This article, Kugi, is property of Kenji-Taichō. Permission is required to alter its content.

"You only think Maki's a tough man to train under. I'm harder! My mission is to teach you all how to survive in the field, to better yourselves daily and then mold you all into upstanding members of the Ryū Order! You will not like me. I wouldn't like me if I were in your position, but you'll find that while I am a hard man, I am also fair. There is no discrimination, racial or otherwise, in my training room. Understand!? Good. Now we can begin."
—Kugi's introductory speed to his students.
Hard as Nails
Kugi profile pic
Name Kugi
Romaji Kugi
Race Shinigami
Professional Status
Affiliation Ryū Order
Occupation Combat Instructor
Seventh Division Lieutenant
Team Ryū Order
Partner Maki Zhijun
Shikai Ribaiasan
Bankai Ribaiasan no Iramachio
Ever heard the phrase 'as hard as nails?'. - Kenji-Taichō

Kugi (釘, Japanese for Nails) is an Instructor at the Yuengiri Academy, well-known for his drill-sergeant-like attitude and ability to bring forth ones talent. He is a skilled practitioner of the Yuengiri arts, as well as the Shinigami arts. He is known alternatively by the nickname given to him by his students, which is Hard as Nails.

A former Instructor at the Shinō Academy, Kugi is a man with plenty of experience training others. A relatively old veteran, despite his young appearance, Kugi was known to have had strong connections with the Kuchiki Clan during his time in Soul Society, but stepped aside to allow his friend, Kōga, to marry Ginrei's daughter.

Following the death of Rikimaru Ichinose, Maki Zhijun elevated Kugi to the rank of Lieutenant, for he was already a member of the Seventh Division. He ties with Tyrell Nishiki and Zero Ukitake as the only lieutenants capable of performing their Bankai release.

Character Outline Edit

Kugi is a hard-faced and generally stern individual, qualities saw predominately in his outer expression and general look. Despite his youthful appearance, Kugi is as old as Maki Zhijun and just as physically active, with a muscular physique at odds with his age. The scarred nature of his chest and lower body strike a further contrast. Entwining the entirety of his left arm and shoulder is a tattoo of a long, sinuous serpentine dragon that served as the inspiration for Kentaro Hiroshi's own dragon tattoo. In terms of clothing, Kugi wears a personally stylized Shihakushō (死覇装, Garment of Dead Souls), with a deep red-colored kosode, no shitagi at all and a dirty orange hakama-style dress worn on his legs. Draping his hakama is the red-colored sash he often dons. His kosode is worn in such a manner that it only ever covers his right shoulder, leaving his left arm, shoulder and a great deal of his chest revealed. He often has his left arm positioned inside his kosode, mimicking the effect of an arm strap, even though his arm works perfectly fine. Strapped to his back is a wooden sword used predominately to help train his students.

Kugi is as hard personality-wise as his stern, outward appearance generally suggests. He is an individual personified by his extreme dedication to the students of the Yuengiri Academy, as well as his reputation as being a true terror to receive any form of training from; though his ability to bring forth ones latent talent or hidden potential is truly astounding. Kusaka reckons this is the reason he is kept around. A man who believes strongly in the older methods, Kugi does not tolerate any technological training method, preferring hard graft labor to achieve ones power and grow as a result, which coincides with the natural training methods once held by the Yuengiri. In everyday situations away from the training grounds, Kugi is a man who likes to take things in his own stride and will not under any circumstances be rushed in his own free time, regardless of situation or how desperate a plea he hears. When he is training others he takes on qualities reminiscent of a drill sergeant, striking a very different style than fellow Yuengiri Instructors, such as Shiju Shūdō and Maki himself, being stricter than both generally are. He holds a personal record of making every new recruit at some point in their tutelage cry, regardless of social standing or bravery.

Background Edit

Synopsis Edit

Main Article - Bleach (Kenji Hiroshi).

Part II Edit

Part III Edit

Part IV Edit

Equipment Edit

Bokutō (木刀, Wooden Sword): a simple wooden sword in the form and shape of a formal katana which Kugi carries with him for use as a secondary weapon in conventional battles as well as a tool in training his students. He often carries it strapped to his back so as not to interfere with his everyday life. When teaching his students the Wan'nesu he does not use his sealed zanpakutō to perform the motions because of the unique style of his zanpakutō's hilt, which makes imitating him difficult for even the most skilled student. The Bokutō Kugi wields is made of layered wood reinforced with spiritual energy and is one of the many weapons forged by Kenji Hiroshi following the latter's skill for weapon forgery becoming known. The forging process grants the weapon enhanced resistance to impacts and force, cementing it as Kugi's secondary weapon which he sometimes uses in conjunction with his zanpakutō.

Powers and Abilities Edit

Wan'nesu Master: Being an instructor at the Yuengiri Academy responsible for teaching the Wan'nesu styles and the ideology of the Yuengiri, Kugi has remarkable skill in performing them and can teach the ideology flawlessly. At the time of the Ryū Order's formation, Kenji personally trained two instructors so they could recreate the styles within the Order. Kugi was one of the two individuals, the other being Maki Zhijun, affording him a diverse understanding of the Wan'nesu's applications as well as an in-depth knowledge regarding the style itself. He has advanced his skills enough to have harmonized the "mind", "body" and "soul" principles the styles attempt to create. Unlike some practitioners who may possess a pin-point or destructive form, Kugi favors an even-blended style that possesses traits of both, that has led Kenji to state that Kugi is ideal as an instructor to others based on this. Kugi's skill in the Wan'nesu is such that he uses it over traditional Zanjutsu forms, being considered a general Wan'nesu as well as swordsmanship master. His general swordsmanship prowess is further exemplified by his ability to wield his sealed zanpakutō so effortlessly in battle situations, considering the unique design of its hilt.

