The Legend of Zatoichi
February 1, 2013 12:16 pm PDT in Typical WOM
SPOILERS. If you ever plan to watch this series i suggest not reading this. (I love Meez)
Zatoichi a name well known in Japan, outside of it how ever not so much…. I’m here to educate you on this BADASS, and why you should watch his films…
This is a video I found showing various fighting scenes from a few Zatoichi movies.
He was created by Kan Shimozawa in 1962, and is played by actor/singer Shintaro Katsu. There have been 26 films staring Katsu as Zatoichi and nearly 100 T.V. episodes (about 45 minutes long) with him as Zatoichi. There were a number of spin offs as well, One even expanded on the idea of him having a blind daughter. There was also an american spin off named Blind Fury. Between just the movies Katsu has stared in Zatoichi has a Kill count of 1,252. In the last movie he killed an army of Yakuza invading a village, at the end of that movie alone he racked up a body count of 103.
Zatoichi, or ‘Ichi’ as he is known by since Zato is a name given to blind masseurs (He is also an excellent masseur), is a very humble lightly spoken man that only strikes when he feels provoked or when he needs to help someone in need. Blind at a very young age, Ichi only has memory of two things, his mothers face and the color green. His father thought he needed to learn how to defend himself so he taught him what he knew on how to use a sword. The style Ichi has is known as Straight back hand style with of mix of Iaido. Iaido is a style of Kendo where you quickly unsheathe your weapon, strike your opponent with a fatal blow, Swipe the blade in the air removing the blood, and return the sword to its sheathe. His weapon of choice is a cane sword, A straight edge Katana that is sheathed in what looks like a normal cane. It is said that Zatoichi’s sword is one of a kind and was made specially for him from a master blacksmith that perfected the art of sword making.
Zatoichi has crossed paths with other famous swords man of their time. The one armed swords man, a famous Chinese character with… well… one arm. In Zatoichi and the one armed swords man there were two endings, one where the one armed swordsman kills Zatoichi and one where Zatoichi kills the one armed swordsman. The other is when he crossed paths with Yojimbo, another famous swordsman in japan. Zatoichi ended up sparring Yojimbos life knowing the battle was mearly a misunderstanding (We all know Zatoichi would have killed him easy).
It has been shown and stated that the character of Zatoich has died twice in the series, (technically 3 times if you count the Chinese ending of Zatoichi and the one armed swordsmen) It was mentioned that Zatoichi died of a severe illness in the 2008 film Ichi. In the 2010 film, Zatoichi the Last, he dies at the end crawling to the ocean from multiple stab wounds, from once again defeating an army of Yakuza and one badass swordsman as well.
I don’t want to give to much away about Zatoichi, I rather that you go and watch a few of his movies and see for yourself why Zatoichi is such a badass.