Ghost of Tsushima: The Tale of Sensei Ishikawa

Ghost of Tsushima: The Tale of Sensei Ishikawa

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Ghost of Tsushima's The Tale of Sensei Ishikawa is the second major quest of the game where Jin searches for a legendary master of the bow, Sensei Ishikawa. He will give his best to recruit him in his quest to free Lord Shimura and fight for the freedom of the island.

It is the first Tale with the goal of recruiting members who can help him storm Castle Kaneda, where Lord Shimura is held captive. The other quests with this theme are The Tale of Lady Masako and The Tale of Ryuzo.

Learning Techniques and Technique Points

Before we proceed with the actual tale, it is very important that you learn about Techniques and Technique Points.

The moment you complete your first major quest, The Warrior's Code, you will earn a Technique Point. 

Technique Points are the game's currency that enables you to buy and learn new skills, which could either be active skills or passive skills.

If you bought the Digital Deluxe Edition, you would have received an additional Technique Point. As the tutorial below shows, you can use them to learn new Techniques that will aid your fight against the Mongols.

At this stage of the game, you only have a few Technique Points. You can choose between two Skill Trees:

  • Deflection Skills
  • Evasion Skills

If you like parrying attacks, that is, blocking at the exact moment when damage is about to land, then go for Deflection. 

If you like to move and avoid an incoming danger, then go for Evasion.

If you don't want to be stressed and just want to enjoy the game, we suggest you go for Evasion, as it has more advantages than Deflection. 

At this stage, do not worry too much because you will naturally earn a lot of Technique Points that will enable you to buy all of the Skills in both trees.

Visit our Techniques Guide to learn more about the skills you can learn using Technique Points.

Now that you know how to use Techniques and Technique Points, it's time to select the next quest.

Selecting the Next Quest

Let's explore why we are selecting the quest for Sensei Ishikawa instead of other quests.

If you check at this moment your map, you will notice that the location of Yuna's quest, The Broken Blacksmith, is way down in the whole region of the map. It's completely opposite of where you are after finishing the first quest.

This is one of the ways the game is telling you to do it later and that there are other quests that you must do first.

Check as well the Progress list of Tales, rescuing Taka is third on the list. That means it is recommended that you complete next the quest for Sensei Ishikawa, and then the one for Lady Masako.

In terms of rewards, you can also see that the quest for Taka only gives you Major Legend Increase, no other skills or weapons. 

In comparison, the quest for Sensei Ishikawa gives you two of the best, ranged-combat rewards: Archery and the Half Bow.

And with that, let's begin The Tale of Sensei Ishikawa. Mark it in your Journal and track this quest, so all the corresponding locations will become auto-tracked.

The Tale of Sensei Ishikawa

Sensei Ishikawa never joined our battle against the Mongols at Komoda Beach. If he's still alive, I could use his skill with a bow to help rescue Lord Shimura. But first, I have to find the sensei.


It is important that this is the second quest you complete as it rewards you with:

Beginning the Quest

This quest moves from one destination to another. Make sure that you are tracking the Tale so your Guiding Wind will auto-track the location as the story progresses.

The quest begins with you searching for Sensei Ishikawa in the Hiyoshi Springs Inn.

If you are coming from the quest The Warrior's Code, you most probably are approaching the Inn from its cliffside. Descend the steps of the cliff and then go to the Inn.

Ask about Sensei Ishikawa at the inn.

At the entrance of the Inn, you will meet an NPC  that can guide you towards the house of Sensei.

Peasant: A samurai. Alive?

Jin: I'm looking for Sensei Ishikawa.

Peasant: I thought he fell at Komoda.

Jin: He didn't. Where is his dojo?

Peasant: Through the forest. I can show you the way, my lord.

Go with the innkeeper.

Go with the innkeeper. While on the way, he will share with you some stories about Sensei Ishikawa.

Peasant: Did the sensei not fight at Komoda?

Jin: No.

Peasant: He came to town for supplies the day before the invasion. Hardly spoke a word. But he's always been a private man.

Speak with the innkeeper.

While walking, the innkeeper will ask you about the feats of Sensei.

Peasant: My lord... Are the stories of Sensei Ishikawa true?

Jin: What stories?

Peasant: They say the sank a pirate ship with a single arrow.

Jin: Not the ship. But he shot a pirate captain from the shore. Routed the whole fleet.

Peasant: I'd hate to cross an archer like that.

Jin: Do you deserve death?

Peasant: I hope not, my lord!

Jin: Then you're safe from Ishikawa.

Look for Ishikawa's dojo.

