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Soul Society (??? (?????????), Souru Sosaeti; Japanese for “Dead Spirit World”) is an afterlife. This is also where Shinigami live and where most Souls dwell until they are reincarnated into the Human World.
Shinigami enter and leave Soul Society by unlocking the Senkaimon and using a Jigokuch?. Pluses, on the other hand, enter Soul Society through the ritual of 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. Intruders 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 (?????, Spirit Exchangers), which convert solid matter into Reishi. Finally, Hollows can also directly rip a hole to Soul Society from Hueco Mundo, or in the case of Arrancar, using a Garganta.
Exile: Certain crimes allows for the punishment of exile, commonly stripping a Shinigami of their powers and banishing them to the Human World.
Detention: A punishment not well known among the citizens of Soul Society is the detention of Shinigami. It is commonly reserved for those who have either broken the law, quit the Gotei 13, or those who just seem dangerous and mentally unstable (as per the government’s interpretation). This is carried out by the Onmitsukid?.
Imprisonment: The Central 46 can sentence a Shinigami to be held in the Central Great Underground Prison (???????, shin’?chikadaikangoku) for a set amount of time. The prison has eight levels which prisoners are confined in based on the severity of their crimes. For the use of forbidden Kid? techniques, Tessai Tsukabishi was sentenced to be confined in Shugo (??, Gathering Group), the 3rd level of the underground prison. For the crime of treason, S?suke Aizen was sentenced to be imprisoned for 20,000 years in Muken (??, Voided Space), the 8th and final level of the underground prison underneath the First Division barracks.
Sealing: If a renegade Shinigami is resisting arrest and proves to be too powerful to be restrained or executed, they would be opted to be sealed away to prevent further damage. K?ga Kuchiki and Baishin were both sealed away when they retaliated against the Shinigami sent to kill them.
There are two known forms of execution in Soul Society:
Spirit-Sealing Pit: The Spirit-Sealing Pit is an ancient form of execution in which Shinigami criminals are thrown into a pit walled with sekki sekki rock – a type of stone that absorbs spiritual power, preventing those nearby from using their powers. Hollows are then thrown into the pit with the criminals as the means of execution. The practice was considered too barbaric and discontinued, and the Spirit-Sealing Pits were converted into garbage dumps.
S?kyoku (??, Twinned Punishment): The “ultimate punishment”, S?kyoku is a form of execution usually reserved for those with extremely strong spiritual powers, namely Shinigami captains. The S?kyoku is a giant halberd that utterly destroys a soul on contact. When released, S?kyoku takes on the form of a phoenix, its true form, called Kik??. The Kik?? has the destructive power of a million Zanpakut?, and that power is multiplied by a factor of 10 at the moment it pierces its victim. It was destroyed by J?shir? Ukitake and Shunsui Ky?raku.
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