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Zatôichi (1989)

 -  Action | Drama  -  4 February 1989 (Japan)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 966 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 8 critic

Nearing the village of his sensei, Zatoichi decides to pay the teacher a visit, only to learn that he has been murdered and his daughter forced into prostitution. Ichi's investigation into ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Zatoichi returns to his home village for the first time in over ten years to find much has changed and that corruption abounds.

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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... See full summary »

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Zatoichi, while fighting off the usual group of gangsters, meets the apprentice of the swordsman who created his blade, who relays bad news about the sword.

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Star Shintaro Katsu sits in the director's chair for this psychedelic and unremittingly bleak entry in the Zatoichi series, which is unlike any other in its grind-house grimness. A tale of ... See full summary »

Director: Shintarô Katsu
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Kiwako Taichi, Kyoko Yoshizawa
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Zatoichi is mistaken for a thief. To clear his name he must find and defeat the real villain.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shôgo Shimada, Mikiko Tsubouchi
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: Kenji Misumi
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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.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Yoshiko Mita, Makoto Satô
Drama | Adventure | Action
    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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Action | Adventure | Drama
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Zatoichi promises to deliver a maiden safely home but finds two dangerous gangs have a mysterious interest in the young girl.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
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Cast

Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Kanako Higuchi ...
Boss Han Bosatsu
Takanori Jinnai ...
Inspector Hanshu
Ryûtarô Gan ...
Boss Goemon (as Takehiro Okumura)
Yûya Uchida ...
Boss Akabei
Toyomi Kusano ...
Ume
Tsurutarô Kataoka ...
Tsuru
Miho Nakayama
Ken Ogata ...
Rônin / Masterless samurai
Norihei Miki ...
Zatoichi's friend
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Naonori Aihara
Ryo Akashi
Buntaro Aoyanaki
Yosuke Ara
Gô Awazu ...
Kame
Edit

Storyline

Nearing the village of his sensei, Zatoichi decides to pay the teacher a visit, only to learn that he has been murdered and his daughter forced into prostitution. Ichi's investigation into these injustices uncovers a corrupt alliance between government officials and criminals, putting the blind swordsman on a bloody path of retribution in one of the series' darkest entries. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Darkness is his ally [USA] See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 February 1989 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Shintaro Katsu's Zatoichi  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last Zatoichi film to star Shintarô Katsu (who also produced, wrote and directed this film). See more »

Connections

Follows Zoku Zatôichi monogatari (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Tsugaru Jongara Bushi
Sung by Kazuko Matsumura
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent; Shintaro Katsu's masterpiece! Surpasses last Kurosawa samurai films.
5 June 2002 | by (los angeles, ca.) – See all my reviews

The best of the Zatoichi series, with Shintaro Katsu appearing very spry for someone who was almost sixty at the time. If you watch expecting non-stop swordfight pyrotechnics, you're going to be disappointed -- although there are several spectacularly choreographed swordfights, especially the massacre at the climax as well as some surprisingly bloody gore (it should be remembered Katsu produced the Lone Wolf and Cub movies starring his real-life brother, Tomisaburo Wakayama). This is very much a saga type picture, with blind masseur Ichi approaching elderly status but still wandering the backroads of 1860's Japan, gambling and being pursued by bounty hunting yakuza and lone wolf killers. One of the rewarding things about the film is that Katsu encounters old friends like beachcomber Norihei Miki. He also befriends a destitute artist samurai (Ken Ogata) who is conflicted by the bounty on Ichi's head but dismayed because fatalistic, wisecracking, warmhearted Ichi is the only person he can relate to! There are many other great character actors here such as pockmarked Yuya Uchida as one of the craven yakuza bosses. Katsu's real-life son, Takanori Jinnai appears as the scarfaced young upstart rival boss out to take control of the whole territory. A beautiful film that is very poetic and poignant as well as being exciting. Very evocative of the period, unlike many other samurai films made since the mid-80s, and, in my opinion, far superior to Akira Kurosawa's final samurai pictures, KAGEMUSHA and RAN. Contrary to one of the other reviews here, this is anything but a mishmash of elements from earlier entries.


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