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Zatoichi at Large (1972)

Zatôichi goyô-tabi (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Action, Adventure | September 1973 (USA)
On the road, Zatoichi meets a dying pregnant woman and delivers the child moments before she passes. Honor bound, he sets out to find the next-of-kin who he discovers have their own problems.


Kazuo Mori


Kinya Naoi (as Naoi Kinga)


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Zatoichi is tricked by a crime gang into killing a man. Realizing his mistake, he sets out to protect the dead man's sister, who is conflicted in accepting his help.

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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.

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In a town where debt-ridden peasants are being ruthlessly exploited, Zatoichi is forced to take sides between a cruel yakuza boss and his seemingly altruistic rival.

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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.

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Zatoichi's trek through 88 temples to atone for his violent past is interrupted as he stumbles into a village terrorized by a violent yakuza boss.

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Promising to make a delivery for a dying man, the blind swordsman Zatoichi comes across the usual crime gangs but also meets a blind monk who brings into question his use of violence.

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Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shigeru Amachi, Jun Hamamura


Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ... Zatoichi
Rentarô Mikuni Rentarô Mikuni ... Boss Tetsugoro
Hisaya Morishige Hisaya Morishige ... Constable Tobei
Etsushi Takahashi Etsushi Takahashi ... Denjuro
Naoko Ôtani Naoko Ôtani ... Yae
Osamu Sakai Osamu Sakai ... Seiji
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Katsutoshi Akiyama Katsutoshi Akiyama
Shôki Fukae Shôki Fukae
Tsutomu Hashimoto Tsutomu Hashimoto
Renji Ishibashi ... Gunroku
Keizô Kanie Keizô Kanie
Jun Katsumura Jun Katsumura ... Rowdy horse puller
Daigo Kusano Daigo Kusano ... Performer with moustache telling chûshingura story
Kazuo Mortuchi Kazuo Mortuchi
Shintarô Nanjô Shintarô Nanjô


Blind masseur and master swordsman Zatoichi finds a robbed and fatally wounded pregnant woman, whose baby he delivers before she dies. He takes the baby in search of its father and finds the child's aunt, who is about to be forced into prostitution for want of a payment the dead mother was bringing. Zatoichi determines to save the woman from her fate. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

September 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi at Large See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A string holding it is visible when Zatoichi flips a coin that lands on the lip of a bottle. See more »


Zatoichi: Hello, I'm here to play with you people.
See more »


Follows Fight, Zatoichi, Fight (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty typical of the series
5 June 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Like an earlier Zatoichi film, "Zatôichi kesshô-tabi", this one starts with a dying woman and a baby that Zatoichi is to take to its father. Following the death of the mother, the credits roll and a singer who perhaps is well-liked in Japan begins singing--and the high nasal voice was really, really annoying. Perhaps it's just my Western sensibilities, but the song was tough to take. I think the singing is from Japanese Noh (a type of play)--but I am far from knowledgeable about those sort of things.

Once Ichi gets the baby to the proper town, he finds the child's aunt and gives it to her. Oddly, however, all along the route there a little boy has been following Zatoichi pelting him with rocks. When the father eventually comes to town and thanks the blind man for bringing the baby, the welcome is very short-lived. It seems that the brat who has been throwing stones at Zatoichi is the man's son--and he mistakenly thinks that Ichi killed his mother and stole her money (this WAS done but by a thief--not Ichi). However, when the father confronts Ichi, the blind man is not angry but agrees to help the family get the money--otherwise the aunt will be forced by the local boss into prostitution.

This leads to the very, very typical confrontation with the local strongman--a guy who naturally at first has his men attack Ichi, then pretends to be friends and then, ultimately, has an all-out battle with the blind man. In the final battle, the death tally is appropriately high and there are no huge surprises. However, the local constable was an interesting character and did give the film a few surprises. Otherwise, it's all very typical and familiar. Nothing extraordinary but another formulaic Zatoichi film.

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