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The Tale of Zatoichi Continues (1962)

Zoku Zatôichi monogatari (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 16 October 1979 (USA)
The blind masseur and swordsman, Zatoichi, learns of a powerful political figure's secret and is quickly tailed by a group of killers.

Director:

Kazuo Mori

Writers:

Minoru Inuzuka, Kan Shimozawa (story)
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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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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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Promising to make a delivery for a dying man, the blind swordsman Zatoichi comes across the usual crime gangs but also meets a blind monk who brings into question his use of violence.

Director: Tokuzô Tanaka
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shigeru Amachi, Jun Hamamura
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shintarô Katsu ... Zatoichi
Yaeko Mizutani ... Setsu (as Yoshie Mizutani)
Masayo Banri ... Tane (as Masayo Mari)
Tomisaburô Wakayama ... Nagisa no Yoshiro (as Jo Kenzaburo)
Yutaka Nakamura Yutaka Nakamura ... Kagami no Sanzo
Sônosuke Sawamura ... Seki no Kanbei
Shôsaku Sugiyama Shôsaku Sugiyama ... Tamigoro
San'emon Arashi San'emon Arashi ... Kai Yoshida
Yoshindo Yamaji Yoshindo Yamaji ... Yahei (as Yoshito Yamaji)
Eijirô Yanagi Eijirô Yanagi ... Sukegoro Hanoka
Fujio Harumoto Fujio Harumoto ... Lord Kuroda of Echizen
Kôichi Mizuhara Kôichi Mizuhara ... Kanzo
Saburô Date Saburô Date ... Mirosuke
Shintarô Nanjô Shintarô Nanjô ... Samon Shiraishi
Shôzô Nanbu Shôzô Nanbu ... Gouemon Kashiya
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Storyline

Blind swordsman/masseur Zatoichi is pursued by the retainers of a lord who fear that he will reveal a secret weakness of their master. Returning to the village where a year before he had killed Hirate, a much-admired opponent, Zatoichi encounters another swordsman and former rival in love: his own brother. He must face in combat not only the pursuing retainers but his own flesh-and-blood. 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:

16 October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tale of Zatoichi Continues See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Tale of Zatoichi proved to be so popular that this sequel went into production the same year, 1962. See more »

Connections

Followed by Adventures of Zatoichi (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fast pace and deadly blades
15 January 2018 | by klusebaSee all my reviews

Even though it was only released a few months after the first movie, The Tale of Zatoichi, the second and last movie of the Zatoichi franchise shot in black and white, takes places exactly one year after the events of the first film and is directly related to it. It's nearly impossible to watch this movie independently as it complements the brilliant first strike accurately. Despite an overall faster pace, it has a more melancholy atmosphere due to the main character's goal to pay respects to his fallen friend and opponent and a moody soundtrack.

Zatoichi is on his way to pay respects at the grave of his friend Hirate whom he was forced to kill one year earlier. The movie has three different plots leading into one. First of all, Zatoichi is hired to massage a powerful lord but when he realizes that the nobleman is insane, he is tracked down by the lord's retainers and hired samurai who want to prevent Zatoichi from telling other people the truth about the lord's mental condition. Secondly, the movie follows a one-armed swordsman and his associate who claim to be samurai but are actually criminals on the run. Thirdly, the movie gives us some more details about the yakuza Zatoichi teamed up with in the first film who felt insulted by him and decide to track him down when they hear he is coming back to town. The movie has a twist that links the three story lines together and ends in a rather abrupt way but still manages to answer all essential questions in just seventy-two minutes.

If compared to the first film, this one has a much faster pace and features more spectacular sword fights. Zatoichi regularly faces big crowds on beaches and in gardens and shows off his precise skills in breathtaking manner. From that point of view, the vivid sequel is more spectacular than the first film. The characters have as much depth as in the first film as Zatoichi still proves he has a strong moral compass while he meets ruthless criminals, charming prostitutes and people somewhere in between on his way to his friend's and opponent's grave. The element that is less convincing than in the first film is the more fast-paced and at times slightly confusing story that feels rushed in just seventy-two minutes and doesn't develop as much depth as it could have requested.

If you are looking for breathtaking martial arts choreography, you might prefer this movie over the first film. If you are looking for a skilled plot with atmosphere and depth, the first movie is clearly superior. I personally prefer the more intellectual first film but must admit that the second one is definitely energizing and entertaining. It's positive that the sequel didn't just try to copy the style of the first film and tried out something different. Overall, it's a quite good movie that justifies the numerous sequels based upon the first Zatoichi film and that should please to any fan of Japanese culture and martial arts cinema.


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