Kukaku Shiba (志波 空鶴) is the leader of the Shiba clan. She is also a personal friend of Yoruichi Shihoin.
Kūkaku was educated by Koganehiko and Shiroganehiko, who continued to stay in her service after the fall of the Shiba family. After Kaien's death, Jushiro Ukitake informed her of the events surrounding Kaien's death. Kukaku's home used to be located close to the West Gate of Seireitei. She then moved to a location further away from the gate, and changed the design of the house to have Human hands holding a banner with her name on it.
Kukaku is violent and very aggressive, often scolding and beating those who annoy her. Kukaku has been known to change the location and design of her house without warning. While the actual design changes, the theme is consistent and the houses are recognizable from a single glance. Yoruichi notes that she prefers to live away from built up areas, where it is quieter.
Kukaku smokes using a pipe. Additionally, she also is respectful of her deceased brother's memory.
Kukaku is youthful-looking woman of average height. She has green eyes and wears bandages over her long messy black hair that parts down in half at the small of her back. She wears a white skirt and provocative red robe exposing her ample bosom. She is missing her right arm and has a tattoo on her left arm. She wears bandages around her right shoulder and both ankles. She also has wooden sandals and a cloak. In the anime, her right arm is replaced with a bandaged prosthetic limb.
High Spiritual Power
As a member of the Shiba family, Kukaku possesses a high level of spiritual pressure.
Kukaku is capable of using a level 63 Hado, with which she defeats Higonyudo. Kukaku has also shown that she is able to use advanced Kidō techniques, such as "Kakaku style version 2, Kagizaki", to launch a reishūkaku (霊集核) from her Kakaku Ho (花鶴砲), a Kido-driven device.
Kukaku has shown herself to be a rather insightful woman, able to quickly understand the situation at hand and act accordingly. She is a well-informed person, having good knowledge of events in Soul Society.
Kukaku is physically strong, able to simultaneously beat up both Ichigo Kurosaki and Ganju barehanded.
Kukaku has a knowledge of creating and using fireworks.
Soul Society arc
After an unsuccessful attempt to break into Seireitei, Yoruichi leads the Ryoka to Kukaku's house. Koganehiko brings them to the door of Kukaku's room. Before he can introduce them, Kukaku tells him to open the door, stating that it seems there is a rare guest. She greets Yoruichi, saying that it has been a long time since she last saw her and asks who the people with her are. Yoruichi asks for her help and explains their situation to her. Kukaku agrees to help, saying that she cannot refuse since Kisuke Urahara is involved. However, she states that while she trusts Yoruichi, her trust does not extend to her companions. She therefore decides to send Ganju with them. She opens a door to allow him in and is surprised to learn that they have already met Ganju.
Kukaku beats the pair into submission when they start to fight. She warns Ichigo Kurosaki that if he does not like the way she runs her household, then he should leave. She accepts his apology, and instructs the group to follow her. As they walk along a corridor, Uryu Ishida notes that it is well lit considering they are underground. Kukaku tells him that she planted light vines between the walls, and ceiling. She ignores his follow-up question. She tells Ganju to open a door, and revealing the base of the chimney-like structure beside her house. Ichigo and Uryu ask what it is and she replies that she will use it to send them into Seireitei from the sky, revealing that she is a master of fireworks.
She calls for Koganehiko and Shiroganehiko to raise the platform they are standing on. The ceiling retracts and the platform ascends to just above ground level, where tells the others that it is her personal fireworks station. After she scolds Ganju again, Uryu questions whether they could survive the attempt. He is then hit on the head by a Reishukaku, which Ichigo then catches. Kukaku tells him to place his Reiatsu into the sphere. When Ichigo asks how to do this, she tells him to focus his Reiatsu on his palm as if he was using Kido. Saying that she thought all Shinigami knew how to use Kido. Yoruichi tells her that Ichigo is not an officially trained Shinigami and thus does not know any Kido. She tells Ganju to show him, and beats the pair when they do not co-operate.
As Ganju demonstrates the cannonball formed by the Reishūkaku, Kukaku tells them that Seireitei is surrounded by a wall of Sekkiseki which generates a special energy wave from its cut surfaces, forming a barrier above and underneath the city. As Ganju tires, she tells him to maintain the cannonball, saying that she will launch them towards the city and the cannonball will allow them to break through the barrier rather than be killed upon contact with it. She then orders them to a training area to prepare. As they leave, Ganju asks her if is she is really going to help them. Ganju states that he will not help a Shinigami, no matter what she might say to their brother. Kukaku silences him, reminding that she told him not to bring that up ever again. She instructs him to go, and not to let anyone see his "pathetic" expression. After he leaves, Kukaku apologizes to Kaien, saying that she is going to help a Shinigami it not like the one that killed him. She notes that if he was alive, and she did not help them, Kaien would likely scold her.
Later, Ichigo is able to activate the Reishukaku. Kukaku notices the pressure and tremor caused by this and rushes to investigate. She finds Ganju and asks him what happened. He apologizes to her and she opens a door to see Ichigo inside a large sphere of energy. She tells him to focus and refine his Reiatsu, which he does. She then scolds and beats him when he loses concentration, causing it to explode. She then does the same to Ganju, by telling him that he is to blame as well. When the group are ready to depart, they gather at the base of the cannon. Kukaku asks Ichigo where Ganju is, but he quickly arrives and begins to talk about Kaien. She unsuccessfully tries to silence him. When he finishes, she compliments his words and tells him not to run away during their mission. She then asks them if they are all ready.
