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Eternal Phoenix Dojo

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The Eternal Phoenix Dojo or Eien no Fushicho dojo dated back to the earliest days of the Phoenix Clan. It taught the Shiba Bushi, Shiba Yojimbo, [1] Order of the Bent Knee, Order of Chikai, Shiba Iaijutsu Duelist, and Shiba Naginata Duelist schools. [2]

Location Edit

Located within the heart of Shiro Shiba, some said the first test of the dojo was to be able to find it within the rambling maze of walls, moats and buildings within the castle. [1]

Founding Edit

Even before Shiba swore his oath to Isawa, he had gathered around himself a strong house of samurai. His followers became known as philosopher-warriors, who contemplated the mysteries of the universe as eagerly as taking up the sword in their masters' defence. When Shiba knelt before Isawa, there were some of his followers who were reluctant to be in service to the pacifistic Isawa family. Shiba's words on the matter were that if they would follow him, they would obey his words. The matter was never fully resolved because Shiba left to find Isawa on the Day of Thunder, and never returned. It therefore fell to Shiba's grandsons, Shiba Kaigen and Shiba Yinobu, to end the debate. Kaigen believed the Shiba family were sworn to safeguard the lands of the Phoenix and their people, but Yinobu held that they were to guard each Isawa individually. The two brothers decided to found a dojo each. One, the Eternal Phoenix Dojo was founded by Kaigen, and the other, Dai-Chikai Dojo was founded by Yinobu. [1]

Traditions Edit

The traditions of the Eien no Fushicho formed the basis of all Phoenix dojo. The students were versed in the Tao and strived to follow the example of the constant observation and contemplation of their founder, Shiba. Practicing the arts of the sword, naginata and bow were as much for honing the spirit as to defend the clan. The school strived to teach the concept of "no mind", and even though it might seem like a soft philosophy to an outsider, it was nevertheless a concept fit to serve the pacifistic Isawa. The true students learnt that violence breeded a mindless attraction of violence, and this was the ultimate expression of passivity. A master of the school always looked like he was waiting, but more in the sense of how the stillness in water appears. Water never hesitated when the bowl was overturned, and for this reason the warriors of the school continuously surprise less thoughtful enemies. [1]

Training Edit

Visiting sensei to the dojo often observed how the school was more like a monastery than a dojo. The students would practice with bows and boken and swam in the moats as any other schools, but were also often found to be reading or meditating. If a Shiba was confronted and told he was "all thought and no action" he would merely reply; "I am doing my thinking now, so when the time comes for action I will not have to think at all." This was the heart of the teachings at the school, and although the Shiba were not renowned for being warriors, their mastery of the Void could not be faulted. Tales of students pouring over scrolls for months and then having to recite them for hours on end from memory were not exaggerations. The discipline of the mind was often a greater challenge than exercise or weapons training. The Shiba warriors were mostly ignored by the other warrior houses, and any outsiders training in the dojo were taught in exactly the same way as the Phoenix youths, as the Shiba hoped that the student would bring fame and honor to the school. Sadly most of these individuals moved on to become important figures in their daimyo's service or as advisors or scholars. Rarely did they became great warriors or generals. [1]

Dojo Benefits Edit

The Eternal Phoenix Dojo was the most well known of the Phoenix dojo, and any army that had challenged the Phoenix expecting simple tactics and inexperienced commanders had learned that Eternal Phoenix samurai were masters of combining the magical might of their clan with conventional forces and unconventional tactics. [3]

Sensei Edit

The students of the school worked to attract the attention of guards, captains, patrol commanders and various sensei and generals. A student if proven worthy might become a patron of some authority figure, and must then endure some instruction methods that bordered on sadistic. This system taught the students both humility and persistance, and the student was forever tied to their mentor. The student would owe both the school and sensei a debt of loyalty that would last a lifetime. [1]

Notable Sensei Edit

Notable Students Edit

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Way of the Samurai, p. 55
  2. Emerald Empire: Third Edition, p. 194
  3. Way of the Samurai, p. 56


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