Ukitake is a tall man with a somewhat emaciated appearance, caused by an illness which occasionally causes him to cough up blood. Because of his illness, he often spends his time recuperating at Ugendō, his family's estate. During one of his attacks when he was much younger, his hair turned white over a three-day period. This is why his eyebrows are black, the color his hair used to be.
110 years ago, he wore his hair in a long ponytail. Currently his hair is worn long, almost reaching his waist. He wears it parted on the left side with one long piece that tends to fall over his right eye. He has green eyes. Ukitake wears the standard Shinigami uniform with a long sleeved captain's haori, and a crimson lining. He wears a narrow white obi, in which he secures his Zanpakutō.
Ukitake's favorite food is ohagi. In his free time he feeds the carp in the lake of Ugendō's garden and also trims the bonsai there, despite lacking the artistic sense necessary for the latter. He also writes a novel series in the Seireitei Communication titled "Rejection of the Twin Fishes!" (Sōgyō no Okotowari!), in which the lead character, Sōgyo, fights evil and saves innocent villagers. Sōgyo's catchphrase is "I refuse that!" (そいつはお断りだ！, Soitsu wa Okotowari da!) and is hugely popular among the children in Seireitei. The serial is frequently on hiatus, but when it is in the magazine, it ranks in the top three features.
Ukitake is well-respected and highly honorable, and always treats those around him with respect, even those who are weaker or not as highly ranked as he is. As a result, he can be easily approached by other members of Soul Society who seek favors or advice from the captain. Due to his high moral code, Ukitake will never let any harm come to either his underlings or those who attempt to protect them. He refuses to give up when he believes something is wrong and will break a rule to do what is right. He is also quite perceptive, as seen when he analyzes the various disturbances caused in Soul Society, and has the ability to correctly judge people's character, as noted by Yamamoto, and knows when they are lonely. He observes that, before meeting Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends, Rukia often had trouble opening up about certain things and was very lonely, but sees a difference in her when she spends time training with Orihime.
Ukitake has on occasion given people strange or unwanted gifts for no apparent reason, particularly Tōshirō Hitsugaya because of their similar sounding names and hair color.
Due to his long-standing position with the Gotei 13, Ukitake is one of the most proficient combatants in Soul Society and always maintains a level of honor and integrity when engaging in battle, much like his best friend Shunsui. He refuses to fight with a child or even in the presence of a child, even if that child is an Arrancar. He always maintains a semblance of respect for his opponent and is polite in combat situations. He also has a high measure of mercy, never taking the chance to kill Lilynette, but rather actually try to teach her how to be a better fighter, even though she was an enemy.
Ukitake is the eldest son from the low-class aristocratic Ukitake family. He has five brothers and two sisters, whom he essentially supports by himself. At the age of three, Ukitake developed a fatal lung disease, which caused his hair to turn white. His parents were very superstitious, and when he was abandoned as a lost cause by the doctors, they took Ukitake to the outskirts of the 78th District of Eastern Rukongai, where they prayed at the shrine of the old fallen god Mimihagi to save their child. It was thanks to Mimihagi that Ukitake survived and eventually became a Shinigami.
While being trained at Shin'ō Academy, Ukitake revealed to Shunsui that his sister-in-law had been executed after losing the sacred treasure Shinken Hakkyōken.
He, along with Shunsui Kyōraku, were one of the first graduates of Captain Yamamoto's Shin'ō Academy and they were the first graduates to become captains. Furthermore, he was personally trained by Yamamoto himself. He and Kyōraku are the oldest captains among the Gotei 13, with the exception of Retsu Unohana and Yamamoto himself. It is stated that the four of them have been captains of the Gotei 13 for at least 100 years as of 110 years ago before the current time.
Approximately 110 years ago, Ukitake arrived at the 1st Division Headquarters with Captain Shunsui Kyōraku and Lieutenant Lisa Yadōmaru of the 8th Division. He first asked about the whereabouts of the 12th Division captain. As Shunsui and Captains Love Aikawa and Shinji Hirako started a conversation about the status of the Gotei 13, he reminded Shunsui not to forget Captain Unohana as one of the captains from 100 years ago. He then went inside with the rest of the captains to await the arrival of the newly-appointed captain of the 12th Division, Kisuke Urahara.
The following day, he tried to persuade a then-reluctant Kaien Shiba into becoming his lieutenant. The two conversed about the current happenings in Soul Society, including a young Gin Ichimaru, who happened to be a child prodigy surpassing the previous record set by Kaien himself. Kaien shrugged off any attempt Jūshirō made at him being any type of prodigy. While visiting the Shiba residence, Jūshirō was quite popular with the servants, with Kaien noting that Jūshirō was still very charming and that he had a smile that made his servants blush. Jūshirō dismisses the compliment as he tries to remain humble about his notable quality.
9 years later, Ukitake was present at an emergency meeting called by Captain-Commander Yamamoto, where he decided to create an investigation team to locate the missing 9th Division squad members. When he gave out orders, Yamamoto ordered him to guard the Seireitei. Jūshirō was seemingly stunned by Kyōraku sending Lisa to investigate the disappearance of the 9th Division captain and lieutenant. Jūshirō, due to his illness, was rarely able to fulfill his role as captain on a regular basis, instead having Kaien fill the role under his guidance.
