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Zatoichi the Fugitive (1963)
"Zatôichi kyôjô-tabi" (original title)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 740 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 9 critic

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.

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Title: Zatoichi the Fugitive (1963)

Zatoichi the Fugitive (1963) on IMDb 7.3/10

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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
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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 | 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 7.4/10 X  

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

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Miwa Takada, Eiko Taki
Action | 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 7.6/10 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 7.2/10 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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Promising to make a delivery for a dying man, the blind swordsman Zatoichi comes across the usual crime gangs but also meets a blind monk who brings into question his use of violence.

Director: Tokuzô Tanaka
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shigeru Amachi, Jun Hamamura
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ichi seeks out on a pilgrimage to 81 temples, exploring spirituality to atone for his bloody past. On the way, Ichi stumbles into a village that's being bullied by a violent Yakuza boss and... See full summary »

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Michiyo Ôkusu, Kunie Tanaka
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 | 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

Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Miwa Takada ...
Nobu
Masayo Banri ...
Tane
Jun'ichirô Narita
Katsuhiko Kobayashi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tôru Abe ...
Boss Yagiri Tokyuro
San'emon Arashi
Yûji Hamada
Jutarô Hojo
Sumao Ishihara
Jun Katsumura ...
Wrestling yakuza
Koichi Mizuhara ...
Boss Unosuke
Yasuhiro Mizukami ...
Boss Tamamura
Sachiko Murase ...
Maki
Hiroshi Nawa
Edit

Storyline

Blind swordsman/masseur Ichi (known as Zatoichi, or "Masseur Ichi") angers a local yakuza gang when he defeats several of them in a wrestling match. When he finds that his long lost love Tane is nearby and romantically involved with a tough samurai in the employ of the gang, he remains in the village. Meanwhile, the young heir to the leadership is forced to confront his own fear and weakness when the gang insists he fight Ichi. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 August 1963 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi the Fugitive  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Connections

Followed by Zatôichi (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

Genuinely Suspenseful, Genuine Drama
19 January 2014 | by (Jyväskylä, Finland) – See all my reviews

One might mistake this for the first Zatôichi in colour, so bold are the colours during the opening credits that they'd challenge even Imamura's hyper-lush "Kamigami no yakubo" (1968).

What the films achieve wonderfully is that they still allow the necessary plotting to take its time. In modern fare I think we'd be having all the quiet moments and hesitations removed, let alone all the human drama. Thus the film really has genuinely suspenseful moments and genuine drama. Otane reappears, and we are allowed to see a loose end tied in the drama.

I'm going through the films in chronological order just now. It will be interesting to see where the series goes as it matures; these early films have all been very brilliant.


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