7.6/10
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The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

Zatôichi monogatari (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 18 April 1962 (Japan)
The adventures of a blind, gambling masseur who also happens to be a master swordsman.

Director:

Kenji Misumi

Writers:

Minoru Inuzuka (screenplay) (as Minoru Inuduka), Kan Shimozawa (short story)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shintarô Katsu ... Zatôichi / Blind Man Ichi / Masseur Ichi
Masayo Banri ... Tane / Tatekichi's sister / Seisuke's ex-lover
Ryûzô Shimada Ryûzô Shimada ... Shigezô of Sasagawa / Sasagawa yakuza boss
Hajime Mitamura Hajime Mitamura ... Hanji of Matsugishi
Shigeru Amachi ... Hirate, Miki
Michirô Minami ... Tatekichi / Tane's brother / Saki's lover / Iioka yakuza member
Eijirô Yanagi ... Sukegorô of Iioka / Iioka yakuza boss
Toshio Chiba Toshio Chiba ... Masakichi / Iioka yakuza member (as Toshirô Chiba)
Manabu Morita ... Seisuke / Tane's ex-lover / Iioka yakuza member
Yoshindo Yamaji Yoshindo Yamaji ... Yahei / Father of Tane and Tatekichi (as Yoshito Yamaji)
Yôichi Funaki Yôichi Funaki ... Yogorô / Sasagawa yakuza member
Eigorô Onoe Eigorô Onoe ... Rihei / Sasagawa yakuza member
Ikuko Môri ... Yutaka / Shigezô's wife
Chitose Maki Chitose Maki ... Yoshi / Hanji's wife
Kin'ya Ichikawa Kin'ya Ichikawa ... Mokichi / Sasagawa yakuza member
Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Yaeko Mizutani, Masayo Banri
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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.

Director: Tokuzô Tanaka
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Mikiko Tsubouchi, Seizaburô Kawazu
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A yakuza gang targets the blind masseur Zatoichi after he defeats their group in a wrestling match. Meanwhile a long lost love of Zatoichi's returns to his life.

Director: Tokuzô Tanaka
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Miwa Takada, Masayo Banri
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Zatoichi promises to deliver a maiden safely home but finds two dangerous gangs have a mysterious interest in the young girl.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shiho Fujimura, Ryûzô Shimada
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Zatoichi is mistaken for a thief. To clear his name he must find and defeat the real villain.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shôgo Shimada, Mikiko Tsubouchi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Tatsuo Endô, Takashi Etajima
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Saburô Date, Kôji Fujiyama
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After Zatoichi learns of his sensei's murder he uncovers a horrible conspiracy involving the local government and crime family.

Director: Akira Inoue
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Norihei Miki, Mikiko Tsubouchi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A samurai with a high skill in chess makes friends with Zatoichi, who finds that things become peculiar in his presence.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Mikio Narita, Chizu Hayashi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The blind swordsman tries to locate a girl's missing father.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Miwa Takada, Eiko Taki
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After an artist is threatened by the yakuza into creating valuable but highly illegal pornography, the law aims to execute him. Zatoichi, having been honor bound to protect the man and his family, must now run against the law.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Jûshirô Konoe, Miwa Takada
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Zatoichi, while fighting off the usual group of gangsters, meets the apprentice of the swordsman who created his blade, who relays bad news about the sword.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shiho Fujimura, Yoshihiko Aoyama

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Storyline

An impoverished blind masseur becomes a mercenary swordsman, to gain basic respect. The first of novelist Kan Shimozawa's Zatoichi series: 26 films, a TV series and a play, all but two starring controversial singer/producer/director Shintaro Katsu. First of six Zatoichi films directed by Kenji Misumi. The shrewd Zatoichi targets a yakuza-controlled village, because war with a neighboring town's smaller gang is brewing. The broke ex-masseur "Ichi" immediately wins big, by taking advantage of local bakuto's cheating, after they scoff at his asking to join a dice game. The larger horde, who have been given carte blanche by the local governor, summoned Zatoichi. Zatoichi hates the fact that he's become an outlaw, so he strikes up a friendship with the other gang's honorable hired samurai, who has TB. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Double-billed with The Black Klansman (1966), the latter under the title "I Crossed The Color Line." See more »

Goofs

When Hirate and Zatoichi are about to fight near the end, the horn of a modern ship can be heard in the background. See more »

Quotes

Zatôichi: [after asking Zatoichi what she would do with having so many children] Just don't raise them to be gangsters.
Tane: I won't... But why do you say that?
Zatôichi: Because to be a gangster is a foolish way to live.
Tane: Then why don't you live a decent life?
Zatôichi: It's like being stuck in a bog; it's not easy to pull yourself out once you've fallen in.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grindhouse (2007) See more »

User Reviews

 
Action Adventure before it was cool!
3 September 2013 | by eam4375See all my reviews

I normally wouldn't dare rate a movie a 10. However for the first Zatoichi film (and maybe the second) I make an exception. An incredible tale of a flawed man at peace with the fact that he is a gangster. Zatoichi is forced into situation after situation where honor and compassion make us side with this blind man, not because of his handicap, but because he is doing the right thing. Filmed in black and white the action is superbly choreographed to convey the intensity of each situation without one bright red spray of blood across the screen. If you only watch one Samurai movie, make it this one. If you love it, then the first 25 of these masterpieces are coming to Blu Ray courtesy of Criterion this November.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

18 April 1962 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tale of Zatoichi 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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