Shugenja (修験者) were the 7th century practitioners of the Japanese religion of Shugendō. They were sometimes known as yamabushi.


  • Role-playing games 1
    • Bushido 1.1
    • Legend of the Five Rings 1.2
    • Dungeons & Dragons 1.3
  • References 2
  • External links 3

Role-playing games


In Bushido, a role-playing game published in 1981 by Fantasy Games Unlimited, Shugenja are portrayed as wizards. Bushido was the first role-playing game to portray Shugenja at all and it can be assumed that portrayal of Shugenja in role-playing games is initially influenced by their portrayal in Bushido just as it might be stated that role-playing games with character classes are initially influenced by Dungeons and Dragons.

Legend of the Five Rings

In the Legend of the Five Rings collectible card game, shugenja are magic-users, similar to wizards. Their spells are given power by the five different varieties of kami that can be found in Rokugan. Their magic is referred to as Elemental Magic, as opposed to Bloodspeakers who use Blood Magic. In the role-playing game, being a shugenja is one of the main alternatives in character creation (the others are to become a bushi or warrior, or to become a courtier or politician). Shugenja in L5R are considered priests more than "wizards."

Dungeons & Dragons

The shugenja (with the alternate spelling shukenja) was introduced in the original first edition Oriental Adventures book as a subclass of cleric.[1]

A version of this class (also called shugenja) was incorporated into Dungeons & Dragons in the third edition Oriental Adventures sourcebook, and revised in the 3.5 edition sourcebook Complete Divine.


  1. ^ Gygax, Gary, with David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval. Oriental Adventures (TSR, 1985)

External links

[1] - Web site on Shugendo & Yamabushi *

[2] - Web site on Shugendo video

[3] - Web site on a shugenja

[4] - Web site from the Yamabushi Christian Grübl about Shugendo Manners *