IMDb > The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

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

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Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Minoru Inuzuka (screenplay)
Kan Shimozawa (short story)
View company contact information for The Tale of Zatoichi on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 April 1962 (Japan) See more »
The adventures of a blind, gambling masseur who also happens to be a master swordsman. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
(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:
Honor Above All Else See more (21 total) »


  (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
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
Jun Fujikawa ... Iioka yakuza
Yukio Horikita ... Kanaji / Sasagawa yakuza member
Yûji Hamada ... Iioka yakuza member
Bonta Maru
Gen Kimura ... Sasagawa gambler spy
Takaji Fukui ... Daihachi / Iioka yakuza member
Hajime Koshikawa ... A farmer
Hiroyoshi Nishioka ... Iioka yakuza member
Kanae Kobayashi ... Kane the Sasagawa innkeeper
Akira Shiga ... A dice-roller
Kôichi Aihara
Noboru Taniguchi ... Tomozô / Sasagawa yakuza member
Shingo Hosoya ... Iioka yakuza member
Taizô Sengoku ... Ishichi / Sasagawa yakuza member
Saburô Nagaoka
Katsuyoshi Baba ... Iioka yakuza member
Kaname Yûki ... Iioka yakuza member
Takashi Teramura
Keiko Awanami ... Saki / Tatekichi's lover
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Masayoshi Kikuno ... A coolie

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
Chikashi Makiura  (as 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 »
96 min | USA:95 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The "mon" coins used by the gamblers were made of either copper or iron and were the lowest-denomination currency in Japan until the yen system was established in 1870. The "ryo" paid to Zatoichi were gold and were worth many thousands of "mon." The Currency Museum of the Bank of Japan estimates that one "ryo" would be worth roughly $1200 to $1300 now.See more »
Anachronisms: Hirate's fishing line is clearly a modern transparent nylon filament.See more »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Getting Any? (1994)See more »


What is his name?
What are the recurring themes in the series?
What is a yakuza?
See more »
Honor Above All Else, 14 August 2013
Author: Hitchcoc from United States

This is the introduction of the blind samurai. It led to a cottage industry in Japan. It involves a nondescript blind swordsman/masseuse who has traveled to see a friend. The man is a gangster and has ulterior motives. He knows that an upcoming confrontation with another gang lord will happen and he wants Zatoichi on his side. Despite his infirmity, he is a master of the sword and would provide a great advantage to someone using his talents. The movie is mostly about the lowlife gangs and their lack of compunction and dedication. The Bosses are pigs, self centered and unsympathetic to their minions. Loyalties are tested and power is the central issue. There is more than one cowardly act and in the end, the two most noble of them all must fight on their own terms and not align themselves with the miscreant factions. A pretty good character is born in this film.

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