13 Gotei Divisions - Most shinigami are members of this organization, which is divided into 13 divisions. Each division has a different function. Each division has a captain and a lieutenant and are further subdivided into squads lead by shinigami that have been given a ranked number in their division. Not all members of a division are ranked, however. A list of all the divisions can be seen on the 13 Gotei Divisions page.
(+) Allankar - hollows that remove their masks to make themselves more shinigami-like and gain more power. It's currently suspected that Sousuke Aizen, Gin Ichimaru, and Kaname Tousen have taken over this group with the intention of using the hougyoku to turn them into an army. (!)
Artificial Body - a fake physical body a shinigami enters when he or she is very low on power. This is partially to regenerate power and partially for protection since shinigami without their powers are often targetted by hollows and cannot defend themselves in that state. Most artificial bodies are made out of highly concentrated spiritrons, which allows shinigami to regain their spirit strength and makes artificial bodies trackable by Soul Society. However, there is an illegal type created by Kisuke Urahara (for which he got banished from Soul Society) that is not made of spiritrons. It is untracable by Soul Society, but continues to decompose the spirit strength of the shinigami using it and over time becomes difficult to connect with. Eventually the shinigami will be reduced to a normal human soul. (!)
(+) Bankai - the final form of a soul cutter. Like soul cutters themselves, the appearance and ability vary a lot. To achieve this form you need to achieve both materialization and domination of the soul cutter's true form, which usually takes about ten years of practice to achieve, although it has been accomplished in mere days using a tenshintai Generally the bankai form of a soul cutter is 5 to 10 times more powerful than its released form. Bankai is difficult to achieve and very few aside from captains manage it. Even after one manages to obtain it, generally 10 years of practice are required before one masters the sheer power and complexity of the weapon. If a bankai disappears without the owner's permission, it means the owner is close to death. (!)
Captain - a leader of one of the 13 divisions and always ranked as the strongest shinigami in that division. All captains have a white jacket with their division number written on the back. There are three ways to become a captain. The most common method is to pass an exam before three other captains, including the commander-general. The second method is getting recommendations from at least six of the captains and approval from at least three of the remaining seven captains. The last method is defeating the current captain in a one on one battle in front of at least two hundred members of that division. Most likely being able to use bankai is of the requirements since all the captains but one can use their bankai. (!)
Chain of Fate - connects the soul to the physical body. If it is cut, the person dies. Pluses have a remainder of this chain attached to their chest. If the plus has regrets from life, it will attach to something associated with that regret, making the plus either an earth-bound spirit or an obsessed spirit. Over time the remainder of it will erode, and when the erosion meets the plus's chest, that plus will become a hollow. Generally, this is a very painful process, but takes a very long time. This process can be sped up by putting the plus in a deep hole or by forcibly opening a hole in its chest.
(+) Division of Special Operations - also known as the "dark brigade." As with the 13 Gotei Divisions, they are divided into divisions. The 5th division's purpose is communication and is used as messengers for first class orders, which require the authority of two captains. It is not clear if this organization is part of the 13 Gotei Divisions or if it is a totally different organization. (!)
(+) Dual Terminus - the device used for executions in Soul Society. It resembles a huge halberd with blade pointed up and hilt in the ground and something like a goalpost (two tall towers with a horizontal bar connecting them near the top), which is called the arbor. It is usually only used on a captain rank shinigami. It has both the offensive and defensive capabilities of more than 100 soul cutters. When it is unsealed, the criminal is raised up so his or her head is at the crossbar of the arbor with arms stretched out perpendicular from his or her body. The halberd then rises out of the ground engulfed in flame and changes into its true form, called Kikou, a huge fiery bird that contains the destructive power of a million soul cutters. The execution is administered by Kikou piercing the criminal's body. (!)
Denreishinki - resembles a cell phone. Shinigami in the field use it to get orders from Soul Society, usually about the time and place a hollow will attack. The orders will disappear after the hollow has been killed or sent to Soul Society.
