The Lion maintain the Empire’s only school dedicated to the specific study of war, the Akodo War College, and the students who learn there are revered across the Empire for their tactical and strategic skills. An interesting aspect of the War College’s curriculum (and one which frequently baffles outsiders) is that the Lion do not study their past victories. Instead, they study their defeats, for they believe it is only through defeat that anything new can be learned.
Before a battle, it is common for Ikoma bards, known as omoidasu, to stand before the Lion formations and recite tales of the clan’s greatest heroes and victories, whipping the army into a battle frenzy. Some Lion who have heard these tales claim to hear the voices of their ancestors on the battlefield, a phenomenon they describe as “hearing the song,” driving them forward to commit deeds of superhuman bravery. The Ikoma also have a role after the battle, for it is they who listen to the final words of dying soldiers, carrying them home to their families.