Sometime later, when a then-unknown Hollow killed a squad being lead by Kaien's wife, Miyako Shiba, Kaien became enraged and wanted revenge. Despite this, Jūshirō tried to reason with him that nothing was known of this new Hollow. Kaien did not relent, so Jūshirō gave him the only information they did have, the lair of the creature. The following night, Jūshirō, Kaien, and Rukia Kuchiki traveled to the Hollow's lair, and when they arrived, Kaien asked for permission to fight the creature alone, which Jūshirō allowed. Kaien fought the creature evenly until it used its unique technique and destroyed his Zanpakutō. However Kaien continued to fight the creature with his bare hands. Eventually, the battle started to turn against Kaien, causing Rukia to try and assist him. Jūshirō stopped Rukia from assisting, explaining that Kaien was fighting for his honor. The Hollow's abilities allowed it to possess Kaien and Jūshirō began to fight it, but his illness got in the way and allowed the Hollow to attack Rukia. But at that moment, to both Jūshirō and Rukia's horror, Kaien took control and impaled himself upon Rukia's sword, thanking the captain for understanding the value of his honor and that of his wife's.
Sometime in the past, Ukitake gave Kūgo Ginjō a badge that allowed him the recognition of being the first ever Substitute Shinigami.
Soul Society arc
Ukitake is informed of Aizen's apparent death by one of the messengers of Soul Society, and is rather shocked when told. He later visits the Senzaikyū, where he stops Captain Byakuya Kuchiki from killing Ganju Shiba and questions his actions, only to be told that special wartime orders have been issued. He later prevents Ganju and Hanatarō Yamada from getting killed for their crimes by having them locked up. After hearing of the execution date being moved up, Jūshirō tries to convince Byakuya to do something, but the noble seemed uncaring that his sister is dying sooner rather than later, and in the stress of the situation, Jūshirō shortly succumbs to his illness. Jūshirō decides to help save Rukia and tries to request a hearing with Central 46, but upon being turned down, sets out to help using other means.
His new plan sets around unsealing the Shihōin Shield, an artifact belonging to the Shihōin Clan that is in his possession for unexplained reasons. Using this device, he arrives at the execution site, almost too late and along with Captain Shunsui Kyōraku they destroy the Sōkyoku. The two are then faced by Yamamoto, until Kyōraku grabs him and both of them run away, together with Kyōraku's lieutenant, Nanao Ise. They are, however, caught up by Yamamoto who, after almost choking Nanao with his spiritual pressure, releases his Zanpakutō. Ukitake notes on how long it has been since he last saw that battle stance, and on the urges from Yamamoto both of them release their Zanpakutō in order to fight on equal ground with their former teacher, resulting in a large explosion as they clash.
The battle is, however, short-lived and is suddenly stopped when the 4th Division Lieutenant Isane Kotetsu reveals to all of Soul Society that Sōsuke Aizen is a traitor, something Ukitake appears quite shocked to hear. When Aizen is captured, he seems genuinely put out that the former captain has become 'this corrupt' and voices his opinion on the matter while Aizen is escaping with Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tōsen. Aizen only responds by saying that Ukitake is arrogant, revealing his plan to sit on the throne of heaven.
As thanks for helping save Rukia, Ukitake later gives Ichigo Kurosaki a badge that permits him to legally hunt Hollows in his home town and allows him to transform into his Shinigami state, officially making him a Substitute Shinigami.
Bount arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
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During the Bount Invasion, Captains Ukitake, Kyōraku, and Tōshirō Hitsugaya look for information on the Bounts while in the laboratory. He also helps announce the news to the other high-ranking officers about the missing information who probably would not have come in if they knew it was Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi who had ordered the meeting.
He seems about to act when Rukia comes under attack in her weakened state, however, Byakuya acts swiftly enough to save her. While Ichigo is battling Jin Kariya, Ukitake alongside his 3rd seat officers, Kiyone Kotetsu and Sentarō Kotsubaki and the rest of his squad are assigned to assist in locating and sealing the remaining Jōkaishō with the help of Ran'Tao while the battle is watched by others.
Ukitake is present when Yamamoto calls him and all the captains for an emergency meeting. While speaking to Hitsugaya, Yamamoto explains that Ukitake had been investigating the Great Spirits Library when he discovered a document unrelated to the Hōgyoku that Aizen had accessed. This document had been about the Ōken - the key of the royal family.
He later observes Rukia and Orihime training at the Thirteenth Division's training ground. He is approached by Lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi, who gives Ukitake a copy of the Seireitei Communication and wonders about Ukitake approving of Orihime and Rukia's friendship given that Orihime is a human. Ukitake discusses Rukia's friendship with Orihime Inoue. Ukitake says that friendship is a great thing no matter what and further notes that Orihime and her friends aren't normal and may well become Shinigami once they come to Soul Society at the end of their life. Ukitake then asks Hisagi about his role leading the Ninth Division. Hisagi states that he did not know how much work a captain had to do as Kaname Tōsen was the kind of captain that never let his subordinates feel his burden. Ukitake invites Hisagi to join him for a bit, but Hisagi declines. As Hisagi walks away Ukitake notes that too short a time has passed for hearts to heal.
Ukitake later hears that Arrancar are attacking the Human World and tells Rukia to go to the Senkaimon to help out the other Shinigami in the Human World. Orihime attempts to go with her as well, but Rukia states that without a hell butterfly she would just be sent to the waste dimension. However, Ukitake goes over to where they are and tells her that instructions were sent to secure the walls of the waste dimension and that she can pass through freely in a little while. He tells her that he understands that she's in a rush to get there, but in times like these it's good to be patient. Rukia tells Orihime that she will go ahead and wait for her and leaves. When Orihime is brought to Hueco Mundo, Ukitake addresses Hitsugaya's advance squad letting them know that he was the last person to see her before she entered the Senkaimon. He informs them of how she vanished and could be dead before he is interrupted by Ichigo and Yamamoto.
