IMDb > The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

The Tale of Zatoichi (1962) More at IMDbPro »Zatôichi monogatari (original title)

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Minoru Inuzuka (screenplay)
Kan Shimozawa (short story)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Tale of Zatoichi on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 April 1962 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
The adventures of a blind, gambling masseur who also happens to be a master swordsman. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(8 articles)
What I Watched, What You Watched #225
 (From Rope Of Silicon. 29 December 2013, 7:00 AM, PST)

New DVD Blu-ray: 'Red 2,' 'The Canyons,' 'Jobs'
 (From Moviefone. 27 November 2013, 8:00 AM, PST)

Blu-ray, DVD Release: Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Collection
 (From Disc Dish. 26 August 2013, 4:34 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A charming samurai classic See more (19 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
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
Chitose Maki ... Yoshi / Hanji's wife
Ikuko Môri ... Yutaka / Shigezô's wife
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
Yoichi Funaki ... Yogorô / Sasagawa yakuza member
Kinya Ichikawa ... Mokichi / Sasagawa yakuza member
Eigorô Onoe ... Rihei / Sasagawa yakuza member
Yoshito Yamaji ... Yahei / Father of Tane and Tatekichi
Yukio Horikita ... Kanaji / Sasagawa yakuza member
Takaji Fukui ... Daihachi / Iioka yakuza member
Masayoshi Kikuno ... A coolie
Hajime Koshikawa ... A farmer
Akira Shiga ... A dice-roller
Yûji Hamada ... Iioka yakuza member
Kôichi Aihara
Hiroyoshi Nishioka ... Iioka yakuza member
Gen Kimura ... Sasagawa gambler spy
Taizô Sengoku ... Ishichi / Sasagawa yakuza member
Noboru Taniguchi ... Tomozô / Sasagawa yakuza member
Shingo Hosoya ... Iioka yakuza member
Saburô Nagaoka
Katsuyoshi Baba ... Iioka yakuza member
Kaname Yûki ... Iioka yakuza member
Keiko Awanami ... Saki / Tatekichi's lover
Kanae Kobayashi ... Kane the Sasagawa innkeeper
Bonta Maru
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jun Fujikawa ... Iioka yakuza
Takashi Teramura

Directed by
Kenji Misumi 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Minoru Inuzuka  screenplay (as Minoru Inuduka)
Kan Shimozawa  short story

Produced by
Ikuo Kubodera .... executive producer
Ikuo Kubodera .... planner
 
Original Music by
Akira Ifukube 
 
Cinematography by
Chishi Makiura 
 
Film Editing by
Kanji Suganuma 
 
Production Design by
Akira Naitô 
 
Production Management
Mitsuru Tanabe .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Toshiaki Kunihara .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Kazuo Kajitani .... set dresser
 
Sound Department
Iwao Ôtani .... sound recordist
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Hiroya Katô .... lighting technician (as Hironari Kato)
Hiroya Katô .... lighting technician
Yasuo Matsuura .... still photographer
 
Music Department
Toshio Nakamoto .... natural music director
 
Other crew
Shôhei Miyauchi .... martial arts director
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Zatôichi monogatari" - Japan (original title)
"Zatoichi: The Life and Opinion of Masseur Ichi" - Japan (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
Runtime:
96 min | USA:95 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Goofs:
Anachronisms: When Hirate and Zatoichi are about to fight near the end, the horn of a modern ship can be heard in the background.See more »
Quotes:
Zatôichi:[after asking Zatoichi what she would do with having so much 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 you once you've fallen in.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Grindhouse (2007)See more »

FAQ

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
A charming samurai classic, 23 March 2013
Author: Dustin Dye from United States

"The Tale of Zatoichi" was a cultural phenomenon in Japan in the 1960s, spawning 25 sequels, a 112-episode TV series and a remake.

Set toward the end of the feudal Edo period (1603-1868), the film stars Shintaro Katsu as Zatoichi, an itinerant blind masseur/swordsman. He stops in the town of Iioka one day to stay with a yakuza boss, Sukegoro, who he had met on an earlier journey.

Zatoichi is humble, but has a quiet intensity. Even though he is blind, he perceives more in the situations around him than the other participants with normal eyesight. In an early scene, Sukegoro's gangsters try to take advantage of Zatoichi in a game of dice, but he uses their underestimation of him to his advantage, and hustles the gamblers out of all their money.

Zatoichi insists his impressive skills with the katana are nothing more than parlor tricks, but Boss Sukegoro hires him to stay on, as he has plans to go to war with a rival gang in nearby Sasagawa. Sasagawa boss Shigezo hires a ronin samurai, Hirate, to counterbalance Sukegoro's Zatoichi.

Zatoichi and Hirate develop a sort of friendship, but their affection toward each other has less to do with their love of fishing or drinking than on their common code of honor. Even though they know they will be expected to fight to the death in the war between Iioka and Sasagawa, this doesn't stand between their personal friendship.

So it follows that the most interesting conflict in the movie is not the yakuza warfare between the Iioka and Sasagawa gangs, but the conflict between Zatoichi and Hirate. Hirate is dying of consumption, and seems to prefer death by Zatoichi's sword rather than let his illness or an unworthy gangster take his life.

"The Tale of Zatoichi" is both fun and stylish. But rather than being a by-the-numbers action flick, the filmmakers took the time to develop characters the audience can actually care about, which elevates Zatoichi above other films of this genre.

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