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Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto
Name Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto
Kanji 山本元柳斎 重國
Romanji Yamamoto Genryūsai Shigekuni
Race Shinigami

Gender Male
Height 168 cm (5'6")
Weight 52 kg (115 lbs)
Eyes Red
Hair Black

Professional Status
Affiliation The Divisions, Soul Society
Occupation Captain-Commander of the Divisions

Captain of the 1st Division

Team 1st Division
Partner Chōjirō Sasakibe
Base of Operations 1st Division HQ, Seireitei, Soul Society
Personal Status
Marital Status Single

Status Active
Shikai Ryūjin Jakka
Bankai Zanka no Tachi

Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto (山本元柳斎 重國, Yamamoto Genryūsai Shigekuni) is the captain of the 1st Division and Captain-Commander (Head-Captain in the English Dub) of all "The Divisions" , later known as the Gotei 13, as well as the "Genryū" Founder and "Genji School" Head Instructor.

His first chosen lieutenant is one of his former students, Chōjirō Sasakibe, a promising candidate for instructor at the Genji School. Instead, Chōjirō swore his allegiance to Yamamoto and took an oath to serve as his lieutenant for as long as he lives.


Yamamoto's appearance is that of a strong and powerful warrior with a face that has seen countless battles. Even though only standing at a meager 5'6" tall, his body has been hardened by war and can be clearly seen by the lines on his face. Generally, Yamamoto appears as an old samurai with black hair wrapping around the sides of his head and balding at the top. His hair is longer on the back and tied into a topknot to further enhance his eastern influenced traditions. To go along with his aged appearance is a pair of thick black eyebrows and a thick, long black mustache that drops below his chin. His face appears aged with numerous lines that run under his eyes, shallow cheekbones and squared chin.

Underneath his standard black robes of a Shinigami, Yamamoto possesses a muscular physique covered in numerous scars. In fact, the scars that litter his body are a trademark of his and often used as a means of initimidating his enemies. The most noticeable scar is the one running diagonally down his forehead over his right eye. It is currently unknown how he gained such a mark but it has earned him the nickname "Eijisai" due to its shape.

While serving as captain, Yamamoto wears a white sleeveless haori with his division's insignia brandished on the back. He typically carries his sword tucked into the white sash wrapped around his waist.


Yamamoto glaring

A young Yamamoto glaring

A shinigami of unyielding loyalty and conviction, Yamamoto represents true justice within Soul Society. Widely considered as the most powerful shinigami of that time, he fights for the peace and security of his world and will do whatever takes to preserve that life. As the captain-commander of The Divisions, Yamamoto is highly respected by most of the Shinigami, and equally feared by his enemies. Prior to becoming captain-commander he was known as a brutal killer without compassion for those that would stand against him. An example of this is when the Shinigami led an all out war to destroy the Quincy, even though they were considered allies, on the basis that they were a threat to the stability of Soul Society. Yamamoto follows the laws and regulations of Soul Society to the letter, and expects his comrades to do the same. He is not a man to tolerate insubordination, and is vocal with those who attempt to act in such a manner. He is quick to anger in the face of possible betrayal, and can be quite aggressive in combat. Due to years of experience, Yamamoto very rarely shows any sign of distress or surprise, usually responding by opening one or two of his eyes, which are partially closed slits for the majority of the time.

Yamamoto is very loyal to Soul Society and takes his duties very seriously, expecting the same from the rest of the Gotei 13. His loyalty is so great that he is willing to sacrifice himself and the Gotei 13, believing it to be their duty to lay down their lives for the sake of the Soul Society if necessary. He is not above eliminating his own shinigami if they were ever to betray him, and in his prior life has clashed with some of the captains withing the Divisions.

Seen as a man of power and strength with a killer personality, its difficult to see a softer, and even vulnerable, side to him. He has mentioned that there are moments where he fears his own power, namely the power of his Bankai. Yamamoto has even described himself as a monster or demon who's power is able to reduce the entire Soul Society to ash. Instead, he has chosen to not use unless deemed absolutely necessary.

