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Yoshirō Nobuyuki
"Light of Justice"
Name Yoshirō Nobuyuki
Kanji 良郎信行
Romanji Nobuyuki Yoshirō
Race Soul
Birthday December 13
Gender Male
Height 168 cm (5'6")
Weight 68 kg (150 lbs)
Eyes Grey
Hair White
Professional Status
Affiliation Gotei 13, Soul Society
Occupation Captain of the 1st Division
Previous Occupation Captain of the 5th Division
Team 1st Division
Previous Team 5th Division
Partner Hachiro Yamada
Previous Partner Ryōshun Imagawa
Base of Operations 1st Division HQ, Seireitei, Soul Society
Personal Status
Status Active
Shikai Sanrankō
Bankai Sanrankō Tenchikaimei

Yoshirō Nobuyuki (良郎信行, Nobuyuki Yoshirō) is the Captain of the 1st Division, as well as Captain-Commander of the entire Gotei 13. His division currently has no lieutenant and, instead, he defers to Captain Takehiko Satō and Captain Tamaki Miura as his military strategist and councelor, respectively. His previous lieutenant, Ryōshun Imagawa, was promoted to the Honor Guard, leaving the spot unfilled. Now, Combat Instructor Hachiro Yamada fills in the roll of Acting Lieutenant until a suitable candidate can be chosen.

A Shinigami of over 1,000 years of age, Yoshirō is the only surviving captain during from the War of Souls in which he was the captain of the 5th Division at the time, and is regarded as the most powerful Shinigami currently existing. He also wields the strongest light-type Zanpakutō, and combined with his strong sense of justice has earned him the name "Seigi no Hikari" (正義の光, "Light of Justice"). He is essential to Los Pecadores, Leonel Grande's plans at dimensional conquest.

He currently resides in the Bleach: War of Souls universe and is a prominent figure within that universe.


A symbol of tradition and experience, Yoshirō Nobuyuki is the oldest captain in the newly formed Gotei 13, being over 1000 years old. He appears that of an elderly man with a white mustache and white Einstein-like hair. He wears a white bandana that has a metal plate attached across the forehead with the 1st Division insignia engraved into it, as well as a white scarf around his neck. He wears the standard Shinigami uniform with a long-sleeved captain's haori over it, and grey hand and wrist guards. While walking, he carries himself as a feeble old man, slightly hunched over and eyes partially closed as if tired with an arm across his back. He also walks with a wooden cane to further accentuate his age, but has used it during combat, as well, to throw off his opponents.

During his days as Captain the 5th Division, he was clean shaven with the same metal plate bandana, with the 5th Division insignia on it, instead, and the same white scarf. Yoshirō also wore a sleeveless lieutenant's uniform under his long-sleeved captain's haori, similar to Kaname Tōsen when he was captain.

In times of war, Yoshirō perfers to wear a specific combat uniform that's tailored to him. He refrains from fighting with his captain's uniform and wears the black robes of a shinigami through slightly altered. He continues to display his division's insignia on the back, though the lettering is in white. His sleaves are tucked into grey forearm guards, while his pants are tucked into greaves, which grants him stealthier movement and less restraint. He also switches the placement of his sword from being tucked under waist to across his back.


Yoshirō was one of the few Shinigami to have been apart of the War of Souls over 600 years ago, and is highly respected in all of Soul Society. He is soft spoken and humble, but underneath that is a man who wants nothing more than to uphold the beliefs that Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto fought so bravely to protect. Because of this, he bears a tremendous weight on his shoulders, and does not tolerate insubordination or betrayal. When in a state of peace, he conducts himself as a kind and wise old sage, often speaking in proverbs. He prefers others try to reach a conclusion through their own determination, as opposed to just giving them the answer. He can instantly read a person's emotions, knowing when something is troubling them.

During combat, Yoshirō never shows any sign of fear or worry, and is always calm. Even in dire situations, he maintains his humble nature and even makes light of those situations. Due to his age, he often refers to other opponents as "youngins". Unlike Yamamoto, Yoshirō never appears to scold his opponents or speak in a threatening. But others should never see this as a weakness, because underneath his old and aged appearance, is a warrior hardened by war who must constantly keep his powers in check as it reacts to his emotional state. As such, he's disciplined himself to always keep his composure.

