Arikoto Chigusa

Lord Arikoto was "Kuge" or ruling class, and a member of the Imperial Court with the title of ShoSanI (正三位). He was also a warrior with an interest in making swords. He made swords as a hobby and was famous for engraving "Waka" or Japanese poems onto the blades. Arikoto, who lived and worked in Kyoto around the 1840's used to engraved on his blades the following poem:

Inscription "Yaki-tachi wo saya ni osamete, masumasu masurao no kokoro wo togari keri."
Literally: "Keep your tempered sword in its scabbard, first, polish a heart of courage."

Arikoto produced swords at a time, when there are great chaos in the samurai class and in society as the Tokugawa government was in decline and many were fighting for a new age. It was a very bloody period of many assassinations of important people on both sides, duels and battles. This "waka' (poem) is a cry for peace in the midst of all this conflict.

Arikoto was a member of the Tomotaka Mon, where "Nankai Taro Tomotaka" was his Aite Kaji or teacher. The majority of his works were wakizashi and tanto, there were also kogatana made, but most of those found today are gimei. While his works were not masterpieces, there were many forgeries of his name. This was due of course to his lineage of Aristocracy.

Few Shoshin or legitimate works by Arikoto exist today, as such they have become quite prized and are in demand.
Unfortunately, as previously stated there were many forgeries done in his name.

Utmost care must be taken when seeking the works of Arikoto. 

Papers from the NBTHK, as seen for this sword is the best method for assuring legitimacy.