This is a lacquer replica of a blade for a thirteenth-century slung sword (tachi) by Yoshifusa. It is made as one piece together with a black-lacquer mounting with design of arrowroot (kuzu), giving the work its title, "Yoshifusa with arrowroot."
Yoshifusa, a smith of the Fukuoka Ichimonji school, made blades with an exceptionally flowery tempering line (hamon) of clove-shaped waves, as in the lively pattern seen in here in the lacquer copy. The original blade is a National Treasure once owned by the Tokugawa family. As on the original, the smith's name is inscribed on the tang. One of the three holes (mekugi-ana) in the tang is shown plugged. There is a National Treasure blade for a tachi by Yoshifusa in the exhibition "Art of the Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armor, 1156--1868," The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 21 October 2009--10 January 2010. Tachi were the long swords worn by armored samurai on horseback. They were carried suspended from the belt by two cords or chains.