Bleach continues~ Shinseina

The shinigami are still caught in a battle against the Espada and Sosuke Aizen. But the battle to stop the formation of the kings key has called down the Shinseina as well. The sacred Shinigami.
 
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 Soul Society

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Sakura Hitsugaya
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PostSubject: Soul Society   Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:44 pm

Soul Society (尸魂界 (ソウル・ソサエティ), the Japanese spelling used literally translates to "dead spirit world") is the afterlife (also called the spirit world). It is meant to correspond to Heaven or Nirvana in human belief systems. It is the place where most departed souls and the Shinigami dwell.

Overview
The place where souls go after they die. This world consists of the Rukongai (Rukon District in the English version), where souls first live when they arrive in the Soul Society, and the Seireitei ("Court of Pure Souls"), which is at the center of the Soul Society. The mode of life here closely resembles that of feudal Japan.
The Human World is for the living. Dead souls gather in the Soul Society. These two worlds are parallel to each other and are two sides of the same coin. Families separated by death are rarely reunited in the Soul Society unless they arrive in Soul Society together. People live nestled together like a family of strangers. One never gets hungry (if she or he doesn't have spiritual powers) and aging is slowed to a great extent, with lifespans of 2000 or more years not being unheard of, though such ages are limited to Shinigami or other Soul Society dwellers with high spiritual power. Children can even be born as they are in the Human World.. People can also be killed as regular Humans are, though they are capable of surviving wounds that would normally be considered fatal. A soul that dies in Soul Society is reincarnated on Earth as a new Human with no past memories.

Accessing Soul Society
Shinigami enter and leave Soul Society by unlocking the Senkaimon using there Zanpakuto as the key and a Hell Butterfly as a guide.. Pluses, on the other hand, enter Soul Society through the ritual of Soul Burial. Spirits can be born in Soul Society as much as in the living world, with the Shinigami acting to balance the souls.
Intruders can pass through the Senkaimon in the same manner, but only in soul form. This allows spiritual beings, such as Ichigo in his Shinigami form, to enter without permission. Humans can also use such a gate through the use of Reishihenkanki (霊子変換機, spirit exchangers), which convert solid matter into Reishi's. While this method uses the same gate, the lack of a Hell Butterfly forces intruders to pass through the Dangai, a bordering dimension between the human world and Soul Society (not to be confused with Hueco Mundo). This is much more dangerous to do, as souls that cannot pass through before the gate to Soul Society closes are trapped there forever.
Finally, Hollows can also directly rip a hole to Soul Society from Hueco Mundo, or in the case of Arrancar, using their ability, Garganta.
When people die they are assigned a number to a part of Soul Society according to when they died. Spirits can be born in soul society as much as in the living world with the Shinigami acting to balance the souls.

Government

Spirit King
Soul Society is ruled by a king. He commonly leaves the running of Soul Society to the Central 46 Chambers and Nobles. He lives with his family in the Royal Palace in a separate dimension in the very core of Soul Society, which is protected by the Royal Guard. The King does have a specific system of "speciality duties" which are actively carried out but the exact nature of these duties is unknown. The dimension can only be opened with a tri-pronged golden key fittingly named the Royal Key (王鍵, ōken). The location of this Royal Key is passed down verbally from one Gotei 13 Captain-Commander to the next, the current holder being Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto. According to Rangiku Matsumoto, no Shinigami has ever seen the king.

Royal Guard
Royal Guard Also known as the Zero Division, it is made up of former captains of the Gotei 13 who have been promoted to this level. Only captains of the Gotei 13 know of their existence. They are said to have considerable power and tactical knowledge. Only the Royal family presides over them, the Central 46 have no say in them what so ever.

Judiciary
Central 46 Chambers (中央四十六室, chūō yonjūroku shitsu): The Central 46 Chambers serve the Shinigami royalty (the ruling class of all Soul Society). They are made up of 40 wise men and 6 judges, selected from all of Soul Society. They are sealed into an enclave in Seireitei called Seijōtōkyorin (清浄塔居林) which no one else may enter, regardless of their military or civilian status. They serve as a supreme judiciary organization whose authority puts it in direct control of the legal system. They handle all rulings on Shinigami and souls who have violated prohibitions. Their orders are absolute and no decision has been known to be overturned. Shinigami crimes are judged here, regardless of whether they are committed in the Soul Society or the world of the living. In the event of a Shinigami's execution, they even give leave for the Stealth Force or the Gotei 13 to use lethal force. Their justice is harsh and quick.
With their deaths at the hands of Sōsuke Aizen during the Soul Society arc, General Yamamoto has taken over their normal duties. The only Shinigami forces which do not answer to the Central 46 Chambers are the Royal Guard (王属特務, ōzokutokumu; Royal Special Task Force in the English dubbed version), also called the Zero Division (Squad Zero in English), and the Shinigami Academy.

