8 user 10 critic

Zatôichi chikemuri kaidô (1967)

Not Rated | | Drama, Adventure, Action | April 1970 (USA)
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.



, (story)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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 | 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
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
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Cowritten by star Shintaro Katsu, this adventure pits Zatoichi against one of his most diabolical foes: a blind yakuza boss whose reign of terror and exploitation has made him nearly mythic... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Reiko Ôhara, Pîtâ
    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.

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

Zatoichi returns to his home village for the first time in over ten years to find much has changed and that corruption abounds.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Yukiyo Toake, Eiji Okada
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two of Japan and China's greatest heroic swordsman find themselves caught in a plot to protect a young child. But will national distrust and simple misunderstanding keep the two kindred spirits apart?

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Yu Wang, Watako Hamaki
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On the road, Zatoichi meets a dying pregnant woman and delivers the child moments before she passes. Honor bound, he sets out to find the next-of-kin who he discovers have their own problems.

Director: Kazuo Mori
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Rentarô Mikuni, Hisaya Morishige


Cast overview, first billed only:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Jûshirô Konoe ...
Tajuro Akazuka
Miwa Takada ...
Yukiji Asaoka ...
Mikiko Tsubouchi ...
Mie Nakao ...
Takao Ito ...
Asao Koike ...
Maebara of Gonzo
Midori Isomura ...
Tatsuo Matsumura ...
Eitarô Ozawa ...
Jôtarô Senba ...
Kôjirô Kusanagi ...
Kenzô Tabu ...
Kanai of Manzo
Osami Nabe ...
Dice Player Hanzo (as Osamu Nabei)


Ichi is staying at an inn when a woman dies. Her dying wish is that Ichi take her son to his father, an artist living in a nearby town. After arriving in the town, Ichi finds out that the father has been forced by a local boss to create illegal pornography to pay off his gambling debts. Ichi makes it his mission to save tha man and reunite the family, even though it brings him into conflict with a samurai he sort of befriended on his way to the town Written by Scott Hamilton <stomptokyo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated




Release Date:

April 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi Challenged  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Follows Zatoichi's Flashing Sword (1964) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of the most stylistic and gripping Zatoichi films
14 June 2002 | by (Kyoto) – See all my reviews

Shintaro Katsu's Zatoichi is such a memorable character not only because of his talent with a sword, but because he acts justly in an unjust world, even as a member of the yakuza "gangster" caste, an outcast of normal society, a nobody in status compared to a samurai; often, in fact, labeled a criminal. No one respects him for his honor, but only for his ability to kill. The world around him is based on fear, corruption and evil, and even the people that are good are invariably weak in the face of the strong and corrupt.

This Zatoichi story is unique. The blind swordsman is at a traveler's inn with a woman and her child when the woman dies. Her dying request is that Ichi take the boy to his father. Unfortunately the father is trapped in a plot to produce forbidden images on pottery and plates -- artistic renditions of women that are often hardly even suggestive, but in those days were outlawed. It is over pottery designs that much violence is to occur thanks to corrupt officials, evil yakuza, and the twisted justice of the government.

Zatoichi has often been juxtaposed with a costar acting as a foil. In ZATOICHI CHALLENGED that foil is a child on the road with Ichi. This pairing elicits just the right combination of emotion and personality from the blind swordsman, giving his character added depth and feel. It is very gratifying to see Zatoichi in a fatherly role.

Ichi deserves more empathy and respect in this film. The father-son story device, the twisted justice of the government samurai, and the stylistic energy of the film are the perfect background for what Ichi's character symbolizes. Here Ichi is complete; an excellent protagonist.

The final battle scene takes uncommon form -- the added effect of the snow alone makes it magical. It is more stylistically shot than most Zatoichi battles, it seems edited with emphasis on emotion rather than action, and it ends in a very atypical way. Here the action seems to be balanced well in benefit of the story and style of the film. This makes the action for its own sake all the more beautiful to watch.

Also see the father-son device used in another excellent samurai series, Lone Wolf and Cub (Kozure Okami), starring Shintaro Katsu's brother, Tomisaburo Wakayama.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Looking for Ryota's Actor Name [From Zatoichi Challenged] napoleon03
Discuss Zatôichi chikemuri kaidô (1967) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: