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Zatoichi the Fugitive (1963)

Zatôichi kyôjô-tabi (original title)
A yakuza gang targets the blind masseur Zatoichi after he defeats their group in a wrestling match. Meanwhile a long lost love of Zatoichi's returns to his life.

Director:

Tokuzô Tanaka

Writers:

Seiji Hoshikawa, Kan Shimozawa (story)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Zatoichi is mistaken for a thief. To clear his name he must find and defeat the real villain.

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After being wounded in a fight, Zatoichi is nursed to health by a young woman and her father. Now indebted to the family, he works to protect their ferry business from local thugs.

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When Zatoichi witnesses the murder of a young mother he promises to deliver the baby to the father. Along the way he gains the help of a reluctant criminal.

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The adventures of a blind, gambling masseur who also happens to be a master swordsman.

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After Zatoichi learns of his sensei's murder he uncovers a horrible conspiracy involving the local government and crime family.

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The blind masseur and swordsman, Zatoichi, searches for proof an imprisoned man's innocence.

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A samurai with a high skill in chess makes friends with Zatoichi, who finds that things become peculiar in his presence.

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Zatoichi's trek through 88 temples to atone for his violent past is interrupted as he stumbles into a village terrorized by a violent yakuza boss.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Michiyo Yasuda, Kunie Tanaka
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Cast

Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ... Zatoichi
Miwa Takada ... Nobu
Masayo Banri ... Tane
Jun'ichirô Narita Jun'ichirô Narita
Katsuhiko Kobayashi Katsuhiko Kobayashi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tôru Abe Tôru Abe ... Boss Yagiri Tokyuro
San'emon Arashi San'emon Arashi
Yûji Hamada Yûji Hamada
Sumao Ishihara Sumao Ishihara
Jun Katsumura Jun Katsumura ... Wrestling yakuza
Jutarô Kitashiro ... (as Jutarô Hôjô)
Kôichi Mizuhara Kôichi Mizuhara ... Boss Unosuke
Yasuhiro Mizukami Yasuhiro Mizukami ... Boss Tamamura
Sachiko Murase ... Maki
Hiroshi Nawa Hiroshi Nawa
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Storyline

Blind swordsman/masseur Ichi (known as Zatoichi, or "Masseur Ichi") angers a local yakuza gang when he defeats several of them in a wrestling match. When he finds that his long lost love Tane is nearby and romantically involved with a tough samurai in the employ of the gang, he remains in the village. Meanwhile, the young heir to the leadership is forced to confront his own fear and weakness when the gang insists he fight Ichi. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

10 August 1963 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi the Fugitive See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Miwa Takada's first appearance in a Zatoichi movie. She would later on appear in two more movies from this series, Adventures of Zatoichi (1964) and Zatoichi Challenged (1967), playing different characters. See more »

Quotes

Man at inn: [about Zatoichi] His sword is shiny and ice-cold. The only thing it won't cut in this whole wide world is oil and the bond of lovers.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Zatoichi and the Chess Expert (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Zatoichi the Fugitive (1963)
26 July 2015 | by mevmijaumauSee all my reviews

Zatoichi the Fugitive is the fourth Zatoichi film and the second one in a row directed by Tokuzo Tanaka. I must say I didn't really like this one. It's kinda forgettable and blends in with the previous film for me even though the storyline is quite different.

The story to this movie was really complicated for me to follow and I quick lost track on who is who. Not only that, but the pace was too slow for my taste this time, so I didn't enjoy following the goings-on here at all. The movie gets significantly better during the final fight scene of Zatoichi vs. a group of nameless thugs, and the final duel with the main villain, and this particular scene looks like it just came out of a Sergio Leone film. Tane (from the first two films) re-appears, and personally I don't really like that the series is still burdened by continuity; I'd rather see Zatoichi meet new people and all.

The score by Akira Ifukube (who also scored Godzilla) is really good and fits in nicely, and the cinematography (done by the same person who shot the previous film, Chishi Makiura) is once again really nice and the shots are a pleasure to look at. I especially like the way the actors look when captured on this particular type of color film, the way their faces are pale and covered in plenty of dark shadows.

Highlight of the film: the villain threatens Zatoichi by cutting a sake bottle in half with his blade. Zatoichi responds by perfectly throwing a dice into the second sake bottle (which some guy is holding), then swings his katana in the air. The guy drops the bottle, which is revealed to be bisected in half, same as the dice that was inside it.


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