○ Name: Koizumi Shishiyuki
(古泉 四死雪, "Four Death Snow")
○ Alias': N/A
○ Age: 1081
○ Gender: Female.
○ Race: Shinigami.
Head of the Koizumi Family.
○ Alignment: True Neutral.
○ Marital Status: Single.
○ Nationality: Seireitei.
○ Sexual Orientation: Unclear.
○ Height: 5’7"
○ Weight: How improper.
○ Hair Colour: Black.
○ Eye Colour: Silver.
The degree to which one can feasibly analyze Shishiyuki would depend, ultimately, on how much she is willing to allow you to know. This is in no small part simply because Shishiyuki is a woman who has been raised all her life to let very little of the truth be given away freely. Indeed, this and many of the axioms of the Koizumi household make up a large part of the worldview that she presents to others. That the truth can be, and ought to be, freely ignored and misrepresented should the need arise; that the common good and the good of others is not always abundantly clear except to those with the power to enforce it; and, above all, that one can never allow themselves to share the whole truth. Such is simply the way that the head of the Koizumi family ought to act.
However, Shishiyuki herself is unsure of the degree to which she truly cares for any of these axioms. She cares deeply for the honor of her family, this much is true. Those who would ever speak ill of the Koizumi would find that they will, without fail, be challenged to a duel with their honor on the line. The Koizumi family is that which she has given her every effort for, and that which she will continue to do all she might do in the name of. It is not simply a matter of having been born into them, or that she feels obligated to do so. If she truly wished it, she could very easily simply leave the family behind, give the throne to another of the branches and live a quiet life of simple means in the Rukongai. Perhaps, in its own way, she would rather like that, but she has already sworn to lead the Koizumi to her absolute best. To Shishiyuki, there is nothing more powerful than a promise made to oneself. After all, while a promise to others might be taken advantage of, a promise to oneself is always made with clearest intentions.
Generally speaking, Shishiyuki maintains the air of a dignified noblewoman, as befits the head of a Great Noble Family. She does not, however, tend to carry in her demeanor the distance which would befit such a position. She speaks often with those among the Seireitei, travels among the shinigami without need of an escort or any grand indications of her noble status. She behaves, in a word, normally. This is of course, in part, because the nature of the Koizumi family simply dictates that normalcy always be maintained, that they draw no undue attention to themselves one way or the other. Yet, she finds such a thing quite pleasant, in its own way. It is but one more facet of the Koizumi that she finds agreeable, and makes her wonder if there is indeed such a thing as fate.
However, there is one facet of her personality which is not so clearcut. Within Shishiyuki burns what could only ever be called a burning pride in herself that feels it ought to be rewarded. She is a woman who has practiced her martial arts for over a thousand years, and in that time she has scarcely ever needed to truly use them to their fullest potential. They are killing arts, and yet she does not need to kill; her training, and her greatest struggles for her family’s pride, go invariably unspoken. Despite the nature of the Koizumi, and despite her own enjoyment of a quieter life, it can only ever be said that she truly enjoys violence. She hides it very well, certainly. In most instances, even when in a duel for her family’s honor, she gives off nothing but the indication of a woman proud of her family. But if presented with a reason to truly fight for her own sake, for the purpose of self-defense, there is an intent in her eyes which cannot be called malicious, or perhaps even evil. Shishiyuki does not seek to kill or to harm for its own sake, and she does not relish the harm she would bring to others. But to see the fruits of her labors, to be affirmed in them, gives her such a total willingness to engage in even the most ferocious violence as to make her seem like nearly a different person. She abandons any pretense of elegance, forgoes any of the subtle kido which hide the scars crossing her body. All that matters, in those moments, is the knowledge that she can yet kill.
