The magic of the shugenja was drawn from one of the five elements: Fire, Air, Water, Earth, and Void. Notable exceptions were the Agasha family who were known to have developed a method of using more than one element in a single spell, and some among the Mantis Clan were able to harness the power of thunder. All of the Great Clans had at least one family that trained shugenja. 
Duty as priests Edit
The shugenja were diviners who could communicate with the gods, in the Rokugani pantheon of the Kami no michi. They knew the rites of purification (performed at birth and at death) and the secrets of dispelling evil spirits. 
The Phoenix Clan made the claim that all other shugenja in Rokugan owed their origin to the Isawa family, because magic itself was discovered by them alone. Recent discoveries by the Dragon Clan in the Yobanjin City of Gold contradicted this, but that the Isawa were the source of magic within Rokugan was still plausible because of the Tribe of Isawa's original connection to yobanjin.
During the War Against Fu Leng, Isawa sent one of his five brothers and sisters to each of the other clans (with the exception of the Scorpion Clan) to teach their families the ways of his magic. In the case of the Doji and Matsu, the lessons did not take, but during this time the Kuni and Agasha certainly learned much of the basics of magic from the Isawa.
Power of the Shugenja Edit
"One does not choose to become a shugenja, nor does a shugenja wield magic. The shugenja is merely the tool; it is the kami who choose when and where to use him."
-Shiba Ningen, Master of the Void
Shugenja were not merely simple priests, but those who could draw power from the elements that surround them, causing the kami to manifest themselves in a very real and physical way. To be a shugenja required more than merely manipulating this power, but communing with it -- attaining unity with the universe and the willing assistance of the kami.
Kami interacted with the shugenja through magic. Some heard the kami more than others; some were even driven mad by the voices. However, the bond with the kami was what allowed the shugenja to develop. Powerful magic-wielders could even have several kami to help and serve them.
After a shugenja dies, the kami would try to find a new person, someone who closely resembled their former companion, often their son or daughter or a close family member. This in turn explained why the gift of a shugenja often appeared more frequent in certain lineages. 
A shugenja's life was usually quite solitary, as great meditation and study was always required, and most shugenja would spend their lives in temples and shrines. Those who wandered Rokugan were usually doing so to fulfill a specific command of their daimyo. Like all samurai, it was extremely rare for a shugenja to live among the lower castes.
Because of their special place in society, shugenja were often given special recognition or respect above equal-ranked bushi, but it would be most inappropriate for a shugenja to ever attempt to use his training to demand such treatment.
Shugenja were generally treated with respect throughout Rokugan, although it was sometimes born out of fear. Rokugani knew that shugenja were uniquely attuned to the fortunes and elements, and some even believed that the fortunes themselves would watch over their chosen few. Because of these beliefs, shugenja were commonly given very good treatment by most. Peasants even more so, as they did not wish to incur the wraths of fortunes.
If a shugenja settled in a town or village that did not already have a resident shugenja, he would quickly become the de facto headman, with the population coming to him to resolve disputes, lead religious ceremonies, and teach the locals of the Tao and the fortunes.
Almost all shugenja came from the samurai caste, and only when their talent was discovered did they receive proper training. Those who were born to lower castes would have a harder time seeking guidance, and many were simply sent to the Brotherhood of Shinsei. Shugenja were actually quite rare; one samurai in roughly a thousand was born with the gift, though aptitude could often be followed through family bloodlines. Some families produced more shugenja than others. The Hida family, for example, might only produce one or two shugenja in a generation, whereas the Isawa family would often produce a new group of students each year.
Shugenja and the Sword Edit
Let the man who wears the sword use the sword.
This statement most accurately summed up the relationship of the shugenja and the ways of warfare. If a shugenja was to wear the katana, he would have to be prepared to use it, whether that be in a duel, on a battlefield, or in any other manner demanded of him. Instead, a shugenja might choose to wear only the wakizashi as a symbol of his status as a member of the samurai caste, or the shugenja could even choose to wear neither blade, simply letting his scroll satchel reflect his favor with the kami. 
A shugenja was not typically taught the ways of kenjutsu or iaijutsu, so a shugenja that did not wear the katana could have a champion take his place in a duel and could refuse to fight in a battle. Many shugenja, especially those from the Isawa family, view the calling of the shugenja as of more importance than rank or awarded honor, and strive to use their powers only for peace, entering battle only when convinced that more lives will be lost if they do not act.
Shugenja Duels Edit
Shungenja in Clans Edit
- ↑ Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 22
- ↑ Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 24
- ↑ Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 136
- ↑ Way of the Crane, p. 33 & Imperial Histories, p. 15
- ↑ Way of the Unicorn, p. 41
- ↑ Way of the Lion, p. 43
- ↑ Way of the Shugenja, p. 6
- ↑ Way of the Shugenja, p. 6
- ↑ Way of the Phoenix, p. 23
- ↑ Way of the Phoenix, pp. 53-54
- ↑ Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 120
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures, p. 10
- ↑ Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 122-123
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 15
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures, p. 14
- ↑ Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 126
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 16
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures, p. 18
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 8
- ↑ Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition p. 130
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures, p. 23
- ↑ Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 147-148
- ↑ Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 133
- ↑ Way of the Shugenja, p. 50
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures, p. 26
- ↑ Four Winds, pp. 164-165
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 9
- ↑ Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 136
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 171
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures, p. 30
- ↑ Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 28
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 65
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 10
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 Four Winds, p. 18
- ↑ Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 140
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 176
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures, p. 34
- ↑ Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 142-143
- ↑ Vacant Throne, p. 105
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures, pp. 38-39
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 19
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures page 39
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures, p. 45
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 187
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 188
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 13
- ↑ 47.0 47.1 47.2 Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 145
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures, p. 52
- ↑ 49.0 49.1 Prayers and Treasures, p. 10
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 14
- ↑ Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 268
- ↑ Four Winds, p. 77
- ↑ Prayers and Treasures, p. 10