Total Nerd The Zatoichi Films  

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These are the original 26 Zatoichi films starring Shintaro Katsu. I also recommend picking up Tokyo Shock's release of the first season of the T.V series,"Tales of Zatoichi". There were 4 T.V seasons in all. I'm still hoping Tokyo Shock will dig up the rest someday.

Update: SamuraiDVD.com has released the entire second season of "Tales of Zatoichi" on DVD. 29 episodes in 10 volumes never seen outside of Japan. Don't know how they did this but they are my heroes. If you are a fan of this series you are required to pick these up. Cheers

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Tale Of Zatoichi is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Tale Of Zatoichi This first Zatoichi film is a great introduction to the character. Shintaru Katsu was a gifted actor who could bring a tremendous sympathy to Zatoichi, and yet Zatoichi was not only compassionate but also a ruthlessly skilled ...

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Zatoichi the Fugitive is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi the Fugitive Blind swordsman/masseur Ichi (known as Zatoichi, or "Masseur Ichi") angers a local yakuza gang when he defeats several of them in a wrestling match. When he finds that his long lost love Tane is nearby and romantically ...

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Zatoichi Challenged is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi Challenged Ichi is staying at an inn when a woman dies. Her dying wish is that Ichi take her son to his father, an artist living in a nearby town. After arriving in the town, Ichi finds out that the father has been forced by a local boss ...

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Zatoichi: Festival of Fire is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi: Festival of Fire 'Zatoichi At The Fire Festival' was the 21st entry in the popular martial arts series that starred Shintaro Katsu as the blind swordsman Zatoichi. This time around Zatoichi (who moonlights as a masseur) is present at a geisha ...

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Zatoichi at Large is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi at Large Shintaro Katsu, Hisaya Morishige, RentarĊ Mikuni - 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 ...

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Zatoichi's Cane Sword is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi's Cane Sword Zatoichi comes upon the town of Tonda, overrun by gangsters. Using one of his favorite techniques, Zatoichi proceeds to win 8 ryo in a rigged gambling game. Of course, the local gangsters attempt to kill him, and the adventure ...

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New Tale of Zatoichi is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Zatoichi Films
New Tale of Zatoichi Shintaro Katsu - Blind masseur and master swordsman, Zatoichi, is tired of killing. He journeys to his old village looking for peace, but is pursued by the brother of Boss Kanbei, a man he's killed. Back home, Ichi connects with Banno, his ...

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Fight Zatoichi Fight is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Fight Zatoichi Fight Blind swordsman/masseuse Zatoichi befriends a young woman returning home with her baby. When gangsters mistake her for Zatoichi and kill her, Zatoichi determines to escort the baby to its father. He gains the reluctant help of a ...

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Zatoichi and the Chess Expert is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi and the Chess Expert Zatoichi makes friends with a dangerous chess player, while fending off angry yakuza and bloodthirsty relatives out for revenge, and trying to save a sick child. Meanwhile, his luck with dice is turning..

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Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold In the 1840s, Ichi, blind masseur and quick-draw swordsman, travels to the village of Itakura to pay his respects at the grave of Kichizo, a man he killed two years' ago. The villages in the area, after several years of famine, ...

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Zatoichi's Pilgrimage is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi's Pilgrimage If not exceptional, a good and sometimes strange entry in the Zatôichi series. After two successive unusual and in part unrelated beginnings, we enter truly familiar territories. The planned and promising pilgrimage to 88 ...

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Adventures of Zatoichi is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Adventures of Zatoichi Blind swordsman/masseuse Zatoichi befriends a young woman looking for her father, a village leader who has disappeared. As he helps her investigate the disappearance, Zatoichi also becomes involved with another young woman who ...

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Zatoichi Meets the One Armed S... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman One of the more accessible films in the series due to its simpler story (two heroes ally themselves against an evil but then find themselves on different sides due to a mis-understanding). Though the Zatoichi films often vary in ...

