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Zatoichi's Flashing Sword (1964)

Zatôichi abare tako (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 11 July 1964 (Japan)
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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Wishing to find peace, Zatoichi travels to his old village but only finds trouble when he ends up in a love triangle and finds old scores have followed him home.

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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

Credited cast:
... Zatoichi
Tatsuo Endô ... Boss Yasugoro of Takeya
Takashi Etajima ... Seiroku
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ryûtarô Gomi
... Kyubei
Ryôsuke Kagawa ... Boss Bunkichi
Jun Katsumura ... Yasugoro yakuza
Naoko Kubo ... Kuni
Ikuko Môri ... Yasugora's sister
Mayumi Nagisa ... Shizu
Yutaka Nakamura ... Mekichi
Koh Sugita
Teruko Ômi ... Mine
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Storyline

Blind masseur Zatoichi is nursed back to health by a young woman after he is shot by a gang member. Zatoichi, who had come to the village to repay a debt, now feels further indebted. He commits himself to use his amazing sword skills to help the young woman's father, whose river-crossing service is under attack by the same gang responsible for Zatoichi's wounds. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 July 1964 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi's Flashing Sword  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Boss Yasugoro of Takeya: What can a blind swordsman do? Drive him into a corner and strike him down.
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Connections

Followed by Zatoichi's Vengeance (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Zatoichi's Flashing Sword (1964)
28 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

This one is by far my favorite Zatoichi film so far! Director Kazuo Ikehiro from the previous film makes a delightful immediate comeback and peppers the movie with more lovely stylishness, but without forgetting to care about the storyline.

Zatoichi's Flashing Sword has a wonderfully entertaining and easy-to- follow plot, without any filler and without complicating the ordeal with continuity follies. This is a straight-edge short adventure tale loaded with badassery (and fireworks!) and it even has more humor than Zatoichi films usually do. The only two things I'm not that fond of is the abrupt ending and the remark by one of the characters that every time tenth firework to go off is special. I don't really know what was the point of stressing that plot-point, but as long as there are underwater sword- fighting scenes to keep me occupied, I'm game. There's also a fantastic cold opening where Zatoichi shows his might by bisecting some pesky flies (this was later homage'd in an Usagi Yojimbo comic issue), the "The End" symbol starting to resemble the letter "Z" (like Zorro! Oh wait...) and of course, Shintaro Katsu's priceless portrayal of Zatoichi, who manages to be very gentle, kind and lovable considering that in this movie alone, he kills more people than Stalin, Hitler and Mao together, especially during the final 15 minutes during his "Angel of Death" mode.

Even the cinematography in this film is top notch, and far more memorable than in the previous installments. Everything is colored in those lovely, warm shades of orange (which remind me of Hideo Gosha's movie Hitokiri, also with Shintaro Katsu), and some shots are truly awesome, like the very one that opens the movie.

Highlight of the film: that'd have to be the incredibly awesome final battle of Zatoichi vs. a band of nameless thugs and their stuttering leader. The badassery is unhandle-able!


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