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
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Ukitake is present at the captain's meeting when Yamamoto introduces Shūsuke Amagai as the new captain of the Third Division. Ukitake appears pleased with Amagai's appointment, and personally welcomes the new captain once the meeting is over, offering him any help and advice should he need it. When Amagai suggests that the divisions of the Gotei 13 need to learn to cooperate more with each other, Ukitake verbally sticks up for him at the captain's meeting, reminding all present that Aizen, Tōsen, and Gin were able to deal them such a blow because they exploited the very weaknesses that Amagai wanted to eradicate.
After the meeting, Ukitake and Kyōraku take the newest captain out for a drink. They commend Amagai for his idea and advise him not to get too upset over other captains feeling uneasy about it. Ukitake is surprised by how easily Amagai gets drunk and is even more shocked when the drunken captain flattens him with a hug to thank him for his support. After he passes out, Ukitake decides that he likes Amagai before helping Kyōraku bring Amagai back to his barracks. They are alerted to the presence of Menos Grande as they are in the middle of completing this task.
When Ukitake returns to his own barracks, he informs Kiyone and Sentarō that he believes this supposed Menos Grande attack to be some sort of ruse, much to the surprise and awe of his bickering subordinates. Ukitake continues to wonder why anyone would do this and just who could be responsible for it as he couldn't sense the presence of any Menos Grande and could only feel the Reiatsu of the hostile divisions currently roaming the Seireitei. It is then that Yamamoto appears and reveals himself to be the culprit. He explains that he wanted to test the reactions of the Gotei 13 and just how Amagai would deal with the situation.
Days later, when Yamamoto orders for the household of the Kasumiōji Clan to be infiltrated, Ukitake and Kyōraku take their divisions and enter the weapons facility of the Bakkōtō workshop, subjugating it with relative ease and firmness. Later, he and some of the other captains discuss the current situation and the measures being taken, confirming that they had secured the workshop. It is then that he, Kyōraku, and Yoruichi reveal to them all that Amagai was really the enemy and that the entire event was orchestrated by him. Shū Kannogi shows up then and explains that Amagai has gone after Yamamoto. Ukitake is present with the rest of the captains when Amagai ends his own life.
Fake Karakura Town arc
Ukitake is present during the Arrancar battle. He is shocked by Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's initial, swift actions, wondering if such harshness was necessary. When the pillars are successfully defended, it appears he is ready to fight Lilynette Gingerbuck and Coyote Starrk alongside Kyōraku. He appears surprised by Starrk's request to "pretend to fight" and admits he though Shunsui was going to comply due to his amusement and usual laid-back attitude. Ukitake then takes to meditating atop one of the buildings of the town, where he is questioned by Lilynette on why he isn't fighting as well. Ukitake tells her two on one wouldn't be fair, Lilynette tells him that it doesn't matter and Starrk is strong and Kyōraku is as good as dead. Ukitake, with a smile, assures her that Kyōraku is strong too and that her concern is appreciated, and he'll pray that his friend wins. Ukitake then tells her as she is just a child, she has no place in the battle, which enrages Lilynette to the point where she screams at him and says Arrancar don't have ages. Ukitake explains that he can't fight since she looks like a little kid to him. He further tells her if she tries to fight him, he will force her to leave, and that she should "go home and play with a ball or something."
Lilynette feels Ukitake is patronizing her and proceeds to draw her Zanpakutō. She then tells him she will fight him. Ukitake appears somewhat annoyed at this. Ukitake blocks Lilynette's attacks with his Zanpakutō while looking fairly unamused at her futile attempts. She then blasts him with a Cero, which he just blocks with his forearm. He then comments on how he has seen many Cero blasts in his time, and her's is immature at best and not even on par with a Menos. He then tells her to go home, as he doesn't wish to fight her any longer.
They continue fighting until Ukitake manages to steal her Zanpakutō. He continually avoids her attempts to recover it, all the while chiding her for not putting her heart into her attacks. When Starrk finally calls back Lilynette, so as to release his true form, Kyōraku, sensing that the true battle is about to begin, throws his kimono to Ukitake and informing him that they were now "fighting for keeps". Ukitake then watches in shock as the Primera releases his true power and Kyōraku releases his own Zanpakutō.
After watching the battle unfold between Shunsui and Starrk, Ukitake releases his Shikai and jumps in front of Shunsui. He uses a huge energy blast to negate Starrk's Cero Metralleta. Starrk side steps the blast and wonders if it was a Cero. 
Shunsui begins to speak, but Ukitake cuts him off explaining that he shouldn't complain because the Arrancar are double teaming him and his coming to his aid is only fair. Ukitake then comments that besides that Shunsui doesn't seem to want to use his Bankai. Shunsui assures him that he will eventually. Ukitake, however, retorts that it would be best to not reveal his Bankai in front of everyone.
Ukitake continues by saying that in any case his powers are better suited for this sort of fight. Starrk interrupts by asking Ukitake how he fired a Cero. Ukitake plainly says "who knows, maybe he'll figure it out if he does it again." Determined to figure out Ukitake's power Starrk fires again much to Lilynette's loud protest that it's most likely a trap. No sooner does he fire a large Cero, that moments later, it comes right back at him, to which Starrk dodges. He fires again and notices the same result. He uses Sonído to get closer to Ukitake and then explains what he has learned of his ability. Ukitake is surprised that he figured it out after only three attacks. Starrk then expresses that he is glad that Ukitake's power isn't to reflect any and all attacks back at his opponent. Starrk surmises that if Ukitake has to absorb the attack first, there has to be a limit to what can be absorbed. He then tells Ukitake that he doesn't think he'll be able to absorb the attack if he fires 1,000 shots at once.