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Zatoichi's Flashing Sword is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi's Flashing Sword Shintaro Katsu, Bokuzen Hidari, Naoko Kubo - Blind masseur Zatoichi is nursed back to health by a young woman after he is shot by a gang member. Zatoichi, who had come to the village to repay a debt, now feels further indebted. He commits himself to use his amazing sword ...

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Zatoichi's Vengeance is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi's Vengeance Shintaro Katsu, Jun Hamamura, Kei Sato - Zatoichi comes upon a dying man who asks him to give a bag of money to "Taichi". Zatoichi has no idea who this is but when he comes upon a small town harassed by gangsters, he finds that "Taichi" was the ...

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Zatoichi the Outlaw is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi the Outlaw One of my favorites of the entire series. Zatoichi helps a Yakuza boss by k*****g his rival because he believes he is a good man. After going into hiding for a year he returns after learning he was decieved and that the boss he ...

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Zatoichi in Desperation is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi in Desperation Shintaro Katsu, Asao Koike, Katsuo Nakamura - Zatoichi in Desperation is the most somber and darkest Zatoichi film that I have seen in the series, both in terms of photography and plot. It's interesting that Shintaro Katsu, who plays Zatoichi, was the director. He was ...

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Zatoichi's Revenge is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi's Revenge Shintaro Katsu, Sachiko Kobayashi - Itinerant masseur and master swordsman, the blind Zatoichi, is near the village of his teacher, Hikonoichi, so he decides to visit. He learns of Hikonoichi's recent robbery and murder and the imprisonment of his virginal ...

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Zatoichi and the Fugitives is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi and the Fugitives Blind masseur and master swordsman Zatoichi becomes involved with a gang of bandits hiding out in a small village. While they hide in the attic of a silk mill, they manipulate the corrupt chief official of the town.

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Samaritan Zatoichi is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Samaritan Zatoichi Zatoichi is forced to kill a young man who owes a debt to a yakuza boss. Moments later, his sister Osode arrives with the money she earned (prostituting herself) to pay his debts. The bosses true motives are revealed and he ...

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Zatoichi: On the Road is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi: On the Road Blind swordsman/masseuer Ichi (or "Zatoichi") is asked by a dying man to deliver the maiden Mitsu (or "Omitsu") to her family in Edo, and Zatoichi feels honor-bound to do so. But rival gangs each have an ...

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Zatoichi: Darkness is his Ally is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi: Darkness is his Ally Shintaro Katsu first portrayed the blind swordsman Zatoichi in 1962 in the film The Tale of Zatoichi. Over the next 10 years, Katsu would star in 24 more Zatoichi films and become one of the biggest stars in Japan. After being ...

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Tale of Zatoichi Continues is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Tale of Zatoichi Continues Blind swordsman/masseur Zatoichi is pursued by the retainers of a lord who fear that he will reveal a secret weakness of their master. Returning to the village where a year before he had killed Hirate, a much-admired opponent, ...

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Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo Toshiro Mifune, Shintaro Katsu, Shin Kishida - With a price on his head, Ichi seeks tranquillity in a favorite village. Since his last visit, it has fallen prey to Boss Masagoro, the son of a merchant rumored to have stolen gold from the shogunate. The boss has hired Yojimbo ...

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Zatoichi and the Doomed Man is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi and the Doomed Man Blind swordsman Zatoichi, jailed briefly, is implored by another prisoner to aid him in proving his innocence of a crime for which he is sentenced to death. Zatoichi is reluctant to get involved, because he knows how often such ...

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Zatoichi's Conspiracy is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Zatoichi Films
Zatoichi's Conspiracy Shintaro Katsu, Takashi Shimura, Eiji Okada - Zatoichi, the famed blind swordsman, returns to his home village for the first time in many years. He is befriended by Omiyo, who had the same wet-nurse as Zatoichi. He also encounters a boyhood friend, Shinbei, who now is ...