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The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

Zatôichi monogatari (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 18 April 1962 (Japan)
The adventures of a blind, gambling masseur who also happens to be a master swordsman.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Minoru Inuduka), (short story)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The blind masseur and swordsman, Zatoichi, learns of a powerful political figure's secret and is quickly tailed by a group of killers.

Director: Kazuo Mori
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Yaeko Mizutani, Masayo Banri
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Wishing to find peace, Zatoichi travels to his old village but only finds trouble when he ends up in a love triangle and finds old scores have followed him home.

Director: Tokuzô Tanaka
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Mikiko Tsubouchi, Seizaburô Kawazu
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A yakuza gang targets the blind masseur Zatoichi after he defeats their group in a wrestling match. Meanwhile a long lost love of Zatoichi's returns to his life.

Director: Tokuzô Tanaka
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Miwa Takada, Masayo Banri
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Zatoichi promises to deliver a maiden safely home but finds two dangerous gangs have a mysterious interest in the young girl.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shiho Fujimura, Ryûzô Shimada
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Zatoichi is mistaken for a thief. To clear his name he must find and defeat the real villain.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shôgo Shimada, Mikiko Tsubouchi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When Zatoichi witnesses the murder of a young mother he promises to deliver the baby to the father. Along the way he gains the help of a reluctant criminal.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Nobuo Kaneko, Gen Kimura
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After being wounded in a fight, Zatoichi is nursed to health by a young woman and her father. Now indebted to the family, he works to protect their ferry business from local thugs.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Tatsuo Endô, Takashi Etajima
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After Zatoichi learns of his sensei's murder he uncovers a horrible conspiracy involving the local government and crime family.

Director: Akira Inoue
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Norihei Miki, Mikiko Tsubouchi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The blind swordsman tries to locate a girl's missing father.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Miwa Takada, Eiko Taki
Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Zatoichi, while fighting off the usual group of gangsters, meets the apprentice of the swordsman who created his blade, who relays bad news about the sword.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shiho Fujimura, Yoshihiko Aoyama
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A samurai with a high skill in chess makes friends with Zatoichi, who finds that things become peculiar in his presence.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Mikio Narita, Chizu Hayashi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The blind masseur and swordsman, Zatoichi, searches for proof an imprisoned man's innocence.

Director: Kazuo Mori
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Kanbi Fujiyama, Eiko Taki
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Zatôichi / Blind Man Ichi / Masseur Ichi
Masayo Banri ...
Tane / Tatekichi's sister / Seisuke's ex-lover
Ryûzô Shimada ...
Shigezô of Sasagawa / Sasagawa yakuza boss
Hajime Mitamura ...
Hanji of Matsugishi
Shigeru Amachi ...
Hirate, Miki
Michirô Minami ...
Tatekichi / Tane's brother / Saki's lover / Iioka yakuza member
Eijirô Yanagi ...
Sukegorô of Iioka / Iioka yakuza boss
Toshio Chiba ...
Masakichi / Iioka yakuza member (as Toshirô Chiba)
Manabu Morita ...
Seisuke / Tane's ex-lover / Iioka yakuza member
Yoshindo Yamaji ...
Yahei / Father of Tane and Tatekichi (as Yoshito Yamaji)
Yôichi Funaki ...
Yogorô / Sasagawa yakuza member
Eigorô Onoe ...
Rihei / Sasagawa yakuza member
Ikuko Môri ...
Yutaka / Shigezô's wife
Chitose Maki ...
Yoshi / Hanji's wife
Kin'ya Ichikawa ...
Mokichi / Sasagawa yakuza member
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Storyline

An impoverished blind masseur becomes a mercenary swordsman, to gain basic respect. The first of novelist Kan Shimozawa's Zatoichi series: 26 films, a TV series and a play, all but two starring controversial singer/producer/director Shintaro Katsu. First of six Zatoichi films directed by Kenji Misumi. The shrewd Zatoichi targets a yakuza-controlled village, because war with a neighboring town's smaller gang is brewing. The broke ex-masseur "Ichi" immediately wins big, by taking advantage of local bakuto's cheating, after they scoff at his asking to join a dice game. The larger horde, who have been given carte blanche by the local governor, summoned Zatoichi. Zatoichi hates the fact that he's become an outlaw, so he strikes up a friendship with the other gang's honorable hired samurai, who has TB. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 April 1962 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Tale of Zatoichi  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Just before Shigezo leaves for battle, his wife strikes a flint over his shoulder. This was a common good luck custom that evolved from an ancient Shinto spiritual ritual. See more »

Goofs

Hirate's fishing line is clearly a modern transparent nylon filament. See more »

Quotes

Zatôichi: [after asking Zatoichi what she would do with having so many children] Just don't raise them to be gangsters.
Tane: I won't... But why do you say that?
Zatôichi: Because to be a gangster is a foolish way to live.
Tane: Then why don't you live a decent life?
Zatôichi: It's like being stuck in a bog; it's not easy to pull yourself out once you've fallen in.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Zatoichi in Desperation (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
If you're a fan of the Kurosawa epics... while this is not on the same level there will be a chance you'll like this
6 July 2014 | by (Valhalla) – See all my reviews

I decided to sit down and watch this because I found out about Zatoichi meets Yojimbo (1970) and I decided to pick that up but I wanted to watch a Zatoichi movie before I watch Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo and I did and for a period piece/samurai epic - I'd recommend it if you are a fan of the genre.

Okay so the story as a war between gangs is brewing a blind man who practiced and perfected the art of sword-fighting is asked (actually, more along the lines of forced) to stay at one of the gang's hideout so he can freeload and be their secret weapon in the war. While the other gang is doing the same thing with another master swordsman. While Zatoichi is fishing he has a conversation with the other swordsman and they become good friends. Zatoichi then guesses correctly that the other swordsman is sick and dying of consumption. As the war brews will the 2 leading characters be forced to kill each other?

If there is any scene in which I didn't like it enough for me to point out it's actually the very first scene of the movie. Zatoichi begins to gamble in a dice game and the dice aren't covered by the cup only to be revealed that he was playing them all along and has 2 identical dice literally up his sleeve. The reason why I didn't like that scene is that it kind of contradicts Zatoichi's character. Although he is a gangster he does have a good moral code and in the end, he will try to do what is right but would you ever guess that he was the good guy by the scene that I described?

In terms of what I liked, The relationship between the two samurai for one thing. It does get across pretty well this relationship as well as the rather conflicting feelings they have at the thought of them having to go up against one another. It does offer some good drama (and to their credit the actors do very good jobs). The sword-fight choreography is on par with a Kurosawa movie and even though I didn't like the opening scene I do like Zatoichi's character.

Aside from that all I have left to say is that if you liked Kurosawa's samurai movies then this is worth checking out. I mean while this movie is NOTHING in comparison with the aforementioned movies I will most certainly say if you like those then there is a pretty good chance you'll like this.


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