High Spiritual Energy: Kugi constantly exudes energy at the level of a Shinigami lieutenant, which has been noted to best most average lieutenants when fully exerted. However, it isn't the strength of, nor the feel of that makes Kugi famous within the Yuengiri Academy and its students. Having known and trained with Kōga, Kugi has demonstrated the same illusionary abilities Kōga also demonstrated, highlighting his impressive control over his own spiritual energy reserves.

Illusions: Kugi can direct his spiritual energy into others in such a unique manner that he can show them illusions, often in the form of detailed optical images. This ability throws off a persons senses, allowing for Kugi to show them what he wants them to see. However, while powerful, one with enough skill and control over their own powers can limit the effects of the illusions demonstrated. Kugi has also been known to utilize this as a means of training his students, using the illusionary properties to showcase the abilities while he comments on the styles performed.

Enhanced Durability: As an instructor who favors a hands-on approach to learning, Kugi is often put in situations where his students are attempting to showcase what they have learned in mock battles. During these sparring sessions he has shown himself fit to shrug off heavy blows from practice swords, later showing himself fit to stop a Hollows punch during a raid by Averian's Army and shrug off a Cero without succumbing to injury.

Zanpakutō Edit

Ribaiasan (リバイアサン, The Leviathan). Kugi's sealed zanpakutō is an average katana, at least in terms of blade length and appearance with an equally plain circular guard of a deep blue coloration. What makes it unique to any other sealed zanpakutō are the hilts - there are two of them leaving the base of the blade at a 45 degree angle, each with a deep blue-colored wrapping which lie threaded through Kugi's ōbi sash in the traditional manner. To have mastered such a uniquely designed weapon speaks volumes of Kugi's swordsmanship skill, as this does not encumber him in any way negatively. In fact, he often uses it as a means of disarming his opponents by jamming the blade between the two hilts and then twisting it from their grasp.

Shikai Special Ability: Assuming his Bankai is an expansion of his Shikai, Kugi's Ribaiasan allows him to control and manipulate water, though to what level is unknown.
Kugi's Bankai appearance

Kugi's appearance upon activating Ribaiasan no Iramachio.

  • Bankai: Ribaiasan no Iramachio (リバイアサンのイラマチオ, The Leviathan of the Deep): Kugi's Bankai changes his appearance, replacing his kosode with a decorative piece of armor which covers his right arm and shoulder only, leaving his left bare in the same fashion he usually favors in everyday situations. This armor bears many underwater images, including fish and sea serpents. His hakama-style trousers as well as accompanying sash also change to reflect this underwater motif, being of a light blue coloration with a serpents head showing prominently. In addition to the change in physical appearance, Ribaiasan no Iramachio forms a massive serpentine sea snake resembling the mythological leviathan to fight at Kugi's side.
Bankai Special Ability: Kugi gains the ability to control water as he sees fit for any purpose he can imagine, whether it to be in an offensive or defensive fashion. One of his more favored uses is forming a sphere of liquid around a foes head to drown them. In addition, he can control the summoned leviathan and attack in conjunction or in unison with the massive creature, whose strength and incredible girth make it a mighty force to contend with, even for the strongest of individual. Due to this second effect, many have remarked that Ribaiasan no Iramachio is the aquatic version of Tyrell Nishiki's Heruzubāningusan.
  • Sāpenta Rasen (サーペンタ螺旋, Serpentine Spiral): a technique which has the serpent summoned by Ribaiasan no Iramachio move around a target in a spiral formation alongside the water conjured by Kugi himself, which serves the purpose of filling in any gaps between the serpents body. The result is a spiraling prison that, in Kugi's words, is nigh on inescapable from. The serpent will then pull its body tight, crushing those trapped within against the serpents massive body. Kugi can then manipulate the water to skewer what remains when the serpent loosens its squeeze on the victim.
  • Mizuno Rasen (水の螺旋, Water Spiral): an offensive technique and one of Kugi's only close-range attacks. The technique involves creating a swirling mass of water in the palm of his hand, the force of which can create whirlpools when used with enough nearby water content. This spiral can be lunged into a foe with excessive damage potential due to the extreme rotation of the liquid. The rotation turns the liquid into a high-powered water jet of extreme pressure upon contact with the target's body, with enough power to cut through steel and other high-level defenses. This gives the "spiral" the shape of an actual wave extending from Kugi's hand upon contact, the spiral-shape serving the singular purpose of rotating the water to extreme degrees.

Behind the Scenes Edit

Note: The Following extract comes from

The Leviathan, sometimes referred to as Oroborus. This giant serpent of the water is one of the oldest and most menacing of dragons. In different versions of legend, this dragon has different appearances. Sometimes he has many heads, sometimes he has just one that is constantly devouring its tail in an endless cycle around the earths oceans.

In the bible, the leviathan is one of the first creatures to be created in the depths of the ocean. Generally associated with evil and Satan, this beast is said to be one of the Devil's warriors that will rise up to fight against the Good in the final battle. Other tales tell that the Leviathan will circle the earth until the end of the world when it will devour everything in the universe.

The symbolism of the eternal circle makes the Leviathan a reminder of the infinite, but the break that comes at his teeth as it devours his tail shows that change is constant and harsh. The Leviathan is an ancient myth of the sea, and has been a fear for sailors for many generations. The fear is both that they may be attacked and eaten by it, and that it signals the end of the flat earth and missing it may cause them to fall off the edge.

Trivia Edit

  • Kugi is possibly the first character on this wiki who has revealed their Bankai release before their Shikai.

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