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Zatoichi and the Fugitives (1968)
"Zatôichi hatashi-jô" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Action, Adventure  |  10 August 1968 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 576 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 9 critic

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


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Kayo Mikimoto ...
Kyôsuke Machida ...
Ogano Genpachiro
Dr. Junan
Shôbun Inoue ...
Jôtarô Senba ...
Minokichi (as Jotaro Sennami)
Hisataro Hojo ...
Hôsei Komatsu ...
Koichi Mizuhara ...
Kazuo Yamamoto ...
Ryuji Funabashi ...
Shôzô Nanbu ...
Yukio Horikita ...
Seishirô Hara ...
Rieko Oda ...


Blind masseur and master swordsman Zatoichi becomes involved with a gang of bandits hiding out in a small village. While they hide in the attic of a silk mill, they manipulate the corrupt chief official of the town. Simultaneously Zatoichi tries to rescue a young woman from the sweatshop conditions of the mill. Eventually he must confront not only the leaders of the town but the outlaw gang in battle. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated




Release Date:

10 August 1968 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi and the Fugitives  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Follows Zoku Zatôichi monogatari (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best in the series...don't expect much comedy though.
5 November 2010 | by (South Africa) – See all my reviews

Zatoichi and the fugitives is definitely one the few that stands out from the rest of the series much like how 'Zatoichi and the chess expert' and 'Zatoichi the outlaw' did (that is if you watched the films in the order it was released).

'Zatoichi and the Fugitives' features some of the most ruthless villains to have appeared in any of the zatoichi films preceding this title. These villains really gave 'Zato no Ichi' (played by Shintaro Katsu) a tough time. Its the first time I actually worried for his safety which is a rarity since he is mostly portrayed as a practically invincible swordsmen as seen in 'Adventures of Zatoich' where he slayed an entire guard post with scores of skilled swordsmen. However this time Zatoichi has many close calls which gives a change of pace from the mass-slaying zatoichi we are so used to, suspense is no stranger to this film.

Takashi Shimura of 'Seven Samurai' and 'Red Beard' fame that played Dr Junan really left me impressed. The dynamic between the blind gangster/swordsmen/anma and the kind-hearted doctor made for a very entertaining watch. Takashi Shimura did not disappoint.

The use of Manzai comedy and the customary gambling scene where Zatoichi always manages to split the loaded dice in half is left out of this film. Instead one can expect a dark and suspenseful tale with a very solid story that doesn't feel too reminiscent of the previous 17 films.

If you have made it to the 18th installment of the long-time running zatoichi series than that means your already hooked to this very likable icon. Zatoichi and the fugitives is definitely one of my favorite Zatoichi films.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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