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Zatoichi's Conspiracy (1973)

Shin Zatôichi monogatari: Kasama no chimatsuri (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama | 15 April 1974 (USA)
Zatoichi returns to his home village for the first time in over ten years to find much has changed and that corruption abounds.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Zatôichi / Blind Man Ichi
Yukiyo Toake ...
Miyo
...
Shinbei of Hitachiya
Kei Satô ...
Magistrate
Yoshio Tsuchiya ...
Superintendant Shobei
Shirô Kishibe ...
Ruffian
Rie Yokoyama ...
Yuri / Lily
Tatsuo Endô ...
Boss Iwagoro
...
Sakubei
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Naoyuki Asahina
Tamotsu Fujiharu
Takaji Fukui
Takamori Gen
Yûji Hamada
Kuniko Ishii ...
Virgin farmgirl
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Storyline

Zatoichi, the famed blind swordsman, returns to his home village for the first time in many years. He is befriended by Omiyo, who had the same wet-nurse as Zatoichi. He also encounters a boyhood friend, Shinbei, who now is wealthy and appears not to remember Zatoichi. Shinbei seems to be interested in repaying the villagers' debts, but is in reality manipulating the ownership of a now-valuable rock quarry. Zatoichi learns of the subterfuge and confronts his old friend, who has a score of yakuza swordsmen backing his play. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi's Conspiracy  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Not only the last Zatôichi film produced by Toho Company Ltd., but also the last of the "old school" Zatôichi films. See more »

Connections

Follows Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman's Pilgrimage (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
you can try, but you can never go home
1 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After a 23 year absence, Zatoichi returns to his home town to find that few remember him. But in the end the village residents will have much to remember him by.

Of course Zatoichi is in a sentimental mood. There is a funny scene where Zato mistakenly thinks that the town has set up a big banquet in his honor and he frets over how to greet his guests and thank them. There is a touching scene where Zato comes across a Jizo (Buddha) statue along side a road where he used to play as a child. Jizo is missing his stone head, so Zatoichi gets on hands and knees to find the missing head. In the end he finds the head and replaces it on Jizo's shoulders. Zato visits the grave of his 'aunti' who breast fed him and offers sake (taking a nip himself :) ).

The second half of the film is fast paced and has an interesting story. It's a story of greed and the story is being sown by Zatoichi's childhood friend, who has returned to the village at the same time as Zatoichi. Their confrontation is predictable, but Zatoichi takes out a host of yakuza to eventually confront his childhood friend. Overall, it's a compelling story and has a lot of good action.

So this film marks the 25th film in a period of 12 years. It's interesting that the series pauses at this point. The next film (and last) will be released in 1989. I would rank Zatoichi Conspiracy higher than several of the earlier films in the series, but the Japanese public must have had enough by this point. Good work Katsu!


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