RELATIONSHIPS○ Kagayaku no Murasaki:
Though not immediately apparent, Shishiyuki is in fact the aunt of the Seventh Division captain. Murasaki’s mother, Midori, is Shishiyuki’s youngest sister, and while she did not relish the act of exiling her own blood from the Koizumi, the act of mating with one’s own zanpakuto was something Shishiyuki simply could not allow to reflect upon the family name. In truth, she wishes that she could reach out to Murasaki and make at least some modicum of amends for what occurred, but she knows all too well that doing so would simply overwrite the act of exiling Midori in the first place. As such, she simply hopes that, in time, she might meet her niece face to face.
Before one can examine the life of Shishiyuki, it is rather crucial that one understand the greater context of her family; the Great Noble Family Koizumi. It has been said that the Koizumi are perhaps the least open of the Noble Families, to such a degree that there are likely more than a few members of the Gotei who are simply unaware of them in their entirety. Such a status is not something that the Koizumi mind, however. They are a family which prides themselves on obfuscation and multiple meanings, which is defined by its pursuit of untruth.
As with all of the Great Noble Families, the Koizumi’s origins can be found at the creation of the Soul Cycle. When each of the families made their contributions to the Cycle, it was the Koizumi who insisted upon the obscurance of the boundaries between the realms, to prevent the full nature of the Cycle from being understood by the vast majority of those within its confines. In particular, they understood fully that Hell would need to be covered, if anyone was to have peace of mine, and of course to prevent those held within it from being able to freely escape.
When the Tsunayashiro made their ploy to defile the Soul King, the Koizumi chose to say nothing. They would not intervene, nor would they assist. The reason for this decision was rather simple, in that the Tsunayashiro simply had too much control for the Koizumi to risk such a thing. If they acknowledged the act at all, then one way or another, the Tsunayashiro would have had knowledge that might be used as leverage against them. But even to this day, the Koizumi have a distinction that is unique; that they cannot be said with any certainty to have known about the sin committed that day. Though surely they must know, it would be wholly baseless to assert as much.
Across the many centuries which followed the Soul King’s defilement, the Koizumi have actively avoided the spotlight. It is no secret that even their name is relatively obscure, but this is exactly in line with the efforts of the Koizumi family. They do not maintain any specialized job within the Seireitei, but even this has been covered by a lie. The Koizumi claim that their purpose is to uncover the truths of existence and the Soul Cycle, and as only the heads of the family are ever made privy to the whole truth, the vast majority of the Koizumi quite earnestly believe in this goal as truth.
Born as the first child of the Koizumi’s previous head, one might expect that Shishiyuki’s life would be one of relative ease, the wealth and prestige of a Great Noble Family more than enough to assure that she would be secure for the rest of her days. However, such was far from the case. While it is true that she was never in danger of starvation, and likely wanted for nothing, it cannot be said that her upbringing was one of much joy. Her destiny was to inherit the Koizumi, and as such this meant that she would need to be able to defend this birthright. Any branch of the family carried the right to contest succession if they believed the new head was unsuited to the task, and the whole of her youth was spent preparing for that day.
In truth, looking back on those days, Shishiyuki likely would not complain. She was not mistreated for failure, nor shown any malice when faced with those subjects she could not immediately grasp. The training she received was grueling, but it was not cruel; it had been intended to produce an heir ready to lead their family after all, not to simply make a warrior or a corpse. No, the only thing about those days which Shishiyuki might complain about would be the distance she always felt from her sister Midori. Perhaps it was simply unavoidable, given their temperaments and the regime to which Shishiyuki so rigidly abided, but the two cannot be said to have ever been particularly close. They were sisters, of course, and even now they love each other. But, when Midori departed the household to chase after her dreams, Shishiyuiki could not lament much, beyond the knowledge that she had lost one person who she could speak casually and truthfully with.
Even having lost her sister, however, Shishiyuki did not waver from her training. It did not harm her as much as perhaps it should have, but she was already a woman by this point in her life. She had been hardened by her training and by her upbringing, this much was true, but it became increasingly apparent to the rest of the Koizumi that it was not simply a matter of age or upbringing. Shishiyuki was simply someone who, when all was said and done, desired results. She would put forward any means necessary to achieve them, and though she might certainly not enjoy it, or be burdened by her emotions, she was the sort to simply set them aside until she was away from the public eye.