The innkeeper will bring you to a place facing a cliff. But before he leaves, he asks a question that relates to the past of Sensei Ishikawa.

Peasant: The sensei's dojo is up there on the cliff.

Jin: Thank you. I'll take it from here.

Peasant: One more question, my lord. May I ask why the sensei left his post as archery master to clan Nagao?

Jin: No one knows.

Peasant: Strange... Giving up service to a great lord for... this.

You will discover more about Sensei Ishikawa's past as you progress his story. The comment from the innkeeper will then make more sense.

Travel to Sensei Ishikawa's dojo.

It is obvious that this is the climbing tutorial. If you have not yet climb cliffs up to this point, then this is the chance. You will learn how climbing works.

The Climbing Tutorial

You ascend the cliff by jumping from one ledge to another. 

Climbing in the game is a breeze as you just the left analog stick and no other controls. You simply point it to the direction you want Jin to jump to.

Pick the Aozora Headband

While you are on your way to the dojo, pick up the Aozora Headband which is tied to an arrow as shown below.

Aozora Headband

Optimism in the face of adversity is the samurai spirit.

Investigate the dojo.

Once you reach the dojo, you will notice that there is no one there. You will find blood on the floor, which initiates the Examine trigger.

Jin: There was a struggle here. Better look around.

Jin: Dried blood. The fight wasn't recent.

Jin: Someone was wounded. Removed the arrow.

Explore more the dojo and examine the blood spots. Finally, the Footprints will appear and initiate the examine trigger.

Jin: Bloody footprints. The victim, or the attacker?

Jin: Maybe the sensei is in his house.

Find Sensei Ishikawa.

Follow the tracks and they will lead you to the house of Sensei Ishikawa.

Jin: A humble home for a samurai.

Upon opening the door, you will see Sensei Ishikawa pointing an arrow at you.

Ishikawa: Don't move.

Jin: Sensei Ishikawa?

Ishikawa: Lord Sakai's boy. You survived Komoda.

Jin: We could have used your bow.

Ishikawa: I was on my way when bandits attacked me.

Jin: Are you expecting them to return?

Ishikawa: A samurai is never caught by surprise. I'm sorry about Lord Shimura. He was a good man.

Jin: He's alive. Taken captive by the Mongols.

Ishikawa: Then there's hope.

Jin: That's why I've come. Help me save him.

Ishikawa: I can't. My student is missing. A skilled archer...

Jin: I will help you look. Then you can both help me free Lord Shimura.

Ishikawa: Try and keep up, Sakai.

Go with Sensei Ishikawa.

You will travel on foot for some distance with the sensei. In this conversation, you will learn about his student Tomoe.

Ishikawa: Who else made it out of Komoda?

Jin: No one knows.

Ishikawa: Are there any others who can fight back?

Jin: Besides us? I don't know yet.

Ishikawa: You'd better find out quickly. We can't free your uncle by ourselves.

Jin: I can help track your student.

Ishikawa: I need no help tracking Tomoe.

Jin: Tomoe? A woman. From what clan?

Ishikawa: No clan. A peasant. But she can outshoot any samurai I know. Even you, Sakai.

Jin: The last time I saw you were ten years ago.

Ishikawa: You came to study with me.

Jin: You remember?

Ishikawa: I remember most of the students I reject.

Jin: Instead, you took this Tomoe as your student.

Ishikawa: You showed promise. Tomoe is a prodigy.

Defeat the Mongols.

You will soon find a group of Mongols that you have to defeat. Just remember, when you hear "Doshoo", that means you have to dodge an arrow.

Speak with Sensei Ishikawa.

Ishikawa: They fight like drunk tanuki.

Jin: They fought well enough at Komoda.

Ishikawa: Even tanuki can catch a tiger when it's sleeping.

Go with Sensei Ishikawa.

Continue the search with the Sensei.

Ishikawa: Tomoe's trail picks up here. Come.

Ishikawa: The Mongols took Fort Nakayama. That patrol likely came from there.

Jin: That's close to the hot springs.

Ishikawa: The town will be the next to fall.

Investigate the camp.

You will soon reach an abandoned camp. Time to investigate.

Jin: Something happened here.

Ishikawa: An ambush. Look around.

Jin: A Japanese quiver.

Ishikawa: A gift. To my greatest student.

Jin: Rice and millet. Left uneaten.

Ishikawa: The attack was sudden.

Jin: Blood. But not much.

Ishikawa: No one died. I fear the worst.

Speak with Sensei Ishikawa.

Ishikawa: Tomoe would never leave that quiver behind.

