The basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors comprise a family of transcriptional regulators present extensively in plants, involved in regulating diverse biological processes such as flower and vascular development, seed maturation, stress signaling and pathogen defense. Castor bean (Ricinus communis L. Euphorbiaceae) is one of the most important non-edible oilseed crops and its seed oil is broadly used for industrial applications. We performed a comprehensive genome-wide identification and analysis of the bZIP transcription factors that exist in the castor bean genome in this study. In total, 49 RcbZIP transcription factors were identified, characterized and categorized into 11 groups (I-XI) based on their gene structure, DNA-binding sites, conserved motifs, and phylogenetic relationships. The dimerization properties of 49 RcbZIP proteins were predicted on the basis of the characteristic features in the leucine zipper. Global expression profiles of 49 RcbZIP genes among different tissues were examined using high-throughput sequencing of digital gene expression profiles, and resulted in diverse expression patterns that may provide basic information to further reveal the function of the 49 RcbZIP genes in castor bean. The results obtained from this study would provide valuable information in understanding the molecular basis of the RcbZIP transcription factor family and their potential function in regulating the growth and development, particularly in seed filling of castor bean.