Join Date: Jan 2005
Yes, the image is upside down. After standing on my head for awhile I come up with "NOSHU (NO) JU KANEZANE SAKU KORE" which means KANEZANE (sword smiths name) a resident of NOSHU (MINO or present day GIFU providence) SAKU KORE (made this). The small stamp is what's known as a SHOWA stamp meaning it was made 1926 or later, till the end of the SHOWA era. This sword is likely made during WWII. The large stamp is called a KOKUIN, a counter mark with the kanji "Zane" in the center that we Americans call a turtle stamp. The red paint on the other side are assemblay numbers, worn but may be 26? He is listed as making Showato (machine made) and medium grade Gendaito (hand forged) blades. The formal style of kanji would indicate it is a Gendaito.
To have a proper habaki made is expensive and you will be extremely lucky to find one that fits exactly. Hope this is of some help.