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Zatoichi Goes to the Fire Festival (1970)

Zatôichi abare-himatsuri (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Adventure, Action | 12 August 1970 (Japan)
Zatoichi meets an infamous blind leader of a gangster organization as he contends with a gloomy ronin widower.

Director:

Kenji Misumi

Writers:

Shintarô Katsu, Kan Shimozawa (story)
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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.

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Zatoichi is tricked by a crime gang into killing a man. Realizing his mistake, he sets out to protect the dead man's sister, who is conflicted in accepting his help.

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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shintarô Katsu ... Zatoichi
Reiko Ôhara Reiko Ôhara ... Kiyo
Pîtâ ... Umeji
Kazuko Yoshiyuki Kazuko Yoshiyuki ... Wife
Kô Nishimura Kô Nishimura ... Migi
Ryûnosuke Kaneda ... Boss Kuroko
Kunie Tanaka ... Packhorse Driver
Osami Nabe Osami Nabe ... Mistress Auctioneer
Jun Nagasawa Jun Nagasawa ... Egg Slinging Kuroko Yakuza
Utae Shôji Utae Shôji ... Teahouse Owning Wife
Reiji Shoji Reiji Shoji ... Teahouse Owning Husband
Yôsuke Kondô Yôsuke Kondô ... Boss Men
Kenzo Tatake Kenzo Tatake ... Wealthy Mistress Auction Buyer
Yoshio Yoshida Yoshio Yoshida ... Mistress of Auction Yakuza Boss
Eizô Kitamura Eizô Kitamura
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Storyline

Cowritten by star Shintaro Katsu, this adventure pits Zatoichi against one of his most diabolical foes: a blind yakuza boss whose reign of terror and exploitation has made him nearly mythic. Guest starring the legendary Tatsuya Nakadai as a ronin haunted by a traumatic past, and featuring an unforgettable nude swordfight in a bathhouse, this twenty-first entry in the series is a fan favorite. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A legendary figure in Japan is Zatoichi - the blind masseur with healing hands and a swift sword.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

12 August 1970 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi Goes to the Fire Festival See more »

Company Credits

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

Tatsuya Nakadai, the actor who played Zatoichi's final opponent in this film eventually played the main protagonist in the film Kagemusha (1980). The role was originally set to be played by Shintaro Katsu (Zatoichi) but he quits due to creative differences with director Akira Kurosawa. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

One of the best in the Zatoichi series.
27 July 2004 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

'Zatoichi At The Fire Festival' was the 21st entry in the popular martial arts series that starred Shintaro Katsu as the blind swordsman Zatoichi. This time around Zatoichi (who moonlights as a masseur) is present at a geisha auction. Later that night he rescues one of the sold women but she is unexpectedly murdered by a mysterious swordsman. We soon learn that he was the dead woman's husband and that he plans on killing Zatoichi because he believes that his wife slept with him. To complicate things further Zatoichi also makes an enemy of the local boss (a common occurrence in this series!), a blind man known as "the Prince Of Darkness" (played by Masayuki Mori who co-starred in Kurosawa's samurai classic 'Rashomon'), becomes a sort of mentor to a young, effeminate wanna-be pimp Umeji (played by Peter, who later appeared in Kurosawa's 'Ran'), and also falls in love with the beautiful Okiyo (Reiko Ohara). Whew! I'm a relative newcomer to these movies but I'm really loving them. Zatoichi is a fascinating character, shy and funny, but a killing machine when need be. This is one of the best in the series, and the standout scenes are a hilarious attempted seduction of Zatoichi by Umeji, and a killer nude fight sequence in a bathhouse. If Beat Takeshi's recent (excellent) 'Zatoichi' has whetted your appetite try some of the Katsu originals. They are immensely entertaining, and I'll bet twenty bucks that Tarantino is a BIG fan.


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