(released in the US as The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi) is a 2003 Japanese samurai drama/action film, directed, written, co-edited by and starring Takeshi Kitano ("Beat" Takeshi) in his 11th directorial venture. Kitano plays the role of the blind swordsman.
The film's plot follows a traditional theme, with Zatoichi (a blind swordsman) coming to the defense of townspeople caught up in a local yakuza gang war and being forced to pay excessive amounts of protection money. Meanwhile, Zatoichi befriends a local farmer and her gambler nephew and eventually offers his assistance to two geisha siblings (one of whom is actually a man) who are seeking revenge for the murder of their parents. The siblings are the only survivors of a robbery and massacre that was carried out on their family estate ten years ago. They soon discover the people responsible for the murders are the same yakuza wreaking havoc on the small town.
|editor||Takeshi Kitano Yoshinori Ōta|
|keywords||bumble dance number family estate force gang war geisha kill masquerade open protection money rōnin sibling small town tap dance trip walk|
|nomination||European Film Award for Best Non-European Film|
|producer||Masayuki Mori Tsunehisa Saitō|
|productionCompany||Bandai Visual Dentsu Office Kitano Saitō Entertainment Tokyo FM TV Asahi|
|publisher||Office Kitano Shochiku|
|theme||gang japanese yakuza|