While stern, Yamamoto does have people he cares for in his life, something that was always absent previously.  He appears to be a surrogate father of sorts to Shunsui Kyōraku, seen when scolding the young lad when he was snooping around in his room. Yamamoto appreciates Eastern cultures and is a master at the Japanese tea ceremony, and subsequently dislikes the "Western" traditions. Yamamoto holds a tea session every month in the 1st Division quarters for every member of the division. He also likes to be rubbed down with a dry towel while exposed to the sun on his balcony.


Prior to founding the Divisions, Yamamoto was the "Genryū" Founder and "Genji School" Head Instructor. Yamamoto was himself a teacher at this academy and personally instructed Shunsui Kyōraku and Jūshirō Ukitake. On various occasions Yamamoto would catch the young Shunsui Kyōraku sneaking into his room. On one particular instance, he scolds the boy for doing so. Shunsui asks about a picture showing a dark silhouette among a field of fire. Yamamoto explains that the picture was of a monster that appeared in Soul Society a long time ago. That it had appeared at a time when Soul Society was facing a difficult situation and that the monsters appearance made the situation worse. He then stated the monster won't come back, when Shunsui asked what if the monster comes back. Yamamoto answered that he probably wouldn't return.

During Yamamoto's time as an instructor, Sasakibe routinely visited him, always referring to him as "Eijisai-dono", a reference to the large scar on his forehead, despite knowing that it annoyed him. He insisted that it would be wrong to use Yamamoto's real name. During one of his visits, Sasakibe told Yamamoto that he wished to be his right arm and compensate for anything that Yamamoto could not do. Yamamoto tells him to become an instructor but he declined. At Yamamoto's behest, Sasakibe tried to defeat him with his Bankai. Though he failed to defeat him, he left a permanent scar on Yamamoto's forehead, crossing his earlier scar. Others began to refer to him by a different name due to the new scar, but Sasakibe refused to do use this new name. As a result, Yamamoto decided to call himself Genryūsai.

At some point, Yamamoto founded the Divisions and approximately one thousand years prior to the main storyline, he became its first Captain-Commander. This foundation was formed around the time that he led the shinigami against its once allies, the Quincy. Led by its powerful King, Yhwach, the two opposing sides fought a bloody battle that resulted in the deaths of thousands, and eventually led to the massacre of the Quincy, scattering them throughout the world of the living, and Yhwach's disappearance.


Yamamoto vs Ieyasu

Some time after the Divisions conception, Yamamoto scoured Soul Society in search of potential recruits to fill in the positions of captain within the 13 divisions. It was said that during this time, Yamamoto fought against Ieyasu Tokugawa whom he considered his equal and their battle ravaged the land and permanently scarred the area. The results left Ieyasu as the Captain of the 7th Divisions, although the two rarely speak to one another outside of formal meetings and ceremony.


Coming Soon.

Powers & Abilities

Zanjutsu Master: As the founder of the Shinō Academy, along with possessing centuries of combat experience, Yamamoto is the most powerful combatant in Soul Society. During times of war, Yamamoto was know to kill whole legions of enemies without assistance. He is even capable of fighting two captain-level Shinigami simultaneously with a single hand without showing signs of fatigue. A Shinigmai with a body count of nearly a thousand souls, few would hope to come out alive from a fight with him and only a handful of opponents have ever proved a challenge. One such opponent was Ieyasu Tokugawa, the current captain of the 7th Division, who fought against Yamamoto when no other captain was able to capture him. His skill in swordsmanship is great enough to take down his opponent with a single precise strike, ending fights within seconds, and combines both tremendous strength and speed. Yamamoto's style of combat varies dependant on the situation and is able to seamlessly switch between stances and forms of combat with amazing ease. While taking on the traditional styles of swordplay, Yamamoto has been known to explore new options and is constantly evolving his art of sword fighting that he's renowned for through Soul Society.

