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Zatôichi
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Zatoichi (2003) More at IMDbPro »Zatôichi (original title)

Photos (See all 23 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
Zatoichi -- Zatoichi comes across a pregnant woman dying from sword wounds and helps deliver her baby. Her final request to him: take the boy to see his father. From here, the film evolves into one of the wilder rides in the Zatochi series.
Zatoichi -- It’s East meets East when one of Japan’s action idols crosses paths with an iconic kung-fu hero from Hong Kong. While traveling the countryside, Zatoichi comes across Wang Kang, a Chinese swordsman protecting a brutally orphaned young child.

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   36,735 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Takeshi Kitano (screenplay)
Kan Shimozawa (novels)
Contact:
View company contact information for Zatoichi on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 September 2003 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
His Sword Made Him a Hero... His Courage Made Him a Legend. This Summer, Justice is Blind.
Plot:
The blind masseur/swordsman comes to a town in control of warring gangs, and while bunking with a farming family, he meets two women with their own agenda. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
21 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
They don't make 'em like this anymore...oh wait! See more (185 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Takeshi Kitano ... Zatôichi / Ichi (as Beat Takeshi)

Tadanobu Asano ... Hattori Genosuke
Michiyo Ôkusu ... Aunt Oume
Gadarukanaru Taka ... Shinkichi
Daigorô Tachibana ... Geisha Seitaro 'Osei' Naruto

Yûko Daike ... Geisha Okinu Naruto
Yui Natsukawa ... O-Shino, Hattori's Wife
Ittoku Kishibe ... Boss Inosuke Ginzo
Saburô Ishikura ... Boss Tashichi Ogi
Akira Emoto ... Tavern Owner Pops
Ben Hiura ... Tavern Gramps
Kohji Miura ... Lord Sakai
Hideboh ... Dancing Farmer (as The Stripes)
Ron II ... Dancing Farmer (as The Stripes)
Suji ... Dancing Farmer (as The Stripes)
Noriyasu ... Dancing Farmer (as The Stripes)
Makoto Ashikawa ... Carpenter
Tsumami Edamame ... Carpenter
Kosuke Ohta ... Carpenter
Yoshiyuki Morishita ... Carpenter
Naomasa Musaka ... Yakuza Boss on the Country Road
Shôken Kunimoto ... Rival Swordsman
Daigaku Sekine ... Ginzo's Henchman I
Koji Koike ... Boss Funahachi
Koji Kiryu ... Dice Dealer at Funahachi's Joint
Taigi Kobayashi ... Funahachi's Bodyguard
Ayano Yoshida ... Young O-Kinu
Taichi Saotome ... Young O-Sei (Seitaro)
Kanji Tsuda ... Playboy at Home
Ikki Goto ... Kuchinawa Underling 1
Yoshio Nakamura ... Kuchinawa Underling 3
Hiroaki Noguchi ... Kuchinawa Underling 5
Shinichi Nakatsu ... Kuchinawa Underling 2
Toru Yonezu ... Kuchinawa Underling 4
P. Man ... Tavern Customer 4
Al Kitago ... Farmer Boy 1
Omiya no Matsu ... Farmer Boy 2
Tsutomu Takeshige ... Farmer Boy 4
Gambino Kobayashi ... Farmer Boy 5
Sammy Moremore Jr. ... Farmer Boy 6
Muhômatsu ... Farmer Boy with a Spear (as Muhomatsu)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yasushi Higuchi
Ryûki Kitaoka
Isao Ogura
Masayoshi Ohzeki
Kenji Takechi ... Yakuza
Yôji Tanaka

Directed by
Takeshi Kitano 
 
Writing credits
Takeshi Kitano (screenplay)

Kan Shimozawa (novels)

Produced by
Makoto Kakurai .... assistant producer
Shinji Komiya .... line producer
Jack Maeby .... producer (English language version)
Masayuki Mori .... producer: Office Kitano
Chieko Saitô .... planner
Tsunehisa Saitô .... producer: Saitô Entertainment
Masanori Sanada .... co-producer
Takio Yoshida .... co-producer
 
