- Release Date
- January, 15th, 1970
- Running Time
- 79 min
- Screening Format
- Screen Size
- Cinema Scope (1:2.35)
[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
[ Cast ]
[ Staff ]
[ Production Company ]
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
[ Story ]
lchi (Shintaro Katsu) is blind. Outwardly, a masseur, he is called Zatoichi who, handicapped by lack of sight, has honed his remaining senses until they are as sharp as a razor's blade. His constant companion is his sword. This looks like an innocent blind man's cane, but it has left a trail of dead men. However, Ichi prides himself on the fact that he has never drawn his sword first against anyone.
Tired of violence, lchi nostalgically remembers a peaceful village and returns only to find everything has changed.
For the village has been taken over by Boss Masagoro (Masakane Yonekura). Hyoroku (Kanjuro Arashi), the venerable former headman sits, day by day, making images of the god "Jizo". When Masagoro hears Ichi is in the village, he tells his bodyguard (Tashiro Mifune) to kill him. At first he refuses to kill a blind man, but changes his mind when offered an adequate reward.
As he challenges lchi, the bodyguard feels the money is already his but, for the first time he meets his equal. In their first encounter, both feel a grudging respect for each other. Then they become enemies again when lchi is taken in by Eboshiya (Osamu Takizawa), Masagoro's father who had disowned his son for his violent acts.
The bodyguard is really a spy sent by the Shogunate to find the gold bars Eboshiya is believed to have hidden away. Yet he does not seem in any hurry to carry out orders as long as he can drink at the sake shop run by Umeno (Ayako Wakao), the beautiful proprietress.
When Kunai, a spy known as Kuzuryu (Mori Kishida), is sent to watch the bodyguard, Eboshiya's younger son returns and demands the gold. When Eboshiya refuses, he kills his own father and brother.
Ironically, it is blind lchi who finds, not gold bars but gold dust, hidden in the 130 "Jizo" that old man Hyoroku had made on Eboshiya's orders as the best of hiding places. But before the gold-hungry people find it, the gold dust is blown away by a gust of wind.
【Quoted from Unijapan Film Quarterly 1970.13.2】
[ Contact (International) ]
2-13-12 Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8552
Rep: MATSUBARA Masaki (President)
Attn: FURUTSUKI Etsuko
tel: +81 50 1746 1220