Arikoto Signed Wakizashi with Mei and Poetry on Blade, Rare WW II Combat Covered Saya
Signature: Shosanmi Arikoto tsukuru Narabini Yomu.
Year Made: Shinto (latter)
Forging Pattern: Hard to tell do to light scratching, a very tight almost muji hada
Tempering Pattern: Uma no ha midare, widely spaced.
Dimensions: Blade Length: 15.125 inchesNakago: 4.75 inches 5 mm thick and 29 mm wide at Hamachi.
Mountings: In Buke zukuri mounts with a leather combat cover and ashi for carrying in WW II (very rare for an ancestral wakizashi to be carried that way). Kashira of plain shakudo with wear on the edges, Fuchi of shakudo and gold mountain range, or hills with a faint covering of sakura or cherry blossoms. Full wrap large nodule samé, a very pricey proposition in Shinto times. Well worn but intact silk ito of navy blue with shi-shi dog menuki of copper and gold plating. Nice old iron tsuba with a floral design. Saya is covered in a high quality leather combat cover in very good condition with a single suspension ashi. The habaki has a boar's eye design cut out in silhouette and a "v" shaped edge. All, high quality fittings and workmanship would seem to indicate that someone thought quite a bit of this sword.
Overall Condition: Very good. Slight scratch over ji, hard to notice. prominent hamon in nioi. Blade and mounts in very good condition for the age. This smith was said to be a Court Noble who engaged in swordsmithing as a hobby under the tutelage of Nankai Taro. He is known for signing the blade and inscribing poetry and according to Fujishiro there are many gimei, so it is best to get papers or a qualified opinion before investing in a polish but that is true of all blades. This is a very well preserved and attractive package dating probably from the 19th century and may be original to the blade. The blade has much sori an extended chu kissaki and is very graceful in appearance. The rarities on many fronts make this a nice sword for collectors of many interests.