Ghost of Tsushima: The Way of the Bow

Ghost of Tsushima: The Way of the Bow

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Ghost of Tsushima's The Way of the Bow is the fourth part of The Tale of Sensei Ishikawa wherein Jin and Sensei Ishikawa defend Hiyoshi Springs from the attacks of the Mongols led by Tomoe.

Sensei Ishikawa's traitorous former student, Tomoe, seems to be training Mongol archers for an attack on Hiyoshi Springs. The sensei is filled with remorse for teaching her, but his guilt will save no one. Our only recourse is action. I should meet him at his dojo so we can plan a defense.


Meet Ishikawa at his dojo in Hiyoshi

By now you are familiar on using the Sensei's dojo as a fast travel spot. Visit the Sensei and he will invite you to some war planning.

Ishikawa: We must deal with Tomoe's threat against Hiyoshi Springs before it's too late.

Jin: I don't understand her fixation on the town.

Ishikawa: I was born there. Destroying it proves her worth to the Mongols. And humiliates me.

Jin: But the terrain works in our favor. Two skilled archers can hold off hundreds.

Ishikawa: Or we allow the Mongols to take it. Tomoe wins a victory and lets her guard down. Then we strike.

Jin: Sacrifice Hiyoshi Springs for Tomoe...

Ishikawa: The sacrifice is worth it.

Jin: Tomoe would agree, Sensei.

Ishikawa: Fine, Sakai. She will attack from the north. We should focus our efforts there.

Jin: Scout elevated positions, place arrows, and -

Ishikawa: Listen. Did you hear that?

Defeat the Mongols

Before you could finish the war planning with Sensei, you will be attacked by Mongol soldiers. Go ahead and slay them.

Ishikawa: I wondered when Tomoe's new friends would visit.

You will notice during these fights that Sensei always use his bow even if the enemy is just in front of him.

Speak with Ishikawa

After clearing the enemies, speak with Sensei for his insight.

Jin: If the point was to kill us, she would have sent more men.

Ishikawa: Or the point was not to kill. But to delay.

Jin: Hiyoshi Springs. The attack is starting.

Follow Ishikawa

Run with Ishikawa towards the Hiyoshi Springs.

Ishikawa: This way. If I fall today, promise me you will keep hunting Tomoe.

Jin: I promise, Sensei.

Ishikawa: She knows you're my student. Your death will destroy my legacy.

Jin: Your Way of the Bow will survive with me. Where will Tomoe strike?

Ishikawa: In the back town, near the waterfalls. The most vulnerable point.

Jin: If we get there before the Mongols, we can prepare a defense. But it won't be easy.

Ishikawa: It never is.

Speak with the Peasants

While running towards the back town, you will meet two villagers working on the Hiyoshi Springs.

Jin: You two! Come here!

Peasant: What is it, my lords?

Jin: Mongols are heading for Hiyoshi Springs.

Ishikawa: Gather everyone at the inn, and stay out of sight. We will deal with them

Peasant: Yes, my lords!

Follow Ishikawa

Sensei will bring you to an area where you can survey the enemies.

Ishikawa: Good sight lines over here. The Mongols won't be able to flank us. We don't have much time.

Survey the battlefield

Ishikawa: What can we use to our advantage?

Ishikawa: Not many options.

Jin: We'll exploit the ones we have.

Jin: Those barrels could do some damage. Dry grass. Lure the Mongols in...

Ishikawa: We'll make sure you have flaming arrows.

Jin: Hornets' nests.

Ishikawa: Excellent distraction.

Flamming Arrow

Shot by the Half Bow. Ignites enemies, cloth, and dry grass.

Ishikawa: Take these flaming arrows. And try not to burn yourself. Or me.

Jin: Then don't get in my way Sensei.

Ishikawa: Get ready. The Mongols will be here soon.

Defeat the Mongols

As Sensei has predicted, the Mongols will indeed appear soon. The next battle sequence will be very chaotic and is one of the best in the whole game. 

The Mongols will just keep on flowing in while you defend heroically the pass, not letting anyone get inside the village.

Flaming Arrow Tutorial

Before the enemies appear, the game will show you the tutorial for equipping Flaming Arrows. You press the L2 trigger plus the Triangle.

Ishikawa: They're coming downhill. Take them.

Jin: One arrow, one death. Sensei.

While fighting a range battle, you might as well enjoy it. Try to achieve the following with the bow:

  • Shoot the grass with the Flaming Arrow, to set it on fire
  • Shoot the barrels with the Flaming Arrow, so they will explode and set the nearby enemies on fire
  • Shoot the hornet nests for extra distraction

Depending on your speed and dexterity, you might not be able to do all the above. But it does not really matter. Once you noticed the enemies are very close to you and Sensei, unleash your katana and start fighting in melee.

Ishikawa: Not bad, Sakai.

Jin: I'm ready for more.

Ishikawa: So are they. Coming down the main road!

Jin: No sign of Tomoe.

Ishikawa: She'll come.

Jin: More on the way!

Ishikawa: Help them cross the Sanzu River.

Speak with Ishikawa

Once you have defeated all the enemies, approach Sensei and he will point you towards the Dojo.

For the first time, you will see Tomoe, though viewed from afar.

Ishikawa: Ah. There she is.

Jin: That's Tomoe?

Ishikawa: Burning the Nagao banner.

Jin: We can catch her.

Ishikawa: She'll be long gone by the time we get there.

Jin: She's a coward.

Ishikawa: No. She's mocking me. She knows the last student I trained before her was Hironori Nagao.

The Past of Sensei Ishikawa

What will follow next is one of the best expositions on the past of Sensei Ishikawa.

Jin: You said he wasn't your student. Which is it?

Ishikawa: I was young. Prideful, callous. Hironori learned from my example. He led a rebellion to seize the clan... And lost. But only after butchering Lord Nagao's best men.

Jin: Hironori didn't die fighting bandits.

Ishikawa: That was a story to protect Nagao's legacy. There was no saving mine. As his teacher, I could never be trusted again. I was... granted the mercy to resign my position. I convinced myself the Way of the Bow had to survive. But the truth is... I am a coward who should have ended it long ago.

Jin: You told Tomoe all of this.

Ishikawa: I wanted her... To understand what it meant for me to teach again. And like everything else... She turned it against me.

Jin: You'll never redeem Hironori Nagao. And you won't change Tomoe. But today, you saved the people of Hiyoshi Springs.

Ishikawa: With my new student.

Jin: I'll need you at Castle Kaneda.

Ishikawa: My bow is yours. But Tomoe is not done yet. We must keep hunting her.

Jin: We will, Sensei.

And with that, you have completed The Way of the Bow side quest.

Charm of Immunity Reward

Completing the tale rewards you with a Minor Defense Charm. This item is the Charm of Immunity

  • 15% chance for enemy arrows to deal no damage

Storming Falcon Reward

Completing the tale also rewards you with a bow kit, the Storming Falcon.

The Next Quest

If you are ready for our next major adventure, let's proceed to The Tale of Lady Masako.