While traveling the Japanese countryside the blind masseur Zatoichi comes across the One Armed Swordsman, Wang Kang, who is in hiding and protecting a child from a corrupt Japanese priest and a group of yakuza. Zatoichi and Wang Kang, each from very different worlds yet heroic swordsman in their own right, at first seem to get along but a language barrier and a series of misunderstanding leads Kang to distrust Ichi. Soon the two heroes are at each other throats while each attempts to stop the true villains from taking the child. Written by
Daniel Jos. Leary
The last Zatoichi film produced by the Daiei Motion Picture Company (which had went bankrupt). Toho Company took over the films for the rest of the decade (along with Shintarô Katsu's own Katsu Productions, which coproduced the films since 1967). See more »
Every culture has it's own fictional world that some obsess and linger in. America has James Bond, a film series spanning over 20 films and 6 actors! Japan has Zatoichi! But, the difference is that only one actor is synonymous with Zatoichi, and that's Shintarô Katsu. And even though the series has it's share of clichés (as do all long running movie series) that are even present in this film Zatoichi has a message that resonates through all his films, and that is one of how to treat people. In this Outing he is paired with The One-Armed Swordsman (Jimmy Yu Wang), another famous Asian Swordsman who hails from Shaw Bros. of China.
This film which features amazing and thrilling action sequences also has a thoughtful side as frustrating scenes between Zatoichi and The One-Armed Swordsman take place, as neither can understand or interpret each others speech which leads to misunderstandings and eventual tragedy. Zatoichi encounters The One-Armed Swordsman with a child in hand that he has rescued from a band of Samurai. But Zatoichi follows and helps the two until he returns from getting food to only find them gone. They are wanted, and Zatoichi is forced to brutally fight to save the lives of those affected. With this film you do not come away with a fully mesmerized Summer Blockbuster mood, but it makes you go away with a sad and epic feeling that is induced by the films exciting and symbolic ending that proves the depth of this series' theme - "Treat others as you want to be treated"
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