In his spare time, Yoshirō enjoys taking walks throughout Seireitei. He loves a good joke and can often be heard chuckling in the middle of his sentences. Even while acting as the Captain-Commander and being an immensely powerful shinigami, he remains humbled and encourages others to speak to him when walking. He also observes combat classes, monitoring the students performances and steps in to offer guidance when needed. Yoshirō's favorite game is Go, which he plays often with Takehiko Satō and Kenzō Takeshi. He has admitted to liking sweets, especially sour rock candy, and is overjoyed when students offer them to him.


Yoshirō holds the unfortunate title of being the only captain to survive from the War of Souls nearly 500 years ago. During that time, he served as the newly appointed captain of the 5th Division, succeeding Shinji Hirako, and greatly admired Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto. As the war raged on between the shinigami and the ever growing presence of hollows due to The Catastrophe in the Human World, the Gotei 13 found themselves ever increasingly surrounded and overwhelmed. Yoshirō witnessed several of his fellow captains fall in battle and the odds of survival had grown slim. As a final act to save what was left of Soul Society, Yamamoto sacrificed himself by unleashing the full might of his power and obliterated the battlefield.

Yoshirō was saved only by Yamamoto transporting him away through a Kidō spell, realizing that he may be Soul Society's last hope in rebuilding the Gotei 13 and balancing the worlds once again. From that point on, along with other surviving Shinigami, he devoted his life to the ideals set forth by the former captains of the Gotei 13. At some point, Tamaki Miura became his lieutenant and when Yoshirō transfered to the 1st Division to assume the responsibilities of Captain-Commander, she was promoted to captain of the 5th Division. From then on, he slowly began rebuilding the Gotei 13 and restoring its power.


Powers & Abilities

Yoshirou Stats

Yoshirō's Battle Data, clockwise. Top: Offense (100), Top Right: Defense (100), Bottom right: Mobility (90), Bottom: Kidō/Reiatsu (100), Bottom Left: Intelligence (100), Top Left: Physical Strength (60). Total: 550/600.

Zanjutsu Master: Although rarely seen in combat, Yoshirō is regarded as the most powerful combatant in all of Soul Society currently and, despite his age, his skill in swordplay is considered unequalled within the Gotei 13. He is known as the greatest swordsman of his generation, able to effectively hold his own against several captain-class opponents at the same time, and even prove to be the stronger individual. His style of fighting parts ways with the traditional sword arts and utilizes a rather unique series of one-handed and two-handed strikes with a form similar to breakdancing. When battling, he reveals the dexterity and speed of someone half his age and shows amazing vitality. This allows him to move gracefully and fluidly through attacks while striking from all angles. Although this fighting style seems rather unorthodox for a captain-commander, Yoshirō is extremely proficient in its use and can single-handedly take out entire groups with no apparent effort. His style of fighting isn't limited this particular form solely. Yoshirō is also a master of a wide variety of sword styles that allows him to easily adapt to any combat situation, and is able to swtich between these forms in the middle of battles seamlessly. His more agility-based fighting has been somewhat retired once he grew older, but will occassionally adopt his original fighting style during certain situations. This allows him to surprise his targets by switching between a traditional stance to a more athletic one in mid combat. When fighting against Leonel Grande and Ardent Zorn, he adopted a two-handed fighting stance and favored thrust attacks that targeted the vital areas of the body. This was seen when he attacked Ardent with a thrust that aimed specifically for his eyes. Also, he proved to fight equally against the leader of Los Pecadores, able to trade blows with him and not sustaining a single injury, despite the captain being an elderly man and Leonel appearing as a man in his prime. As the most proficient swordsman in Soul Society, Yoshirō possesses extensive knowledge in the different forms of combat, as well as the techniques associated with them.

  • Hitotsume: Nadegiri (一つ目・撫で斬り, "The First: Killing Stroke") One of the most basic techniques found in Zanjutsu, it should not be underestimated due to its simplicity. A precision cut of extreme force and speed, an experienced combatant can use this technique to completely slice through their targets, even ones that are multi-story in height. This slash is so precise and swift, its victims are not even aware of it until after it has taken place. Just like former Captain Commander Yamamoto, Yoshirō can execute this technique with such power and speed, that he can instantly cleave large objects made from sturdy materials as if it were a hot knife through butter. The motion he makes is almost effortless and majestic, unsheathing his sword with a single hand and making the cut almost instantaneously that he will appear behind his target. Once he resheathes the blade, the damage will appear and the target will instantly split in half vertically before crashing to ground in death.
  • Bassai (伐採, "Tree Cutting") An unorthodox attack that employs Yoshirō's unique fighting style, agility and flexibility. When facing a group of opponents and he finds himself in a prone position, Yoshirō will grab his sword in a reverse grip while simultaneously bringing his legs around in a full circle in a windmill like manner. The legs are used to create some space between him and his targets, as well as distract them from the blade's movements. While his legs are moving, Yoshirō will swing his sword in a full circle and target all of the opponents and their legs or lower bodies. With his strength and precision, he can cleanly sever these lower parts cleanly and drop them to the ground, either to bleed out or simply maim them in the process. Either method allows Yoshirō to quickly regain his footing and strike down his injured foes.