With each year that passed, Shishiyuki prepared ever more to replace her father, and when he finally became ill, her studies reached their zenith. She knew that soon she would need to face the challengers of the Koizumi branch families, and though she respected each and every one of them, she would not allow any quarter when it came to succession. It was not for the sake of her own pride, or for her own success. It was simply what she had chosen to do, the destiny that she would carve into the stars themselves if it was deemed necessary.
The day eventually came that her father passed, when Shishiyuki was nearly 300 years old. When the rites of succession were underway, Shishiyuki was completely ready for the challenges to be issues, to strike down all of those who believed she was not worthy of inheriting the title. The final day came, and when she was crowned the new head of the family, there was no challenge issued. None had any doubt in her skill, or in her ability to lead the family as a suitable successor. The day passed without violence, and the family rejoiced as she was crowned the new head of the Koizumi family.
Yet for Shishiyuki, who had spent centuries preparing for this, it was nothing but overwhelming disappointment.
This day had been planned for years, and her training had been predicated upon the idea that she would fight whatever challengers stood before her. But none had, and in spite of herself, in spite of the fact that this was unquestionably the best possible outcome for the Koizumi, Shishiyuki was filled with nothing but overwhelming disappointment, to the point of outright anger. She was, of course, perfectly capable of masking her irritation, and none within the family knew that she even felt such a thing. But her training grew only more dedicated, and in time, she realized that she could not possibly find solace merely through training. So, in an act perceived by most in the Koizumi as merely furthering the prestige of the family, Shishiyuki joined the Gotei 13. Her service in the Combat Squad was quite well decorated, if relatively unremarkable, but this was ultimately unsatisfying to her aims.
This service would continue for several centuries, even through the era of Aizen’s betrayal, but came to an untimely conclusion when it was revealed that her own sister, who she had not seen in a great many years, had engaged in most unscrupulous behavior with her zanpakuto. Shishiyuki could scarcely even understand what would compel Midori to do such a thing, but she knew quite decidedly that she would have to act upon it. She would have rather liked to simply let it go, truth be told; after all, she knew well that really, this simply did not matter. The noble houses of the Seireitei were more than rife with degeneracy and sin beyond this. But to simply ignore such a public affair would draw great attention to the Koizumi, something that was invariably seen as unacceptable. So, reluctantly, Shishiyuki expelled Midori from the family.
Knowing it would not be feasible to continue serving in the Gotei, Shishiyuki stepped away from her position, despite the outlet which it had provided for the anger she still felt burning in her chest. Even after many centuries, Shishiyuki had not found any solace in what she could only describe as a gnawing sense of emptiness, and to now be removed from her place where violence could be allowed only further fueled her frustrations. So she trained, and she led the Koizumi once more, pushing aside these feelings of ever-present irritation. She might well have simply been forced to bury them forever, were it not for one final outlet provided to her.
When demons incurred upon the Soul Society, Shishiyuki fought in the name of her family. At least, that is what she says. In truth, every foe she killed was only for her own gratification; every death at her hand filled the void in her heart which she had suffered for so very long. Even if the effort was ultimately meaningless, she had felt some degree of satisfaction simply in violence not for the sake of her family, or for the nobility, but purely for her own honor’s sake.
Now that the Soul Society is in a place of relative peace, Shishiyuki has found that the clawing need to prove her own value has once more risen to the surface. However, she would never let such pride be made apparent. So far as any might be able to discern, she is simply engaging with the Gotei and the Soul Society once more. Now that Central 46 has returned, and the niece who stained the Koizumi honor has been seen in a favorable light, she may finally allow herself to re-enter the public eye.
