What if it wasn't Isshin that made the Shiba Clan fall? After all, he's only Kukkaku's uncle (maybe) so shouldn't the shame of the Shiba family be related to the main line, Kukkaku and Ganju's father, rather than a side branch, Isshin and Ichigo?
That's assuming Kuukaku and Ganju were born to the main branch of the family instead of Isshin. Isshin could easily have been the main branch. That said, the family as a whole would have shared the sin. We have to bear in mind that we don't know for certain that Isshin had a brother. He could have had a sister whose husband married into the Shiba family.
However, you're right. It doesn't have to have been Isshin who caused the Shiba clan to fall, if Isshin is a Shiba at all, that is. Yes, it's the most likely theory, but we have to remember that it's not yet confirmed. Just in case.
That said, we know from the Bootleg that Kaien and Kuukaku were definitely alive when the Shiba clan fell (we don't know if Ganju was), so it's doubtful that it occurred too far in the distant past. If it occurred before TBTP, it wouldn't have been that long before the TBTP (in the grand scheme of things), given that Kaien wasn't amazingly old, so probably wouldn't have been around for more than a couple of centuries at most.
Hmm, I guess it doesn't matter. Maybe I was thinking too much of Naruto. If there's no main branch then leadership would still end up with Kukkaku just as the oldest member of the clan.
It's a Japanese story possessing feudal overtones, so I do think it's relevant to speculate about main and side clan branches. However, while Kuukaku is the leader of her 'side' (so to speak), she seems clearly connected to whatever her uncle may be thinking about any decisions she may take, which does appear to suggest that while she feels she must be the one to make decisions in his absence, she attempting to do right by him. That suggests some degree of subordinate thinking, or at the very least, loyalty.
If Isshin is in 'exile' or persona non grata or in hiding (insert any other theory here) then he wouldn't be able to function as a head of the family. There's also the issue of him taking Masaki's name. That strongly implies he married into her family. That would forefeit him control of his natal family if he was the person who was supposed to be in control of his family because his primary purpose would now centre around representing his marital family (the Kurosaki clan) either as its head or subordinate to its head.
Father disappears(dies)+Clan is removed from noble status, but Ganju believes the shinigami were at fault.
Ganju believed that when the ryouka first met him. However, we have to remember he wasn't even told the truth about Kaien's death. How much he knew about his family history (at that particular time) is therefore debatable. He seems more in the know in this arc, however.
If Isshin is a Shiba then the impact of him leaving the clan should be enough to warrant some explanation.
One thing to bear in mind is that when Yoruichi asked Kuukaku for help invading Seireitei, Kuukaku stated that she had to help because Urahara was involved. She indicated that even if she hadn't wanted to help, she would have been obliged to help Urahara under any circumstance. That indicates one hell a debt she's in to Urahara, which begs the question of why she's so deeply in debt to Urahara. Urahara's connection to Isshin could be involved in that answer in some way.
When Rukia left her post they were like "Git yo @ss back here girl"
But Kukkau knows Isshin is still alive (if he is "uncle") so it may be known that he abandoned his post, but is still alive and in hiding.
f Isshin is the tenth division captain that was referenced in TBTP then his official status in Soul Society is 'dead'. That's obviously a big 'if'. However, if he is officially dead to Soul Society then he'd have good reason to be in hiding. Now, as to how many people would know he's still alive even if he was officially dead is another matter entirely.
Isshin and Ichigo both lack the Shiba family's thick lower eyelashes that Kaien's family all had... isshin must've plucked them and Ichigo never inherited the trait.
For all we know the three Shiba siblings didn't inherit those eyelashes from the sibling of Isshin but from the spouse of Isshin's sibling instead. In that case, Isshin wouldn't have those eyelashes at all.
That's ignoring the potential artistic reason: it's too obvious a clue too early on.
Edited by Milareppa, 02 March 2013 - 07:21 PM.