Animated Character Database

Chōjirō Tadaoki Sasakibe (雀部 長次郎 忠息, Sasakibe Chōjirō Tadaoki) was the lieutenant of the 1st Division under the command of Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto. He had kept this post for at least 110 years.


Chōjirō has pupil-less eyes, short silver-gray hair and a small black handlebar mustache with lightly tanned skin. He wears a white jinbaori over a standard Shinigami shihakushō with long white arm guards. He wears a white turtle-neck under his uniform and has his lieutenant armband on his left arm. As a lieutenant approximately 110 years ago, Chōjirō lacked his black mustache.

When he was young, Sasakibe had short, light hair and short eyebrows. He wore the standard Shinigami uniform with a white robe over it which was clasped at the front by a simple knot.


Sasakibe is fiercely loyal to his captain, having sworn to serve as his lieutenant for as long as Yamamoto is alive. During missions to the Human World, Sasakibe saw English society, which had a big impact on him. As such he has a habit of making tea with his own personally grown black tea leaves, sometimes with drastic results, such as blowing up a tower by trying to turn on a boiling machine. His adoration of Western culture is to such a degree that he only likes Western cuisine and dislikes Japanese cuisine. This is a noticeable difference between him and his captain, though he represents the Tea Ceremony Club on occasion. His jinbaori, which he made himself, is also meant to give him a more Western look. He passes his free time by endeavoring to adopt more aspects of Western culture.


When he was younger, Chōjirō routinely visited Yamamoto at his school, always referring to him as "Eijisai-dono", a reference to the scar on his forehead. This annoyed Yamamoto and he apologized for doing so, but insisted that it would be wrong to use Yamamoto's real name. During one of his visits, Chōjirō told Yamamoto that he wished to be his right arm and compensate for anything that Yamamoto could not do. He declined an offer to become a student as he thought that he would simply end up copying Yamamoto. At Yamamoto's behest, he tried to defeat Yamamoto with his Bankai. Though he failed to defeat him, he left a permanent scar on Yamamoto's face.

Chōjirō was told that his Bankai was like a child's, which he agreed with, and said he would spend his life improving it in order to be of use to Yamamoto. He spent many years training intensely. When others began to call Yamamoto by a different name as a result of his new scar, Chōjirō continued to call him "Eijisai" as he could not change the way he called him because of a scar he inflicted. Approximately one thousand years before his death, Chōjirō fought alongside Yamamoto and the first Gotei 13 captains against Yhwach and his Quincy army. During the battle, Chōjirō managed to stab Yhwach from behind after hiding in the pile of corpses that the latter was standing on, thereby granting Yamamoto an opening to attack Yhwach with his Bankai.

Though Chōjirō was able to master his Bankai before Jūshirō Ukitake and Shunsui Kyōraku did, he did not participate in battles and did not use his Bankai in front of others in the entire existence of the Gotei 13. He was sometimes insulted because of perceived weakness. He declined to act as a substitute captain when a position as captain became vacant due to his loyalty to Captain-Commander Yamamoto.


Soul Society arc[]

During a meeting of the Gotei 13's lieutenants, Sasakibe and the other gathered officers hear the alarm as the Ryoka are launched into the Seireitei by Kūkaku Shiba. Chōjirō accompanies Captain Yamamoto to Rukia Kuchiki's execution on the Sōkyoku Hill, where he stands by as Yamamoto asks Rukia if she has any last words.

He is directly ordered by Yamamoto to stop Renji Abarai after the latter runs off with Rukia. Along with Isane Kotetsu and Marechiyo Ōmaeda, he gives chase, but Ichigo Kurosaki soon appears in their way, blocking their path. Chōjirō and his fellow lieutenants release their Zanpakutō, but Ichigo launches a swift bare-handed attack. Out of the three, Sasakibe is the only one fast enough to react and attack, though Ichigo easily dodges. He then defeats Sasakibe by punching him in the jaw. After recovering, Sasakibe is among those that receive Isane's message revealing Captain Sōsuke Aizen as a traitor. As Aizen flees Seireitei, Sasakibe stands by Yamamoto and listens as the treacherous captain bids them farewell.

Arrancar arc[]

When an assembly of captains is called due to the appearance of the Grand Fisher Arrancar in Karakura Town, Sasakibe is present at the start of the meeting, standing behind Yamamoto. Later, he assists his captain in restraining Momo Hinamori after she goes off course on saving Sōsuke Aizen in a conversation with Tōshirō Hitsugaya.

Hueco Mundo arc[]

Initially among the Shinigami during the arrival of Aizen, Gin Ichimaru, and Kaname Tōsen, he subsequently disappears once the battles start.

The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai 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.

Shortly after Shūsuke Amagai is appointed captain of the Third Division, Sasakibe talks with Yamamoto about the need to fill the vacant captain positions. He later tries to stop Renji Abarai from going into the Captain-Commander's room. However, Renji simply walks past him.

Fake Karakura Town arc[]

During the battle, Sasakibe waits outside the barrier surrounding the Fake Karakura Town. When the Visored arrive, they find him and he allows them to pass through the barrier and enter the battle zone. Chōjirō accompanies them to Yamamoto's location where he apologizes to Yamamoto for allowing the Visored to enter, saying that he thought it was necessary given the circumstances, but he is forgiven before he could finish. Later, after Aizen's defeat, Chōjirō rushes to the injured Visored and Retsu Unohana to warn them that Mayuri Kurotsuchi is about to switch back Karakura Town and its fake counterpart and that they had limited time to get away or else they could be seriously hurt by the transfer.

