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August 21, 2005

The Tale of Zatoichi

Bought at Kinokuniya in Seattle, The Tale of Zatoichi is the original inspiration for the Takeshi Kitano vehicle Zatoichi, which reimagines the character. I got the Kitano work as a Christmas present last year, and enjoyed it tremendously. So did many of my friends, both in anime and at work. As a result, I'd been planning on grabbing this original film for some time, and seeing it on the shelf at Kinokuniya, I just had to grab it.

Watching this movie last night, I was reminded many times of the Kitano movie. The broad strokes of the story, introducing the character of Ichi, the blind masseur, his prowess with the sword, and his friendship and rivalry with an unattached samurai, are the same. Beyond that, what makes this movie is the screen presence of Shintaro Katsu. Shigeru Amachi is also great as Miki Hirate, the former samurai suffering from tuberculosis.

I'll be handing this movie around the same circle of friends who enjoyed Zatoichi.

Posted by dpwakefield at August 21, 2005 05:44 PM