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The academy was founded some 2,100 years ago. It is not under the direct control of Central 46.

The Academy was once called the Shinigami Academy. It was then changed to the Spiritual Arts Academy when it developed into an institute for the next generation of the Kidō Corps and the Onmitsukidō, as well as the Shinigami of the Gotei 13. However, it is still referred to as Shinigami Academy in Rukongai.

The Academy is a sprawling, multiple story building with architecture similar to that of Seireitei. It has an open courtyard, many classrooms, dormitories and practice areas for Zanjutsu, Hakuda, Hohō, and Kidō. According to Aizen, the commandment all Shinigami are taught at the Academy is "Do not seek beauty in battle. Do not seek virtue in death. Do not make the mistake of considering only your own life. If you wish to protect that which you must protect......slice the enemy you must defeat from behind."