Shikai command is "All Waves, Rise now and Become my Shield, Lightning, Strike now and Become my Blade" (波悉く我が盾となれ雷悉く我が刃となれ, nami kotogotoku waga tate to nare, ikazuchi kotogotoku waga yaiba to nare). Once he completes the incantation, he grasps the single blade with two hands. The blade then transforms slowly and begins to form two blades, as the blades peel apart, a large red rope-like chain at the base of the hilt lengthens and silver metal square charms attached to the chain begin to fall until all five present themselves. The blade is now somewhat thinner than the normal Zanpakutō and the cross guard now extends up the blade for about 15 cm. Up 25 cm from where the cross guard is, there is a 45 degree cut on the inside of the blade where a second blade is jutting back down and parallel to the main blade. With the edge of the blade facing inward instead of outward, the blade looks very artistic and rather difficult to handle, only further proving just how skilled a swordsman Ukitake must be to have mastered such a uniquely designed weapon.
- Shikai Special Ability: Sōgyo no Kotowari is able to absorb an opponent's energy attacks through the left sword and directs the attack through the connecting rope where the five charms on the rope accelerate the attack faster than it was originally fired and reverses its original course firing the same attack from the right sword, making it much more difficult for the opponent to dodge. The entire process happens so fast that the attack looks as if it originally came from Sōgyo no Kotowari.
- Bankai: Not Yet Revealed.