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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
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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
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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
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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
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    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
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    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
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    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
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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 7.5/10 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 7.1/10 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
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
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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

Hanji's wife Yoshi practices "ohaguro" (literally: "black teeth.") In many areas of Asia, blackened teeth were considered a sign of beauty and maturity. In Japan, the practice was banned by the government in 1870. 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 and the Chest of Gold (1964) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Fight, Zatoichi, Fight!...Please...
10 April 2003 | by (Manassas, Va) – See all my reviews

I DID like this, the first of the series of blind swordsman movies. Ichi doesn't draw his sword for the first half of the movie; moreover, he seems a lot more bitter than in later movies. This being said, it was an excellent movie.

Others have described this movie well, so, I will only add something that I noticed while watching the scene of Ichi fishing with the ailing samurai. What made the scene so compelling was not what was said, but, the effective use of silence between them. The pauses in dialog were masterful, especially the long lull at the end of the sequence. It reminded me of some of Kurosawa's work.

I recommend this movie, not as the first Zatoichi that you see; but, rather as something to experience after a few of the more exciting movies...after you've developed a relationship with the character.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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