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Bleach Vocabulary

Posted by Ken Cannon

Hey its Ken Cannon here, and I've been wanting to start a series of blog posts teaching certain anime series' "specific vocabulary words". Words that, if you are learning Japanese, you just can't do without if you're watching that show. And of course, they're not your typical textbook material.

So starting off with one of the biggest series out there, Bleach.

Ichigo Kurosaki

Shinigami (死神) - Death God/Soul Reapers 

This word is the most obvious, and as a result, most of you may already know of it. It's made up of the kanji  死 (shi) or death and the kanji for god 神 (kami).

This is a somewhat recently popular mystical character and you can find other verisions in the series Death Note, Full Moon Wo Sagashite, and Soul Eater.

soul reaper
Yes, souls are shiny

Tamashii (魄) - Soul

Souls are to Bleach as toilet paper is to a toilet, you can't have one without the other.

Spiritual Pressure
Exploding "Reiatsu"

Reiatsu (圧) - Spiritual Pressure 

Not really a real word in Japan, but since its used so much in Bleach I had to include it. Think of Chakra in Naruto.

Ken Cannon
Sharp Ken
Soul Cutter
Another sharp "ken"

Ken (剣) = ME/Sword

Yes my name also means sword, which is why I’m so sharp (oh, oh, see what I did there?)

Anyways, "zanpakutou" (斬魄刀) is what most people in bleach call their sword, literally - "soul-cutter sword", but they will use the word for sword as well so you should know it.. or maybe I just wanted to show off my mildly, really, actually, not all that cool, name...

13th Division
Captain of the 13th Squad

Taichou (隊長) - Captain

Probably the most spoken Bleach specific word. Everybody loves to talk to about their "Taichou."

9th Division Vice Captain
9th Division Lieutenant

Fuku Taichou (隊長) - Vice captain / Lieutenant

Probably the 2nd most spoken Bleach specific word, everybody also loves to talk about their "Fuku-Taichou"... but not as not much as their "taichou"... but still quite a lot... ok yeah that's enough..

A Hollow Mask
Ichigo's Hollow Mask

Kamen (仮面) - Mask

You’ll hear this word a lot in the Visored episodes, since people tend to have a lot of masks there.

Captains of the different divisions
The 13 Divisions

___ ban tai (隊) - Divisions/Squads

So For example...

1st division = Ichi ban tai

Ichi = 1
Ban=  “#” sign
Tai = Division

So you simply replace the ____ with the number of the division you're in.

Ichi- 1
Ni- 2
San- 3
Yon - 4
Go - 5
Roku - 6
Shichi - 7
Hachi - 8
Kyuu - 9
Jyuu - 10
Juu ichi - 11
Juu ni - 12
Juu san - 13

So that's it for now, for more Bleach related content come over to my newsletter.

Ken Cannon


  1. I love this post and am excited to see this series continue! You're so funny ken :P

  2. You forgot Kidou


    Soul Society... I don't remember if it has a Japanese Name

    gigai false body

    and ryoka which means traveling evils or something.

    there's probably more but yeah I'm at school and needed to kill some time.

    1. Cero is a spanish word. And if you hear in the anime they say soul society (actually soulo society)

  3. good good, but what about sou-taicho ( cpatain commander)

  4. Talking about zanpakutou you forgot the shikai(始解) and bankai(卍解). =P

    Naruto has genjutsu, taijustu, ninjutsu, and doujutsu. What about Bleach with kido(鬼道), hado(破道) and bakudo(縛道).

    I was gonna go to bed 30min ago, but I saw this and I got finished watching some Bleach. I can't believe I had to think so hard after watching Bleach to come up with just these few things. >_<

  5. Thanks for the additions guys! I tired to keep the post to "real" Japanese words, thats why I didn't include things like kidou and shika, or words that only exist in the bleach world.

    But I'm glad you mentioned them in the comments in case anyone is interested. ^^

  6. soul society is sereitei @wolf. there arent that many real japanese words used in bleach, i would like to add
    Nakama/ tomodochi -friend/ partner

  7. so how is 魂、剣、 福隊長、仮面、番隊  Bleach- specific vocabulary?? Those are normal Japanese words that you would hear frequently, or see them in books, novels, magazines...wherever.

    And why is it that there aren't many "real" Japanese words in Bleach?? What are you even saying? 98% of words they speak in Bleach are REAL Japanese words.

  8. Awsome list. This is my favorite anime next to naruto. It's really a great thing what you do you inspire me to want to learn Japanese. Thanks man

  9. im acctually learning some great words, all from yur you tube videos... and now this too....XD

  10. In my language "kamen" means "rock".... :D
    D: And thats so not important XD

  11. Ken, your too nice a guy,to respond to so many petty comments about vocabulary. Do what you think is best and don't worry about anime fan specific terms. They seem to have miss the point about learning japanese. If they watched your video carefully, you mentioned something about "looking up in a dictionary" certain terms. If it means that much to them about a specific anime they can look it up themselves. Those lazy "yarous" (hope I got the spelling right). Thanks again.

  12. When I look up the individual kanji for taichou I keep finding the 2nd character defined as "shin" or "tatsu". Does combining characters significantly change their pronunciation? Or are my dictionaries just insufficient?


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