Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

Dir. Kenji Misumi

For those of you who don’t know, Zatoichi is a blind swordsman, former masseuse–and a member of the yakuza (at least in this film). There are many films and a TV show with this character. I was surprised by two things: 1.) the artful visuals and use of black-and-white in the film; 2.) the way he seemed eager and even arrogant about his sword fighting prowess. My impression of Zatoichi was that he was like Columbo: he acted dumb and helpless when he was just the opposite. (There is some of that, but not to the extent that I expected.) Larri liked this, but I didn’t like it enough to be very interested in watching more of the films/TV series.

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