(+) Eyepatch - an infinite-energy-sucking monster created by the Institute of Technological Research specifically for Kenpachi Zaraki to help him suppress his spirit aura more than he can on his own. On the front it looks like a normal eyepatch, but on the reverse size it has several eyes and mouths. It is worn like a normal eyepatch. (!)
Earth-Bound Spirit - a plus that is bound to a place by its chain of fate because of a regret regarding that location. Earth-bound spirits assimilate with the land they're bound to so Soul Society rarely detects them.
Gate - a gateway between the real world and Soul Society. Shinigami can open one using their soul cutter like a key, but this type of gate only works with bodies made of spiritrons. However, there is a special type of gate that can convert real matter into spiritrons, but takes 10 days to construct. Unless the person entering the gate is accompanied by a hell butterfly they will have to traverse dangai before they can reach the other side of the gate. (!)
"Ghost Bust" - Miso "Don" Kanonji's TV show "Journey to Bust Ghosts on Hallowed Ground" or "Ghost Bust" for short. It is very popular among younger people and has over 25% viewer rating. It shows on Wednesdays at 8PM.
Hakusui - the origin of one's spiritual power. The soul of a spirit. (!)
Hell Butterfly - resembles a black swallowtail butterfly. In Soul Society they are used as messengers and in the real world they are used to deliver spirits to Soul Society. Without their accompaniment through a gate, one must travel through dangai in four minutes to exit the gate. (!)
Hollow - a bad spirit, which resembles a monster. Hollows come in many different forms with many different abilities, but they always have two distinguishing features: 1) white masks covering their faces and 2) holes in their chests where their chains of fates used to be. Hollows are instinctual beings and are hungry to fill the emptiness in their hearts by eating high density souls (in other words someone with high spiritual powers). They first go after their family members and after that will eat any high density spirit, living or dead, they come across. If a hollow is cut by a soul cutter then it will be cleansed of its sins after death and go to Soul Society, where it can live as a normal spirit. A plus can become a hollow if its chain of fate totally erodes away, if a hole is forced to open in its chest where the chain of fate connects to its body, or if it is not protected from a hollow. Turning into a hollow is a very painful. Usually it begins with the spirit deconstructing and reconstructing elsewhere and then forming a mask over its face. If hollow formation does not occur in this order it means the spirit is fighting becoming a hollow. A list of all the hollows that appear in Bleach can be seen on the hollows page.
Hollow Bait - a small coin-like object that attracts hollows when crushed.
(+) Hollownize - the process of a shinigami becoming more like a hollow. The only known reproduceable method for doing this completely is by using the hougyoku. Hollownizing allows the shinigami to surpass his or her natural ability limits and gain more power. (!)
(+) Hougyoku - a material created by Kisuke Urahara that immediately breaks down the barrier between shinigami and hollow, allowing hollownization or shinigaminization to occur. It resembles a small clear crystal with a black spherical center. There is no known way of destroying this material. (!)
(+) Institute of Technological Research - Founded by Kisuke Urahara, who was also its first president, it is currently directed by Mayuri Kurotsuchi. Their primary focus is research and inventing new technologies, such as the eyepatch and artificial body. It is unclear if this organization is separate from the 13 Gotei Divisions or if it is an alternate name for the 12th division. (!)
(+) Karakura Superheroes - a group that fights hollows in Karakura created by Misao "Don" Kanonji, who is also its gold ranger. This group also includes Jinta Hanakari (red ranger who attacks using a bat), Karin Kurosaki (red ranger who attacks by kicking soccer balls), and Ururu Tsumugiya (pink ranger who attacks using a bazooka.) (!)
