Synopsis by Mark Deming
Shintaro Katsu took his final bow as Zatoichi, the nomadic blind swordsman, in this martial arts action saga from Japan. After being released from jail on charges of petty theft, Ichi finds himself caught between two rival bands of yakuza, one of whom has obtained a cache of guns from crooked policemen. Zatoichi throws in his lot with the sword-carrying gangsters, and stands at the fore as they face off for a battle to the death. En route to his destiny, Ichi confronts a group of crooked gamblers, protects the children of his village, and seeks comfort in the arms of a beautiful courtesan. At the time of its release, this became the twenty-sixth episode in the saga of Zatoichi, and the first theatrically-released Zatoichi episode since the 1973 Zatoichi's Conspiracy. It was intended to be the final film in the saga, though Beat Takeshi Kitano would later create his own idiosyncratic variation on the story in 2003.
duel, ex-convict, gang-war, rival, swordfight, swordsman, vigilante