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.

Chōjirō is sent to check the nature of the disturbances outside of the Captain-Commander's office. He later arrives on the Sōkyoku Hill where he falls unconscious in front of all the gathered officers. Captain Unohana diagnoses him with a cardiac arrest and orders immediate treatment measures. He later recuperates with the other wounded.

The Thousand-Year Blood War arc[]

Sasakibe and other members of the 1st Division are attacked by Driscoll Berci at one of Seireitei's gates. During the 182 second long battle, 106 members of the 1st Division are killed and Sasakibe sustains mortal wounds. Sasakibe uses his Bankai for the first time in an actual battle, but it is stolen by Driscoll with his Medallion.

Sasakibe is then propelled across Yamamoto's office and pinned to the wall, impaled by an arrow several times larger than his own body. Following the departure of the Wandenreich, he warns Yamamoto that they can completely erase something belonging to a Shinigami. Soon after, he succumbs to his wounds. He is later cremated atop a large funeral pyre as Yamamoto and other Gotei 13 officers pay their last respects to him.

Powers & Abilities[]

Kidō Expert: Chōjirō is experienced enough in Kidō to open and close large powerful barriers, like the one around the Fake Karakura Town.

Shunpo Practitioner: Chōjirō is proficient in the use of Shunpo, appearing behind Shinji Hirako as he talks about the barrier that the Gotei 13 placed in the Fake Karakura Town.

Subterfuge: Chōjirō has some notable skill in subterfuge and hiding his Reiatsu, as 1,000 years ago he successfully fooled Yhwach into thinking he was dead long enough to stab the unsuspecting Quincy from behind.

Great Spiritual Power: Being stated as a Shinigami with captain-level ability, he has a great amount of spiritual power. A younger Chōjirō was powerful enough to fight side-by-side with the first Gotei 13 captains, who were considered the strongest generation of them all.


Gonryōmaru redirects here. For the manifested spirit that appears in the anime-only Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc see Gonryōmaru (Zanpakutō spirit).

Gonryōmaru (厳霊丸, Stern Spirit; Viz "Solemn Spirit"): In its sealed form, it is an average katana with an ornate double-fanned hand guard and a yellowish-green handle.

  • Shikai: Its Shikai command is "Pierce" (穿て, ugate; Viz "Bite"). In its Shikai, Gonryōmaru transforms into a rapier. The blade of Gonryōmaru is strong enough to impale a younger Yhwach.
  • Bankai: Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū (黄煌厳霊離宮, Yellow-Glittering Royal Villa of the Stern Spirit; Viz "Golden Lightning Palace"): Chōjirō raises his Zanpakutō above his head, causing dark clouds to form above him. He then produces a bolt of lightning from the blade which extends and transforms into a dome of lightning, stationed far above his head and fastened to the ground by a large number of lightning pillars. A single pillar also reaches from the top of the dome toward the sky. The sword itself remains in its Shikai form for the duration of the Bankai. Shortly prior to his death, Chōjirō's Bankai was stolen by Driscoll Berci.
Bankai Special Ability: Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū is a Bankai that can exert a very powerful Reiatsu. It is capable of affecting the weather similar to the way that Tōshirō Hitsugaya's Hyōrinmaru can, though its power is geared toward thunder and lightning storms, and it brings forth dark clouds to facilitate the use of its powers. Through the use of gestures with his blade, Chōjirō can direct powerful lightning bolts to strike his opponents from the sky.
  • Lightning Infusion: By moving the blade of Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū alongside the lightning pillars, Chōjirō can infuse his sword with immense amounts of lightning as he moves to attack his opponent with it. This technique is strong enough to scar Yamamoto's forehead. (Unnamed)


  • "Man of little words, always standing by the Captain Commander's side in waiting is Lieutenant, Sasakibe Chōjirō. While they are a famous combination that is easily distinguishable, the only difference between them that cannot be reconciled seems to be their food preference..." - Tite Kubo
  • The theme song that Kubo chose for Chōjirō is "Down By The Quay" by the band Minaton on their album One Day in Paradise.
  • Chōjirō was voted the 45th most popular character in the third character popularity poll and 28th in the fifth.
  • Gonryōmaru ranked 64th in the first Zanpakutō poll and 25th in the second.
  • At Sasakibe's funeral, Byakuya revealed that Sasakibe's full name was Chōjirō Tadaoki Sasakibe. Sasakibe is usually known by the name "Chōjirō", which means, "chief second son" or "second son of the main line". His first name, Tadaoki, means "Loyal breath" or "loyal son."
  • In the original anime, Chōjirō's eyes have pupils, while in the manga they do not have any, which is also how he's depicted in the anime adaptation for the Thousand Year Blood-War arc.
  • Chōjirō's Zanpakutō, Gonryōmaru, was depicted as a lightning-type Zanpakutō in the anime-only Zanpakutō Rebellion arc long before it was revealed in the manga, during Chapter 504.


  • (To Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto) "As a member of your school, I would only be able to imitate you. The role of a right-hand man should be to compensate for those areas which you cannot address!"