Jin: Unless she was pursued.

Ishikawa: Or captured.

Jin: To what end?

Ishikawa: Interrogation, torture. Worse...

Jin: They may be doing the same to Lord Shimura.

Ishikawa: Fear is a weapon, Sakai. Do not let the Mongols use it against you.

Jin: Your student. Where would they take her?

Ishikawa: Fort Nakayama.

Go with Sensei Ishikawa

Follow the Sensei to Fort Nakayama. 

Ishikawa: I should have fought at Komoda with you.

Jin: Better you didn't. We lost enough there.

Ishikawa: Why did the samurai fail?

Jin: The Mongols fought like animals.

Ishikawa: Wrong answer.

Jin: I saw it with my own eyes.

Ishikawa: An archer's aim relies not on eyes... But on body, mind, and spirit.

Acquire the Half Bow

Ishikawa: Stop here. We need to talk.

Jin: What's wrong, Sensei?

Ishikawa: This bow was a gift to me from Lord Nagao many years ago.

Jin: It's a beautiful weapon.

Ishikawa: Of course it is. And there's nothing more painful to me than a perfect bow ineptly used.

Jin: Then it's a good thing you're giving it to me.

Ishikawa: Who said anything about giving? Prove you can shoot straight. And I'll let you borrow it. Try it out before we go into battle.

Half Bow Tutorial

It's time to learn how to use your first ranged weapon, the Half Bow.

  • To initiate a ranged attack with a bow, press L2
  • Hold R2 and then release to fire an arrow

With proper upgrades, your bows will become faster and stronger.

Ishikawa will ask you to shoot three lamps, to ensure you know how to use the bow. This completes the tutorial.

Ishikawa: How does it feel?

Jin: Like it was made for me.

Ishikawa: It wasn't. So take good care of it.

Trivia: If during the tutorial you "accidentally" shoot Sensei Ishikawa, you will get this dialog:

Ishikawa: Don't make me regret this.

Jin: I'd hate to add to such a long list.

Weapons and Ammo Unlocked

With the acquisition of the Half Bow, your Weapons and Ammo becomes unlocked in the menu.

You can set your Ranged and Quickfire weapons here.

Survey Fort Nakayama.

The Sensei will bring you to Fort Nakayama.

Jin: A bow like this would have helped at Komoda.

Ishikawa: It is a good bow. But victory is won by warriors, not weapons.

Jin: You have not seen the Mongols' fire weapons.

Ishikawa: And they have not yet won.

Soon you will reach Fort Nakayama, which is currently a Mongol camp.

Ishikawa: Fort Nakayama.

Jin: I hope your student is inside.

Ishikawa: We'll get a better look at their defenses from up there. This spot is perfect.

Jin: I'll find a way in, open the gate. Then we hit them.

Ishikawa: Do you always charge into battle with your hakama half-tied?

Jin: Do you have a better idea?

Ishikawa: Patience, Sakai... The Mongols will send men to find their missing patrol. When they open the gates, we strike.

Jin: The longer we delay, the longer Tomoe remains in danger.

Ishikawa: She can take care of herself. Survey the battlefield. What we can use to our advantage?

Jin: Those barrels could do some damage.

Ishikawa: We'll find out.

Jin: Hornet nests. One shot could stir them up.

Ishikawa: The Mongols will face the sting of insects and arrows.

Jin: An arrow in those hanging lights will kick up sparks.

Ishikawa: And start fires.

Jin: They have many archers.

Ishikawa: They're skilled. But we are better.

Ishikawa: When the gates open, distract the enemy and rain arrows on their heads.

Jin: Then we storm the fort. And free Tomoe.

Ishikawa: Good. Now we wait.

The time will transition into the night and the two will still be waiting.

Jin: They're opening the gates.

Ishikawa: Wait for my signal... Get ready...Now! Send them to their ancestors

Ambush the Mongol patrol.

To practice your shooting try to:

  • Shoot the hornet nest, so they will attack some soldiers
  • Shoot the barrel, so it burns some soldiers
  • Shoot at the hanging light so it starts a fire

Ishikawa: Not bad, Sakai. There are more inside. Not for long. Let's find Tomoe.

Rid Fort Nakayama of Mongols.

It's time to get inside the fort. Now that you experience using range combat, you have more options. You can use melee or range attacks, based on your preference.

Just note that when you enter this fort, there will be a lot of archers staying in the roofs.

One option is to fight them with a bow, or just find a ladder, climb it and use your katana to slay them. You will always find a ladder when there are enemies in roofs or towers.

