The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi

September 6, 2003 0 By Fans
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Still of Yûko Daike in The Blind Swordsman: ZatoichiStill of Yûko Daike and Daigorô Tachibana in The Blind Swordsman: ZatoichiChiara Caselli at event of The Blind Swordsman: ZatoichiTakeshi Kitano in The Blind Swordsman: ZatoichiStill of Takeshi Kitano and Tadanobu Asano in The Blind Swordsman: ZatoichiTakeshi Kitano in The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi


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.

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 7.6/10 (26,908 voted)

Critic's Score: 75/100

Takeshi Kitano

Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Tadanobu Asano, Yui Natsukawa

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.

Writers: Takeshi Kitano, Kan Shimosawa


Takeshi Kitano


(as Beat Takeshi)

Tadanobu Asano

Hattori Genosuke

Michiyo Ohkusu

Aunt Oume

Gadarukanaru Taka


Daigorô Tachibana

Geisha Seitaro 'Osei' Naruto

Yûko Daike

Geisha Okinu Naruto

Yui Natsukawa

O-Shino, Hattori's Wife

Ittoku Kishibe

Boss Inosuke Ginzo

Saburô Ishikura

Boss Tashichi Ogi

Akira Emoto

Tavern Owner Pops

Ben Hiura

Tavern Gramps

Kohji Miura

Lord Sakai


Dancing Farmer

(as The Stripes)

Ron II

Dancing Farmer

(as The Stripes)


Dancing Farmer

(as The Stripes)

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


Official Website:
Artificial Eye [uk] |
BAC Films [France] |

Release Date: 6 September 2003

Filming Locations: Eiga-mura, Kanami, Kanae-chô, Fukuyama City, Hiroshima, Japan

Opening Weekend: $2,424,807
(7 September 2003)
(219 Screens)

Gross: $853,718
(26 September 2004)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


The dance sequence at the end of the film features all of the villagers, but not the villains. Zatôichi, however, is not there. Writer/director Takeshi Kitano's reason for not including Zatôichi into the sequence was because he felt that Zatôichi was more of a villain.


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Watch? But you're blind!

User Review



The story of the blind swordsman Zatoichi should be well known to most
aficionados of Japanese cinema. I was thrilled when i heard that
Takeshi Kitano (of all people) would be making a re-make of the classic
series. And i was not disappointed.

The blind masseur/swordsman Zatoichi stumbles upon a lone widow when he
comes walking in the countryside. He helps her carry a basket and she
tells him of her problems while he is invited to stay with her. The
local town is plagued by a war between different criminal factions and
the protection rates are constantly going up. Soon two geishas also
arrive in town with their own agenda, linked to one of the warring

Zatoichi is a beautiful film in my opinion. Everything from photography
and scenery to music is exceptionally well tuned to the mood of the
film. Also the action sequences are very well made, the fencing well
choreographed and nicely shot. What distracted me somewhat though is
the use of liquid animation for the blood. There is almost no usual
fake blood in this movie, rather it's liquid animation-blood spraying
when people are stabbed. This looks odd, but it's still a minor

Zatoichi feels both like a nice tribute to 60's and 70's samurai-films
as well as a fresh take on the genre. Both modern and classic, which is
one of the finest compliments i feel you can give a movie like this
one. I enjoyed it very much and i rate it 7/10.