An impoverished blind masseur becomes a mercenary swordsman, to gain basic respect. The first of novelist Kan Shimozawa's Zatoichi series: 26 films, a TV series and a play, all but two starring controversial singer/producer/director Shintaro Katsu. First of six Zatoichi films directed by Kenji Misumi. The shrewd Zatoichi targets a yakuza-controlled village, because war with a neighboring town's smaller gang is brewing. The broke ex-masseur "Ichi" immediately wins big, by taking advantage of local bakuto's cheating, after they scoff at his asking to join a dice game. The larger horde, who have been given carte blanche by the local governor, summoned Zatoichi. Zatoichi hates the fact that he's become an outlaw, so he strikes up a friendship with the other gang's honorable hired samurai, who has TB.
Did You Know?
In his drinking scene, Hirate performs several series of moves with his katana (Japanese two-handed sword) from a kneeling position. This is Iaijutsu, the art of the quick-draw and its requisite zen-like presence of mind. Iaijutsu comprises many forms for drawing a katana to attack or to parry and counter-attack from any position at any moment. The katana is always returned to its scabbard to end each form. The word Iaijutsu means, literally, "the practice of constant readiness." See more
Hirate's fishing line is clearly a modern transparent nylon filament. See more
[after asking Zatoichi what she would do with having so many children
Just don't raise them to be gangsters.
I won't... But why do you say that?
Because to be a gangster is a foolish way to live.
Then why don't you live a decent life?
It's like being stuck in a bog; it's not easy to pull yourself out once you've fallen in.
Followed by New Tale of Zatoichi