Zatoichi (2003)

Original Title : Zatôichi
Director : Takeshi Kitano
Writer : Takeshi Kitano
Kan Shimozawa
Genre : Action
Country : Japan
Language : English
Producer : Shinji Komiya , Masayuki Mori , Chieko Saitô , Tsunehisa Saitô , Masanori Sanada , Takio Yoshida
Music : Keiichi Suzuki
Photography : Katsumi Yanagishima
MPAA Rating : Rated R
IMDB ID : 0363226
Official site :
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poster for "Zatoichi" by Takeshi Kitano (2003)
Zatoichi (2003) - Takeshi Kitano


Takeshi Kitano Zatoichi/Ichi (as Beat Takeshi
Tadanobu Asano Hattori Genosuke
Michiyo Ookusu Aunt O-Ume
Gadarukanaru Taka Shinkichi
Daigorô Tachibana Geisha O-Sei
Yuuko Daike Geisha O-Kinu
Yui Natsukawa O-Shino, Hattori's Wife
Ittoku Kishibe Ginzo
Saburo Ishikura Boss Ogi
Akira Emoto Pops, Tavern Owner
Ben Hiura Tavern Pops
Kohji Miura Lord Sakai
Hideboh Dancing Farmer (as The Stripes
Ron II Dancing Farmer (as The Stripes
Suji Dancing Farmer (as The Stripes
Noriyasu Dancing Farmer (as The Stripes
Makoto Ashikawa Carpenter
Edamame Tsumami Carpenter
Kosuke Ohta Carpenter
Yoshiyuki Morishita Carpenter
Naomasa Musaka Yakuza Boss on the Country Road
Shoken Kunimoto Rival Swordsman
Daigaku Sekine Ginzo's Henchman I
Koji Koike Boss Funahachi
Koji Kiryu Dice Dealer at Funahachi's Joint
Taiki Kobayashi Funahachi's Bodyguard
Ayano Yoshida Young O-Kinu
Taichi Saotome Young O-Sei (Seitaro
Kanji Tsuda Playboy at Home
Ikki Goto Kuchinawa Underling 1
Yoshio Nakamura Kuchinawa Underling 3
Hiroaki Noguchi Kuchinawa Underling 5
Shinichi Nakatsu Kuchinawa Underling 2
Toru Yonezu Kuchinawa Underling 4
P. Man Tavern Customer 4
Al Kitago Farmer Boy 1
Omiya Nomatsu Farmer Boy 2
Tsutomu Takeshige Farmer Boy 4
Ganbino Kobayashi Farmer Boy 5
Sammy Moremore Jr. Farmer Boy 6
Muhomatsu Farmer Boy with a Spear


Zatoichi is a 19th century blind nomad who makes his living as a gambler and masseur. However, behind this humble facade, he is a master swordsman gifted with a lightning-fast draw and breathtaking precision. While wandering, Zatoichi discovers a remote mountain village at the mercy of Ginzo, a ruthless gang-leader. Ginzo disposes of anyone who gets in his way, especially after hiring the mighty samurai ronin, Hattori, as a bodyguard. After a raucous night of gambling in town, Zatoichi encoutners a pair of geishas--as dangerous as they are beautiful--who've come to avenge their parents' murder. As the paths of these and other colorful characters intertwine, Ginzo's henchmen are soon after Zatoichi. With his legendary cane sword at his side, the stage is set for a riveting showdown.


With tap dancing, mundane superpowers, and an attractive albeit gender-confused cross-dresser, Zatoichi truly offers 'something for everybody' This is a strange one, a drama/comedy/action film with absurdist overtones. In Japan, Zatoichi is a cult character who was the subject of 26 feature films between 1963 and 1989. Now director "Beat" Takeshi – best known for Hana Bi – introduces Zatoichi to a new generation. Takeshi also stars as Zatoichi, the elderly masseur and dice gambler whose hearing is so acute he can detect which side a die has fallen. He's a master swordsman, too – one slice and you're diced. Supporting characters include two beautiful geishas avenging their parents' death, a farmer and her drunkard nephew, the gangsters running the town and a masterless samurai (an impressive performance from Tadanobu Asano). The Blind Swordsman is great fun, although it could do with a tighter structure. And I was shocked by the spectacular tap-dancing finale – in traditional Japanese dress and shoes!
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