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Zatoichi's Vengeance (1966)

Zatoichi no uta ga kikoeru (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 3 May 1966 (Japan)
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.



(story), (scenario)

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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.

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A samurai with a high skill in chess makes friends with Zatoichi, who finds that things become peculiar in his presence.

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    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.

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After Zatoichi learns of his sensei's murder he uncovers a horrible conspiracy involving the local government and crime family.

Director: Akira Inoue
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    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
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The blind swordsman tries to locate a girl's missing father.

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When Zatoichi witnesses the murder of a young mother he promises to deliver the baby to the father. Along the way he gains the help of a reluctant criminal.

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After being wounded in a fight, Zatoichi is nursed to health by a young woman and her father. Now indebted to the family, he works to protect their ferry business from local thugs.

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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.

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    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


Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shigeru Amachi ...
Genpachiro Kuroda
Jun Hamamura ...
Blind Biwa Priest
Gen Kimura ...
Kanae Kobayashi ...
Tamekichi's mother
Kôichi Mizuhara ...
Mayumi Ogawa ...
Cho / Shino
Kei Satô ...
Boss Gonzo


Zatoichi comes upon a dying man who asks him to give a bag of money to "Taichi". Zatoichi has no idea who this is but when he comes upon a small town harassed by gangsters, he finds that "Taichi" was the man's young son. Along his travels he also met a blind monk who makes Zatoichi question his murderous lifestyle. In trying to help the town, Zatoichi kills some gangsters and becomes a hero to the boy. He must make a choice of whether to use non-violence and set a good example, or violence and set the boy on the wrong path in life. Written by Fred Cabral <ftcabral@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated




Release Date:

3 May 1966 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi #13: Zatoichi's Vengeance  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Followed by Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman's Pilgrimage (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Zatoichi's Vengeance (1966)
9 August 2015 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

Just when you thought that people who translated these titles couldn't get more unimaginative, we get Zatoichi's Vengeance (#13). We already had Zatoichi's Revenge a few films ago, and besides, who does Zatoichi take vengeance upon in #13? Whom or what is he avenging?

Well, anyway, this is the final entry directed by Tokuzo Tanaka. The previous film tried to change the plot formula a bit, but #13 brings us back to the basics; Zatoichi encounters a dying man and promises to deliver his message/money on to his relatives, he enters a town contaminated by a greedy yakuza boss and his gang of disposable thugs, he disposes of the thugs, faces off against an obligatory black-clad ronin (gotta love those), before taking out the final boss.

What makes this entry special is that some depth is added into the storyline through the appearance of a blind biwa-playing priest who questions Zatoichi's liberal approach to violence and how it may affect the local kid who sees Zatoichi as his idol (one can't help but wonder if this sub-plot relates to actual kids who comprised the theatrical audience for these films). Additionally, the ronin sub-plot is well thought-out this time (and Mayumi Ogawa, who plays his ex-wife, is really beautiful). It may interest you to know that the ronin is played by Shigeru Amachi, who also appeared in the first Zatoichi movie.

While it's somewhat true that if you've seen one Zatoichi film you've seen them all, some of them do play around with the formula better than others do. This one is among the most entertaining entries so far.

Highlight of the film: the bridge battle scene where the foes try to disturb Zatoichi's hearing by pounding huge taiko drums to disorient him (this is the premise for the Criterion cover art, which just looks baffling if you're unfamiliar with the film). The silhouette choreography is insane.

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