Before Starrk can fire, Shunsui appears behind him and tries to cut off his head, but Starrk dodges and fires a large Cero which Shunsui also dodges. Then seemingly out of nowhere a Garganta begins to open, surprising the three combatants. Ukitake asks Shunsui if it's someone new. Shunsui responds by asking if Ukitake thinks it's someone who could back up the top three Espada, as he hopes it isn't. When the Garganta is fully open, Wonderweiss Margela walks through. Ukitake and Shunsui both question who he is while Starrk, just as surprised to see him being accompanied by a huge hollow, simply says his name. While Ukitake's attention is on Hooleer, Wonderweiss attacks him from behind, impaling him in the back and out through his chest with his hand. Seeing this, Shunsui goes to attack the Arrancar, but is quickly shot at point blank range in the back by a Cero from Starrk. They are both seen falling out of the sky to the city below.
Later, after Aizen is captured, Ukitake recovers and eavesdrops alongside Sentarō and Kiyone on Yamamoto scolding Shunsui, Byakuya, and Kenpachi for losing their respective captain haori. Ukitake notes that 10 days have past since the battle, Yamamoto has lost his left arm, but it looks like his stamina has returned, which is a relief as Soul Society still has yet to see a being capable of replacing the man.
Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Click "show" to read the arc plot.
Alongside 6th Division members, Ukitake watches a sparing match between 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki and Lieutenant Renji Abarai. He congratulates Renji on becoming more proficient in his Bankai's use. Byakuya's mood seems to change which leaves abruptly, causing him and Shunsui to wonder what is wrong. Later that night he, along with all other higher ranked officers of the Gotei 13 are summoned to Sōkyoku Hill by order of Captain-Commander Yamamoto. Upon the arrival of Captain Hitsugaya who asks him what is happening he details that he really doesn't know and apparently no one else is sure either. There, they are witness the arrival of the 1st Division lieutenant, Chōjirō Sasakibe, who collapses, as everyone readies themselves for a possible attack, a mysterious man appears, who reveals that the Captain-Commander will be unavailable presently. Upon hearing this Ukitake witnesses Captain Komamura move to attack releasing his Bankai against the mysterious man only for it to turn on him, much to everyone's surprise. Upon a release of Reiatsu a large being appears before Komamura and fights with him and easily dispatches him as all in attendance look on in complete shock. They are then informed once they all try to release their Zanpakutō they are plainly told by the mysterious man that their Zanpakutō are no longer under their control and that now the Zanpakutō will rule the Shinigami. He then sums the Zanpakutō Spirits to him.
Ukitake questions what the mysterious man means by stating that Zanpakutō will rule, to which the mysterious man details it's exactly as he has said. Shunsui states the he is taking this whole thing seriously, but is more concerned where Captain-Commander Yamamoto's whereabouts are. The mysterious man details that Yamamoto has been sealed away as his Zanpakutō Ryūjin Jakka was unwilling to join forces with them. He then states that he had Minazuki, Katen Kyōkotsu, and Sōgyo no Kotowari seal him with their Reiatsu. Ukitake is outraged that such a thing has taken place. Upon this realization a battle breaks out between the Shinigami and the Zanpakutō Spirits. The following day, Shunsui, Unohana, and Ukitake set up a communication base at the Fourth Division barracks following the manifestation of the Zanpakutō and their subsequent attack on their Shinigami counterparts. They discuss the situation with Yoruichi who tells them she will return to the Real World and inform Urahara of the situation.
Ukitake returns to the temporary HQ, where Shunsui explains that he still has not found out the whereabouts of Yamamoto. Ukitake then explains the ongoing plan of sending Captain Suì-Fēng's forces as well as the other divisions out to track down and subdue the Zanpakutō. He and Shunsui then discuss the turn of events surrounding Byakuya, who has disappeared. Unohana arrives and details that while severely injured Rukia is stable, but still unconscious. She then explains to them that 12th Division has asked for test subjects and she has just returned from assisting Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi. The two captains are quite surprised that she went to see him personally. They are shocked by what Unohana has learned from Captain Kurotsuchi. As she confirms their worst fears, noting the Zanpakutō Spirits are completely independent from their former masters and if they are not careful in how they deal with them they could end up destroying their Zanpakutō.
Sometime later, they discuss the possibility that defeating the Zanpakutō spirits will destroy the Zanpakutō themselves. It is decided that they will have to quickly get used to combat without their release or else it could be costly for the Gotei 13 forces. Shunsui, Unohana, and Ukitake debrief Ichigo Kurosaki about his fight with Muramasa. Ichigo details that Muramasa doesn't use brainwashing to control the Zanpakutō Spirits and that he is just amplifying the frustration the feel on the regular basis to turn them. He makes note that the only way to obtain them back is for the wielder to face their Zanpakutō spirit and force it to submit to them. Ukitake is happy that they have found a way to finally get their Zanpakutō back, but Shunsui notes that its going to take a while for everyone to track down their own Zanpakutō and beat them in battle. As their opponents aren't just going to wait for them. They are then interrupted as Renji and Zabimaru arrive so they can be be asked if there is anything else they can use to further the situation. Zabimaru unfortunately doesn't remember anything about being controlled and can't help. He later appears alongside Shunsui, Suì-Fēng and her Stealth Corps as they arrive to surround Hōzukimaru, but he uses his Bankai to get away. However, they manage to obtain Gegetsuburi. 
The Shinigami discuss Byakuya's betrayal, and the discovery that if a Zanpakutō is killed by anyone other than its owner, it will be unusable. After the meeting, Ukitake resolves to be the one to inform Rukia that her brother Byakuya has turned traitor.