Kidou - one of the four powers possessed by shinigami. It is a type of magic technique used by shinigami. It's used by imagining a black circle in one's mind and then imagining moving towards the center of that circle. There are several different types of kidou. A bakudou is a restraint technique and a hadou is a destructive technique. Kuukaku Shiba has her own special type of kidou used for fireworks, which she calls Kakaku Shahou and Ganjuu Shiba has a spell of no classified type. The incantation of a kidou doesn't need to be spoken for it to be cast, however, there is a decrease in power. The higher the number of kidou, the greater the power decrease. (!) A list of all the kidou used in bleach can be seen on the kidou page.
Kojaku - a quincy's spirit weapon. It's created by combining spirit energy in the air with the quincy's personal spirit energy. A bracelet with a cross-like charm attached to it is needed to create the kojaku.
Lieutenant - the second in command and the second strongest shinigami in one of the 13 Gotei Division. All lieutenants have an armband to indicate their rank in their division. Like with captains there are a number of ways to get this position, but the most common one is to pass an exam. (!)
Memory Replacer - a small device that resembles a lighter. Shinigami use it by placing it under someone's nose and flicking it. A small explosion will occur and the person will fall unconscious. When they awake it will have replaced their memories of any encounters hollows and shinigami with a random memory.
Modified Soul - sometimes called "mod soul." These were created by shinigami to act as soldiers to fight hollows by inhabiting dead bodies during Operation Spearhead. Often they have supernatural abilities in an area, such as jumping far higher than normal humans can do. Ones with enhanced leg abilities are called "underpods." The project was abandoned before it got off the ground, and all mod souls were ordered to be destroyed. However, some have managed to survive the destruction.
Plus - a good spirit, what is normally referred to as a ghost. To those who can see and hear ghosts, they look exactly the same as their physical bodies, except they have a broken off chain attached to their chests. If the plus has regrets during life its chain will wrap around something associated with that regret, making it either an earth-bound spirit or an obsessed spirit. Either a plus will get sent to Soul Society via a soul burial given by a shinigami it eventually will become a hollow.
Quincy - humans with spiritual abilities who developed techniques to fight hollows. They gather spiritual energy from outside their bodies to make a kojaku to shoot the hollows. Unlike a soul cutter, which purifies a hollow and sends it to Soul Society, quincies kill them, which upset the balance of souls between the real world and Soul Society. So, 200 years ago shinigami killed off most of the quincy to prevent a total disruption of the balance of souls and the destruction of the world. There are only a few alive today.
(+) Ransoutengai - a quincy technique that allows the user to use his or her body like a puppet by attaching strings of spiritrons to different parts of the body. It is generally used by the elderly when fighting because their bodies are starting to fail. (!)
Released - the second form of a soul cutter. Unlike the sealed form, this form is unique for every soul cutter. To achieve this form the shinigami needs to learn the name of their soul cutter. Most shinigami are able to achieve this form. A soul cutter will revert back to its sealed form if its owner is unconscious or near death.
(+) Sanrei Glove - a special quincy glove that deflects spiritrons. The average quincy will have a hard time forming a kojaku with it, but if one manages to form and maintain a kojaku for seven days and seven nights that person will reach the height of his or her powers. However, if it is ever taken off after that the amount of spiritrons that quincy draws will be more than he or she can handle. There will be an enormous temporary boost in power and then after that he or she will lose all of his or her powers. (!)
Sealed - the first form of a soul cutter. In this form all soul cutters resemble a normal katana. Some soul cutters naturally remain in their released form all the time, but these are rare and looked down upon by most shinigami.
(+) Sekkiseki - a material that blocks spirtual pressure and spiritrons. It also releases a wave from all cut surfaces and can be used to create a spherical barrier around something by using it as the building material for a wall. (!)