A peculiar item to say the least, the Koizumi-ki (古泉記, lit. “Record of the Koizumi) are not what one might imagine a family record to look like. Typically worn as a pair of hand wraps, the Koizumi-ki are two scrolls which each carry a different record that is vital to the Koizumi family. The one worn on the right hand bears the name of each member of the Koizumi family, going back to their founding in an age long forgotten, in text only barely large enough to read. The scroll worn on the left hand carries a list of the martial techniques created by each head of the Koizumi and its branch families, those which were so impressive as to earn those heads their position. The only noteworthy ability of the Koizumi-ki is that, even if destroyed, they can be recreated from the spiritual energy of the current head of the Koizumi (that is to say, Shishiyuki).
POWERS AND ABILITIES○ Exceptional Physique:
A woman who has trained for nearly the full length of her millennium-long life, Shishiyuki’s body is built as a tool of war in every possible sense of the word. Even were it not for her skills in the assorted shinigami arts, she would without question be very far ahead of the average shinigami in all categories, due simply to the constant rigors that her body has been put through, the training she has undergone, and the constant combat she has undertaken among her fellow Koizumi and against outsiders who have required a beating. Her strength, speed, and reaction times are all exceptional; there is no questioning such a thing.○ Hoho:
While by no means a master of the art, Shishiyuki’s prowess in the art of stepping is certainly good enough to be called above average. She is capable of advanced techniques with relative ease, and could certainly outpace any recent graduate of Shin’o Academy with little effort. However, compared to true masters of the art, she is certainly not remotely within the same scope.○ Kido:
The Koizumi family, putting tremendous value on their ability to operate as individuals, put a great deal of time into refining kido as a part of their training, for the purposes of giving each Koizumi the best possible skillset for any situation. Indeed, the usage of solely orthodox kido is seen as something of an entry-level understanding for those Koizumi who study the art. For the head of the Koizumi family, an exceptional master is required not only of the traditional forms of kido, but of the family’s Mukokyu Ougi (無呼吸 奥義, “Breathless Esoterica”), kido developed to be utilized in direct conjunction with the martial techniques of the Ichibyou Senkuka.
Shishiyuki is, certainly, no exception to this rule. Her knowledge of kido, both in the academic and in the practical senses, is exceptionally thorough. While her mastery of it is ultimately not quite to the same level as her knowledge of hand to hand combat, to an average practitioner of the art she would certainly appear to be in a completely different league. The silent nature of the Mukokyu Ougi, which create physical mnemonics that nearly replace the need for any incantation, means that her wide knowledge of kido seems only that much more impressive, when she is capable of combining an already devastating martial technique with the additional effect of a mastered kido, without seemingly any need for words.
ICHIBYOU SENKUKA○ Overview:
The martial art which has been handed down the Koizumi bloodline for generations, Ichibyou Senkuka (一秒 千句歌, lit. “One Second, Thousand Stanza Song”) is not merely intended as a development of Hakuda or other hand to hand techniques; rather, it is intended to operate in place of a zanpakuto for its user. This is on account of the Koizumi family head inheriting the family zanpakuto, Kakekotoba, each generation, despite the zanpakuto being sealed away in the family’s deepest chambers. Ichibyou Senkuka is a versatile art, having been built upon by every master and every head of the Koizumi family. Furthermore, any master of Ichibyou Senkuka is expected to have a significant enough grasp of its principles to modify their knowledge depending on circumstance, even to such a significant degree as the creation of entirely new techniques for an unforeseen situation. Indeed, true mastery is only considered to have been achieved in Ichibyou Senkuka when one has developed a technique of such distinction as to merit being recorded in the Koizumi-ki.
