Osafune Kagemitsu is a very famous 14th century swordsmith. His father was Nagamitsu and his sons are the famous O-Kanemitsu. Sabeinojo and Saemonojo.
The Osafune school of swordsmiths is the most famous school in Japan and has a very great history. Kagemitsu is seen as one of the 3 grand masters of the Osafune sword school next to Mitsutada and Nagamitsu.
The school was founded in Bizen province by Nagamitsu Sho-o and influenced the way Samurai swords were forged until the late Middle Ages. On the right is a photo of one of Bizen Osafune Kagemitsu's best swords.
Some of the Osafune Kagemitsu series are produced by Yoshida Hamono, the name "Osafune Kagemitsu" is hand-stamped in Kanji characters (長 船 住 兼 光). some Kagemitsu knives are also produced by local forges in Tosa, Gifu and Seki.
In 1229 Motoshige started as the first swordsmith in Seki. Mainly due to the favorable location of Seki in an area rich in natural materials for knives and sword production (high quality steel sand, wood, water and charcoal), this branch of industry flourished in the Muromachi period (1333-1568) and there were more than 300 swordsmiths active. After the abolition of the samurai class, a switch was made to the production of knives and other cutting utensils.