7.5/10
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Zatoichi and the Chess Expert (1965)

Zatoichi Jigoku tabi (original title)
Approved | | Drama, Adventure, Action | 24 December 1965 (Japan)
A samurai with a high skill in chess makes friends with Zatoichi, who finds that things become peculiar in his presence.

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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.

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
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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
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    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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Zatoichi's trek through 88 temples to atone for his violent past is interrupted as he stumbles into a village terrorized by a violent yakuza boss.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Michiyo Ohkusu, Kunie Tanaka
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    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 7.2/10 X  

In a town where debt-ridden peasants are being ruthlessly exploited, Zatoichi is forced to take sides between a cruel yakuza boss and his seemingly altruistic rival.

Director: Satsuo Yamamoto
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Rentarô Mikuni, Kô Nishimura
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
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Zatoichi runs afoul of some evil fugitives, working for a corrupt law official.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Kayo Mikimoto, Kyôsuke Machida
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After an artist is threatened by the yakuza into creating valuable but highly illegal pornography, the law aims to execute him. Zatoichi, having been honor bound to protect the man and his family, must now run against the law.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Jûshirô Konoe, Miwa Takada
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Zatoichi is tricked by a crime gang into killing a man. Realizing his mistake, he sets out to protect the dead man's sister, who is conflicted in accepting his help.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Yoshiko Mita, Makoto Satô
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
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Cast

Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Mikio Narita ...
Tadasu Jumonji
Chizu Hayashi ...
Enoshimeya
Kaneko Iwasaki ...
Tane
Gaku Yamamoto ...
Tomonoshin Sagawa
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Saburô Date
Tatsuo Endô ...
Yakuza boss of Ejimaya
Takuya Fujioka
Kanae Kobayashi ...
Widow Tarozaemon
Fujio Suga ...
Injury prone Banyu yakuza
Rokkô Toura
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Storyline

Zatoichi makes friends with a dangerous chess player, while fending off angry yakuza and bloodthirsty relatives out for revenge, and trying to save a sick child. Meanwhile, his luck with dice is turning... Written by eirias <eirias@iname.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

24 December 1965 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi and the Chess Expert  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Daieicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by Zatoichi's Conspiracy (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

Typically wonderful...
16 June 2004 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

Zatoichi films are all pretty similar. There are gambling (dice) scenes, Zatoichi vs. large gang fighting scenes, massaging scenes (usually of beautiful women), Zatoichi eating and drinking scenes, bath scenes, travel sequences, often a scenes with a child (or children) - and they all wonderful. One other consistent element is that they all are shot in glorious widescreen and contain some exquisite cinematography. I always find at least a couple of scenes in each film of this series to be quite breathtaking - certainly worthy of pondering over. I find these films so appealing regardless that I know exactly what is to come.

In this chapter Zatoichi meets a rather confident and intelligent foe in the guise of a chess expert. This is, of course, after he has easily defeated all his lesser foes who seek vengeance on his gambling prowess (sound familiar?). We have a female love interest and Zatoichi spurning her because of his opinion of his own "lowlife" status. All in all I was more enthralled with the first 3/4's of this particular film, but felt it failed slightly at the end. Still I think the world of Zatoichi so I give this 4.5 /5


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