- "Looks like we're done here, Shiju. I've taught you all I can. Now get out of my face before I kick you out, y'hear?"
- —Yoshiaki to Shiju upon completion of the latter's training.[src]
|Previous Affiliation||Shiju Shūdō|
|Previous Partner||Shiju Shūdō|
Yoshiaki Hiroshi (吉明寛, Hiroshi Yoshiaki) was a Captain-class Shinigami exiled from the Gotei 13 due to the machinations of Kagura, which almost saw him executed by the Central 46. He later became the teacher of Shiju Shūdō in the arts of the Yuengiri, but met his death at the hands of Averian during the early stages of the First Spiritual War. In life he was the older brother of Koichi Hiroshi and an old friend of Ryōta Hachirō, but became estranged from both as he grew; regardless, the impact he made on both men during his life was profound. Ryōta, specifically, took Yoshiaki's adopted nephew Kenji to the Soul King Palace for specialized training so Kenji could avenge Yoshiaki's death. As a child he received direct tutelage regarding the near-extinct Yuengiri philosophy from Sousetsu Shiba.
- "I should have known his bad sense of direction rubbed off on me."
- —Shiju on Yoshiaki's terrible sense of direction.
Yoshiaki was a complex character whom Anika Shihōin thought be the classic "lone-wolf-type", and was shocked to discover he had changed since his younger days; he actually came to value camaraderie. He wasn't one to stand by and do nothing when someone was under threat and often leapt to their defence; this included complete strangers, which was how he met Shiju Shūdō. Yoshiaki would come to develop a father-son bond with the boy alongside their teacher-student relationship, and subsequently passed on everything he knew to the boy. He always managed to maintain a jovial and joking attitude and, when he finished Shiju's training, told the young man to get out of his face before he kicked him out his door.
Yoshiaki's history prior to joining the Gotei 13 is not largely known because he never attended the Shinō Academy. Even the division he served in has been lost to the annals of history. He doesn't even wield a Zanpakutō: the blade, however, appears to be ancient, and is capable of safely destroying Hollow without endangering the Spirit Cycle of Souls. Prior to his joining of the organization Yoshiaki was trained extensively in the arts of the Yuengiri by Sousetsu Shiba up until the latter's death.
During his tenure with the Gotei 13 Yoshiaki was involved in an incident orchestrated by Kagura, though he never elaborated on the matter beyond to say that he was betrayed and scapegoated. He was arrested and tried by the Central 46 for treason, and sentenced to execution for his crimes. Before this could be carried out however Yoshiaki was freed by Anika Shihōin and he fled into the vast Rukongai before eventually settling in the World of the Living. He would elude the Onmitsukidō as a wanted criminal for the remainder of his days, but continued to seek information regarding Kagura and actively sought to foil whatever plans he was concocting.
Following Kenji Hiroshi's trial in absentia by the Central 46, Yoshiaki sought out the boy, noting that it was a favour to Koichi Hiroshi, whom he revealed to be his younger brother. He spent three months finishing off Kenji's Yuengiri training which had been started by Kyoaku and returned to the life of a vagabond afterwards. Before doing so he warned Kenji of Kagura, claiming his unique situation would undoubtedly make him a target.
During Shiju Shūdō's tenure within the Shinō Academy the latter's class was attacked by a strange creature seemingly on Kagura's orders, which led Yoshiaki to intervene on the student's behalf. During the battle that followed Yoshiaki realized that the creature possessed a peculiar spiritual make-up, noting that he sensed not only the reiatsu of a Shinigami, but that of a Hollow and Quincy besides. Despite a difficult battle that saw him lightly injured Yoshiaki successfully impaled the creature through the chest, which caused it to go berserk. It attempted to fire what Yoshiaki correctly deduced to be a Cero, but the energy backfired, resulting in a large explosion.
Yoshiaki subsequently vanished from the scene but not before introducing himself to Shiju who was, in Yoshiaki's own words, the only one amongst them with a backbone.
He then travelled back to the Soul Society to converse with Anika. He hoped she might have some news regarding the mysterious creature he had fought, but when he met with her in the Rukongai he discovered that she knew as little about the creature as he did, though she claimed it had certain elements in the Gotei 13 concerned. She promised to dig deeper and asked Yoshiaki to be patient and wait, which led him to request that she also keep tabs on a boy by the name of Shiju, as a personal favour. When Anika questioned him as to his intentions -- noting that he was only an academy student -- he responded that he saw something of himself in the boy, and feared that he might have seen something during the battle that could make him a potential target. Anika agreed to his request. Two days later Yoshiaki was informed by Anika that she had a bad feeling in her gut, prompting Yoshiaki to claim that these feelings of her where usually right. He left to "watch and observe" and, with Anika's help, entered the Seireitei for the first time since his exile.
