Note: this question contains spoilers for the manga.

We know that Isshin Kurosaki left the Soul Society because he wanted to protect Masaki and help her with the matter of her hollowification. Then they had children, etc., etc.

But before that, Isshin was the captain of the 10th Squad. Rangiku was his lieutenant and Toshirou was the third officer of Squad 10. We also have Rukia, who was in those days already in Squad 13 (if I remember the timeline correctly), so she must have known and been able to recognise the captains.

And then we are back to the main story - Rukia met Isshin and didn't recognize him. And after that, Rangiku, Toshirou, Ikkaku, Yumichika... all of them should immediately have recognized the ex-captain of Sqad 10, am I right? Why didn't any of them recognize Isshin?

Is there an explanation for this, or was this a plot hole created by Tite Kubo? Maybe he hadn't created Isshin's story when he released the Saving Rukia arc and the first Arrancar invasion on Karakura Town arc? Or is there something I missed?

  • When did the officers of squad 10 and 11 run into Isshin Kurosaki? It's been a long time since I read Bleach but I don't recall them ever being in the same scene (outside of the flashback that explained how Isshin left soul society)
    – Gatchwar
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 16:47

3 Answers 3


I feel that Toshiro and Rangiku didn't know about Ichigo's father Isshin as they didn't meet face to face at Karakura Town. Also, at that time Isshin was just a normal human being without any powers, so Toshiro, Rangiku or any other members of Soul Society didn't sense him or meet him by face. So, it's obvious they didn't know about Isshin.

Only Rukia meet Ichigo's father face to face. But, she didn't recognise him. Maybe its a plot hole, or she didn't know about Isshin at that time by face, that's why she didn't recognise him.


In the Karakura Town arc, they actually never came face to face, and there was at least the difference of 15 years during the past and the start of the series, and when we see Rukia's past, we see that she was with Kaien Shiba who was head of Shiba clan.

But as we know, a captain is generally the head of a clan in his duty period, so that means Kaien inherited his role as head of the Shiba clan from Isshin in absence of him, which means that even Rukia didn't know about Isshin from start, only Urahara and Yoruichi knew about him, but I think they acknowledged the presence of Isshin during the Fullbringer arc because he was there when Rukia stabbed Ichigo with Reishi blade.

And as to why he didn't return during the Blood War arc, he was outcasted by Soul Society because he gave his power to humans, which is a crime as we know from the prelude of Soul Society. And as for punishment, he was banished from Soul Society and never contacted for anything because there was no way for Gotei 13 to find him because of his weakened reaitus and probably because of Uraghar.

  • I think the order of events is somewhat jumbled. Kaien Shiba was not a successor to Isshin Shiba, in Turn Back the Pendulum 4 (Ch -105) (which is set 100 years prior to the series start) Kaien was in talks with Ukitake to become vice-captain of squad 13 (he takes the post 5 years later) whereas the captain seat of squad 10 is vacant as the captain had died, Isshin would take up the post some time after the events here (he's not in the arc) and leave the post 20 years prior to the series start. Also Kaien is head of the main family and Isshin is head of a branch family (Ch529)
    – Gatchwar
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 5:14

As you mentioned, they didn't recognize him at the time being if Isshin is over 200+ years old, that's a lot of years to remember.

Also, in the Aizen arc, before Dangai Ichigo came about, he was around 18 (Human years). Soul reapers age slow, that's why Isshin looks about 40 years or 50 even though he's about 200+ soul reaper years, stating that he wasn't that friendly towards other captains and stuck to himself. Regarding maybe Rukia and the others, they never met him.

  • 1
    But Toshirou and Rangiku were his officers. Rangiku was his lieutenant and Isshin told her that he think Toshirou could be next captain of squad 10th... So at least these two should recognize him immidiately. Commented Jun 19, 2021 at 12:09

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