Original Music by
Keiichi Suzuki 
 
Cinematography by
Katsumi Yanagijima 
 
Film Editing by
Takeshi Kitano 
Yoshinori Ohta 
 
Casting by
Takefumi Yoshikawa 
 
Production Design by
Norihiro Isoda 
 
Costume Design by
Yohji Yamamoto 
 
Makeup Department
Kakusei Fujiwara .... special makeup effects artist
 
Production Management
Kensei Mori .... production manager
 
Sound Department
Senji Horiuchi .... sound designer
Akira Nakano .... sound recordist
Kenji Shibasaki .... sound effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Hitoshi Takaya .... lighting director
Toshio Watanabe .... still photographer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kazuko Kurosawa .... costume supervisor
 
Other crew
Marc Handler .... voice director: English version
Marc Handler .... writer: English version
Hideboh .... choreographer: tap dancing (as The Stripes)
Richard Lormand .... publicist: international
Noriyasu .... choreographer: tap dancing (as The Stripes)
Ron II .... choreographer: tap dancing (as The Stripes)
Haru Shôbara .... script supervisor
Suji .... choreographer: tap dancing (as The Stripes)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Zatôichi" - Japan (original title)
"Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi" - International (English title) (informal title)
"The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi" - USA (DVD box title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for strong stylized bloody violence
Runtime:
116 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The dance sequence at the end of the film features all of the villagers, but not the villains. Zatôichi, however, is not there. Writer/director Takeshi Kitano's reason for not including Zatôichi into the sequence was because he felt that Zatôichi was more of a villain.See more »
Quotes:
Zatôichi:Even with my eyes wide open I can't see a thing.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Zombie Girl: The Movie (2009)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
45 out of 80 people found the following review useful.
They don't make 'em like this anymore...oh wait!, 29 March 2005
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

Takeshi Kitano's offbeat samurai drama marks a personal triumph for the man himself and a notable entry for the genre. Kitano directs and stars as the blind samurai of Japanese pulp fiction; Zatôichi. He puts in a grand performance and really brings the character to life. His direction is superb also, and he succeeds in creating a foreboding and tension filled atmosphere that also captures the familiar Kurosawa-esque feel of the classic samurai movies. The story follows the fate of blind samurai master: Zatôichi. This master doesn't let a small thing like losing his sight get in the way, and in spite of being blind, the master is still the fastest man with a sword; as he proves on a number of occasions. The first thing you will notice about the fight scenes in this movie is that they are bloodthirsty! That's no bad thing, of course, especially since the second thing you will notice is that there's lots of them. The fight sequences are definitely the highlight of the movie, and they include some highlights in themselves; as we watch in delight as limbs fly and people get sliced and diced! The fights in this film make the likes of Kill Bill look even more ridiculous than it does already.

Takeshi Kitano creates his own world for the characters in the movie to inhabit, and he also seems keen to incorporate as many elements as possible into the plot, which is good in one way as it ensures that the movie is always intriguing and interesting, but it does get a little convoluted and, at times, makes you think "what's that there for?!". Still, the film does offer lots of interesting little tidbits, and it never gets so convoluted that it becomes boring. Well, it can't do; there's always another fight scene round the corner! The film is artistically played throughout, and you get the impression that Kitano has an obvious respect for the art of cinema, which is certainly no bad thing at all. Even though the plot is very familiar, and anyone that's seen more than a couple of samurai movies will have seen one with a plot like this one has; it's inventive enough to carve out a niche of it's own, and it draws it's originality from that fact. On the whole, this isn't a great samurai movie like the ones of yore; but it's encouraging that films like this are still being made, and it's easily one of the best movies of 2003. Recommended viewing!

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (185 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Zatoichi (2003)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Yamaji Isaburo? stevde2
How would you kill Zatoichi? TheCrowFan84
Samurai Glee Club robchalms
Naked Samurai? fightfan1
::Spoiler::About the geisha...ahem..you know which one empathy44
Too slow trottta
See more »

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