Ukitake arrives after the battle in the 6th Division barracks along with Shunsui. They apologize for being late. Ukitake stops the poisoned Rukia from getting up and asks her if she found out what her brother was up to. Ukitake decides to join Shunsui, Kenpachi, Yachiru, Ichigo, and Yoruichi on a search-and-rescue mission for Yamamoto. The party finds the cave by tracing Yamamoto's Reiatsu. The party splits up; Ukitake accompanies Shunsui to a distant corner of the cave, where they encounter the spirits of their Zanpakutō. Sōgyo no Kotowari fall down on top of Ukitake and ask him to play a game; deciding on "Fetch the Fan," they produce two fans that begin to glow and spin, hurtling toward Ukitake like saw blades.
Despite desperately trying to reason with the twin spirits, their mischievous nature makes them refuse to listen. He is forced to constantly chase them through the caves, it is not until he threatens to stop playing with them if they don't hand over their fans that they stop. They trick him and try to blast him, but Ukitake ducks out the way in time. They run off again and begin to play a game of hide-in-seek with Ukitake, much to his annoyance. They try to ambush him with an attack, but he uses Hadō #31. Shakkahō to counter the attack. When the twins try to attack him from both sides he surprises them by catching them both, but they kick him in the face break free and run off. Ukitake finally realizes that the games that they are playing are just a delay tactic, allowing Muramasa to use Ichigo for something of importance.
Upon sensing a huge explosion originating from Ichigo's power, Ukitake rushes to the location to find Yamamoto freed, but greatly troubled. He learns that Yamamoto was not imprisoned as Muramasa claimed, but rather Yamamoto produced the barrier to protect himself from Muramasa's plans to use Ryūjin Jakka. When Muramasa says that he has no need for the other entities anymore, Katen Kyōkotsu and Sōgyo no Kotowari attack him, but end up having their physical forms destroyed by Ryūjin Jakka. Muramasa makes his escape, while Yamamoto reveals to the others that Muramasa intends to destroy the Gotei 13 with it. Ichigo, Yoruichi, Ukitake, Shunsui, and Yamamoto are surrounded by a wall of flames created by Ryūjin Jakka . Yoruichi escapes underground through a fissure she opens using Shunkō, but Tobiume uses her fireball to cave it in behind Yoruichi, preventing the others from following. Ichigo attempts to escape by jumping over the wall of flames, but is unsuccessful. Yamamoto reveals that Muramasa's plan is to destroy Karakura Town in order to free his owner, Kōga, who has been sealed there. Ichigo makes a final attempt at jumping over the wall of flames and just before he is defeated and completely enveloped in fire, Hyōrinmaru and Hitsugaya arrive to save him. Hitsugaya and Hyōrinmaru both activate their Bankai and, together, get Ichigo out of the flames so that he can head to Karakura town to stop Muramasa while Yamamoto, Ukitake, Shunsui, Hitsugaya, and Hyōrinmaru stay back to defeat Ryūjin Jakka together.
Beast Swords arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
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Ukitake discusses the attacks by Tōjū with Kyōraku, Rukia, Sode no Shirayuki, and Senbonzakura, while his restored Zanpakutō Spirit, Sōgyo no Kotowari, plays near the group. He commends Rukia and the spirit of her Zanpakutō for their hard work along with Kyōraku and advises her that she did the right thing in bringing the captured Tōjū to the Twelfth Division. The twins get rowdy and he tells them to quiet down, and they comply. 
Later while discussing how to deal with the Tōjū, Ukitake and Shunsui are repeatedly beaten by Katen Kyōkotsu in a card game, resulting in Ukitake and Shunsui being forced to perform penalties for their respective Zanpakutō Spirits. During this time, they happen to mention how it may be better for their spirits to reside in their sword form, which make the spirits very unhappy, with the twins assaulting Ukitake. While accepting it, they have Nanao go to Captain Kurotsuchi in the hope that he can find a way to restore the fallen Zanpakutō Spirits.
Gotei 13 Invading Army arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Click "show" to read the arc plot.
Ukitake and Kyōraku meet Hitsugaya outside of the First Division Barracks and they discuss the mission that Nanao and Rangiku are currently completing in the World of the Living. When Hitsugaya gets annoyed and storms off after discovering Nanao's involvement in Rangiku's responsibilities, Ukitake states that it is a nice feeling to be able to worry about normal things once more and that it was a sign that things were finally beginning to settle down in the Soul Society. Later, whilst discussing the disappearance of Nanao and Rangiku, Ukitake suggests that they may might have been involved in an accident while in the Dangai, which Kurotsuchi disagrees with. When the lieutenants show up and insist only three hours have passed, Ukitake comes to the conclusion that time within the Dangai must be out of sync somehow. He is present at the meeting when the team is assembled to survey the Dangai World. He is with Yamamoto when Byakuya, Hitsugaya, and Renji return with Ichigo's Substitute Shinigami Badge.
Ukitake admits that the Badge was the one he had given to Ichigo, but he still does not believe that Ichigo could be involved with the disappearances within the Dangai World. Kyōraku agrees with him. They are then informed that Ichigo has been broken out of confinement by Rukia. Along with at least Kyōraku, Yamamoto, and Unohana, Ukitake is one of the captains that have not been replaced by a Reigai. Ukitake and Kyōraku continue to be suspicious of the situation, and they meet up at a secret location. Their concerns center around how everything seems "too perfect", with too many captains agreeing that Ichigo should be arrested immediately. Ukitake still doesn't believe Ichigo is responsible, but cannot figure out why all the evidence is pointing towards him. He and Kyōraku go the the Shinigami Research and Development Institute in order to have another look at the records of passages through the Dangai World. Kyōraku makes up a lie at Ukitake's expense in order to see the restricted files. They discover that somebody has altered the records, but before they can search any more, Suì-Fēng shows up with the Onmitsukidō to arrest Kyōraku on suspicion of being the culprit.
