IMDb > Zatoichi Goes to the Fire Festival (1970)

Zatoichi Goes to the Fire Festival (1970) More at IMDbPro »Zatôichi abare-himatsuri (original title)


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Release Date:
12 August 1970 (Japan) See more »
A legendary figure in Japan is Zatoichi - the blind masseur with healing hands and a swift sword.
Cowritten by star Shintaro Katsu, this adventure pits Zatoichi against one of his most diabolical foes:... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(2 articles)
User Reviews:
Sweet, often interesting and potently exiting entry in the long running chanbara series See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order)
Shintarô Katsu ... Zatoichi
Reiko Ôhara ... Kiyo
Pîtâ ... Umeji
Kazuko Yoshiyuki ... Wife
Kô Nishimura ... Migi
Ryûnosuke Kaneda ... Boss Kuroko
Kunie Tanaka ... Packhorse Driver
Osami Nabe ... Mistress Auctioneer
Jun Nagasawa ... Egg Slinging Kuroko Yakuza
Utae Shôji ... Teahouse Owning Wife
Reiji Shoji ... Teahouse Owning Husband
Yôsuke Kondô ... Boss Men
Kenzo Tatake ... Wealthy Mistress Auction Buyer
Yoshio Yoshida ... Mistress of Auction Yakuza Boss
Eizô Kitamura
Osamu Ôkawa ... Yakuza Boss
Akira Shimizu ... Merchant with Business Burning Down
Takumi Shinjo ... Yakuza Boss
Akane Kawasaki
Teruko Ômi ... Bath House Manager
Yasuhiro Mizukami ... Yakuza Boss
Yoshitarô Asawaka
Ryûtarô Gomi ... Yakuza Boss
Yûji Hamada
Kazue Tamaki
Yukio Horikita ... Kuroko Yakuza
Takuya Kitano ... Egg Merchant
Gen Kuroki
Shingo Ibuki
Kanae Kobayashi ... Egg Merchant
Jun Katsumura ... Yamikubo Yakuza
Junjiro Niizeki
Masaji Nunome
Jun Satomi
Akira Nitta
Kazuko Taniguchi
Tadashi Takadera
Yutaka Miki

Masayuki Mori ... Dark Lord Yamikubo

Tatsuya Nakadai ... Ronin (as Tatsuya Nakayo)

Directed by
Kenji Misumi 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Shintarô Katsu 
Kan Shimozawa  story

Produced by
Shintarô Katsu .... producer
Hiroyoshi Nishioka .... assistant producer
Original Music by
Isao Tomita 
Cinematography by
Kazuo Miyagawa 
Film Editing by
Toshio Taniguchi 
Production Design by
Yoshinobu Nishioka 
Art Direction by
Yoshinobu Nishioka 
Costume Design by
Yoshio Ueno 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Toshiaki Kunihara .... assistant director
Sound Department
Masao Ôsumi .... sound engineer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Zatôichi abare-himatsuri" - Japan (original title)
See more »
96 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Sweet, often interesting and potently exiting entry in the long running chanbara series, 26 May 2009
Author: t-birkhead from United Kingdom

I revisited this one last night, after not thinking over much of it on a first viewing some years ago. Unlike some of the more exploitative of openly deranged and violent old school swordplay outings, the Zatoichi films were it seems, pretty serious minded and fairly mild when it came to grue or craziness. This one has a tiny bit of blood splatter but its basically pretty dry. I'm more naturally suited to watching films like the Lone Wolf and Cub movies or Shintaro Katsu's own Hanzo movies, but I found myself having a good time with this film. Its definitely a mood thing but also I think that the Zatoichi films have a cumulative effect, in that the more you watch the more you come to know his character and appreciate the style of film, so each movie builds upon the last. This film sees Zatoichi arouse the jealousy of a mysterious wandering samurai and the wrath of a blind Yakuza boss, in a tale that seem almost languid in the first hour or so, before gearing up for a cracking conclusion. Of course, when I say languid I don't mean boring, the film has a variety of fun characters and a vibrant, kooky sense of humanity to it that is always oddly compelling, as well as splashes of swift and sweet swordplay as Zatoichi dispatches all comers. There are also a few moments of wacky humour like Zatoichi landing buckets on attackers heads during a pitched naked swordfight in a bath house and some eye opening moments, like Zatoichi's encounters, and near very close encounter with a gay (I assume) pimp. This last is played by the cult performer Peter in an early role. He later became a bit more known to trash fans for playing the titular role in Guinea Pig 6: Devil Woman Doctor. Also of note cast wise are veteran actor Tatsuya Nakadai, who appeared in the likes of Ran and Kagemusha, grimly determined and righteously ticked off as the jealous samurai, beautiful Reiko Ohara as a bit of a love interest for our mighty blind swordsman, and Masayuki Mori as the seemingly wise, ultimately sinister blind boss, who really comes into strikingly malign form in the finale. The last 20 minutes or so are tight and thrilling, as the earlier sense of fun and near frivolity switches into mean intensity, climaxing with a couple of fine and memorable fights and a bit of trademark bleak philosophising from Zatoichi. Everything knits together well and the film acquires a real good punch. Though I think I'll have to come back to this film after seeing more of the series down the line to appreciate it more, I can still see it as a fine film with a lot going for it for fans of this kind of cinema. I'd say its probably the second best, or maybe even the joint best of the ones I've seen thus far, parring with or slightly lesser to Zatoichi The Outlaw. So, Zatoichi fans will undoubtedly dig this one and newcomers will probably find it a good entry into the series. Those looking for faster and grislier things will likely be put off, as I initially was, but its rewarding stuff and something that definitely repays repeat viewings. Ultimately, if it looks like your sort of thing and you've read to the end of this review without being put off, why not check it out? You could do far worse, and you might really dig it.

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