The name Gifu was conceived by a Buddhist priest, Takugen Shūon, known to Nobunaga.  Gifu is written with two Chinese kanji; the first character is derived from the name of a mountain named Qi Shan, located in the western part of Shǎnxī province in China.  Nearby is a famous battlefield where the Gi nation fought in a decisive battle with the Shoku nation.  The second character originates from Qufu, the name of a city in the western part of Shantung Province, where Confucius was born.  Thus, Gifu has the exalted meaning of a famous battle and a famous philosopher.