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Zatoichi the Outlaw (1967)

Zatôichi rôyaburi (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 12 August 1967 (Japan)
In a town where debt-ridden peasants are being ruthlessly exploited, Zatoichi is forced to take sides between a cruel yakuza boss and his seemingly altruistic rival.


Satsuo Yamamoto




Cast overview, first billed only:
Shintarô Katsu ... Zatoichi
Rentarô Mikuni ... Asagoro
Kô Nishimura ... Kyushiro Suga (as Akira Nishimura)
Yûko Hamada ... Oshino (as Yuko Hamada)
Kenjirô Ishiyama ... Tatsugoro
Toshiyuki Hosokawa ... Nisaburo
Takuya Fujioka ... Zato Sanji
Mizuho Suzuki ... Shusui Ohara
Tatsuo Endô ... Boss Tomizo
Kayo Mikimoto ... Oyuki
Tatsuo Matsushita ... Yamagen
Ryoichi Tamagawa Ryoichi Tamagawa
Rokku Furukawa Rokku Furukawa ... Zato Kinsaku
Keisuke Otori Keisuke Otori ... Zato Jinsuke
Utako Kyô ... Big Mouth Woman


Zatoichi arrives in a town where a gambling house is kidnapping its poor, debt-ridden patrons. A rival establishment moves to pay those debts and free the peasants, but this house's seemingly altruistic boss is actually laying the groundwork for a ruthless money-grabbing scheme. The sixteenth Zatoichi film is the first from its star's own Katsu Productions, and is one of the series' most daring. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The final and most savage installment of the series.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The first Zatôichi film produced by Katsu Productions (Shintarô Katsu's own company). See more »


Zatoichi: No gambling. No whoring or fighting. It seems I've wound up in a peculiar village.
See more »


Follows Zatoichi's Flashing Sword (1964) See more »

User Reviews

Im back from hell...because I wanted to settle things with you
13 October 2010 | by origo13See all my reviews

So far I have watched all 15 of the Zatoichi movies preceding Zatoichi the Outlaw and this title surprised me the most. Zatoich the Outlaw still uses the 'tried and tested' formula of a typical Zatoichi movie with a few subtle changes that gives this film a fresh take on the franchise.

This is largely thanks to the fact that this is the first film done by the Katsu Production Co. The few subtle changes I referred to was firstly brought on by the use of plot devices such as the flow of time to help demonstrate how the true nature of man can change with time.

Secondly, the movie gives a short glimpse of Zatoichis' life as a masseur in a mountain-side village. This part of the movie was my favorite part as it depicts Zatoichi as a lone drifter that tries to fit in a village of people that recognizes him as someone special, an outsider. His dealings with fellow blind massuers'(anma); rich-folk and a beautiful girl sums him up nicely as an individual in these few short scenes.

This film also didn't shy away when it came to violence. Severed limbs and blood abound demonstrates Zatoichis' deadly swordmanship. In many of the previous films it felt like he was merely hitting his opponents with a stick as there was hardly any evidence of fatal injuries and such.

The cinematography is top-notch,the Katsu Production Co. went all out: Picturesque Japanese landscapes; tons of extras dressed up in the appropriate period attire and vibrant colors never before seen in a Zatoichi film. The actors did a stellar job, Rentarô Mikuni that played Asagoro deserves special credit for his truly versatile ability to depicts both sides of human cruelty. The Katsu Production Co. obviously avoided using the same actors that circulated through the series,some actors have played as 5 different characters in the previous films! I was quite surprised when I saw some of the IMDb user reviews writing the film up as the first let down in the long-running series. To the contrary, this film in my opinion is one of the best so far.

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Release Date:

12 August 1967 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi Breaks Jail See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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