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

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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 676 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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Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Miwa Takada ...
Masayo Banri ...
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 ...
Hiroshi Nawa


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 August 1963 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi the Fugitive  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Followed by Zatoichi and the Doomed Man (1965) 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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