Kunisada was born into the Inoue family in Obi, Hyuga Province (present-day Miyazaki Prefecture) where Kunihiro (see lot 43) had worked for the Ito clan in 1590. He went to Kyoto to study sword-making in Kunihiro's Horikawa school, and was probably taught by Kunimichi and Kunitomo. Sometime before 1621 he moved to Osaka together with Kawachi no Kami Kunisuke (see Christie's, London, Important Swords from the Museum of Japanese Sword Fittings, Part I, 10 November, 2004, lot 39), and was to strongly influence the future development of the craft in that city. The bright hamon with strong nie characterizes the work of Kunisada and later Osaka smiths. The style of the signature on this blade is from his later days, although in his final years many swords were made on his behalf by his son, later to be named Shinkai (see Christie's London, Important Swords from the Museum of Japanese Sword Fittings, Part I, 10 November, 2004, lot 43), and other pupils.