  • Hitotsume: Nadegiri (一つ目・撫で斬り, "The First: Killing Stroke"): A basic technique Yamamoto created that allows for a precision cut of extreme force and speed, which can easily slice through large, multi-story high opponents. The opponent is killed with one swift slash so precise, they aren't even aware of until after it has taken place.
  • Futatsume: Shibetsu (二つ目 •死別 , "The Second: Bereavement"): A basic technique Yamamoto created that is a parallel to Nadegiri. While Nadegiri slices a target from head to toe vertically, Shibetsu slices a target horizontally across the midsection. The user of this technique steps forward as an opponent comes with their own attack. The focus of this technique relies heavily on the user's speed and reflexes because it requires them to step into an attack, draw the sword to slice the target and move behind them often dropping down to one knee. The attack is so quick and fluid that it appears to happen within a second.
  • Onibi (鬼火, "Oni Fire"): A technique where Yamamoto takes his Zanpakuto in its sealed sheathed form and thrusts it at his opponent, creating a large hole in their body. This technique was effective against a multiple story-high opponent and from the shear size of the hole left would no doubt completely destory a regular sized opponent, or leave them as a bloody smear.

Hohō Master: He is highly skilled and experienced in the art of Shunpo, easily able to outmaneuver other captain class opponents with ease. His speed is quite frightening considering how easily he is able to weave between opponents without them noticing and dispatching them before they are aware of it. With his tremendous skill in swordfighting, Yamamoto has killed hundreds of enemies stealthfully, and quickly and is described as a true demon on the battlefield. While he has never displayed the more advanced techniques associated with Shunpo, he is fully aware of them and able to utilize them if necessary. His only reason for not using them in battles is that his speed is so great that he's never needed for such tactics.

Master Strategist & Tactician: With his years of experience as a teacher and warrior, along with being the commander of the entire Gotei 13, Yamamoto is a very intelligent man. He is capable of quickly adjusting to new developments and making quick decisions accordingly. His skill at battle tactics is undeniable; as general, he commonly sends the captains and divisions out to engage in battle, be it to relatively small or large threats, and has done so for a number of centuries.

Immense Spiritual Power: Being one of the oldest members of Soul Society, Yamamoto possesses an exceedingly powerful Reiryoku. Its sheer strength is great enough to easily break free from four overlapping and high-level Bakudō spells restraining him. Yamamoto states that the reason he has served as the Captain-Commander of the Divisions is that no Shinigami born is more powerful than him.

  • Masterful Reiatsu-Control: Yamamoto can exert his reiatsu to cause fear in captain-level combatants and can further physically paralyze combatants of lieutenant-level and lower simply by gazing in their direction. Yamamoto's spiritual pressure has the same effect as his Zanpakutō, as it is the elemental representative of fire. He tends to glow with a fiery aura, which has the potential to burn and set his surroundings on fire without the use of his Zanpakutō. It is the formidable pressure of his reiatsu that makes the reiatsu itself look like flames. When enraged, Yamamoto's reiatsu is powerful enough to be felt all around Seireitei and with tremendous force.

Immense Strength: In addition to his surprising physique for his age, Yamamoto has shown tremendous physical strength. He easily and swiftly put a large hole into the chest of a large hollow without much effort at all, using only the pommel of his sword. With a single hand, he effortlessly stopped strikes from enormous creatures and overpowered them, despite them having enlarged their arms and increased their strength several folds. His strength is so great that he's able to completely destroy opponents with a single punch, to the point of blowing them apart into small pieces.

Immense Endurance: Despite his old age, Yamamoto is capable of fighting for long periods of time, even when outnumbered, with no visible signs of exhaustion. He is able to take direct attacks from others unfazed. He can endure being impaled on a sword without so much as flinching from the perceived damage. He was also able to sustain an explosion of flames that had the power to incinerate all of Karakura Town and a great area around it. In his younger years, he challenged Sasakibe to defeat him with his newly achieved Bankai, and in the end only suffered a light scar on his forehead. He can easily deflect a giant Hellig Plief from a Stern Ritter with one hand without any noticeable damage done to his being.

