Isawa Shugenja

Isawa Shugenja

The Isawa Shugenja were the clansmen for whom the Phoenix Clan was known. They were considered by many to be the most versatile shugenja in the Empire. Unlike most families, whose shugenja schools focused on a single element, the Isawa Shugenja had different teachers who would allow a student to focus on any of the four elements.

Training of the Isawa Shugenja Edit

The Isawa Shugenja school accepted new students at the age of six from any of the families of the clan. After approximately two years, once a child should have learned the basics of spellcraft and the simplest rituals and prayers, each student was tested for their ability in each of the elements. Any student who was shown to be lacking in more than two of the elements was dismissed from the school. These students were generally sent to the Shiba Bushi school so that they could use their training to benefit the Phoenix Clan in a more practical and mundane manner.

If a child passed their tests, they were given to a sensei (or Master) for further training. Each Master might have up to five apprentices of his or her own, chosen by the Master because of their ability, interests, and lineage. Thousands of students were newly apprenticed to the Masters of the Isawa school each year, but only a handful are ever apprenticed to the Elemental Masters themselves. The Elemental Masters also generally had up to five apprentices themselves, but these apprentices were also sensei in their own right, with up to five younger children each who were trained and taught by the apprentices instead of the Master. Students in this position were invariably training as Tensai and the Masters used this system to teach them spellcraft as well as responsibilty and leadership. [1]

Gempukku Edit

Isawa reaching their gempukku were required to spend at least one night alone, meditating in the Mori Isawa. Among the spirits of the highly magical place, the students were to consider the universe and their place wihin it. To some shugenja, whom the kami would choose, the spirits would appear directly to them and reveal some secret of the universe. [2]

Known Techniques Edit

Ranks Edit

The Isawa shugenja school used three ranks of achievement. An Initiate was a shugenja who had learned the funda­mentals of all the elements. An Adept had passed that level and had gained a deep understanding of one of the Elements. There were only five acknowledged Adepts of each Element at a time. The Elemental Masters were the highest ranking. [3]

See also Edit


  1. Way of the Phoenix, p. 54
  2. Way of the Phoenix, p. 109
  3. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 141

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