Yoshiaki spent the next month watching events unfold whilst building up a picture of what had happened, coming to the conclusion that it truly had been Kagura responsible. Anika asked him what he intended to do if Kagura slipped up and he was given an opportunity to take revenge, with him replying he wasn't here to exact revenge. He claimed he had already made peace with the past and that only pain remained there. He resolved to look to the future which seemingly met with Anika's approval. She then informed him of a way into the Academy. She led him into an adjoining room which contained an unconscious man. Yoshiaki asked who he was and Anika claimed he was an instructor at the academy; one who happened to have a similar build and appearance to Yoshiaki, which wouldn't raise so much suspicion. She further suggested that he hurry up and proceed, which prompted him to ask why. Anika merely told him to go. Her foresight, thankfully, put Yoshiaki in the direct path of events once more. Yoshiaki arrived in-time to notice a very strange occurrence: the student body was seemingly chasing a lone student -- the boy he rescued a month prior -- and looked to be after blood. Yoshiaki intervened and knocked the pursuing students unconscious with a wave of spiritual pressure and proceeded to remove himself and Shiju from the scene with an impressive Shunpo, whilst telling the boy all would be well. Yoshiaki returned to Anika's safe house and explained to her what had transpired with Shiju, seemingly exhausted, falling into a deep sleep.
As young Shiju slept Anika inquired as to Yoshiaki's intentions, noting that neither of them could stay here for long. Yoshiaki claimed that the Gotei 13 and Onmitsukidō would be after them now, which said nothing of Kagura and his minions. He further noted that there best chance of survival was to stick together. Anika, somewhat surprised by this, notes that Yoshiaki has changed. She claims he used to be a lone-wolf-type and shows interest in what changed this, though Yoshiaki waves her off, claiming that that particular tale is one he'll never tell. When Shiju awakens the two are pleasantly surprised both by his quick grasping of the situation and by his resolve when he makes it known he wishes to remain with Yoshiaki, who tells him this was the plan. Anika could only admire Shiju's resolve in the face of such adversity, remarking that he'd grow up to become quite a revolutionary, much like her own students. Yoshiaki, in reply, claims that a revolutionary needs to be able to fight his own battles, and further states that he intends to spearhead Shiju's training and asks if he has ever heard of the Yuengiri.
- Main Article - Bleach (Kenji Hiroshi).
Part I Edit
- Main article -- Bleach: Sun and Moon Chronicles.
Machinations arc Edit
Temple Master arc Edit
Part II Edit
- Main article -- Bleach: War of the Worlds.
- Hollow-killing Sword (虚殺剣, Kyozatsu Tsurugi): an ancient battle-worn katana thought by some to be the precursor to the modern Zanpakutō. It was capable of safely destroying Hollow without endangering the Spirit Cycle of Souls but possessed no advanced forms to aid the wielder. Following his death the weapon passed into the possession of Shiju Shūdō and later, from there, the research department of the Six Directions.
Powers and Abilities Edit
Great Spiritual Energy: Despite possessing no Zanpakutō and thus no Bankai, Yoshiaki was easily a Captain-class combatant. He was powerful enough not to be overwhelmed by Kagura's prototype and was capable of, albeit with great difficulty, engage the likes of Averian for an extended duration.
Yuengiri Mastery: Yoshiaki utilized the Wan'nesu as his sole form of swordsmanship in conjunction with its more advanced applications, which served him well against Kagura's prototype Tsuji. His calm swordplay worked against the creatures instinctual and wild attacks, eventually enabling Yoshiaki to run it through the chest. His mastery extended to the teaching of others for Yoshiaki successfully passed on everything he knew to Shiju. In addition he was one of a very select group of people capable of engaging Averian for more than a few moments before being overwhelmed, which is indicative of his extreme skill in bringing his form to bear.
- Calmness: Yoshiaki wore calmness as one might wear a jacket. His inner peace and connection with the world around him was such that, even when taken by surprise or shocked by news, he quickly reasserted himself. He was notably fit to keep his cool even when engaging Averian; this is notable considering Yoshiaki knew he was going to die, yet his calmness in the face of this grim truth meant it never impacted his mind or harmony at all.
- Jinzen: Despite possessing no Zanpakutō with which to converse with Yoshiaki nevertheless mastered Jinzen. Instead of his sword he conversed with and built a relationship with the world around him; specifically the souls residing in nature, greatly easing his ability to borrow power from nature.
Battle Aura Edit
Yoshiaki utilized his Battle Aura like a Shinigami would their Bankai and was what he fell back on when particularly hard-pressed, or was in a particular hurry.
- Battle Aura (一戦霊気, Issenreiki): Yoshiaki assumed a form not unlike that of a fallen Tenshi with black-as-night wings which quickly became his go-to form for battle. This led to the false assumption that he was once an inhabitant of Tougenkyou and a user of Wisdom, which he did not always deny. This Battle Aura allowed him access to flight and a myriad of feather-based abilities which he commonly combined with Kidō to overwhelm his opponents from afar. In addition, by wrapping himself in these wings, Yoshiaki was capable of limited teleportation.