Hakuda Master: While it is unknown how much his ability has declined from old age, Yamamoto remains a highly skilled and dangerous combatant even without his Zanpakutō. As with his skill in swordsmanship, he is also a master in hand-to-hand combat. Yamamoto can deliver powerful blows that can smash through Espada-level Hierro, and block the majority of multiple punches from a multi-armed opponent.

  • Ikkotsu (一骨, "Single Bone") A very powerful punch, with which Yamamoto can use this technique to destroy much of the opponent's abdomen and send them flying away and through a building.
  • Sōkotsu (双骨, "Double Bone") Stronger than Ikkotsu, it is a powerful two-fisted punch used that, in one blow, can totally destroy an opponent.

Kidō Master: Yamamoto's knowledge of Kidō is so great that he can perform them without calling out their names while retaining their great potential power, whereas most users require a name to do so, if not a full incantation. He is able to produce immensely powerful barriers to protect him from all but the strongest of attacks. Yamamoto is capable of casting level 96 Hadō without incantation and still using it to great effect.


Ryūjin Jakka (流刃若火, Flowing Blade-like Flame): His Zanpakutō is the oldest and the most powerful fire-type Zanpakutō, and has greater attack power than all other Zanpakutō in Soul Society. In its sealed form, Ryūjin Jakka usually takes the appearance of a standard katana, with a dark purple handle and a circular hand guard. Its power is so great, even the strongest of Shinigami are afraid of it, even in its sealed form.

  • Shikai: Its Shikai command is "Reduce All Creation to Ash" (万象一切灰燼と為せ, banshō issai kaijin to nase; "All things in the universe turn to ashes" in the English Dub). The release of his Zanpakutō comes with an extreme release of spiritual pressure affecting all in the area, and can be felt for miles upon miles across all of Seireitei.
    • RyujinJakka

      Ryujin Jakka

      Shikai Special Ability:
      When released, Ryūjin Jakka's blade is engulfed in fire. The aura of this weapon disintegrates everything and anything that Yamamoto waves the sword at, changing it into nothing more than ash, and engulfs the surrounding landscape in a blazing firestorm, the heat of which is intense enough to scorch the sky. Only powerful fighters can resist it, but even then only indirectly. Even in its Shikai, Ryūjin Jakka's power is enough to fight against the Shikai of two other captains simultaneously, both of whom had the reputation of being the strongest Captains in Soul Society while together. Unlike other Zanpakutō shown so far, resealing Ryūjin Jakka does not deactivate any ability already used against an opponent.
      • Jōkaku Enjō (城郭炎上, "Fortress Blaze") This ability creates an immense wall of flame that surrounds the target and then forms a huge contained sphere of flame in which to imprison enemies. It is shown to be immensely powerful as it was capable of imprisoning several Captain-level Shinigami for a significant amount of time. This technique can also remain activated even if his Zanpakutō is resealed.
      • Taimatsu (松明, "Torch") This ability is able to create a great inferno with the simple wave of Ryūjin Jakka. The fire generated by the attack entirely consumes whatever is caught within it until nothing remains but ashes. The flames created by Ryūjin Jakka can be controlled with great precision by Yamamoto to attack only the targets he chooses and he also has power over the intensity of the flames. Its size can vary but he's shown to be capable of incinerating targets as tall as buildings.
      • Ennetsu Jigoku (炎熱地獄, "Flames of Hell") A spark of liquid fire runs down the length of the cutting edge of the blade into the ground. It then branches off in intricate circle pattern formations causing seven or more immense pillars of flame that surround an area. The intent of this technique is to trap the opponent in the growing inferno that develops from the pillars joining one another and destroy him. The power of this technique is lethal enough to destroy everyone caught in its vicinity, even Yamamoto himself. The power can be activated immediately or be set up prior to combat and initiated later at a distance from where it was activated. These flames are capable of incinerating an area greater than that of a town.
  • Bankai: Zanka no Tachi (残火の太刀, "Longsword of the Remnant Flame"): In its Bankai, the blade takes the form of an ancient and worn katana, severely scorched by fire.
    • ZanakNoTachi

