Kunikiyo was the son of Shimada Sukemune III, and became a pupil of the school of Kunihiro under Kunitomo at Horikawa in Kyoto. He is said to have been retained by Matsudaira Tadamasa in Shinano Province, and to have later migrated to Fukui in Echizen with Tadamasa. He, and later generations would have known the Yasutsugu group of Echizen, who also recorded the use of foreign steel, as inscribed on the tang of this blade. He was granted the title Yamashiro Daijo in 1624, and Yamashiro no Kami in 1628, together with which rank he became entitled to carve the chrysanthemum mon on his swords. Kunikiyo I died in 1665, his son Kunikiyo II dying in 1698. The third generation entitled Yamashiro no Kami died aged 78 in 1700, and it is thought that the name succeeded until a 9th generation active during the Meiji period. Generations after the first sometimes cut an ichimonji character below the chrysanthemum.