Who Is Ichigo’s Mother, Masaki Kurosaki, & What Happened to Her?
Ever since the Bleach anime started, one of the things that we learned about Ichigo Kurosaki is that his mother died when he was just a young boy. We also learned that his Hollow powers came from his mother, who we know is Masaki Kurosaki. But episode 11 of Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War arc revealed that Ichigo is actually part Quincy from his mother’s side. So, who is Masaki Kurosaki, and what happened to her?
Masaki Kurosaki was an Echt Quincy and was taken in by the Ishida family when the rest of the Kurosaki clan died. She met Isshin during the former captain’s fight with a Hollow named White, and that was when the Hollow transferred its Hollowfication to her. She died in an attack by the Hollow called Grand Fisher.
The fact that Masaki was a Quincy the entire time was one of the biggest developments in the storyline of Bleach because this changed the entire identity of Ichigo, whose Zanpakutō needed to find its own identity as well. It is also the fact that Ichigo learned that he was a Quincy all along that allowed him to become stronger in preparation for his fight with Yhwach. Now, that said, let’s look at who Ichigo’s mother is.
Who Is Masaki Kurosaki?
One of the things that we always knew about Ichigo ever since the earlier part of the Bleach anime was the fact that he had Hollow powers. Of course, this came as a surprise for a lot of fans during the time that this was revealed, as it was incredibly rare for Shinigami to have Hollow abilities and powers. And the fact is that Ichigo’s Hollow side was an entirely different persona that took over his body during the times when Ichigo was unable to defeat his opponents.
We eventually saw Ichigo learning how to control his Hollow side, as he was able to harness its powers and use Hollowfication to his advantage. It was the fact that he harnessed the powers of his Hollow side that he was able to defeat the Arrancar and Ulquiorra, who was arguably the strongest among all of Aizen’s Espada. And we also found out early in the series that Ichigo’s Hollow side was something that he inherited from his mother.
But Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War changed things regarding Ichigo’s bloodline, especially when he used Blut Vene, a Quincy power, in his first encounter with Yhwach. And it was in episode 11 of The Thousand-Year Blood War that we got to learn more about Ichigo’s mother’s true story.
All this time, most fans thought that Masaki Kurosaki was a regular human being that happened to have been infected by Hollow powers that she passed on to Ichigo. But what we learned in episode 11 was the fact that Masaki was actually an Echt Quincy, which means that she is a full-blood Quincy with a bloodline that’s directly connected to Yhwach.
However, as a teenager, the entire Kurosaki Echt Quincy bloodline died out, with only Masaki surviving the ordeal. As such, the Ishida family took her in so that she could one day marry Ryuken Ishida and mix their pure bloodlines together to continue the Ishida Echt Quincy bloodline. In that regard, she was always a pure-blooded Quincy but wasn’t connected to the other Echt Quincy that were allied with the recovering Yhwach years before Ichigo was even born.
Masaki Kurosaki met Isshin Shiba, who is the father of Ichigo Kurosaki, when he was still a captain in the Gotei 13. Isshin went to Naruki City personally after hearing reports that Shinigami in that area were getting killed. He learned that a powerful Hollow with an all-black armored body had been killing Shinigami in that area. Initially proving to be more than a match for the Hollow called White, Isshin eventually struggled against it after he was attacked from behind by Aizen.
Isshin, however, was saved by Masaki, who rushed to the scene of the fight after she felt a strong spiritual presence all the way from the mansion of the Ishida family. She used her Reiatsu Bow against White, who proved to be fast enough to evade her shots. In that regard, Masaki allowed White to get close enough to her to bite her before dealing a fatal blow that forced the Hollow to self-destruct. Luckily, Isshin saved Masaki from the explosion, and the two eventually became friendly with one another.
Over time, Masaki’s relationship with Isshin improved, such that they began seeing one another despite the fact that there were hostile relationships between the Quincys and Soul Society. But what they didn’t know was that White’s bite actually allowed it to transfer its Hollowfication to her, as Ryuken was forced to take Masaki out of their house out of fear of what the Ishida family might do to her if they found out.
What Happened To Masaki Kurosaki?
After Ryuken took Masaki out of their house, Isshin and Urahara found out about what happened to Masaki. Urahara, luckily for Masaki, had a solution that he proposed to Isshin to stop Masaki from becoming a Hollow. He revealed that he had been studying Hollowfication and discovered a failed process that used Hollowfication to strengthen a Shinigami. But this process was never tested on a Quincy.
In that regard, Isshin sacrificed his Shinigami powers in an effort to suppress the Hollow side within Masaki. Using Urahara’s process, Isshin’s Shinigami side entered the inner world of Masaki, where it stayed so that it could suppress the Hollow side that was trying to take over Quincy. In return, Isshin was forced to live the life of an ordinary human being.
Upon graduating from high school, Masaki moved out of the Ishida household, as she made a choice to spend her life with the man that saved her. She began to attend university while visiting Isshin over at the clinic that he opened, as he told her that he had lost his powers due to an accident that got him expelled from Soul Society, even though Masaki knew that he was lying the entire time. They got married, and Masaki gave birth to Ichigo, Karin, and Yuzu.
However, White’s Hollow powers, which were suppressed with Masaki using Isshin’s Shinigami powers, transferred to Ichigo. This is the reason why Ichigo inherited his mother’s Hollow powers. Of course, during his childhood, Ichigo was lured out by a Hollow named Grand Fisher, who used the forms of the people that he devoured to trick other humans.
At that time, Masaki no longer had access to her Quincy powers because they had been taken away from her by Yhwach. As such, she saved Ichigo from Grand Fisher as she was killed by the Hollow to keep his boy safe. Ichigo and his family were devastated by her death but what they didn’t know was that the Hollow side of Masaki had made its way to Ichigo and fused with his Shinigami side to create his true Zanpakutō.