Shinigami - literally means "God of Death" but in Japanese mythology is closer to a grim reaper in function. The appearance of shinigami varies greatly between stories. In Bleach shinigami wear black traditional Japanese clothes (unless the shinigami has been drained of his or her powers, in which case the clothes are white). They are invisible to almost all humans except those who have extremely high spiritual abilities. Shinigami have the ability to use kidou, hakuda, instant step, and soul cutters. Their main purpose is to maintain order in Soul Society and to regulate contact between Soul Society and the real world, including sending plus spirits and hollows to Soul Society. They are organized into the 13 Gotei Divisions, where some of them are given ranks. There may also be other shinigami organizations, but currently this unclear. A list of all the shinigami that are members of the 13 Gotei Divisions can be seen on the shinigami page.
(+) Shinigaminize - the process of a hollow becoming more like a shinigami. This can only be done completely using hougyoku, although some achieve parital shinigaminization by removing their masks. Shinigaminizing allows the hollow to surpass its natural ability limits and gain more power. (!)
Shock Point - a serum issued to members of the 4th division. It causes someone with low spirit energy to collapse if a few drops touch bare skin.
Shun Shun Rikka - literally meaning "Shield of 6 Dancing Flowers," it is a power unique to Orihime Inoue. 6 fairy-like beings spring from her hair pins whenever she wants to protect someone desperately. Each fairy-like being seems to have its own personality and name, but they are all actually part of her soul. They have three functions: making a protective shield (done by Hinagiku, Baigon, and Lily), restoring anything within a barrier (done by Shunou, who is their captain, and Ayame), and splitting an enemy in two (done by Tsubaki). To make a shield she must say "Hinagiku, Baigon, Lily, santen kesshun. I repel thee!" To restore something she must say "Shunou, Ayame, souten kishun. I repel thee!" To split an enemy in two she must say "Tsubaki, kouten zanshun. I repel thee!" After practice she's become able to use these powers without saying the command phrases, however. (!)
Soul Burial - the process by which a shinigami sends a plus to Soul Society. It is done by putting the bottom of a soul cutter's hilt on the plus's forehead. A mark which means "living death" will appear on the plus's forehead after the soul cutter is removed and it will turn into a hell butterfly and fly off to Soul Society.
Soul Candy - a medicine developed to separate the spirit from the body. It is usually used to force out a dead spirit that does not want to leave its body, but can be used to separate living spirits out of their bodies as well. It also places a fake soul in the body with a specially designed personality so the change will go unnoticed.
Soul Cutter - one of the four powers possessed by shinigami. It is appears in the form of a sword or some type of weapon, but is actually part of the shinigami's soul and its size and shape reflects the shinigami's power. In the real world it purifies the sins of hollows after their deaths, allowing them to go to Soul Society. Every soul cutter has a name and most soul cutters have both a sealed and a released form, although there are a rare few that are always in released form once the sword has been released. In theory all soul cutters should also have a bankai form, although most shinigami never manage to achieve bankai. In Soul Society a soul cutter can kill spirits and shinigami. (!) A list of all the soul cutters that appear in Bleach can be seen on the soul cutters page.
(+) Spirit Core - a transparent ball about the size of a basketball. When the user puts his or his or her spirit energy into it, like when using kidou, a hard transparent shell made of spiritrons will appear around the user. (!)
Spirit Thread - a visualization of spirit aura that can only be done by high level shinigami. All spirit threads are white except those of shinigami, which are red. They're used to track the location of a spirit.
(+) Spiritual Wall - the wall separating Rukongai from the Court of Pure Spirits. It is made out of a special material called sekkiseki. There are four gates in the spiritual wall. The west gate is Hakutou Gate. The other gates are Kokuryou Gate (the north gate), Shouryuu Gate (the east gate), and Shuwai Gate (the south gate). (!)
(+) Tenshintai - a rare artifact from the Division of Special Operations that forcefully materializes the soul of a soul cutter. It is used by stabbing the soul cutter into it, but requires someone else to maintain the materialization. (!)
(+) Vizored - Vizored are beings that have broken down the barriers between shinigami and hollow using illegal methods. Subsequently, they are very powerful and have access to soul cutters, but not much else is known about them. (!)