Kukaku asks Ganju if he was studying and if he has learnt the spell needed to control the flight of the cannonball. She states that she will use "Kakaku style version 2" and asks him if he can handle it, which he claims he can. She opens a door at the base of the cannon and orders the group to enter. Noting that it is almost dawn, she states that she will launch them when the sun rises. After launching the cannonball, she tells Ganju to take care of himself.
Several days later, Kukaku visits Jidanbo Ikkanzaka, commenting that he has slept for five or six days straight. She invites him to go for a walk with her, saying that she wishes to see Yoruichi. Sometime later, she and Jidanbo make their way to Sokyoku Hill after Sosuke Aizen reveals himself as a traitor. She tells Yoruichi that she became bored, and came to see how she was doing. Before helping Jidanbo attack the other Gatekeepers, defeating Higonyudo with Kido. After Aizen and his forces are seemingly subdued, the Menos rescue him, Gin Ichimaru, and Kaname Tosen. Both Kukaku and Jidanbo watch them as they depart for Hueco Mundo.
After the conflict within the Seireitei has ended, Kūkaku forces Ganju to do push-ups. Saying that he was of little use in the second half of the battle. She tells him that she will make sure that he is in the front lines from the start the next time. They are interrupted by the arrival of Rukia Kuchiki. Kukaku asks what she wants, and Ganju tries to tell her who she is. But she cuts him off, saying that she is the one who killed Kaien. Rukia apologizes, saying that she was cowardly for not doing so before. Kukaku cuts her apology short, saying that it is too long, and hits her when she tries to continue. She reveals that she heard the details from Jushiro Ukitake, and decided that she would forgive Rukia if she just said one word of apology. She subsequently invites Rukia, Ichigo and Orihime Inoue to share a meal with her household.
Having changed the location of her house, Kukaku sends Ganju to the Human World to assist Ichigo and his friends in dealing with the Bount. When Ganju returns, she disciplines him for being useless in the Human World and only taking care of the convenience store he was working at. She apologizes to the newly arrived Ichigo and the others for Ganju's uselessness. Ichigo states that he's surprised that Kukaku knows about convenience stores, but this angers Kukaku, who believes that he was making fun of her. Yoruichi reports on the situation with the Bount and what they're planning to do. Yoruichi asks if they can all stay there for a while since it would be easier for them to move about. Kukaku tells Koganehiko and Shiroganehiko to prepare a meal.
Kukaku asks the group how they will track the Bount down, only for them to explain about the Modified Souls. Kukaku is surprised that the Mod-souls were put into dolls. As the group leave to eat, Kukaku speaks privately with Yoruichi, telling her that she knows that she is hiding something. She asks Yoruichi why she is not going to the Seireitei. Yoruichi tells her that a Shinigami, Maki Ichinose, is working with the Bount and that he has an ability to hide his Reiatsu and whereabouts and it would thus be safer not to stay in Seireitei. Kukaku realizes that the reason Yoruichi wants to stay here is so Ichinose doesn't deduce their strategies.
The members of Ganju's Gang inform the group of what happened at a gambling house in Kusajishi. Ichigo wonders if it's Kariya and Ganju remarks that if it was, Kariya had picked a good place. Kukaku cuts him off and explains that the place he was at is one of the most dangerous places, meaning that there's a lot of brute force to be found there. She states that he would be quite formidable if he recruited them all and Kukaku gets angered at the two of Ganju's members who went there. Ganju states that they'll head there tomorrow morning then, but Kukaku punches him. She tells him not to be lazy, and that he should go there now.
Gotei 13 Invasion army arc
Preparing for the worst when the Reigai began to take over Soul Society, Yoruichi arranges for Kukaku to stand by as backup. When Kageroza Inaba removes the limiters on his Reigai and they begin to overwhelm the captains, Kukaku, Jidanbo and Ganju help them escape. After she and the others escaped, she allows them to treat their wounds at her home.
The 10 Thousand Year Blood War arc
Ichigo is brought to Kukaku's home by the Royal Guard member Ichibei Hyosube so that she can launch the Tenchuran back to the Royal palace. After Kukaku sends them on their way, Ganju asks his sister if she is okay with this. Kukaku tells him that she is and that if he does not go now, the next attack could be the end of Soul Society. Therefore they have to let him go even if their uncle would not be happy. She then tells him to go back to the Great Kukaku Training Hall and help Kugo Ginjo, Shukuro Tsukishima and Giriko Kutsuzawa with their training, stating that she saved them from Rukongai. She tells Ganju that he will have to fight in the next battle.
- (To Yoruichi Shihoin) "Been a while since we’ve talked like this, my friend. Lucky for you, I enjoy danger."
- (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "This is my home. If you don't like the way I run this place, you can get the hell out!"
- Kaien Shiba (Older Brother/dead)
- Ganju Shiba (Younger Brother)
- Miyako Shiba (Sister in law/dead)
- While she is missing her right arm in the manga, the anime shows Kūkaku with a prosthetic limb.
- Japanese : Akiko Hiramatsu (2005 – Present)
- English : Cindy Robinson (2007 – Present)
all information on Kukkaku Shiba came from http://bleach.wikia.com/wiki/K%C5%ABkaku_Shiba