Kidō Master: Even when he was a mere student within the Shino Academy, Yoshirō was known to possess natural talent in the use of Kidō and could effortlessly wield its magic with apparent ease. He has an affinity towards weaving magical energies and has a natural ability to understanding complex summoning techniques so that he can cast whichever spell he wishes, even in the heat of battle. After numerous years of training, he is able to cast high level spells without incantaion and still deliver them with tremendous effect. He is even able to string a series of spells of various levels nearly seamlessly. Yoshirō's level of kido is so great that he can cast barrier spells that can withstand powerful attacks without adverse effects. He particularly enjoys Bakudō spells, though his mastery spreads over all forms of Kidō that makes his skill nearly unmatched. When facing Leonel, he was able to release multiple Byakurai spells with incredible power and without incantation. The spells themselves proved strong enough to obliterate an entire mountside from repeated strikes. A testament to his skill is that before he became captain of the 5th Division, he was asked to reform the Kidō Corps and be its leader. Unfortunately, he was needed more for the 5th Division and his plans to grow the Corps were put on halt. As with Captain Yamamoto, the sheer power unleashed when using destructive spells is astonishing and able produce devastation if he so wishes. Fortunately for those he faces, Yoshirō is much more humble about his power and would only use such means as a last resort. Even when using spells in the low to mid level range, they can rival that of high level spells performed by other captains. Kidō is Yoshirō's perferred method of combat as seen when he faced against Leonel, using its incredible versatility to aid him battle and make up for his aging strength and stamina against the more vital opponent.

Hohō Master: As with his other abilities, Yoshirō's level of Flash Steps is easily that of a master, though he has admitted that his age as somewhat hindered his speed. When he was captain of the 5th Division, Yoshirō was regarded as being an exceptionally skilled Hohō user, having learned all of its techniques. His skill was so great that even the 2nd Division captain at the time took notice to his tremendous speed. As the centuries went by, his speed has slightly been reduced but Yoshirō is still more than capable of matching any captain currently within the Gotei 13. He's been able to appear instantly behind his opponents without them being aware of his movements. His speed allows him to fight on par with both Ardent Zorn and Leonel Grande, all while fending off their attacks, though was fighting against the Pecadores separately.

  • Utsusemi (空蝉, Cicada) An advanced Shunpo technique that allows for movement at great speed, leaving an afterimage behind. This is created through extreme speed, though can also be produced reflexively to avoid attacks. The afterimage created can appear as two forms: the first being a simple illusion created from a practioner moving at such speeds that the afterimage takes a moment to catch up, the other is an image of the practioner that appears solid enough to respond to damage. Because the time between the switch is so short, the afterimage can appear to sustain damage before ultimately disappearing, often confusing a target and leaving them vulnerable for an attack. Against Leonel, he was able to appear instantly behind his target, even moving so fast that he created an afterimage that the Pecador was surprised to see.

Hakuda Master: Despite his old age, he is one of the most powerful hakuda masters currently existing. Due to the nature of his Zanpakutō, Yoshirō must rely heavily not only on the power of his constructs but also his ability in hand-to-hand combat. Combined with his speed, Yoshirō can attack from all directions, instantly overwhelming his opponents. His fighting style resembles a combination of boxing, judo and aikido, and has shown to possess surprising strength with his ability to flip opponents over his shoulder despite his small frame. He favors closed hand techniques and not so much kicking techniques, though he is still able to effectively use his legs in battle. When he was trapped in Hell, Yoshirō proved capable of defeating a nearly a dozen Togabito singlehandedly without his weapon, all while striking them down with one blow each.

