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.
Zatoichi arrives in a town where a gambling house is kidnapping its poor, debt-ridden patrons. A rival establishment moves to pay those debts and free the peasants, but this house's ... See full summary »
Cowritten by star Shintaro Katsu, this adventure pits Zatoichi against one of his most diabolical foes: a blind yakuza boss whose reign of terror and exploitation has made him nearly mythic... See full summary »
Zatoichi comes upon the town of Tonda, overrun by gangsters. Using one of his favorite techniques, Zatoichi proceeds to win 8 ryo in a rigged gambling game. Of course, the local gangsters attempt to kill him, and the adventure begins. It turns out a blacksmith named Senzo examines Zatoichi's cane sword, and discovers it to be forged by his old mentor. Senzo discovers the sword is at the end of its usefulness and will break when it is used next.... Written by
Matt Hartley (int1)
This entry in the Zatoichi series has been reviewed extensively at IMDb for good reason. If you have grown to admire Zatoichi and enjoyed earlier films in the series, you are sure to love Zatoichi Tekka Tabi. If you are a fan of samurai films with a lot of action and spurting blood, then you will lose patience with this film. Warning for the before-mentioned samurai film fans; Zatoichi doesn't make his first kill until the 77th minute!
All of the most interesting scenes have been described by others. There is a great variety of scenes and Katsu Shintaro is at his best. I do have to mention the Duck Song scene. It is absolutely devastating. It's a short little song and dance performed by Zatoichi that blasts the boss who is hosting the party. Zatoichi finishes his song, waits, and doesn't hear any applause. The audience is stunned by his audacity. The scene continues with fabulous dialog between the boss and Zatoichi. It's pure gold.
The film eventually does take the viewer into familiar territory and by now you should know what to expect. The cinematography of Zatoichi entering the town holding an umbrella under falling snow is one of my favorite images from the series.
If you are looking to add to your Zatoichi DVD collection, this one is a no-brainer. It's terrific stuff served up by Katsu at his best.
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