Zatoichi at Large (1972)

A surprisingly terrific film.

No Fixed Plans

Trailer for Zatoichi Criterion Set

I picked up Zatoichi at Large at random at the library. I ws in the mood for a Japanese film and was willing to branch off to something new. Thus I discovered Zatoichi, a fictional hero whose life is chronicled in a series of 26 films. This was film 25.

Zatoichi is a character that draws you in with his contrasts. Paradoxically, he’s blind, but he’s a master swordsman. He’s gruff but follows social dictums fervently. Well, often, if not all the time. He likes to gamble and consorts with prostitutes but he’s highly moral. Sometimes he’s naive, while often he’s worldly and wily. Yet I was drawn to him because he lives in a society where the deck is stacked against him and the poor and champions the underdogs.

In this chapter, the wandering masseuse Zatoichi happens upon a pregnant woman who’d been attacked…

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