Enhanced Strength: What surprises most is Yoshirō's level of physical strength. While appearing frail and small, Yoshirō boasts an unusually high level of power that is capable of sending full grown Togabito crashing through large wooden structures, or slamming them into the ground with such force that their bodies are imprinted into the ground. While the exact level of his strength is unknown, he's shown able to hold his own against large foes, some of which are giant in size, and has caught a massive fist without any signs of effort. The force of his punches also have the ability to shatter a target's bones with a single attack. When using his sword, just using his own brute force, Yoshirō can produce a wave of pressure as a form of ranged attack capable of slicing through solid objects, or have enough force to separate a flowing river of lava.

Enhanced Agility: Even for a shinigami of his age, Yoshirō is surprisingly quite agile and possesses extraordinary acrobatic prowess. An example of his agility and dexterity is his unique form of fighting that resembles breakdancing. He's able to seamlessly combine his flexibility and agility with his own personal style of fighting to deliver flips and spins and outmaneuver his opponents. Yoshirō has admitted that with his old age, he isn't as agile as he used to be and only reserves using such methods in short bursts as to not overtax his body. Defensively, he can quickly leap over targets and perform some acrobatic maneuvers, such as sommersaults and flips, and can even perform barrel rolls over an attack to harmlessly avoid it.

Master Strategist & Tactician: Although appearing senile at times, Yoshirō is considered the greatest tactical genius currently in Soul Society with nearly a millenia's worth of experience. He is naturally gifted with the ability to forsee any situation and plan accordingly. He is seldom ever caught by surprise and can quickly adjust strategies in the middle of battle as the need arises. For centuries, he's led numerous sized groups of soldiers into battle, and his skill in tactics is undeniable. Even before his time as a captain, Yoshirō regularly led his own unit of soldiers on dangerous missions that would otherwise be entrusted to other captains. His experience isn't limited to battle strategy and formations. He is also a highly perceptive individual, able to analyze his opponent's attack patterns and counterattack almost instantly.

Immense Spiritual Pressure: While appearing as a weak and elderly man, Yoshirō possesses an exceedingly powerful Reiryoku along the lines of Yamamoto. This often catches opponents off-guard as he rarely releases his power in front of others. His level of power is unquestioned by any within the Gotei 13 and those who do not know will almost instantly regret challening him. When facing Leonel faced him, the Pecador mentioned that Yoshirō is the most powerful Shinigami currently existing in all of Soul Society, and would never fight against anything but the strongest. He was able to fend off the strangling effect that Hell's reiatsu creates, as well as stand in the presence of 3 Pecadores without feeling any adverse effects. When he finally unleashed his power against a clash with Leonel, the two produced such a powerful explosion that it obliterated a large area of the rocky mountains nearby, forced the storm clouds above to part, and the energy rippled through the various levels of Hell. Even during his youth, the volume of spiritual pressure he could exert as a lieutenant placed him easily among the elite and was one of the reasons he was cited as a potential for the Kidō Corps and a Captain. A natural advantage to large levels of spiritual pressure is that it creates a sort of shield around the person's skin to increase their damage to resistance. This allows him to be struck by powerful attacks and still remain unharmed. He was able to fight against Leonel and survive being struck repelled back and even when smashing against the ground, and showed no signs of injury.

  • Masterful Reiatsu Control: As with Yamamoto, Yoshirō possesses incredible control over his reiatsu and able to manifest in ways that can aid him in battle or manipulate his opponents. At its simplest form, a simple and focused glare is enough to incapacitate weak willed targets. It also has the ability to bring people to their knees and even captain-level targets can begin perspiring in fear. When venting his spiritual pressure, the ground beneath him begins to tremble and can be felt over great distances. Yoshirō's spiritual power has the same effect as his Zanpakutō, representing a nearly blinding white aura around him and he can increase its range and effect by simply willing it to. Because such power can have adverse effects if left untamed, Yoshirō has learned to naturally supress a large portion of his power and only unleash when facing against a strong opponent or within an area that he is not concerned with causing damage nearby.


Sanrankō (燦爛侯, "Radiant Lord") In it's sealed form, Sanrankō takes the appearance of a standard katana with a bronze circular cross guard, with 4 circles equally spaced around the blade. It is considered the strongest light-based Zanpakutō in all of Soul Society.

