Council of Five meeting table

Council of Five meeting table

The Council of Five led the Phoenix Clan and the Isawa family since the 1st century after Isawa joined the Kami Shiba's fledgling clan.

History Edit

At the founding of Gisei Toshi, the Tribe of Isawa was led by Isawa and his six siblings. During the War Against Fu Leng, the changes to the Isawa were drastic. Isawa Ariminhime was killed and Isawa himself was called to his death in order to defeat Fu Leng. To his five remaining brothers and sisters, Isawa gave this advice upon his departure: "Guide our people." [1]

Succession Edit

New Masters were generally chosen one of two ways. Ideally, the outgoing Master would have a named successor who would take the seat without controversy upon the Master's death or retirement (although it was sometimes the case that a Master would name his successor upon taking his retirement, and such choices were not always the most welcome among the other Masters). Otherwise, upon the death of a Master, the remaining Masters would decide upon the replacement.

In the beginning, all claimants to the Master's seat were required to fight to the death to settle the claim. In this manner, a clear victor would be seen and all who might have opposed his succession would be eliminated. Using this method, it was very obvious who the most powerful shugenja was, but the killing of powerful shugenja created an unnecessary drain on the family's resources. Today, multiple claimants often competed in harmless tests of skill instead. [2]

Rivalry with the Jade Champion Edit

The Council saw the created office of Jade Champion as an affront to their superiority and control over magic. The Masters began to plan to remove the position from the Emperor's courts. [3] In 664 the Phoenix discovered a Bloodspeaker cell within the Scorpion lands. They destroyed it and the reputation of the Jade Champion at the time, Yogo Yoshi, who retired to a monastery. The office was vacant for over four hundred years. [4]

The Phoenix Clan Edit

The Phoenix Clan had a Shiba Champion. The Champion spoke for the Phoenix in the courts and on the battlefields of Rokugan. But the Council told the Champion what to say. The Elemental Masters held sway not only over their elements and magic as a whole, but also over the Phoenix. Depending on the demeanors of the Champion and the Masters at any given time, the Champion might have great sway in the affairs of his clan, but the Council truly held the power within the Phoenix. [2]

By tradition the Phoenix Champion stood in a position equal to the Elemental Council in matters of war, and was subject to their dictates in times of peace. [5]

Voice of the Elemental Masters Edit

The Voice of the Elemental Masters was the representative of the Council. His duty was to maintain communication between the Phoenix Clan Champion and the Elemental Council. [5]

Isawa Naginata Edit

The Isawa Naginata was a powerful nemuranai gifted by the Centipede Clan to the Council. [6]

Elemental Masters Edit

The following is a list of the known Elemental Masters:

Masters of Air Edit

Un-named Isawa's sibling c. 42 - ?
Isawa Asahina  ? - 353
Isawa Morihono 8th century
Isawa Yasuko (c. 900) [citation needed]
Isawa Eju  ? - 1123
Isawa Uona 1123 - 1128
Agasha Gennai 1131 - 1157
Isawa Nakamuro 1157 - 1170
Isawa Mitsuko 1170 - 1199
Isawa Tsumaro 1199 - Present

Masters of Earth Edit

Isawa Ouno c. 42 - 57
Shiba Esade 1st century
Isawa Ryote (c. 391)
Isawa Michikata (c. 665)
Isawa Rujo  ? - 1119
Isawa Tadaka 1119 - 1128
Isawa Taeruko 1128 - 1165
Isawa Sachi 1165 - 1167
Isawa Emori 1167 - ?
Isawa Norimichi  ? - 1200

Masters of Fire Edit

Un-named Isawa's sibling c. 42 - ?
Isawa Akio 5th century
Isawa Takao 486 - 489
Isawa (Kitsu) Taiko 766 - 781
Isawa Nesan (c. 1087) - (c. 1106)
Isawa Tsuke (c. 1106) - 1128
Isawa Hochiu 1132 - 1159
Isawa Ochiai 1159 - ?
Isawa Koiso  ? - Present

Masters of Water Edit

Un-named Isawa's sibling c. 42 - ?
Isawa Ejuko (c. 704)
Isawa Anoso (c. 827)
Isawa Kaiyoko  ? - (c. 1120)
Isawa Tomo (c. 1120) - 1128, 1133
Isawa Riake 1158 - 1159
Doji Akiko 1159 - 1167
Asako Bairei 1167 - ?
Asako Chukage  ? - 1199
Asako Miyabi 1199 - Present

Masters of Void Edit

Un-named Isawa's sibling c. 42 - ?
Asahina Akusesari' father (c. 400)
Isawa Eisai (c. 411)
Isawa Tokiuji (c. 435)
Isawa Amaku 525 - 531
Isawa Sogaku 6th century
The Master  ? - (c. 1100)
Isawa Ujina (c. 1100) - (c. 1125)
Isawa Kaede (c. 1125) - 1128
Shiba Ningen 1132 - (c. 1172)
Isawa Kimi (c. 1172) - 1199
Isawa Shunryu 1199 - Present

Unknown Dates and Positions Edit

The following were Elemental masters, but either their position on the Council of Five or the dates of their leadership are not recorded.

Isawa Iku Neither the dates of Iku's reign nor the element of which he was Master are recorded.
Isawa Ryuiso Ryuiso was Master in the 8th century, but the element of which he was Master is not recorded.
Isawa Ujikki Ujikki was Master in the 1st century, but the element of which he was the Master is unknown.
Isawa Tetsuya She was Master during the War of Spirits, most likely Master of Water.

Related Topics Edit


  1. Way of the Phoenix, pp. 27-28
  2. 2.0 2.1 Way of the Phoenix, p. 28
  3. Way of the Phoenix, pp. 18-19
  4. Imperial Histories, p. 111
  5. 5.0 5.1 Blood Dawn, Part VII: Soul of the Phoenix, by Rich Wulf
  6. Prayers and Treasures, p. 150
  • Way of the Phoenix Pages 28-29.
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