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Masamune was one of Japan's most famous swordsmiths. He lived in the early-mid 14th century during the late Kamakura Period. Blades made by Masamune had a reputation for superior quality as well as for beauty of design. This was considered remarkable for a time when katanas and other blades were made from impure metal. In Japanese legend, a Masamune blade and a blade of rival swordsmith Muramasa were both placed into a stream. Muramasa declared that his blade was superior, as it was so sharp that it would cut even a passing leaf in two. A passing monk noted, however, that Masamune had a finer sword, in that the Masamune blade placed into the stream would not cut any leaf crossing its path; all would be deflected around the blade (as opposed to the Muramasa blade), since it would not harm innocent things or anything undeserving of being harmed. It was considered a holy blade wielded by virtuous characters. As such, it was wielded by warriors who have mastered inner peace.
There is confusion between Muramasa blades, and one with a very similar name: the Murasame blade. Despite seemingly typos or "bastardizations" of one another, they refer to distinct and unrelated weapons.