Ukitake then appears before Central 46, in order to plead Kyōraku's innocence. They inform him that no captain can dispute their judgement, as he leaves the chamber. He comments upon their pig-headedness, as Unohana appears before him. She states that the mastermind behind this incident will not reveal himself easily, as Ukitake undergoes his own secret investigation into the matter, prompting Unohana to wish him luck in his task. Later, Ukitake appears before Kyōraku's cell, immobilizing the Shinigami guarding it. 
Ukitake states that they are to attend a summons by the Captain-Commander, in order to determine the cause of the incident. Kyōraku comments upon the uncomfortable nature of his cell, prompting Ukitake to berate him for not realizing the seriousness of the events. As Kyōraku resolves himself, Ukitake hands him his katana, as they proceed to head to the 1st Division barracks. However, Ukitake is dealt a critical wound to the chest by Kyōraku, who reveals that he was a Reigai. He comments that it was too easy to defeat him, as Ukitake slumped to the ground, incapacitated. As he prepares to deal the final blow, however, the Reigai counterpart of Ukitake intervenes, telling him that they have more pressing matters to deal with at the moment.
Ukitake later appears alongside Kyōraku at Kagerōza Inaba's lair, proceeding to surround the 7th Seat with the other Shinigami. He proceeds to charge at Inaba, but stops when the Reigai jump down and protect Inaba. The Shinigami then face off against the Reigai, with Ukitake fighting against Reigai-Retsu Unohana with Kyōraku. However, Reigai-Isane Kotetsu intervenes, utilizing Hadō #58 Tenran against him. Ukitake demands to know how Inaba managed to purloin the Mod-Soul information from the Dangai, to which Inaba reveals he was responsible for the development of the Mod-Souls. Ukitake states that his research was too dangerous to be continued, and the Project Spearhead was terminated by Central 46. However, Ukitake states that the true reason his research project was terminated was because they saw the technology as a threat to the peace.
Inaba states that he could not forgive those who disallowed his research, prompting Ukitake to ask whether this is why he wants to resurrect Project Spearhead. He confirms this, promptly breaking the Limiter Bracelets upon the Reigai's forearms, as several more Reigai surround Ukitake and Kyōraku. Ukitake tells Kyōraku to prepare for battle, as the Reigai charge at him. He dodges a blow from Reigai-Shūhei Hisagi. Eventually, Ukitake and the other captains are forced to retreat. Later, they return in time to help Ichigo and Kisuke against their Reigai pursuers. Ukitake quickly teams up with Kyōraku to dodge a blow from Kyōraku's Reigai and then to battle Reigai-Sajin.
Soon, the Reigai begin increasing in numbers and devastation, acting whomever they can. As Ukitake and Kyōraku find themselves pressured by Reigai-Ikkaku and Reigai-Shūhei, the lieutenant Shinigami return and aid their respective captains. Despite this assistance, the Reigai still pressure the Shinigami. Byakuya Kuchiki then realizes the truth behind the Reigai's battle style: they value self-preservation the most and won't attack first in fear of being outnumbered.
Later, the resurrected Ōko Yushima begins his endgame, using his Renzan: Hajō kūri technique to begin destroying the Soul Society. Before the Shinigami can act, the Reigai step forward, saying that they will stop their fellow Mod-Soul's chaotic plan as their goal has always been to protect the Soul Society in their own way. Reigai then destroy the technique at the cost of their own lives. Later, with war won, Ichigo and the others prepare to return home. Before they leave, Ukitake returns Ichigo's Shinigami badge. He also offers Kon a smaller one in gratitude for his efforts, but he proudly turns it down, preferring the charm he got back from the late-Nozomi. Later, knowing that Ichigo's powers may again falter, he assigns Rukia to watch over Ichigo to prevent him from fighting too much.
The Lost Substitute Shinigami arc
Sentarō informs Ukitake that Ichigo has defeated Kūgo Ginjō and that he is okay. Ukitake states that he is glad to hear the news. Later, Shunsui visits Ukitake, telling him that Ichigo had came to Soul Society. Ukitake asks about his Combat Badge and Shunsui replies that he took it with him. He states that he asked Ichigo, but that he apparently trusts them, commenting that he has grown up. Ukitake states that they had failed to realize this.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
Ukitake attends a captain meeting where he is informed about Wandenreich's infiltration, and is ordered to prepare for war alongside other captains. Captain Ukitake later encounters one of the enemy soldiers when Soul Society is invaded by the Wandenreich and prepares to fight him with his Shikai already released. He is later dismayed as he receives word from Rangiku Matsumoto that the enemy has the ability to steal Bankai.
Later, Ukitake is notified via transmitter swords along with the other captains and lieutenants by Rin Tsubokura that Ichigo is currently heading to Soul Society. Some point afterwards, Ukitake and several other members of the Gotei 13 are surprised to sense Yamamoto's Reiatsu resonate throughout Seireitei as the Captain-Commander enters the front lines. Thereafter, Ukitake notices that his throat felt dry and concludes that Yamamoto had activated his Bankai. Ukitake is then later shocked to sense that Yamamoto had actually fallen at the hands of Yhwach.
After the battle's conclusion, Ukitake and the other captains gather to mourn the death of the Captain-Commander. Reporting that a body couldn't be found, he concludes that it must have been destroyed by the enemy. Watching on as a messenger reports the status of Kenpachi and Byakuya, he says nothing while the others fight among each other. Shunsui then enters to calm everyone down and after reminding them about the purpose of the Gotei 13, Ukitake and the others are silenced by his words. Ukitake and the other captains later gather outside Seireitei to witness the arrival of the Royal Guard.
