Born in Dewa Province, Saito Ichiro first made swords under the name Kaneshige, and then as Kiyondo from 1852 when, from the age twenty, he lived in Edo working under Kiyomaro, the leading smith of the day. He was awarded the title Buzen no Kami in 1867, the year of manufacture of this sword. After the Meiji Restoration in 1868 the demand for swords fell and Kiyondo retired in 1871 to become a hotelier. His style follows that of his teacher Kiyomaro.
The sayagaki written in the year the sword was made is difficult to decipher, but it mentions the name of a cutting test specialist Yamada, probably Genzo, the eighth generation of the Yamada family (d.1882, age 42), and "dodan barai," meaning that the sword cut right through to the earthen mound which supported the body used in the test.