7.6/10
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191 user 186 critic

The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003)

Zatôichi (original title)
The blind masseur/swordsman comes to a town in control of warring gangs, and while bunking with a farming family, he meets two women with their own agenda.

Director:

Takeshi Kitano

Writers:

Takeshi Kitano (screenplay), Kan Shimozawa (novels)

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21 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Takeshi Kitano ... Zatôichi / Ichi (as Beat Takeshi)
Tadanobu Asano ... Hattori Genosuke
Michiyo Yasuda Michiyo Yasuda ... Aunt Oume (as Michiyo Ohkusu)
Taka Guadalcanal Taka Guadalcanal ... Shinkichi
Daigorô Tachibana Daigorô Tachibana ... Geisha Seitaro 'Osei' Naruto
Yûko Daike ... Geisha Okinu Naruto
Yui Natsukawa Yui Natsukawa ... O-Shino, Hattori's Wife
Ittoku Kishibe Ittoku Kishibe ... Boss Inosuke Ginzo
Saburô Ishikura Saburô Ishikura ... Boss Tashichi Ogi
Akira Emoto Akira Emoto ... Tavern Owner Pops
Ben Hiura Ben Hiura ... Tavern Gramps
Kohji Miura Kohji Miura ... Lord Sakai
Hideboh Hideboh ... Dancing Farmer (as The Stripes)
Ron II Ron II ... Dancing Farmer (as The Stripes)
Suji Suji ... Dancing Farmer (as The Stripes)
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Storyline

Blind Zatoichi makes his living by gambling and giving massages. But behind his humble facade, Zatoichi is a master swordsman, gifted with lightning-fast draw and strokes of breathtaking precision. Zatoichi wanders into a town run by sinister gangs and a powerful samurai. He's destined for violent showdowns when he stumbles on two beautiful geishas avenging their parents' murder... Duels, wit and a touch of zen! Cult anti-hero Zatoichi is back in a sword-fighting adventure written, directed and starring Takeshi Kitano. Written by intlpress@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His Sword Made Him a Hero... His Courage Made Him a Legend. This Summer, Justice is Blind.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong stylized bloody violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

6 September 2003 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,424,807 (Japan), 7 September 2003, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,104, 25 July 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$853,718, 26 September 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michiyo Ohkusu, the actress who played the old woman who offered Zatoichi a place to stay previously appeared in another Zatoichi movie years ago. In the film Zatoichi's Pilgrimage (1966), she played Zatoichi's love interest. See more »

Quotes

Zatôichi: [Last lines: Zatoichi trips on a rock while walking down a road] Even with my eyes wide open, I can't see anything.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Unikal'noe pozdravlenie (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Kitano doesn't fail to amaze!!
11 June 2004 | by sandspider1See all my reviews

Zatoichi is definitely one of my favourite films and I consider it one of Kitano's best if not his best in terms of his acting and directing. I have the majority of Kitano's films and I was over joyed to hear that he was starring and directing Zatoichi and I was not disappointed when i saw it. Everything about the film is exceptional although a big disappointment for me was the fact that CGI blood was used which does look a bit fake in some scenes. That is the only criticism I can think of. The film is very violent but like Kill Bill it is comic violence. I was also pleased to see Tadanobu Asano(Kakihara from Ichi the Killer)who was very good and he also plays a reasonably similar role in Gohatto(also starring Kitano). Fans of Kitano and Japanese cinema should watch this as well as fans of the Zatoichi franchise.

Near flawless film!!

9.5/10


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