IMDb > The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

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


Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   3,280 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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 Blind Samurai Star is Born See more (21 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
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 »
Runtime:
96 min | USA:95 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

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:
Miscellaneous: In the moonlit scene by the pond, Tane tells Zatoichi that she has a facial mole exactly like his. But neither character has any such mole.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 »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

How old is Zatoichi?
What is his name?
What religion is Zatoichi?
See more »
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
A Blind Samurai Star is Born, 2 March 2009
Author: Bensch

"Zatôichi Monogatari" aka. "The Tale of Zatoichi" (1962) is the fantastic start to the longest and most famous series of Samurai films, the wonderful "Zatôichi" series about the eponymous blind swordsman, gambler and masseur impersonated by the great Shintarô Katsu. Katsu is one of my personal favorite actors, and I am equally an admirer of the brilliant director he often worked with, the great Kenji Misumi. This first film in the series, as well as several more to come, was directed by Misumi, in my opinion one of the greatest Japanese directors of all-time. My personal favorite films by Misumi will always be the brilliant "Kozure Okami" (aka. "Lone Wolf And Cub") films (1972-1974) starring Shintaro Katsu's equally great brother Tomisaburo Wakayama (four out of the six films were directed by Misumi), as well as the outrageous Samurai-Exploitation classic "Hanzo The Razor - Sword Of Justice" (OT: "Goyôkiba") starring Katsu himself. It was the "Zatôichi" films, however, that made Misumi a known director and brought Katsu to stardom, and the series has long obtained an enormous cult-status. In total, Katsu played the role of Zatoichi in 26 films as well as in a 100-episode TV-series that ran between 1974 and 1979. Misumi directed six of the films, as well as many episodes of the series.

The reasons why the Zatôichi franchise enjoys such an enormous cult-status are numerous, but I will stick to the most important ones. The eponymous hero, Zatôichi must be the most likable character ever in cinema to work as a hired sword. Zatôichi, a blind masseur, has obtained his sword skills because he was tired of being looked down upon by others, as usual for blind people in Feudal Japan. Due to his excellent sword-skills, he makes a good living as a hired swordsman. His senses of smell and hearing are as excellent as his swordsmanship, which makes him one of the most powerful swordsmen. Even so, Zatôichi is a kind, gentle and humorous man by nature, who will rather solve problems otherwise than having to kill someone. Shintaro Katsu is brilliant in the role of his life, and I cannot imagine for anyone else to fit the role like Katsu did. Cult-filmmaker Takeshi Kitano (of whom I am a great fan) took a new turn on the role in 2003 - Katsu had passed away in 1997 - and did so greatly. Yet, to me, the only true Zatoichi will always be Shintaro Katsu. This first film in the series is one of only two that were filmed in black and white, and it already epitomizes what makes the brilliance of the series. "Zatôichi Monogatari" mixes Smurai Action with Comedy, Drama and philosophical elements. The film begins with the crafty Zatôichi, who tricks a bunch of fellow gamblers into underestimating him... The film marks the beginning to a great and highly successful series that may not be missed by any lover of Japanese cinema. I had seen several other "Zatôichi" films with Katsu, as well as the 2003 film with (and by) Kitano before seeing this one. The action is great in this first film, but it is the plot that outweighs the fighting by far. Overall, "Zatôichi Monogatari" is a great little piece of cult-cinema and everybody even remotely interested in Japanese films must see it.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (21 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Favorite Zatoichi installment... jonnykay
New Blu-ray fixes image problem My Ego Tripped
Zatoichi on IFC?? jofus224
See more »

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Action section IMDb Japan section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.