In episode 32 when Renji is going through the story of how he and Rukia met and became Soul Reapers we notice that when he was a kid and when they first entered the Soul Reaper Academy his forehead was clear.

When Renji runs to tell Rukia that he passed his Second Exam only to see Rukia meeting with Byakuya Kuchiki (where she was offered to be adopted by him) we can see that Renji now has a pair lines on his forehead, but it is still less than what we see in the present day.

So i am wondering what is the meaning behind these tattoos?

  • From Renji's Wikia page: "His upper body is covered in tribal tattoos, which have increased over time, starting from his early days as an academy student to covering his entire back, much of his chest, his extremities, and even much of his forehead." Some online discussions suggest that one of the story arcs actually explained his tatoos, that they are symbolic of his connection to Zabimaru. The stronger he gets, the more tattoos he has. May 20, 2016 at 15:09

2 Answers 2


The tattoos are actually not related to the growth of Renji. They are mainly aesthetics, possibly done to make him look cool.

He probably descended from some family that has tattoos like his. Hoipe this answers your question.

  • Please include relevant sources/references.
    – W. Are
    Jun 14, 2019 at 1:29

As the power of Renji increases, so do his tattoo's, when he achieves Bankai he gets more / bigger tattoo's, basically when he increases in power he gets more tattoo's,

I believe that it's explained somewhere in the Soul Society Arc, but I'm not 100% positive on that.

  • We definitely see more of them as his character increases in power, but that isn't evidence that they're correlated.
    – Makoto
    Jul 23, 2016 at 0:22

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