The Elements are forces, as well as the building blocks of most matter in the Mortal Realm. The five types of elements are Air, Earth, Fire, Void and Water. Elemental spirits, or kami (not to be confused with the Kami who founded Rokugan) are present in nearly anything or being. These may be found in combination with other kami. For example, a stone may be composed of only the Earth element, while a cloud might have both Air and Water in its makeup.
The five Elements Edit
Air was intuition, because no one could see the air but everyone could feel its effects. It was all the forces that were not seen, the element of storms, subtlety, and unpredictability. 
As it related to spell effects, Air was used to affect air and wind, sleep, illusions, detection of hidden things, detection of thoughts and feelings, reflexes, and awareness.  Also, whereas most spells that required the shugenja's concentration usually required complete or nearly complete focus, Air spells tended to require only a casual level of focus.  Asahina Shugenja, Soshi Shugenja and Yogo Shugenja focused mainly on Air.
Earth was passive strength, resistance, and fortitude. All life blossomed from the earth and one day must return to it, so it was also the element of healing, regeneration and renewal. 
As it related to spell effects, Earth was used to affect earth and the land in general, minerals, metals, protection and warding, stamina, and willpower.  Kuni Shugenja and Tamori Shugenja focused mainly on Earth.
Fire was active energy, activity, motion, action and force, inspiration, illumination and clear thought, so it was mainly related with agility and intelligence. 
As it related to spell effects, Fire was used to affect fire, light, lightning, flight, agility, and intelligence.  Agasha Shugenja and Moshi Shugenja focused mainly on Fire, though both schools formerly had different focus.
Water was strength, perception, and clarity. Water was pure, and washed away taint and deceit. 
As it related to spell effects, Water affected water, rain, bodies of water, healing, detection of objects, scrying, stength, and perception.  Iuchi Shugenja, Kitsu Shugenja, and Yoritomo Shugenja focused mainly on Water.
Not exactly an element in itself, Thunder is however considered an element of heroes and power. It even has a Dragon, the Dragon of Thunder who has an Oracle, much in the same way as the Five Elements.
When in 1170 the Dragon of Thunder was severed from Tengoku and dwelled in Ningen-do, she extended her blessings over the Mantis Clan, and the Thunder element was stronger on them,  particularly on the Moshi Shugenja.
Other Substances Edit
The following substances, while not elements themselves merit attention due to their unique properties.
- Jade, formed from Amaterasu's tears, represented purity and provided protection from the Taint. It was poisonous to the Shadowlands and because it existed in Jigoku as well, Ningen-do jade was able to harm Oni.
- Obsidian, formed from Onnotangu's blood, represented corruption. Wounds given by obsidian weapons usually taint their victims. Deposits of obsidian were rare to be found. 
- Crystal was an uncorruptable substance that was present in all realms. While able to wound Oni, crystal did not protect against the Taint. The Ashalan were able to form Crysteel from sand, an impossibly light and strong material and use it to make weapons. Crystal weapons were the only ones that the minions of the Lying Darkness were vulnerable to.
- Pearls were sacred to the mysterious Naga, all of their magical power seemed to come from them. Pearls were not widely understood by humans.
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