Rukongai (流魂街, Wandering Soul City; Viz "Drifting Spirit Town") is the largest portion of Soul Society and the most populated.
Rukongai is divided into 320 districts (80 in North Rukongai, 80 in West Rukongai, etc.), each numbered in descending order on how far they are from the center; this results in the higher-numbered (and farther) districts decaying into slums. Thus, while District 1 is peaceful and lawful, much like the antiseptic lifestyle of early-Edo Era Kyoto, District 80 is a hardscrabble, violent, crime-infested area that more depicts Heian era Kyoto. The duties of the Gotei 13 Divisions include defending allocated districts of Rukongai. However, which Division is responsible for which district has not been stated. The living standards in Rukongai decline sharply beyond the fiftieth district, with an increase in people wearing rags and no footwear. According to statistics from the last 550 years, no Rukongai resident wears sandals beyond District 59.
Rukongai is full of families that are not related by blood. People die at different times and places, and it is rare for a person to find their real family in the vast Rukongai. When a soul arrives in Soul Society, they are given a ticket according to the time they died and are sent off in different directions. Even if two people were to die together, if they do not receive tickets at the same time, they will not know where the other is.
Several hundred years ago, Kōga Kuchiki suffered a mental breakdown after being framed and facing potential death penalty. After killing Shinigami pursuing him for a while, he eventually went to Rukongai to kill innocent civilians within, as revenge against Soul Society for shunning him, and to send them a message of hopelessness.
101 years ago, many souls in Rukongai mysteriously vanished due to the experiments of Sōsuke Aizen. These occurrences continued for about a month before the Shinigami sent Kensei Muguruma and a team from the 9th Division to investigate. The Visored were Hollowfied in a forest in the west of the 6th ward of the Fugai District on the same night that the 9th Division team arrived to begin their investigation. Tessai Tsukabishi used forbidden Kidō to teleport the Visored back to the lab of Kisuke Urahara in Seireitei in a bid to save them.
When the balance of souls between the Human World and Soul Society is endangered, the Shinigami can request permission to kill citizens in Rukongai in order to restore the balance of souls between the two worlds. When the Wandenreich destroy a large amount of Hollows, 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi orders members of his Division to kill 28,000 Rukongai residents without first attaining permission to restore the balance of souls.
So far, only nine Rukongai districts are known:
|Known Rukongai Districts|
|District #||District Name||District Region||District Info|
|1||Junrinan (潤林安, Lush Forest Peace)||West Rukongai||Tōshirō Hitsugaya, Momo Hinamori, Jidanbō Ikkanzaka are from here and Yūichi Shibata resides here.|
|3||Hokutan (北端, North End)||West Rukongai||Kaien Shiba trained Rukia Kuchiki here on Mt. Koifushi (鯉伏, Carp Slope).|
|64||Unknown||North Rukongai||Rangiku Matsumoto and Gin Ichimaru were from this district, prior to them entering the Academy.|
|64||Sabitsura (錆面, Rusted Face)||East Rukongai||Ikkaku Madarame and Yumichika Ayasegawa lead an investigation into the disappearance of villagers from this district.|
|76||Sakahone (逆骨, Reverse Bone)||East Rukongai||Mimihagi was worshiped as a guardian deity in this part of Rukongai. Jūshirō Ukitake lived here as a child, during which time Mimihagi saved his life.|
|78||Inuzuri (戌吊, Hanging Dog)||South Rukongai||Hisana Kuchiki was sent here with Rukia when they died. Both Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai grew up here.|
|79||Kusajishi (草鹿, Grass Deer)||North Rukongai||Yachiru Kusajishi was found and named after here by Kenpachi Zaraki.|
|80||Zaraki (更木, New Tree)||North Rukongai||Captain Kenpachi Zaraki originated from here.|
|Unknown||Fugai (郛外, Outside the Earthwork)||Unknown||The Visored were experimented on in the forest in the 6th ward of this district.|
- Bleach Official Character Book Souls
- Bleach manga; Chapter 489, page 4
- Bleach manga; Chapter 76, page 9
- Bleach anime; Episode 251
- Bleach manga; Chapter 489, page 15
- Bleach manga; Chapter 268, page 4
- Bleach the 3rd Phantom
- Bleach manga; Chapter 482, page 11
- Bleach manga; Chapter 616, page 11
- Bleach manga; Chapter 179, page 11
- Bleach manga; Chapter 114, page 15
- Bleach manga; Chapter -97, page 7
|Human World||Kagamino City · Karakura Town · Karakura High School · Karakura Hospital · Kurosaki Clinic · Urahara Shop · Bount Mansion · Naruki City · London|
|Soul Society||Rukongai · Seireitei · Soul King Palace · Central 46 Compound · Nest of Maggots · Shin'ō Academy · Sōkyoku Hill · Gin Tonbo · Kuchiki Manor · Central Great Underground Prison · Wandenreich City · Silbern · Wahrwelt · Western Branch · Reverse London|
|Hueco Mundo||Forest of Menos · Las Noches · Negal Ruins|
|Others||Hell · Dangai · Valley of Screams · Garganta|