In the 1840s, Ichi, blind masseur and quick-draw swordsman, travels to the village of Itakura to pay his respects at the grave of Kichizo, a man he killed two years' ago. The villages in the area, after several years of famine, have struggled to raise 1,000 ryo in taxes they owe. The money is stolen while in transit to the governor. Ichi is accused as is Boss Chuji, a samurai Ichi respects. Ichi sets out to find the money and clear his own and Chuji's names. Along the way, he must face Kichizo's sister, some of Chuji's own gang, a corrupt governor, and his henchmen. Loyalties shift even as Ichi's moral compass stays true. Written by
Ichi buffs will be interested to know that Jushiro is played this film by Katsu's real-life brother, Tomisaburo Wakayama, who would later star in the Lone Wolf and Cub series of films (produced by Katsu). See more »
In this classic samurai tale, we follow the deadly trail of Zatoichi-a blind swordsman who has sworn to prove his innocence with regards to his unknowing involvement with the robbery of a chest of gold containing the local farmers tax payment while bringing the real culprits to justice. Here we have the classic hero, the defender and champion of the poor albeit here a most unlikely since the farm villagers think he was responsible for the robbery and he is as he might say "a simple blind man". A bit of suspension of disbelief is required but boy is this ever great stuff! Any fan of sword-fighting films should find much to enjoy here.
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