Arikoto was a sword smith from Kyoto who worked around 1848. He was a student of Omori Toshihide and Morioka Tomotaka. He died in 1854 at the age of 58 years.
This is a very interesting blade because unlike most smiths, he signed this blade on the surface of the blade itself with his signature being part of a famous 31-syllable poem. The blade is hirazukuri in shape and has a nagasa of 9 7/8 inches or 24.7 cm. The hada is a very tight ko-itame that has a “wet” look to it. The hamon is notare midare and is nie based. There are some very nice activities within the hamon. As stated, the surface of the blade has an inscription in the form of a 31-syllable poem together with the smiths signature.
The inscription reads, YAKITACHI BA SAYA NI OSAME NAIMEN DEARU KOKORO WO KENSAN SUBEKIDA. This roughly means, SAMURAI, PUT YOUR TACHI IN ITS SAYA, YOUR HEART NEEDS MORE POLISH (meaning more study or training). This is followed by the smith’s signature, SEISAN I ARIKOTO HEI ZOU. As an interesting side note, if you look up this smith in the Nihonto Meikan or in Hawley’s which is a translation of that book, you will find that the section on this smith mentions that he made a blade with a 31-syllable poem written on the blade. This blade is, in all likelihood, that very blade.
This blade comes with some very impressive mounts. The lacquer work is exceptional. In fact, the kozuka pocket of the saya is signed by the artist. The tsuba is copper that has been lacquered black with intricate floral designs applied to the rick black base coat of lacquer. It is truly a work of art in its own right. The kozuka is made of lacquered wood and signed by the artist. The fuchi is shibuichi and the menuki appear to be solid gold. All of the parts of the koshirae have a floral theme. This blade was obviously owned by someone of refined taste.
This blade is accompanied by NBTHK Hozon papers that attest to its authenticity and quality .