Laws
It is against the law for a Shinigami to give their spiritual power to Humans.
It is against the law for a Shinigami to use forbidden Kidō.
It is against the law for any citizen of Soul Society to create weapons of a dangerous nature not sanctioned by the feudal government. To do so is treason.
It is against the law to attack a captain. To do so is treason.
It is against the law to commit terrorist action or attempt overthrow of the balance of Soul Society. To do so is treason.
It is against the law to commit murder.
It is against the law to kill a human that a Shinigami has not been ordered to kill.
It is forbidden for a Shinigami to acquire or attempt to gain Hollow-like powers.
It is by ancient law that two Shinigami cannot hold the same Zanpakutō. They must fight for the honor of bearing the spirit, with the spirit going to the winner, and the loser being executed.[7]
It is against the law for the Gotei 13 to meddle in the affairs of the noble families unless the family in question breaks one of the laws of Soul Society beyond a shadow of a doubt.
It is a crime for a Shinigami to remain in the human world longer than a certain time limit as this is viewed as living a second life.

Punishment
Exile: Certain crimes allows for the punishment of exile, commonly stripping a Shinigami of their powers and banishing them to the real world.
Detention: A not-well-known punishment among the citizens of Soul Society is the detention of high-level Shinigami. It is commonly reserved for those who have either broken the law, quit the Gotei 13 or those who just seem dangerous and mentally unstable (as per the government's interpretation). This is carried out by the Special Forces.
There are several forms of executions in Soul Society, although only two have been revealed:
Spirit-sealing pit: The spirit-sealing pit is an ancient form of execution in which Shinigami criminals are thrown into a pit walled with sekki sekki rock – a type of stone that absorbs spiritual power, preventing those nearby from using their powers. Hollows are then thrown into the pit with the criminals as the means of execution. The practice was considered too barbaric and discontinued.
Sōkyoku (双): The "ultimate punishment", Sōkyoku is a form of execution usually reserved for those with extremely strong spiritual powers, namely Shinigami captains. The Sōkyoku is a giant halberd that utterly destroys a soul on contact. When released, Sōkyoku takes on the form of a phoenix, its true form, called Kikōō. The Kikōō has the destructive power of one million Zanpakutō, and that power is multiplied by a factor of 10 at the moment it pierces its victim.

Nobility
Another part of the government are the Noble Houses (Noble Families in the English version), especially four of them, which are considered to be the highest of them all. The lower noble houses all serve one of the four each. Known Houses include:

Four Noble Families
Shihōin Family Emblem
1.) Shihōin Family: By tradition, the head of the Shihōin family leads the Special Forces. If they attain a captain seat in the Gotei 13, the Special Forces are lead under that captaincy as well. The 22nd Head of the Shihōin clan and former Captain of the 2nd Division and General Administrator Commander of the Special Forces is Yoruichi Shihōin. The status of the clan after Yoruichi's defection is unknown.
Kuchiki Family Emblem
2.) Kuchiki Family: By tradition, the family has been charged with compiling and protecting the history of Soul Society.There is reason to believe that the captaincy of the 6th Division runs in the Kuchiki family, as at least two members, both of them were family heads, have held the title captain. The 28th Head of the Kuchiki clan and the current Captain of the 6th Division is Byakuya Kuchiki. Another member is Byakuya's adopted sister/sister-in-law Rukia Kuchiki of the 13th Division. Past members include Byakuya's grandfather and former Captain of the 6th division Ginrei Kuchiki and Byakuya's wife Hisana Kuchiki.
3.) Unknown
4.) Unknown

Lower Noble Houses
Fon Family: Traditionally serves the Shihōin family by joining the Special Forces. The family makes its living as assassins and executioners. Any member who doesn't pass the test to get into the Special Forces is immediately exiled from the family. The only known member of the house is the 9th Head of the family and current Captain of the 2nd Division Soifon.
Kyōraku Family: An old, prestigious and high-ranking noble family. The only known member of the house is Shunsui Kyōraku, current captain of the 8th Division.
Ukitake Family: A low-class aristocratic family. The only known member of the house is Jūshirō Ukitake, current captain of the 13th Division.
Ōmaeda Family: An aristocratic, rich family. Marechiyo Ōmaeda, current lieutenant of the 2nd Division, is from this house. His family was shown in an omake chapter.
Kira Family: A lesser noble family. The only known living member of the house is Izuru Kira, current lieutenant of the 3rd Division.
Kasumiōji Family: A high-ranking noble family that is just below the four great noble families in status, commenting that their circumstances are a bit "special." The Kasumiōji family members are well known as master forgers in the art of weapons crafting, making the finest weapons in all of Soul Society. The family is traditionally lead by a female. The only surviving member of the house is Rurichiyo Kasumiōji.
Kannogi Family: A high-ranking noble family. The only known member of the family is Shū Kannogi.
Ryodoji Family: Once a noble family in Soul Society. They are now known as The Dark Ones and are all deceased.

