Despite its posturing as a "school", it would be more accurate to describe Shinko-ryū as a league of skilled swordsmen who have been drafted from all over the country regardless of which styles they use or from which schools they hail--swordsmen discovered to be of sufficient skill are given the choice to either join the organization or be slain by it. Those who choose to assimilate are privy to Shinko-ryū's true aim: the forceful eradication of the five-hundred existing schools of kenjutsu and kendo so as to make room for a new army of swordsmen whose satsujinken skills match those of the ancient "whirlwind masters" of the Sengoku Jidai and cannot be defeated by other forms of martial art or by foreign firearms. Having deemed the current state of kenjutsu in the Meiji era to be sorely lacking in strength and focus, the members of Shinko-ryū (chiefly Isurugi Raijūta) travel the various corners of Japan to challenge and crush different kenjutsu dojos as well as discover worthy soldiers for their cause.
Shinko-ryū is headquartered in Izu Province at the home of the organization's wealthy but oblivious sponsor, Tsukayama Yuzaemon.
After attempting to failing to recruit and then assassinate the rurouni Himura Kenshin in the Spring of 1878, Shinko-ryū is disbanded, all of its members including Raijūta having been soundly defeated by Himura himself.