Sukemune of Echizen was the son of Sukemune of Shimada, the third to sign himself Suruga (no) Kuni. He first lived at Matsushiro in Shinano (Nagano prefecture), using the name Kichiuemon and in about 1615 moved to Kyoto to study under Horikawa Kunihiro. At that time he changed his name to Kunikiyo. In Kan-ei 4 (1627) he received the honorary title of Yamashiro Daijo and later, the title of Yamashiro (no) Kami. Later generations of Sukemune also used the signature Kunimune and Sukemune.
The inscription oite namban tetsu indicates that foreign iron was included in the manufacture of this blade, a practice which was then very much in vogue. Older, nationalistic arguments claim that the foreign iron included phosphates, sulphates and the like which made it unsuitable for Japanese blades. The use a result of the fascination with foreign products. Dr. Homma rejected this jingoistic argument out-of-hand, stating in 1965 that "This blade is an extremely rare and important reference material for the works of Kunikiyo....The roughness of the ji is not due to 'Namban' material."