While Rukia Kuchiki initially describes Soul Society as something of a paradise, where nine out of ten times it is better than the living world and hunger is never a problem, Soul Society is portrayed as anything but sublime. In fact, aside from the slowed aging and aforementioned lack of hunger, life there is much like that in the living world.
The Soul Society 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 and Soul Society 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.
Entering Soul SocietyEdit
Shinigami enter and leave Soul Society by unlocking the Senkaimon using a Jigokuchō. Pluses, on the other hand, enter Soul Society through the ritual of Konso, (Soul Burial). 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.
Outsiders 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 Jigokuchō forces intruders to pass through the Dangai. This is much more dangerous to do, as souls that cannot pass through before the gate to Soul Society closes are trapped there forever.
Hollows can also directly rip a hole to Soul Society from Hueco Mundo, or in the case of Arrancar, using their ability of Garganta.
Soul Society is ruled by a Spirit 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 "specialty 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 Shinjitsu Makito. It is unknown whether any Shinigami has laid eyes on the Spirit King.
See Main Article ~ Noble Houses
Another part of the government are the Noble Houses, especially four of the Noble Families, which are considered to be the highest of them all. The lower noble houses all serve one of the four each.
See Main Article ~ 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; though others have found out about 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.
See Main Article ~ Central 46
Central 46: The Central 46 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 the Seireitei called the Central 46 Compound which no one else may enter, regardless of their military or civilian status. They act 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.
- 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(s) 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.
- 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.
- It is against the law to defect from Soul Society, those who do so will be pursued by the Omnitsukido in order to prevent them from upsetting the balance between the worlds (This is very lax when it comes to Shinigami beneath the level of a 3rd seated officer. As those are unlikely to harm the boundaries in any way)
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