At the beginning of the Wandenreich's second invasion, Ukitake isn't present on the battlefield and is instead far outside of the city's borders with his two assistants, Kiyone and Sentarō, inside of a shrine deep in the forests. The next day, Ukitake meets with Shunsui in the ruins of what was once the Seireitei as Shunsui notes the extensive damage done to the Wandenreich City. When Shunsui asks him if he thinks the Seireitei's buildings will also be damaged when they return, Ukitake states they will simply rebuild them if this is the case. After Ukitake takes note of the Wandenreich's invasion of the Royal Realm and casting an unusual shadow, he states that this is what his Kamikake is for. When Shunsui notes they may be able to stretch themselves a little further, Ukitake claims that he sounds like a doctor. Shunsui bids him farewell and reveals he must speak with Central 46 about something.
Later, in Urahara's laboratory, Ukitake operates on the wounded and eventually completes the operation. When Ukitake emerges from the medical room to announce his success, a shocked Shinji claims that he is the one who requires medical attention, prompting Ukitake to explain how he has quite a bit of medical knowledge due to being so sick himself. Kenpachi emerges and asks Ukitake whom he was claiming could not move yet, prompting a surprised Ukitake to note he can already move. After Kenpachi agrees to leave the search for his lieutenant to the rest of the 11th Division, Urahara gives Ukitake a sphere to charge with his Reiatsu. When Urahara explains his method of entering the Soul King Palace and notes that there may not be a way back, Suì-Fēng admonishes him for thinking they would back down upon learning this, prompting Ukitake to note that they all share similar sentiments as members of the Gotei 13.
When Ichigo is forced to kill the Soul King, Soul Society begins experiencing tremors, prompting Ukitake to prepare to take action. A shadow begins rising from Ukitake's back as he declares his intention to replace the Soul King. When Urahara asks him if this is possible, Ukitake states he will explain later as his robes fall off to reveal the Kamikake on his back. Drawing his sword, Ukitake begins praying to Mimihagi and asks it to lend him power, causing the Kamikake to transform into a large eye hovering above him. Ukitake explains to those present how he has had a lung disease since he was three years old and reveals that he was saved by Mimihagi, who took his lungs away at the request of his parents. Coughing up blood, Ukitake explains how Mimihagi is taking the rest of his body and his life in preparation for making Ukitake the new right hand of the Soul King and states he will happily give up the life given to him for the Seireitei before screaming in pain as the Kamikake begins reaching toward the sky.
Later, when Yhwach absorbs Mimihagi, the darkness emanating from Ukitake's mouth is pulled into the sky, leaving Ukitake to collapse and die as Sentarō and Kiyone rush to him.
Powers & Abilities
Expert Swordsman: While hating the concept of having to engage in a fight and suffering from a reduced physical capacity due to recurrent illness, Ukitake still manages to hold his own against Yamamoto alongside Shunsui. The unique shape of his sword's Shikai and its corresponding abilities make his form of fighting unconventional among Shinigami, but show his skill in this art. When in better health he was capable of inflicting swift slashes against vital areas.
Kidō Master: Ukitake has above-average knowledge of Kidō, which allows him to assists in the resealing of the Jōkaishō. He also aids in the opening of the Senkaimon. He is able to perform fairly high-level spells without incantation, and he can easily use Kidō in battle, such as when he used Seki against Lilynette Gingerbuck.
Shunpo Master: As a captain, Ukitake is exceptional in the art of Shunpo. He is able to gain sufficient ground while trying to put distance between himself and Captain-Commander Yamamoto during their chase through Soul Society.
Immense Spiritual Power: As one of the oldest and strongest captains in the Gotei 13, Ukitake possesses tremendous spiritual power. He, alongside his best friend Shunsui Kyōraku, are said to possess Reiatsu unmatched by their peers or predecessors. During his fight against the Captain-Commander, he is not overwhelmed by the spiritual pressure of Yamamoto, though most people would be in such a situation.
Masterful Reiatsu Control: Captain Ukitake has spent his whole life supporting his ailing body through the strength of his reiatsu alone. His sheer volume of reiatsu was incredible, even for a Captain. When the remnants of the high ranked members of the Gotei 13 pooled their reiatsu together to open a gateway to the Soul King Palace, the loss of his reiatsu could not be compensated for by the Visored or Shinigami present.
Enhanced Durability: Ukitake is very durable, even by Shinigami standards. He was able to withstand the devastating attacks of Captain-Commander Yamamoto, whose Zanpakutō is the most devastating in all of Soul Society in terms of destructive power. He was also able to effortlessly block Lilynette's Cero with his bare hand, though he himself admitted it was not even of Gillian-level power.
Medical Knowledge: Due to years of undergoing many different medical treatments because of his health issues, Ukitake has accumulated much knowledge of medicines and healing techniques. Using this knowledge, he has directed the treatment of many important members of the Gotei 13 during the devastating war against the invading armies of the Wandenreich.
Sōgyo no Kotowari (双魚理, Truth of Pisces; Viz "Law of the Twin Fish"): Ukitake's Zanpakutō resembles an average katana, with a rectangular bronze cross guard and dark red handle.
