Synopsis by Mark Deming
A reluctant warrior must deal with love and revenge in this, the 14th film in the "Zatoichi" series. After he's ambushed in a small village terrorized by a gang of thieves, the legendary blind swordsman Zatoichi (Shintaro Katsu) is forced to kill a young man in self-defense. As fate would have it, his travels soon lead him to Okichi (Michiyo Yasuda), a woman whom Zatoichi discovers is the sister of the young man whose life he stole. In anger, Okichi attacks the blind swordsman, but her conscience gets the better of her, and as she tends his wounds, the two fall in love. However, the same bandits who ambushed Zatoichi before happen upon him again, and begin their reign of terror against new victims in Okichi's village. Determined not to allow his new benefactors to be abused, Zatoichi teaches the villagers how to defend themselves, and leads them in an attack on the bandits. Zatoichi's Pilgrimage also features Takahiko Tono.