Chronicle of Ages
If the Phoenix have the most powerful shugneja in the Empire, then the Isawa have the most powerful in the Phoenix. The tribe of the Isawa were the first users of magic and it was from them that all shugenja come from. To hear them tell it, every clan’s shugneja came from stealing secrets from an Isawa. They have an arrogant reputation but not without some merit.
The Isawa are also great keepers of knowledge, gathering up all it can over the centuries recording and studying various topics throughout the Empire. It is likely this thirst for knowledge that this pacifistic family and clan often travels the empire and does not remain entirely secluded in their valleys.
The best elemental shugenja in each element once recognized for being a master of said element is chosen to sit on the Elemental Council. This ruling council leads not just the Isawa but the entire Phoenix clan. The clan champion can advise and often petitions the council, but has no actual vote. It is extremely rare for a non-Isawa to be recognized as a Master of an element and earn as seat on the Elemental Council, such is the mastery of magic that the Isawa maintain.