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Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman's Pilgrimage (1966)

Zatôichi umi o wataru (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 13 August 1966 (Japan)
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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Writers:

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Michiyo Ohkusu ...
Kichi (as Michiyo Yasuda)
Kunie Tanaka ...
Man speaks a lot
Hisashi Igawa ...
Eigoro
Masao Mishima ...
Nanashino Gonbei
Jôtarô Senba ...
Bokasuri
Ryûtarô Gomi ...
Jyonenbo
Isao Yamagata ...
Boss Tohachi
Saburô Date ...
Kagimatsu
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yôichi Funaki
Kenshiro Hara
Yukio Horikita
Jun Katsumura ...
Tohachi yakuza
Masako Morishita ...
Little girl on boat
Manabu Morita ...
Takuji
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Storyline

Ichi seeks out on a pilgrimage to 81 temples, exploring spirituality to atone for his bloody past. On the way, Ichi stumbles into a village that's being bullied by a violent Yakuza boss and his henchmen. After killing a young, hired assassin, Ichi is led back to the young man's village by his peculiar horse. Upon learning that her brother is dead, Okichi (Yasuda Michiyo) grabs a sword and attacks Ichi, either in an attempt to avenge her brother or in an attempt to commit suicide by forcing Ichi to defend himself. After injuring Ichi, Okichi tends to his wounds, nurses him back to health, and begins to have feelings for him. The Yakuza boss still wants Ichi dead in order to take over the village and now Ichi alone must deal with the boss and his gang, the young woman's feelings and a village full of cowards, who will not stand up for themselves! Written by Jesus

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 August 1966 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman's Pilgrimage  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Thirty seven years later Michiyo Ohkusu who played Kichi, Zatoichi's love interest in this film, was cast in the role of Aunt Oume, the lady who gives Zatoichi a place to stay, in Takeshi Kitano's award winning remake The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003). See more »

Goofs

Kichi goes swimming, apparently naked, in a lake, but she can be seen through the water wearing a swimsuit. See more »

Connections

Followed by Zatôichi monogatari (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A twist for Zatoichi fans
22 January 2010 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

The general standard for Zatoichi films is fairly high - though you can expect the same motifs and themes from one movie to the next. Zatoichi's Pilgrimage brings the series to a new level. Our blind swordsman (Kintaro Katsu) is troubled by his violent past, and vows to visit a circuit of shrines until the gods give him an answer to his spiritual quest. This quest brings him into contact with a group of brigands who all but rule the area, and he's left with little choice but to reassess his spiritual quest.

The screenplay is especially intriguing. Zatoichi's pilgrimage begins as a sea voyage, and the water theme repeatedly makes its way into the plot. In the hope of realizing his quest, a rider- less horse follows the blind swordsman to where he's most needed - suggesting that Zatoichi may have already found his destiny. An assured storytelling makes this one of the more satisfying of the long series.


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