You might find the archers troublesome as they can shoot you from many directions and they do not miss. Even if you hide for cover, the soldiers on the ground will attack you.

Hence, it's best to find the ladder, just climb it and eliminate the archers first by using your katana on them on the roof.

After you defeat the archers, the soldiers on the ground will be a breeze. 

Speak with Sensei Ishikawa.

Defeat the remaining enemies and after that speak with Sensei Ishikawa.

Ishikawa: Slain prisoners.

Jin: Tied up. Killed with arrows.

Ishikawa: Tomoe isn't... Wait... This pendant belongs to her... Search the fort!

Investigate Fort Nakayama.

Search the fort for evidence to track Tomoe.

Jin: These arrows are Japanese.

Ishikawa: They're Tomoe's arrows.

Jin: You're sure?

Ishikawa: I taught her to make the nock with deer horn. And that curve of the eagle feathers.

Jin: So the Mongols took her weapons.

Ishikawa: The shots are tightly clustered. No Mongol shoots Japanese arrows with such skill.

Jin: Then they allowed her to use a bow.

Jin: A scroll. Archery terms with Mongolian translations. Your name is mentioned.

Ishikawa: She was teaching them my Way of the Bow.

Ishikawa: Someone's personal quarters.

Jin: A woman's kimono.

Ishikawa: Tomoe's kimono.

Jin: The Mongols freed her. Why?

Go with Sensei Ishikawa

Before Ishikawa can answer Jin's question, you will hear a man cry outside the room.

Peasant: Help me.

Ishikawa: Do you hear that?

Jin: A survivor.

Peasant: Help me. Please.

Speak with the injured man

Approach the man and listen to his plea.

Ishikawa: We're looking for a woman. An archer.

Peasant: The Mongols caged her with us. But... but they set her free. Gave her armor and a bow. She killed my wife and the others.

Jin: The bodies we found.

Ishikawa: She proved her skill to the enemy. And they recruited her.

Peasant: Please. It... It hurts. Don't leave me.

Ishikawa: I've seen enough. Let's go.

Go with Sensei Ishikawa.

Ishikawa: I should have killed her.

Jin: Sensei?

Ishikawa: Tomoe won her freedom. She joined the Mongols.

Jin: Why would she do that? What happened?

Ishikawa: I pushed her too hard.

Jin: Pushed her how? What are you hiding? Sensei! I demand an answer.

Ishikawa: She attacked me. Not bandits. Tomoe!

Jin: Why?

Ishikawa: She has no idea what it means to be samurai.

Jin: You drove her to the Mongols.

Ishikawa: Do not judge me.

Jin: Do not lie to me.

Ishikawa: I can't let Tomoe... teach my Way of the Bow to the enemy.

Jin: Then we will stop her.

Ishikawa: This is my fight. I don't need your weapon.

Jin: No. You need me. Victory is won by warriors. Not weapons.

Ishikawa: Lord Shimura raised you well. We'll hunt Tomoe together, but we do it my way.

Jin: And when the time comes... You will help rescue my uncle.

Ishikawa: You have my word, Sakai. I will prepare to hunt Tomoe. When you are ready... Meet me at my dojo.

Jin: We can't rescue my uncle alone. I need more people to join our fight.

Ishikawa: Find Lady Masako Adachi. If she's still alive... She's one of the finest warriors on the island.

Benefits of the Second Major Quest

Completing your second major quest brings a lot of benefits.

  • Your Legend Grows
  • Ghost Weapons Unlocked
  • Tales of Tsushima Unlocked

Your Legend Grows

After completing your second major quest, your meter for the Legend of the Ghost will get filled. 

This will transition you from The Broken Samurai into The Wandering Samurai. With every transition in your legend, your maximum health increases.

Ghost Weapons Unlocked

The Wandering Samurai will unlock for you the Ghost Weapons.

Jin: The Mongols are everywhere. In a fight, they will surround me like wolves. I have to find new methods to keep them at bay.

You can unlock the Kunai which will help you stagger nearby enemies. 

You will meet a merchant that will help upgrade your carrying capacity for your Ghost Weapons.

This merchant is called the Trapper. You can meet him in villages, survivor camps, and temples.

Tales of Tsushima Unlocked

After completing your second major quest, the minor quests will get unlocked. These are called Tales of Tsushima.

The Next Quest

And with that, the tale completes with a nice segue to the recommended next tale, The Tale of Lady Masako.

If you would like to continue the adventures with Sensei Ishikawa, let's proceed with The Sensei and the Student.

Ghost of Tsushima: The Sensei and the Student