IMDb > Zatoichi (2003)
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   36,528 votes »
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 48% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
Beautiful 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:
Shinkichi:I have to say, it's incredible. You really look like a woman! Does make-up make men beautiful?
Geisha Seitaro 'Osei' Naruto:It doesn't work on everyone. It depends on the face!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Cool! (2004)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
58 out of 73 people found the following review useful.
Beautiful, 25 November 2004
Author: Mattias Petersson from Stockholm, Sweden

The story of the blind swordsman Zatoichi should be well known to most aficionados of Japanese cinema. I was thrilled when i heard that Takeshi Kitano (of all people) would be making a re-make of the classic series. And i was not disappointed.

The blind masseur/swordsman Zatoichi stumbles upon a lone widow when he comes walking in the countryside. He helps her carry a basket and she tells him of her problems while he is invited to stay with her. The local town is plagued by a war between different criminal factions and the protection rates are constantly going up. Soon two geishas also arrive in town with their own agenda, linked to one of the warring gangs.

Zatoichi is a beautiful film in my opinion. Everything from photography and scenery to music is exceptionally well tuned to the mood of the film. Also the action sequences are very well made, the fencing well choreographed and nicely shot. What distracted me somewhat though is the use of liquid animation for the blood. There is almost no usual fake blood in this movie, rather it's liquid animation-blood spraying when people are stabbed. This looks odd, but it's still a minor distraction.

Zatoichi feels both like a nice tribute to 60's and 70's samurai-films as well as a fresh take on the genre. Both modern and classic, which is one of the finest compliments i feel you can give a movie like this one. I enjoyed it very much and i rate it 7/10.

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
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
Showdown between Ronin + Zatoichi an anticlimax alex_barley
See more »

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