  • Shikai: When preparing to release Sanrankō, Yoshirō will hold his sword up front of him with his other up in prayer and state the command, "Cast light upon all my enemies". Sanrankō will then burst into blinding light followed by a release of tremendous spiritual pressure that rolls across a considerable distance. Its power can even be felt from miles away, attesting to Yoshirō's voluminous Reiryoku. As the light shines down on the Captain-Commander, its new form will appear as a white translucent aura that completely surrounds Yoshirō. The sword itself disappears entirely, leaving no trace, and signifying that he has become one with his Zanpakutō. This marks the first time a Zanpakutō has completely disappeared from the wielder's grasp, as not even the handle remains.
    • Tenma no Ifuku (天魔の衣服, "Raiment of the Heavenly Demon") The aura that surrounds Yoshirō grants him increased protection against attacks, acting as a sort of force field that when struck by projectiles will either be vaporized or repelled depending on the strength of the attack. This helps counter the fact that Yoshirō no longer has a hand-held weapon and must rely on his Shikai's ability and his physical skills in combat. Appearing as a thin veil around him, its most noticeable when objects strike against the aura, creating a shimmer effect. This level of protection varies depending Yoshirō's concentration and willpower, but it does prove strong enough to withstand attacks from equally powerful opponents, as well as endure the rigors of extreme temperatures.
Shikai Special Ability: Yoshirō has stated that Sanrankō is considered the most powerful light-based Zanpakutō that currently exists at that time, and its power is said to wield "heavenly light" to punish its foes or bring about peace. This means that Sanrankō can wielded as both an instrument of destruction and salvation. Yoshirō's skill in wielding Sanrankō is also noteworthy, as he can theoretically battle against captains in Bankai with only his Shikai. This statement has never been put to the test since Yoshirō has never fought against his fellow comrades, but within the Gotei 13 there is not a single soul who would dare question the power Yoshirō wields. Surrounded by light, Yoshirō can generate and manipulate massive quantities of light to mold them into tangible constructs. This allows him to battle freely without a weapon as he can simply imagine one in his hands whenever he wishes. The constructs he creates are governed by his will and imagination, and conjuring such objects take nothing more then a though to bring to reality. Even when the constructs are created, he can easily shape and mold them into new objects if he so wishes. Their durability is dependent on Yoshirō's concentration and stamina, since when those two statistics begin to wane, so do his constructs. Visibly, the constructs will begin to crack and splinter out, eventually shattering if enough force is applied to them. Yoshirō has noted that because of his advanced age, prolonged battle can eventually weaken his powers, since wielding Sanrankō requires a great level of both physical and mental fortitude. Though he can create whatever he so desires, his creations tend follow a certain theme, resembling items from feudal japan, such as weapons, armor or even large buildings such as pagodas and temples.
  • Eiga Kon'nyū Jōkaku (栄華混入城郭, "Splendor Laced Fortress")
  • Kōsai Rōkōsoku (光彩牢拘束 "Binding Prison of Brilliance") Even for a Shikai technique, Kōsai Rōkōsoku's scale is monumental and can target an entire group of enemies and even a considerable section of a large city. To summon the technique, Yoshirō slaps his hands together, similar to a person preparing for prayer. He then performs a series of hand gestures that create a series of six large white panels surrounding the area Yoshirō wishes to target. The creation of panels ends with a final two: above and below the targets. By bringing his hands together one more time, all panels converge converge and lock into place, forming a massive six-sided prism and trapping Yoshirō's foes inside. These walls are made of pure light, able to withstand direct physical and magical assaults thanks to the captain commander's immense spiritual pressure. Yoshirō can choose to keep this technique up as long as he wishes, effectively removing a large portion of an enemy's group or imprison entire sections of a battlefield.
  • Tenrai Dangai (天来弾劾, "Divine Censure") Kōsai Rōkōsoku has a secondary technique that is capable of instantly vaporizing anything within its walls, and if not instantly destroyed, a tremendous amount of damage can be inflicted instead. Yoshirō begins to pour more of his spiritual pressure into his creation, causing the walls to grow brighter as the seconds go by to the point the entire structure is glowing with blinding light. Those trapped inside begin to feel an intense heat from this light as their bodies begin to burn away. The light is so bright that it can even cause a night sky to become illuminated from its power, transforming the scenery into day. Yoshirō then states the name of the technique, yelling as he does, and the prism explodes in a monumental prism of light, piercing the skies above. The sheer amount of damage this technique can cause is absolutely devastating to all trapped within it and the surrounding area is blown away from the force.
  • Bankai: Sanrankō Tenchikaimei (燦爛侯天地晦冥, "Radiant Lord Plunging All Into Darkness")