Isao was a skilled samurai who was once in Konda’s service, but he turned away from the courtly life to seek a deeper wisdom in the Jukai Forest. He was born a samurai and trained in kendo, but decided to turn away from bushido and Konda's court at age 16 and fled to the forest, where he seeks communion with the kami. He has since continued to train and has become the embodiment of an enlightened warrior. He wears no armor and fights with a magical katana.

"In the waning moments of war, humanity's most ancient ancestors return. But whose side shall they make their own?" -Isao, Enlightened Bushi (Masumaro, First to Live)

"I do not care if he claims no allegiance in this war. Find him, Takeno." -Lord Konda (Isao, Enlightened Bushi)

"You know its mood by the plants that spring up around it. When it is placid, fields of lilies flow in its wake; when it is angry, every stem has a thorn." -Isao, Enlightened Bushi (Loam Dweller)

"Beware Adamaro In him all pain and anger is perfected." -Isao, Enlightened Bushi (Adamaro, First to Desire)

"He turned from Konda's court to seek enlightenment. Isao is now the Jukai's best defense against the kami." -- Master Dosan

"I was the first to turn my back on Konda and his erratic ways. I must now be certain that I am not the last."

"The strength of the Jukai was in his hands." - [Binriki the Exile]

"Is the general who obeys the orders of a madman honorable or foolhardy?"

"Nature's strength is limitless, but I give it a sharpened edge."

"My sword no longer belongs to any man, lord or pauper. It swings in defense of all of Kamigawa."

"Only one path leads from this place. You will follow it with me--or you will rest here forever."

“Most deserters fled to the swamps and disappeared. He embraced exile in the forest and there grew strong.”

Isao, Enlightened Bushi