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Click for availability and more information Zatōichi (movie series)

If you are at all a fan of samurai cinema and have never heard the name Zatōichi, then you're in for a real treat. Played by the controversial but undeniably talented Shintaro Katsu, Zatōichi is a blind masseur travelling about Japan during the Edo period who ekes out a living as a lowly Yakuza. In addition to his skills as a masseur and a gambler, however, Zatōichi has another, more unlikely, skill, one that simultaneously makes him the subject of both admiration and fear among his contemporaries: swordsmanship. Feats that the most skilled of his sighted samurai peers can only hope to accomplish with great difficulty (if at all), Zatōichi can usually perform with unnerving ease. Though he is blind, Zatōichi's other senses are as razor-sharp as his sword, to the point where his perception is preternaturally keen. His enhanced senses and his mastery of the sword combine to make Zatōichi an unstoppable killing machine when circumstances demand it.
But Zatōichi is more than just a dangerous swordsman. He is the "everyman" hero, defender of the meek, punisher of the unjust, and he will only reach for his sword when his opponents leave him no other choice, preferring instead to use his wits to resolve problems whenever possible. He is possessed of honor, humor and humility, contrasting sharply with the typical dour arrogance of the various self-important thugs and corrupt officials he encounters. In short, Zatōichi's qualities reflect the core ideals of Japanese martial culture, making him one of their most popular and enduring icons.

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This page contains a single entry published on September 14, 2007 5:52 PM.

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