What Does the Kanji 藩 Have to Do With Bleach?

Kyouraku Shusui from Bleach

Kyouraku Shusui from Bleach


This post looks at a kanji which isn’t really used much, the kanji for clan.

Kanji in the Spotlight: 藩 ハン CLAN

This was a Japanese kanji used for the clans back in the Tokugawa and Edo periods. These days there is no really modern use, unless you are reading up a history book about such clans. The only word that I can think of where I can use it is 藩主 (はんしゅ/HANSHU) which means feudal lord or daimyo.

While you may not necessarily encounter it in your daily Japanese reading, this still is an N1 character, and should be memorized.

Luckily or unluckily for you, depending if you watch the anime Bleach or not, this can be easily remembered. At least I like to think so.

There are three parts to this kanji. The top part is the flower radical, originating from the kanji for flower, 花 (hana). On the left side you see three water droplets which is another radical originating from the kanji for water, 水 (mizu). And on the right, you have the kanji for turn or numerical order, 番(ban).

How in the world do they all tie with the Bleach anime? Well if you DO watch it or watched it, you would remember that there were twelve division (or I like to think of them as clans) captains. One of them is the eighth captain in numerical order, Kyouraku Shusui.  He always wears a flowery drape around him and is surrounded by flowers. He is also always depicted either by holding on to sake and drinking, or sitting next to a river. You can connect the river or the sake with the water radical, those three drops on the left. I prefer the sake.

The picture at the top perfectly fits in this explanation. It covers all of the keywords and kanji parts. If you have a suggestion, please write it down!