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The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003) Poster

Trivia

The blood in the film has been described by many as being "too CGI". Kitano did this intentionally, wanting to "soften the shock to the audience" due to the high body count. Kitano told the CGI artist he wanted the blood to "look like flowers blossoming across the screen."
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.
The end dance sequence is a tribute to many of the popular Japanese films, in which the Hollywood-style happy ending was followed by a sudden "burst into song". He wanted to attempt this, but in a different type of way. Kitano combined traditional Kabuki theatre clog-dancing with "the latest African-American tap style".
Kitano said that he wanted the fights to be as realistic as possible, but that he wanted the blood to be extremely exaggerated.
"Zatô" was the lowest of the four official ranks (kan'i) within the Tôdô-za - the Kyôto-based guild for the blind established early in the Muromachi Period (1336-1573), and abolished in 1871 (the fourth year of the Meiji Restoration). The three other ranks, in ascending order, were "kôtô", "bettô", and "kengyô" - as in Agent Shiranui (1960).
With this film, Takeshi Kitano become the second actor to portray the titular blind swordsman theatrically after Shintaro Katsu.
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Released 14 years after the last Zatoichi movie starring Shintaro Katsu.
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Michiyo Ohkusu, the actress who played the old woman who offered Zatoichi a place to stay previously appeared in another Zatoichi movie years ago. In the film Zatoichi's Pilgrimage (1966), she played Zatoichi's love interest.
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Before directing this film, Takeshi Kitano included a scene that parodies Zatoichi in his film Getting Any? (1994).
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