Shikai: Its Shikai command is "All Ye Waves, Become My Shield. All Ye Thunder, Become My Blade" (波悉く我が盾となれ雷悉く我が刃となれ, nami kotogotoku waga tate to nare, ikazuchi kotogotoku waga yaiba to nare; Viz "Waves, Become my Shield, Lightning, Become my Blade"). Once he completes the incantation, he grasps the single blade with two hands. The blade then transforms slowly, and begins to form two blades. As the blades peel apart, a large red rope-like chain at the base of the hilt lengthens, and silver metal square charms attached to the chain begin to fall, until all five present themselves. The blade is now somewhat thinner than the sealed Zanpakutō, and the tsuba now extends a little bit up the blade. About halfway along the length of the Zanpakutō, a second blade juts out from the inside of the main blade and extends back towards the hilt, running parallel to the main blade. The cutting edge of the second blade faces inward instead of outward.
Shikai Special Ability: Sōgyo no Kotowari has the ability to absorb an opponent's energy attack through the left sword and direct it through the connecting rope, where the five charms on the rope increase the attack's speed and pressure. It then reverses the attack's original course by firing the same attack from the right sword at full force, making it much more difficult for the opponent to dodge. The entire process occurs so fast that the attack looks as though it originally came from Sōgyo no Kotowari.
Illness: Ukitake has been stricken with a fatal illness since three years old. Despite clinging to his life due to Mimihagi, his body remains ailing perpetually, suffering from time to time. This serves as an unexpected hindrance during battle.
In the Bleach games Shattered Blade, The Blade of Fate, Dark Souls, Blade Battlers 2nd, Heat the Soul 4, 6, and 7 Ukitake's Zanpakutō utilizes water and electricity to attack. It makes orbs of water and shoots out streams of water from those orbs. These orbs can be made into a certain formation and another skill is to make a puddle of water in the ground as a trap, called Minabuki, when the opponent steps upon the puddle, spears of water and thunder pierces through the enemy. It also creates crashing waves or tornadoes of water that either protect Ukitake from attacks or engulf a target. Another ability is to create a cube of water to imprison a target. In terms of lightning, it can shoot fast bolts at a target, create a powerful shockwave, or send a surge through the ground to a target. The lightning can also be used in combination with Ukitake's speed to surround him and perform a powerful tackling attack.
In both Blade of Fate and Dark Souls specifically, Ukitake has several named techniques:
Mizutama (水球, Water Ball): Creates a floating ball of water with satellite orbs that floats through the air, damaging the opponent on contact.
Mizubuki (水噴, Water Sprout): Summons an explosion of water that damages the opponent on contact.
Mizutarashi (水垂, Water Drop): Summons a pillar of water that damages the opponent on contact.
Mizudaira (水平, Water Plain): Summons an orb of water that, in conjunction with an already summoned orb, fires a laser that damages the opponent on contact.
Mizukagami (水屈, Water Stooping): Creates a companion orb of water.
Daibakufujin Tatakiuo (大爆布陣 叩魚, Great Explosive Striking Formation: Striking Fish): Creates a pentagram of water charged with Reiryoku that damages the opponent on contact. This is one of Ukitake's two super moves.
Daiharōjin Nagareuo (大波浪陣 流魚, Great Wave Surging Formation: Flowing Fish): Creates a continuous series of explosive water columns that damages the opponent on contact. This is one of Ukitake's two super moves.
In both Bleach DS games, The Blade of Fate and Dark Souls, Ukitake is able to perform a special move together with Shunsui Kyōraku, when they are in a team. The attack is called Daifuhabanrai (大風波万雷, Great Wind and Waves Heavy Thunder). It combines a powerful hurricane-like, green wind-attack, performed by Kyōraku, and lightning in form of several ball-lightnings, which form diamonds, performed by Ukitake. This is notable in that in both games, it is the only such 'team attack' possible.
Ukitake features on an edition of the Fourth Session of Bleach Beat Collection with Kaien Shiba. Hideo Ishikawa performs two of the two tracks as Ukitake: "Kotonoba" and "Fuu~Inochi to Hokori," the latter of which is a duet with Kaien.
Ukitake features in the sixth volume of Bleach "B" Station's first season, as well as the fourth season's first volume and fifth season's third volume.
In the first popularity poll, before his name and face were revealed, Ukitake came 70th with just one vote, but was labeled as "the Shinigami that appeared in Rukia's memories"; in the second popularity poll, he also received one vote, this time as "13th Division Captain".
His Zanpakutō and Shunsui's Zanpakutō have the longest release commands as of yet. Word-for-word, Ukitake's is the longer of the two, although the translation in the English manga drastically shortens it and lengthens Kyōraku's.
In the manga his eyes are green, but in the anime they are brown.
According to Tite Kubo, Ukitake's theme song is "Back to the Innocence" by Jonathan Cain.
In Rukia's first flashback to the night of Kaien Shiba's death, Ukitake is not wearing his captain's haori.
(To Rukia Kuchiki) "There are two types of fights. Whenever we are in battle, we must be one of the two. The fight for life or…the fight for pride! Right now…He is fighting for his pride! His wife’s pride…his men's pride…Most importantly…his own personal pride. Dismiss this as his stubbornness…and let him fight alone like this…"
(To Sōsuke Aizen) "To sink all the way to the level of allying with the Menos. What are you trying to do?"
(To Lilynette Gingerbuck when told age does not matter for Arrancar) "I know that. But still, I'm afraid I must refuse! As far as I'm concerned, you are a child, and a girl, at that. I couldn't possibly fight someone like you! If you selfishly decide to fight me despite that, then I'll just make you go home myself! Now why don't you run along and play with a ball or something?"
(To Kisuke Urahara) "All of us have the same pride in our hearts. The pride of shouldering the weight of the Gotei 13."
(To Rukia Kuchiki about using Kamikake) "From the day I learned of the reason I had survived, I was always thinking of this day which would surely come. My life was saved from certain death. If I can offer it for the sake of the Gotei 13, I have no regrets."