Former Noble Houses
Shiba Family: The family was apparently the 5th noble family, having prestige along the lines of the Kuchiki and Shihōin family. For an unknown reason, the Shiba family fell from their high status position after the death of its most prominent member, the former lieutenant of the 13th Division, Kaien Shiba. The family specializes in fireworks. The only known surviving members of the house are Ganju Shiba and Kūkaku Shiba. Although there is currently no official head of the of family, it would seem that Kūkaku has taken this role.

Military
The armed forces of Soul Society consist of three independent main branches: the Gotei 13, the Kidō Corps, and the Onmitsukidō.

Gotei 13
Gotei 13 The Gotei 13 (護廷十三隊, goteijūsantai; 13 Division Imperial Guards, or 13 Court Guard Squads in the English dubbed version) is the organization which most Shinigami join. It is split into thirteen divisions (hence the name), with several divisions having certain specializations. The 4th Division is the medical/supply division, the 11th Division is the combat division (specialization in swordsmanship), and the 12th Division is the research/scientific division. The 9th Division was shown, in a Shinigami Cup extra, to be in charge of newspaper and magazine-related duties. It's unclear if the other divisions are specialized, as the four above are the only ones who receive any significant attention apart from their members. Additionally, it should be noted that Soifon is in charge of both the 2nd Division and the Onmitsukidō. The Gotei 13 somewhat seems to have superiority and little authority over the two branches (i.e., Soifon, the Commander-in-Chief of the Onmitsukidō and Tessai Tsukabishi, the former Grand Kidō Chief).

Kidō Corps
Kidō Corps There is currently little information on the Kidō Corps (鬼道衆, kidōshū) (known as the Kidō Force in English), due to the secrecy in which they operate.

Onmitsukidō
Onmitsukidō There is little information about the operations of the Onmitsukidō. They are currently lead by Soifon, who is also the Captain of the Gotei 13's Second Division. She succeeded Yoruichi Shihōin on both posts.

Technology Level
One of the more unusual aspects of Soul Society would be its technology level. While the lifestyle and culture of Soul Society is based upon feudal Japan, they possess technology of a level exceeding that of the current time period. The Shinigami Research Institute has developed amazing technology to their credit, mixing technology with organic components. Allowing for the creation of creatures that do everything from detecting spiritual energy signatures to allowing Humans to see a spirit without the use of a Gigai. They possess Touch screens and databases which are in use for files and historical documentation storage found extensively in the Daireishokairo (The Great Archive. Contains all the knowledge and history of Soul Society). View Screen technology that is capable of sending signals to other dimensions allowing for face to face conferencing. All manner of portable hand-held devices for tracking and communication purposes. Blending old traditions and ideas with new innovation, Soul Society is an enigma in this comparison.

Rukongai
Rukongai (流魂街, wandering soul city) is the largest portion of Soul Society and the most populated. It is divided into 320 districts (80 in North Rukongai, 80 in West Rukongai, etc.)

Seireitei
Seireitei Seireitei (瀞霊廷, court of pure souls) is in the center of Soul Society, a circular shiro with four main entrances, each guarded by a Gate Guardian. The walls of Seireitei are made of stone called Sekkiseki (殺気石, spirit reducing stone), a material known to negate all Reiryoku, similar to magnetic lodestones, preventing the ability to gather Reishi underneath your feet to walk in the air whilst within Seireitei. The stone also forms a spherical barrier around the city which stops anything spiritual from breaching it.

Shinsei~

The Scared is a sector within the Seireitei of Ex Captians of the 13 court squads. They like the royal gaurd answer soley to the king but more importantly monitor things to make sure that everything is flowing smoothly. When disruptions are dectected by the royal family they are sent out to find the cause of the problem and fix it. Any threats that the Seireitei Shinigami can not stop or handle that would indanger the royal family then are delt with by the Shinseina, The royal gaurd is the last line of defense. The Zero divsion does not see activity unless the Sacred are unable to stop the upcoming threat.
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