      Zanka no Tachi

      Bankai Special Ability:
      Upon activation, any flames produced by Ryūjin Jakka are absorbed into the blade. Zanka no Tachi incorporates the full power of Yamamoto's flames into the blade. The flames within the blade burn anything it cuts out of existence. Zanka no Tachi has the side-effect of depleting the moisture in an entire area (at least the size of the Seireitei) causing the air and the water to dry up. Over a significant period, even Soul Society can fall victim to its power and be destroyed. Yamamoto claims that releasing his Bankai clads both his blade and his body in the flames of the sun. Yamamoto states that prolonged use of his Bankai can destroy his opponent, Soul Society and even himself.
      • Zanka no Tachi

        Zanka no Tachi striking

        Zanka no Tachi, Higashi: Kyokujitsujin
        (残火の太刀 "東": 旭日刃, Longsword of the Remnant Flame, East: Rising Sun Edge): Automatically activated at release, this ability concentrates the intense flames of the sword along the edge of the blade. When it strikes a target, it completely annihilates them by first causing their physical form to explode and then eliminates any trace of their being as their remains are instantly incinerated from the intense heat. This ability is so powerful that he is able to eliminate a target with a single swing, and employed this technique when exterminating the Quincies. Even the defensive power of the Quincy's Blut Vene is not capable of standing up against this technique.
      • Zanka no Tachi, Nishi: Zanjitsu Gokui (残火の太刀 "西": 残日獄衣, Longsword of the Remnant Flame, West: Remnant Sun Prison Garb): Automatically activated at release, this ability is unseen by the eyes of anyone else unless Yamamoto wills it to be seen. It engulfs his body in heat that reaches a temperature upwards of 15,000,000 degrees. Thusly, it becomes impossible to even touch him while he is using his Bankai. The level of heat produced by this technique is such that it wouldn't actually appear in the form of flames, instead the air ripples around him like an invisible aura. Anything that comes into contact with this aura will immediately turn to ash. Even projectiles will break apart and disipate against him, making this ability a true level of invulnerability. The only person known to be able to stand in Yamamoto's presence while in Bankai was Captain Tokugawa, whose own Bankai has a similar effect but with the element of ice.
      • Zanka no Tachi, Minami: Kaka Jūmanokushi Daisōjin (残火の太刀 "南": 火火十万億死大葬陣, Longsword of the Remnant Flame, South: Great Burial Ranks of the Ten Trillion Fire Dead): Yamamoto impales the tip of his sword into the ground, and calls upon the corpses and ashes of the dead who were killed by his flames to come forth and fight on his behalf, emerging from a rupture in the ground. Using the heat of his sword on their ashes, he can rouse all the people he has killed, allowing the corpses to become his limbs and attack whomever he deems as his enemy until they become dust. He can bring forth any specific corpse that he wishes, allowing him to inflict psychological damage upon those with connections to those he has slain. With the recent near extermination of the Quincy, the majority of Yamamoto's corpses are comprised of these fallen Quincy and range into the near thousands. 
      • Zanka no Tachi, Kita: Tenchi Kaijin (残火の太刀 "北": 天地灰尽, Longsword of the Remnant Flame, North: Heaven and Earth end in Ashes): Zanka no Tachi's most powerful technique housed in such a simple motion. Yamamoto slashes the air, creating an invisible force of concentrated fire and heat that incinerates whatever it touches completely out of existence. The technique is only visible in the form of nothingness it leaves behind, such as a cleanly cleaved mountain or missing body parts if struck. It has been theorized that even if caught by glancing blow, whatever material has been incinerated cannot be repaired, even through the use of Kidō.


Coming Soon.

Behind the Scenes

  • All Canon information was pulled from the Official Bleach Wiki, and as such all credit should be given to its users and contributors.