On account of the innumerable techniques within the repertoire of Ichibyou Senkuka, it would be unfeasible to describe the full possible applications of this martial art. Thousands of years of history and mastery simply cannot be written into any small amount of space, but a general overview of the art’s principles, along with its varying titles used to denote particular types of techniques, will be provided in order to give a general sense of the arts scope.○ Harugasumi (春霞, “Spring Haze”):
Techniques denoted as Harugasumi
are those techniques which aim to function in a subtle capacity. This can include self-applied techniques which allow the user to operate in situations of subterfuge or misdirection, or might simply be those techniques which do not immediately rouse suspicion upon use. An example of a Harugasumi
technique would be the Harugasumi Seishinkousoku
(春霞 精神梗塞, “Spring Haze: Spirit-Shutting Obstruction), which temporarily halts the user’s flow of spiritual energy for the purposes of drastically reducing their ability to be detected, keeping any energy from leaving their body at the obvious expense of being quite physically taxing and preventing the vast majority of spiritual powers from being used.○ Tokikaze (時風, “Timely Wind):
Techniques denoted as Tokikaze
are, generally speaking, techniques to be applied when one is actively being attacked, and now wishes to avoid or mitigate damage to themselves. Because of this, these techniques may be evasive, redirective, or even self-reinforcing in nature. Their methodology is ultimately secondary to the situation in which it is applied. An example of this would be the Tokikaze Amanogawa Ichitodou
(時風 天の川 一度動, “Timely Wind: Milky Way Shifting One Degree”), a technique which avoids blows through as minimal an evasive action as possible, combined with as minimal a redirective effort as can be achieved, such that the attack misses by the thinnest possible margin and may disorient the opponent, who often will not even notice how their attack has missed.○ Kusamakura (草枕, “Grass Pillow”):
Techniques denoted Kusamakura
are techniques which are not combative in nature, seeing a significant application outside of merely fisticuffs. Generally, this means that most techniques which carry this distinction are therapeutic in nature often intended to heal or in some way restore the person upon which it is used. However, other techniques can see this distinction as well, such as the Kusamakura Hangetsu Taishou
(草枕 半月 隊商, “Grass Pillow: Half-Moon Caravan”), which relies on principles not unlike those of Hoho to provide the user with tremendous speed. However, unlike Hoho, which uses footholds and stepping technique to create ideal steps, the Hangetsu Taishou
focuses the majority of the body’s spiritual power into the legs, and directs it to be expelled through the bottom of the foot. This allows for a drastic increase in one’s speed and stride so long as the technique is active, at the expense of lessened spiritual potential in other capacities.○ Chihaya (千早, “Ferocious Violence):
Finally, techniques denoted as Chihaya
are those to be used in a purely combative sense, with only a significant application in open combat. Because of this, they are near-exclusively made up of attacking techniques. They are, additionally, the grouping which had by and away the largest number of techniques, simply due to the tremendous possibilities to be found in any clash. An example of a technique which falls into this category would be the Chihaya Senbachou
(千早 船破鰷, “Ferocious Violence: Ship-Breaking Minnow), an attack intended to send as much harm through as little of the body as possible. This is done by focusing one’s energy on a single finger, and striking a singular blow using only this digit rather than the full fist. A proper practitioner of Ichibyou Senkuka will be capable of achieving the desired effect, all the force of their strongest blow condensed into this one point, while improper use will simply lead to a broken finger.
Kakekotoba (掛詞, “Pivot Word)Zanpakuto Spirit Appearance:
The appearance of Kakekotoba’s spirit is unknown, as Shishiyuki and all heads of the Koizumi are forbidden from interacting with it.Zanpakuto Sealed Power:
While the full power of Kakekotoba is not currently known even to Shishiyuki, as it has been sealed by the order of the first head of the Koizumi in the wake of the family’s founding, it is capable of being handed down from each Koizumi head to the next.
SKILL SHEETS AND INFORMATION General Skills
- Durability: Adept
- General Speed: Advanced
- Strength: Advanced
- Martial Skill: Elite
- Zanjutsu: Untrained
- Hoho: Advanced
- Hakuda: Elite
- Kido: Elite
- Willpower/Determination: Advanced
- Mental Deduction: Adept
- Focus: Elite