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.
Did You Know?
The "mon" coins used by the gamblers were made of either copper or iron and were the lowest-denomination currency in Japan until the yen system was established in 1870. The "ryo" paid to Zatoichi were gold and were worth many thousands of "mon." The Currency Museum of the Bank of Japan estimates that one "ryo" would be worth roughly $1200 to $1300 now. See more
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
[after asking Zatoichi what she would do with having so many children
Just don't raise them to be gangsters.
I won't... But why do you say that?
Because to be a gangster is a foolish way to live.
Then why don't you live a decent life?
It's like being stuck in a bog; it's not easy to pull yourself out once you've fallen in.
Referenced in Ninja Scroll