A standard Shihakusho

A Shihakusho (lit. "Garment of Dead Souls") is the uniform that all soul reapers in the Gotei 13 are required to wear. This uniform distinguishes them from pluses and other spirits or spiritually aware humans. In the living world, a shihakusho also acts as in indicator of someone with shinigami powers. For instance, when Ichigo Kurosaki initially acquired his powers from Rukia Kuchiki, he gained a shihakusho as well. Conversely, having lost the majority of her powers, Rukia's attire changed to regular white clothing. On the other hand, a shihakusho is merely symbolic in Soul Society, as any plus or human could disguise his or herself as a shinigami by wearing it. Nevertheless, a shinigami can wear any clothing in or outside Soul Society, therefore the only consistent indicator of a shinigami or someone with shinigami powers is the possession of a zanpakutō.

[edit] Components

The standard shikakusho is composed of the following: a white shitagi,a black kosode and hakama, a pair of white tabi, a pair of waraji, and a white obi (sash).

Higher ranking shinigami wear additional appendages or clothing to distinguish themselves. Lieutenants have an emblem with their respective division's symbol tied to his/her left arm. Captains wear a white haori (which is either sleeved or sleeveless depending on the captain) with their division's number (in kanji) inside the Gotei 13 symbol (a rhombus) over their shihakusho.

[edit] Other Customizations

Some shinigami (mostly Gotei 13 captains and lieutenants) have altered their uniform or their personal appearance to either satisfy certain circumstances or suit their preferences.

  • The commander-in-chief of the Onmitsukidō, currently 2nd Division Captain Soifon and formerly Yoruichi Shihōin, customarily wears a sleeveless, backless shihakusho with a thick white sash, black arm guards, and black shoes with regular white socks, which is primarily for combat. The main reason behind the design of this uniform is because of a special technique called Shunkō, which would otherwise tear away the sleeves and back when activated. Additionally, Soifon wears a bigger yellow sash over her haori with her zanpakutō tied to it at the back.
  • Former 3rd Division Captain Rōjūrō Otoribashi wore a frilly white shirt instead of a shitagi under his kosode.
  • 4th Division Captain Retsu Unohana wears a larger sash that covers most of her midsection.
  • 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki wears an extremely expensive white scarf made from silver-white wildflower silk (ginpaku kazahana no uzuginu) with his uniform and white hair pieces called kenseikan. These accessories are traditionally worn by the head of the Kuchiki family, although Ginrei Kuchiki (Byakuya's grandfather) chose not to wear kenseikan, at least in old age (he may have worn them when he was younger).
  • Former 7th Division Captain Love Aikawa wore black shades. Current 7th Division Lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba also wears black shades, though it's uncertain whether or not he was Love's subordinate at the time before his exile.
  • 7th Division Captain Sajin Komamura wears shoulder guards and gauntlets with his uniform. He initially wore a helmet to hide his appearance, but later abandoned it.
  • 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku is probably the most ostentatiously dressed shinigami of the Gotei 13, wearing a straw hat and an additional flamboyant haori over his uniform.
  • Former 9th Division Captain Kensei Muguruma wore a sleeveless kosode, black gloves with no fingertips, and a white shimenawa instead of a sash.
  • Former 9th Division Captain Kaname Tōsen wore a sleeveless kosode with a orange scarf and white boots.
  • 9th Division Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi wears a sleeveless kosode and a black collar and armbands.
  • 10th Division Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya wears a green belt with a star shaped buckle over the shoulder to hold his zanpakutō diagonally on his back.
  • 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki wears a captain's haori with torn ends, which he received after defeating the former captain.
  • Former 12th Division Captain Kisuke Urahara wore geta (Japanese wooden scandals) with no socks. He continues this trend after his defection from Soul Society, although without the uniform.
  • 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi has one of the most peculiar appearances. He wears a bloated purple cravat with a flat, white, double pointed hat and a white mask covering his cheeks and chin with three bronze screw-like appendages on his ears and chin. Additionally, his face except for his nose is painted black. Later on in the series, Mayuri alters his appearance, wearing some sort of golden head piece with a long, concave chin, a horn like appendage on the forehead, and drill like objects over the ears. His blue hair is shaped like curved horns, which combined with his other features gives him the appearance of a pharaoh. Moreover, his face isn't completely painted black like before, but instead in a "T" shape. His large white sash and abnormally long fingernail on the middle finger of his right hand remain consistent.
Last edited by on 10 October 2015 at 23:07
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