Bleach: What Is the Sakahone Where Ukitake is Praying?

Bleach: What Is the Sakahone Where Ukitake is Praying?
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As far as Bleach characters go, Jūshirō Ukitake is definitely one of the more intriguing personalities we have seen in the series. Although Yamamoto praised him as one of his two best students of all time, Ukitake was of frail health and never had an overly active role in the fights. Still, during the fight against the Quincies, Ukitake played a major role in the story that would ultimately lead to a very sad ending to the story of this noble Captain. Now, in the most recent episode of the series, we’ve seen Ukitake preying in a special place while the Sternritter attacked the Seireitei during Yhwach’s invasion. In this article, we will tell you about Sakahone and its importance for the series.

Sakahone is the 76th district of the Rukongai, one of only ten districts that have been identified so far. It is a district known for worshipping Mimihagi, the right hand of the Soul King, which represents “Stillness.” It is also famous for being the place where Captain Jushiro Ukitake and his family grew up. The shrine in which he was praying was dedicated to Mimihagi, and Ukitake communicated with the deity inside him so that they could prepare for the future. It is unknown whether the name of this district has any relation to Saizō Sakahone, the first Captain of the 13th Division.

The rest of this article will provide you with some information on the geography of Soul Society, as well as the history of both the world of the souls and Captain Ukitake. We are about to explain the importance of this brief scene from the most recent episode so you can fully interpret it. This article is, of course, going to be full of spoilers, so be careful how you approach it.

Sakahone has a very important place in the lore as it is connected to both Captain Ukitake and Mimihagi, and potentially another character as well

In the most recent episode of Bleach, Yhwach launched the second invasion of the Seireitei and replaced it with his Wandenreich, which will allow his Sternritter to fight “in the shadows” without any restrictions. The replacement engulfed only the Seireitei, while the remaining parts of Soul Society were not influenced.

As the shadows engulfed the Seireitei, we saw Kiyone Kotetsu and Sentarō Kotsubaki, Ukitake’s Lieutenants, rushing toward their Captain to inform him what was happening to the Seireitei. Ukitake was, at that moment, in a shrine, praying to someone, and we only saw him for a brief moment from the back. This scene did not reveal much, but it is a very important moment that we need to explain.

First, where was Ukitake? Well, he was in Sakahone. Sakahone is a district of the Rukongai, one of only ten identified districts. Rukongai is the largest part of Soul Society and surrounds Seireitei, the place where the Shinigami live. It consists of a total of 320 districts, 80 in the north, 80 in the west, and so on.

The numbering depends on the distance to the center, i.e., Seireitei. Those districts with a low number are particularly good in terms of living conditions, while the districts with increasing numbers become more and more like slums. For example, Junrinan, the first district, is peaceful, and the residents respect the law, while District 80, Zaraki, is riddled with crime and violence, and the souls there are meant to be more like animals than civilized people.

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Since the shinigami don’t seem to watch over the Rukongai, it’s up to the residents to maintain law and order.

Sakahone is the 76th District and the district where the Ukitake family lived. It is also known as the place where Mimihagi, a Soul Society deity and the Right Arm of the Soul King, is worshipped. And would you believe it, there is a relationship between the Ukitake family and Mimihagi. Namely, Captain Ukitake is the eldest son of the Ukitake family, which is a family of low-ranking nobles. He has five brothers and two sisters, whom he mainly supports and cares for on his own.

But, while he was one of the first Shinigami to graduate from Yamamoto’s Academy and was held in high regard by the former Captain-Commander, along with his friend, Kyoraku, Ukitake had been plagued by a lung illness since childhood, a disease that was set to kill him early on. But, his parents were very religious, and they prayed to Mimihagi to save the boy’s life, so Mimihagi decided to grant them their wish, and the deity became a part of Ukitake’s body; it did not heal him, but it helped him significantly and allowed him to live a relatively long life, although fits of illness plagued him from time to time.

Based on the gravity of the situation and Ukitake’s knowledge, we can almost certainly assume that the shrine he was seen praying in is the same one that his parents went to pray to Mimihagi to save Jushiro’s life. Ukitake, thus, went there to communicate with Mimihagi, quite probably to discuss the future.

Namely, knowing that the Soul King was in danger, Ukitake realized that they might need Mimihagi’s help to save him, so he discussed it with the deity and decided, later on, to sacrifice himself by setting Mimihagi free to stabilize the dying Soul King. And while this plan ultimately failed and resulted in Ukitake’s death, Yhwach was eventually defeated by Ichigo Kurosaki and his allies, so Ukitake’s sacrifice was not in vain in the end.

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Sakahone is, thus, an enigmatic and important place, as it meant a lot to Ukitake personally, but it also played an important role in the lore due to the connection to Mimihagi. Interestingly enough, it also shares its name (and spelling) with Saizō Sakahone, the first Captain of the 13th Division from more than 1,000 years ago, but it is not known if there is an actual connection there or if it is just a coincidence.

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